Why hasn't my home sold?

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Why Hasn't My Home Sold?

Home sellers are very concerned when their home has been on the market for some time.  The offers presented, if any, have been too low to even consider.  The home hasn't sold.  Quite naturally they want to know what's wrong.

That's a fair question.  The newspapers say the home market is active again; some homes in the area have sold.  Now sellers are asking questions like, "Interest rates are down, aren't they?", "Why haven't I had a serious offer?", "Should I take my house off the market?", "Should I change Realtors?"

FIRST of all, slow down. Don't panic.  Take a rational look at the market and make the most of it.  Smart home sellers are moving their home right now, today.  They recognize the market today is different from last year.  Pricing a home correctly initially is vital.  Pricing too high and then dropping the price later can cast an unfavorable feeling over the property.

SECOND, the smart home seller comes to the obvious conclusion that with cautious buyers looking at more homes you have to be competitive, flexible, aggressive, and do a better job of marketing to generate offers.  Your home can sell, and quickly.  Staging a home is just one great way to bring out the full value potential of a home.

THIRD, sit down with your real estate professional and rethink your marketing plan.  There are a number of actions to consider to beat out your competition.  The correct set of actions will generate the sale.

Be patient.  Today's buyers are tough but every market offers opportunities.  Seek your real estate professional's advice.  Put together an aggressive program and then act on it.  Properly priced, packaged, and presented homes are selling.  Yours will too!

PRICE. Reviewing your asking price is the most difficult, painful and personal part of answering the question, "Why aren't we getting any action?"  This is typically the single most critical element in your new marketing plan.  Get fresh comparable sales in your area.  Forget the asking prices of homes that aren't selling.  Check out the homes that are selling.  Your home must be priced to meet today's market or all the other elements of your new plan won't make much difference.

There is a selling price for every property.  If the market is showing little interest in your property, the price is probably too high for this market.

TERMS. How flexible are you really prepared to be?  How big a second can you take on? Can you offer a fast escrow?

APPEARANCE. Remember the old advertising slogan, "Even your best friends won't tell you!"?  Well, a good agent will level with you. Have your real estate professional give you a set of ideas on how to spiff up your house.  Put aside what you think is "nice" or "adequate."  Listen to your professional advisor.  Paint, clip, cut, clean, deodorize, send to storage, toss out, caulk, mow, paper, cement, repair, add, scoop, weed, tear down, and scrub.  Little things do count.  A relatively small amount of time, effort and money spent now can bring back large rewards.

ATMOSPHERE. There are also some "do's and don'ts" which can be helpful in creating a selling atmosphere.  Leave the house when it's being shown and take the dog and children with you.  If you must be home don't chat with buyers, just disappear.  Tune the FM radio to quiet, soothing music.  Be careful of cooking odors.  Turn on all the lights.  Fresh flowers are always a plus.  Keep the temperature at a comfortable level, and open the windows and doors if weather and security permit.  Pick up kids' toys.  Help your real estate professional by creating a warm, pleasant, private sales environment.


Comments (5)

Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Great post. Sellers do need professional advice and guidance in this market, and every market.

Nov 17, 2008 05:36 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Great post, sellers need to have all the advice we can give them in order to price the home right!

Nov 17, 2008 05:40 AM
Cindy Leiterman
Resource One Realty, LLC - Green Bay, WI
Green Bay, WI

Another suggestion -  be careful of pet odors.  I hate opening the door to a beautiful home and smelling dog or cat.  It can be a real turn off to the buyers.  Most sellers don't realize it because they are used to it. 

Great suggestions.  Take care.

Nov 17, 2008 05:41 AM
Steven Wright
Home Real Estate - Aurora, CO
CRS - Home Real Estate - 720-989-5283

Great post. If you are not honest with your clients you will lose them.

Nov 17, 2008 05:58 AM
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

I've turned down a couple of listings because the prospective Clients thought that since they owned their property free and clear, it must be worth more than what the comps were saying. Since they don't have to sell, and the house wasn't going to sell at the price they wanted, which was about $75,000 too high, I advised them not to sell. I think they appreciated my honesty, and I suspect that as long as my husband and I do persistent and consistent marketing in their complex, I'll win their listing sometime down the road.

Nov 22, 2008 09:21 AM