It’s a seller’s market – meaning there are less houses available for sale than there are buyers looking to buy. If your house sits idle in a seller’s market, it’s time to take a hard look at the reason – or reasons – why.
Realizing you may have a problem is the first step toward resolving it. There could be many reasons your house isn’t selling.
What are the Top 5 Ways to Sabotage Your House Sale?
The answers may surprise you!
In a seller’s market, a seller may feel confident that a higher asking price will be accepted by the market because there is high demand, yet low supply.
A seller can usually expect to get more money for their house. This should not be the time to “test the waters” or to see what the market will bear. If a seller lists home at a price that is above market value, they may discourage prospective buyers from even visiting and that can be a huge mistake!
The best way to make sure a house will sell is to analyze the neighboring market comparables and determine a fair price.
Age of Amenities
Most owners hate to pay for home improvements - especially for someone else! However, in many markets it is a necessary step in order to sell for full asking price. It is important here to consider the neighborhood market. The seller’s property should have amenities comparable to other properties for sale in a similar price range.
If all the neighboring houses have upgraded kitchens and baths and fashionable new appliances but the subject property does not, these properties may not even be considered as comparables by today’s standards. In some areas this can even extend to the type of air conditioning, garage doors and landscaping.
The seller will need to adjust their price downward or undergo the renovations or changes to get full price.
Nothing will blow apart a house sale as quickly as a problem with title. This can give the average buyer good reason to back out of a sale. Most buyers are buying because they need to move in the near future and resolving these issues may take much more time than is expected for standard escrow.
Problems with title occur for various reasons:
- Errors in public records such as clerical errors or filing errors that affect the deed or survey of the property
- Unknown liens on the property for unpaid debts against the current or previous owner
- Illegal or forged deeds made by an undocumented immigrant, a minor, a person of unsound mind, or one who is reported single but in actuality married
- Undiscovered wills, missing heirs or contested ownership
- Unknown easements or survey issues
These are just a few examples of possible title issues. The best way to ensure that a potential sale will go through escrow efficiently is to verify title before putting the property up for sale.
Some people underestimate the importance of photos when selling their house. These days most buyers will make their determination to visit based on the photos they see with the online listing.
If there are few or bad photos buyers often assume the worst. The impression is that the seller may be hiding something if there are few photos. If the house looks messy or the furniture appears to be dated or worn, buyers will assume the same is true for the house and that it will need a lot of work.
It is important to have the house professionally staged and photographed.
There’s an old saying in real estate: “If I can smell it, I can’t sell it,” Many buyers will be put off by an offensive odor. This includes dampness, mildew, old carpeting and cigarette smoke as well as more transient smells like cooking or perfumes.
If you’re immune to the smell of your home, get a friend’s honest opinion and take the appropriate action to have the odors properly neutralized through cleaning and purging.
Get carpets, drapes and upholstery professionally cleaned. Keep linens freshly laundered and do not let laundry accumulate. Be conscious of cooking smells before visits or open houses. Avoid any heavy artificial smells like perfumes colognes or air fresheners before visits. It is often recommended to bake cookies or a pie to give an appealing aroma for visits.
These are the top five reasons houses do not sell as quickly as expected. There may be others, but only the seller will be able to determine their particular issues. It is important to take an objective look at the situation. A buyer is not buying your experience or memories of the property. To them it is a purchase of a building that they intend to turn into a home.
If any of these situations is something you are dealing with, we can help.
If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t ready for the traditional market, we can help.
If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this summer, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. We have a team of professionals able to assist you immediately.
Contact us for details.
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