What Should You Do if Your House Isn’t Selling?

IMG_1682It can be very frustrating to put your home on the market, expecting a fast sale, only to find that after six months you’re still waiting for an offer. But, what can you do?

First, determine if it’s a result of timing. You may have started worrying too soon. If it has been only a month and you haven’t gotten a bite, not to worry. Let’s face it, with the amount of snow and cold weather that we have recently been experiencing, not many homeowners even want you in their homes. The market is strong, but many buyers are staying indoors until the weather warms up a little. Of course, other factors may still be responsible for your home not selling.

Inaccurate pricing. A house priced at market value piques the interest of real estate professionals and buyers, while overpricing chases them away. Even if the seller adjusts the price later, it’s difficult to recapture people’s interest.

Because it’s only natural to overestimate the value of one’s home, home sellers should depend on factual reference points, such as an appraisal and comparables (Comparable Market Analysis or CMA) to help estimate market value. Real estate professionals prepare comparables by examining similar properties that recently sold in a neighborhood. This practice is the best way to arrive at a realistic asking price.

Insufficient exposure. If you’re selling your home on your own, you may want to consider using a real estate professional. Buyers are most likely to learn about the home they purchase through either their Real Estate Agent or the Internet. A Top Listing Agent generally uses professional high quality multiple photos on the Internet, often times – even giving a property its own website, along with a variety of other resources including open houses, yard signs, MLS posting and newspaper ads to give a property maximum exposure. Photos and data should be up to date and in season. It’s hard to convince a buyer to preview a house who’s picture showcases a home covered in snow in the middle of the summer.

Condition and appearance of a home. Sellers shouldn’t rely on buyers to use their imagination; they need to capture it. Remember that buyers may see seven or eight homes in a single day. The most memorable home will be the one that seemed the brightest, the most spacious, and the most cheerful. This invariably means rearranging and eliminating furniture, removing excess knickknacks and so on, to create an open, uncluttered look. Outside, do a visual check of the front of the house from across the street. Does it have curb appeal? It should look inviting, with a trimmed lawn and a freshly painted front door. Your real estate professional can offer some guidance in this area.

Terms/conditions. Even if your home is accurately priced, and the buyer is delighted with what he or she sees, if the buyer can’t live with the terms of the sale, he or she may walk away. What sort of terms or conditions have you placed on the sale? Evaluate how this may be affecting a potential sale.

Less-than-desirable neighborhood. Normally, there’s not much a homeowner can do about the surrounding neighborhood. But if your home is not selling and you’ve examined every other factor, this may be something to consider. Everything will sell at the right price. So make sure your price matches your neighborhood.

The bottom line, listen to a seasoned professional. It is very hard to be impartial when it comes to your own home!

About Linda Skolnick