Why Isn't My House Selling?

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential California Realty

How Do I Sell My House?

The majority of questions I receive from prospect clients are suggestions for selling their home. Numerous have had their house on the market for months sometimes even up to a year without a showing. On many occassions home sellers have had many open houses but not one single purchase offer.

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In buyer's markets, it's particularly important to pull out all the stops and make your house jump out among the sea of inventory on the market. Ask yourself why a buyer would potentially choose your house over all the other homes for sale.

Inadequate and Poor Condition of Your Home

Check out your competition. If ninety percent of the households in your market are not selling, then your house needs to outshine the top ten percent. Take a closer look at the houses that are pending sales since that's your current indicator. Sold comparables could be 2 to 3 months behind of market movement. You would like to know what is happening right now, and pending sale data will tell you which homes are selling.

Aside from preparing your house for sale, think about its condition and overall appearance.  Possibly you had better consider adding updates or doing repairs prior to selling. If the top ten percent on the market have brand new carpeting and your carpeting is worn, haggard and dated, your house isn't most likely going to sell very easily. Replace the carpet, paint the walls neutral -- not white, are just a few crucial things which need to be done.

Lack of Photographs or Poorly Shot Photographs

Houses on the MLS that have only one photograph are passed by most of the time. Houses with many pictures are the ones to get noticed predominately. Make sure to take high caliber pictures or even go to the extent of hiring a pro photographer. Photograph wide angles with plenty of light showcasing your home's best features.

-Unless your bedrooms differ from each other significantly, simply photograph the master bedroom or  biggest bedroom.

-Do not capture yourself or the camera in the picture of the bathroom by shooting the mirror's reflection.

-If your hallway is narrow, do not snap a picture of it. Think about possibly getting a close up of your fireplace or other interesting feature instead.

-Shoot numerous photos of the kitchen area because the kitchen is typically the most crucial photo.

-Before taking a picture of the dining room, make sure to set the table.

-Living room photographs ought to show adequate space, so remove some of that furniture that clutters up the room.

-Do not forget to include pictures of the back yard and gardens if you have them.

-Add descriptive text to each individual picture.

You have not Paid For Extensive Marketing and Advertising

No individual aspect of marketing sells a house. It is a combination of  many different marketing efforts. If your newspaper makes a simple mistake and lists your house under the incorrect section, do not panic -- houses have sold to buyers many times who found them in the incorrect place. For that particular reason, think about  putting an ad under many classifications.

-Print four-color postcards and send them to neighboring homes in the vicinity and to out-of-area prospect buyers.

-Create four-color flyers consisting several pictures to pass out to prospects and those who tour your house.

-Hire a virtual tour company to shoot and upload videos.

-Massively advertise every weekend.

-Hold Open Houses on Sundays that concur with other neighborhood open houses. Some of the times Thursday evenings will attract buyers as well.

-Get feedback from buyers about what they liked and disliked about your house, and make adjustments to defeat objections.

-Think about shooting a video yourself and uploading it to websites such as YouTube.com, even if it is simply you discussing what you like about living there.

You Hired the Wrong Listing Agent

You need to work with a realtor who is competent, experienced and dependable. There are an assortment of means to find a realtor but the easiest way is done by referrals from friends and family.

If you desire full-service and want an agent to spend loads of money on the listing, hire a full service brokerage firm and interview numerous agents . To find the best listing agent, do not base your decision entirely on the proposed sales price or how much the agent charges you because there are other considerations. Discuss home pricing and commission negotiations last. First off, find out the agent's strategic marketing plan.

You Haven't Priced Your House to Sell

Sellers commonly say, "But I don't want to give away my home." Of course, not. You desire to sell it. To sell your house, the price must be right. Do not "test" the market or ask an inflated figure because if you do, your house will likely sit on the market and the DOM will proceed to tick. Dated listings do not typically sell for list price.

To avoid overpricing your home, analyze the sold comparable sales and adjust for square footage, if necessary. If your home has a bad layout or is located in a bad location such as adjacent to a school, on or near a busy street or bordering a liquor store, you are not going to get the same price as houses with a good layout and in a good location.

For example, if the last three houses sold at $500,000 but you feel they're not similar to yours because they do not contain updates -- but they were situated on a quiet street and your street is noisy -- your house is likely worth roughly the same. A plus-$60,000 adjustment for the updates could wash out the minus-$60,000 for the busy street. In a buyer's market, price your house a minimum of two percent less than the last comparable sale. If you can not live with that particular price, then do not put your house on the market and set yourself up for letdown. Overpricing is the biggest mistake a home seller can make.

 

Comments (1)

Manuel Monserrate
Raleigh, NC

Very good points all.  Unfortunately, these are some of the most common mistakes that are and will continue to be made by uneducated sellers.  A successful agent will always 'get through' to their customers and will break down some of these common 'mind barriers' in order to be able to achieve their clients goals.

Sep 21, 2010 08:21 AM