Written by Andrew Goodman
Question: My home has been on the market for 96 days. I have seen homes in my neighborhood come on the market and sell within a week, however my home hasn’t sold. What am I doing wrong and why won’t my home sell?
This is a situation many sellers are having in our local market. Many homes are put on the market and they sell within two weeks because they are fresh and new to the actively looking buyers.
However, homes that have been sitting on the market for a while tend to carry a negative stigma because of how long they have been on the market. There are some factors to consider when listing your home and while your home is listed to attract those buyers.
Home Condition: Compare the condition of your home to the homes that have recently sold. A typical buyer is looking for a move-in ready home that requires little to no work. The only work they want to do, if any, is cosmetic. Make sure, as I recommended in one of my previous columns, to at least supply the buyer with a blank canvas so he or she can put their personal touches on the home without having to do any major renovations. Neutral paint colors are key! Spending a few bucks and putting some elbow grease into your home could go a long way.
Online Presence: Make sure your home is being advertised and marketed appropriately online. Your realtor should be able to guide you with this, but you want to make sure that your home is easily found online and is in front of buyers who are looking for your style of home. Make sure you attach as many pictures of your home as possible to your listing and that those pictures are clear, sunlit, and professional.
Availability to show: 99 percent of buyers will not purchase a home until they have seen it. I know I wouldn’t purchase a home without seeing it first, so make sure you give the buyers every opportunity to view your home. I always recommend sellers leave their home so the buyer can view the home comfortably. But if that is not convenient, don’t cancel a showing because of it.
Go to another room or go for a walk during the showing, but by no means prevent a buyer from coming to view your home. There could be extenuating circumstances that may not allow you to show your home, but do whatever you can to show your property as much as possible.
Days on the Market: The amount of days the home is on the market (DOM) is crucial. The longer the home is on the market, the more likely a buyer is to overlook your home because he or she believes that there could be something wrong with it. The longer your home is on the market the more likely the buying public will see your home in a negative manner and ultimately reduce the return you could receive on your investment. The first two weeks of the home being on the market will be a good sign to tell you if the listing approach taken was the right one.
Price: I know it’s hard to admit, but it always comes down to price. If your home is priced right, it will sell. There is no doubt about it. If your neighbors’ homes are selling and yours is not, then you know that there are buyers looking in your area and most likely for a style of home like yours.
So what is deterring them from purchasing? Yes, all of the factors I mentioned above could play a part in it, but if your home was priced appropriately, all of the other factors could be overlooked.
There are a many strategies when listing a home. Each strategy could work depending on the current local market conditions. However, when listing a home, put your best foot forward and be realistic. As mentioned above, the longer your home sits on the market, the more likely it is to reduce your return on your investment. Let the market stretch your investment for you.