My blogging colleague Alan May (if you need help in Chicagoland, call him!) has the straight scoop for you on many of the reasons a home won't sell. Check it out! (And call me if you're selling in the Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville, Troy, Highland, Granite City and other areas of St. Louis' southwestern IL suburbs).
A bunch of reason why your property won't sell
1. Your property won't sell because your photos are "less than impressive". And by "less than impressive", I probably mean bad. Everyone, and his uncle, these days begin their search by checking the digital superhighway that Al Gore built, so your property had better look fantastic online. Not just nice, it has to look downright fabulous. Today an internet view is the same as your first showing .. if your house gets past that, then the viewer might (just might) make an appointment to see it in person. Today's online viewers are expecting great quality photos. And "yes", that's a real MLS photo. How happy do you suppose the seller was when they saw it?
2. Your property won't sell because it's priced too high. In my area, we are in a seller's market. But even in a seller's market, if you price it too high, people will stay away in droves. Buyers are desperate for quality listings, but they're not stoopid. Buyers still have other options on the market (and yes, they DO have to include short sales and foreclosures... your potential buyers are!), would YOU buy your home, over the others that are currently available on the market?
If the answer is "NO", (and try to be as honest as you can) well then you have your work cut out for you, don't you? You either have to "update" your home to meet or beat the competition...(that might mean an updated bathroom or kitchen, or neutralizing some decorating... remove that old wallpaper that was there when you bought the house or lower your price to adjust for it. if you can't afford to sell it for the price, that you KNOW it should sell for, this may not be the right market for you to sell. Consider taking it off-market.
3. Your property won't sell because it shows badly. This could mean almost anything... from the 60 pound Rottweiler, barking and drooling at the potential buyers from behind the safety of the flimsiest child-gate, to the lingering smell of 30-years of smoking. Maybe the carpeting shows the remants that the Rottweiler left behind, or your windows allow in slightly more than daylight. All things that aren't visible from the internet, but whoa.... once you get inside the house... they show up, like a cat-urine-soaked-shag carpet on a 95 degree day in New Orleans!
4. Your property won't sell because you're invisible. Today's buyer comes from the internet, almost exclusively. Have you (or your agent) simply plopped the property on the MLS, and started praying? Are you on all the websites...(Trulia, Zillow, Craig's List, Google Base, etc...) all the places that buyers are searching? If not, you need to be, now! Don't try to be a secret, in today's electronic world. You want to be found, and the sooner the better.
5. Your property won't sell because your listing is tired and stale ond be, but your listing (not your house) has become tired and stale. Everyone who is looking for your type of property (ie: 3br1.1 bath) in your area has already seen the listing online, or in person and they remember that there was "something" about it that they didn't like... but what they don't remember is... what they didn't like.... was the price. Time to take the listing off market. Let it cool off (3-6 months), and bring it back on fresh in the Spring. Yeah, you'll have 6 mos. worth of holding-costs... but you'll more than make up for it in your purchase price.
btw... Resist the temptation to bring the house back on at a higher price, than when you left the market. Just "don't do it"!
6. Your property won't sell because you won't make it available. You have a baby, and a 1-year old. And they need their naps. So you've told your Realtor in no-uncertain-terms, that you'll only allow showings between 9:00a.m - Noon, and then again from 2:30-5:30 p.m. And no showings on Saturday or Sundays. "After all", you've told him "we still live here.. it's our home!". Well guess what? They won't buy it, if they can't see it. As good as your online photos are, they're no substitute for an in-person visit. "If they really want to see it, they'll reschedule", you're already answering as you read this. Nonsense! What they'll do, is they'll just move on to the next property in line (there are always more available) and maybe they'll buy that one instead. Once you put your property on the market it stops being your "home", and has become your "product". And you want your product to be seen by as large a buying audience as possible.
So, there you have it. Stick around another year and half. Who knows... maybe I'll update this one in another coupla years.