Has your home been on the market for what feels like forever? You listed your home and it has been showing, of course, but no offers have come in. You know you need to make some changes, but what can you do? What should you prioritize? How do you know where you’re going wrong?
When the average number of days a home is on the market ranges from 75 to 145, a home will sell for the most amount of money in the first 30 days that it is on the market. This is because potential buyers start to wonder what is wrong with a home if it hasn’t sold in 30 days. With that being said, you want your house to sell fast! The longer it sits on the market, the more the sale will fall below list price, so you want to solve this issue as quickly as possible.
Here are some reasons your home likely isn’t selling as fast as you want it to.
The Price is Too High
We know – your house is precious to you and you feel it’s worth top dollar. But pricing a house too high is an extremely common mistake. 51% of agents say that pricing a home incorrectly is the biggest mistake a seller can make. Pricing a home for sale can be hard – you want to make a profit, but you want to be fair when you decide on a number. There are a ton of ways to look at data points to determine a fair market value for your home, but the best way to get an accurate number is to work with an appraiser and an agent. Your appraiser has no horse in the race of your house selling, so you know he or she will give you an accurate number. Also, it is your agent’s job to position their listings where they sell in the coveted first 30 days. They will be able to tell you if your asking price is too ambitious. Either way, don’t let your house sit on the market for any longer than a month without doing a price drop, no matter what anyone tells you. It can be disappointing, but isn’t the end of the world – 22% of sellers in the last ten years have reduced their asking price at least once.
Your House is Too Unique
Either you have a property that is snatched off of the market the first week, or you don’t – and one reason you might fall in the “don’t” camp is because your house is a little too unique. Very large homes, very high end or expensive homes, homes in strange areas, or homes with odd and unusual features can take a lot longer to match with a dream buyer. If you have the expendable cash, see if you can bring your home a little closer to neutral. Make sure the walls are all white, the flooring is a neutral color and style, the outside of the house has attractive landscaping that would be easy for anyone to uphold, and more. If a small remodel isn’t in your best financial interest, you can change your marketing strategy. For example, if you are trying to sell a home with multiple complete living spaces (such as a duplex turned home), change your strategy towards using the other space as a rental for extra income, instead of trying to sell one family two homes in one. Make it work for your buyer. Selling a unique home may also require the listing of the property in places other than the local online real estate sites. More eyes on the listing means more opportunities for things to work out.
Your Staging is Off-Target
Staging matters. It helps your buyer picture their own stuff in your house, and the better they are able to do that, the more likely they are to buy from you. Un-staged or badly staged homes can come off as cluttered, small, dark, and as if the potential buyer is invading someone else’s space. Typically, a properly staged home sells for more money and in a shorter amount of time. Staged homes sell 87% faster than un-staged homes, for example, and for 17% more. 96% of surveyed realtors agreed that staging has a noticeable effect on potential buyers, and that they are a lot more likely to favor the house in that case. Remember too that staging is not only about making your house look clean, orderly, and neutral. It is also about fixing up the small things that can distract people from your house as a whole – scuffed paint, floors in need of a polish, or highly outdated fixtures. Buyers have a lot of trouble seeing past those things to focus on the potential of the house. Incorrect staging could fail to show off your home’s assets or highlight flaws that you don’t want your buyers to notice.
Your Curb Appeal is Non-Existent
You stage the inside of your home, and you should stage the outside, too. After all, the first thing your buyer sees of your house is the outside of it. If your yard is littered with children’s toys, dead landscaping or grass, trash, or yard decorations, it’s likely to turn off a potential buyer. You don’t want to turn off a buyer before they even reach the front door! Of course, the planting of a few flowers in the front garden aren’t going to net you an additional 50K on your house, but it is proven that lawn care gets an average of 303% ROI and general landscaping gets an average of 100% ROI. Upgrade your curb appeal – clean things up, grow some grass, plant those flowers, and repaint the shutters. If you don’t know where to start with this (or don’t have the time to do it), hire a professional landscaper. They can help tell you the easiest and cheapest ways to make your yard look amazing in the smallest amount of time. Don’t forget the backyard, either – touch up the stain or the paint on your fence, and if you don’t have a fence, install one! Make sure the trees in the yard are living and attractive, and not fall-risks.
Your Listing Photos Are Bad Quality
Over half of buyers look online before they even consider visiting a house they’re interested in, and photos you took on your flip phone aren’t going to make them want to come take a tour. If your listing photos don’t show how amazing your house is in crystal clear quality, no one is going to come tour it. If your house has been on the market for a long time with no tours or offers, consider updating your listing photos. Take the photos with a real camera – it’s worth the extra effort. Listing photos taken with professional cameras typically get around 60% more page views than listing photos taken on cell phones. In fact, good photos can increase the selling price of your home starting at around $1,000. If you don’t have your own camera, hire a professional. Your agent should be able to help you arrange this or arrange it for you. It’s one of the things your commission to them is supposed to pay for. If they don’t provide the photographer, find someone yourself. A little investment will deliver massive returns.
There’s a Specific Issue
Every potential buyer in the world will ask their agent – is there anything wrong with this house? If you have a glaring issue, it could be driving people away in droves. Have your agent ask tourers what would have to change for the house to be their dream house. If you get a lot of similar answers, you know what has to be changed. Once you know that there is an issue and have identified what it is, you can work to fix it. If you hear that multiple buyers are having trouble envisioning their furniture placement in your house, tighten up your staging efforts. If they want more light, paint the walls whiter, open the windows, and declutter. If it’s a bigger issue that you can’t afford to fix right now, knock a little off of your asking price. Some things can’t be changed, such as your proximity to busy roads, construction, or a “bad neighborhood”, so make sure your asking price reflects any specific issues your home has.
It isn’t too late to sell your home. No matter how long it’s been sitting on the market, there is a reason why. With the right adjustments to your home’s price, listing, staging, curb appeal, condition, and photos, it will sell. There is a happy buyer for every unique home! The worst case scenario? You take your house off the market for a while, fix it up, then relist it. If you need to or want to, you can start over with a new agent, too.