You put your home up for sale and it simply didn’t sell. Undoubtedly, this has created a lot of stress, inconvenience and anxiety for you. Perhaps you already bought another home. Maybe your family circumstances have changed. Regardless of the reason, it’s certainly a burden!
What Should You Do?
The first thing to do is take a step back and analyze the situation. Try to assess what factors led to your home not selling. Below are the top four reasons why homes tend to languish on the market:
Is The Property Overpriced?
Overpricing a property is usually the number one reason it did not sell. Assuming your neighborhood or area has homes with similar features (number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, etc.) on the market for a lower price, buyers will tend to buy those properties first. The price of your property should be competitively priced with these other homes. That means if you want to sell your home, price the home at or slightly below the comparables. Your real estate agent will help you establish the best price based on the competition. Again, pricing your property above comparable properties can easily cause it to languish.
Another problem with pricing higher than competitive properties is the price reductions. Most homeowners will reduce the price once they realize their home is priced higher than the competition. When your real estate agent enters the price reduction in the MLS, the property is probably at or near where it should have been priced in the first place. BUT, and this is what most sellers don’t factor in, we have been in a declining market for the last two years. In Sun City Grand the prices have gone down an average of .75% every single month. So even if you now price it where it should have been when the home was first listed, that price is now too high. And… your home will probably continue to languish. This is what we call “Chasing the Market”. What
you find is that by the end of the year your house is now listed for far less than what you could have gotten for it had you given it an extremely competitive price right out of the gate. Now you have lost time AND valuable assets. To overcome this situation, in a declining market, you need to be out in front of the pack. You need to price your home so that it is the first & primary home they want to look at. Your real estate agent will help you assess the competition and nestablish an asking price that will get the home sold.
“Take a step back and
analyze the situation.
Usually, the problems
can be tied to a lack of
condition of the property,
not hiring the right agent”
Condition Of The Property
All of the cosmetic things, such as paint, landscaping, window coverings and flooring should be in good shape. The house should be spotlessly clean inside and out! It’s amazing how most buyers refuse to see “through” superficial, cosmetic shortcomings. If the house is cluttered, the carpet is worn, the walls dirty or dingy, the wall color too strong, or the house has strong pet or cigarette odors, buyers will move on to look at the next house. I’ve actually written an article about two homes with strong cigarette odors that sat on the market for over two years. These homes lost over 25% of their value by the time they sold. It would have cost far less to remove the carpet and take the remediation measures need to get rid of the problem. While eliminating cigarette smoke completely from a home can cost some money, most of these cosmetic improvements cost little more than your time! To get the house sold, make a small investment in:
1. Landscaping: Make sure your landscaping is in good shape and trees and shrubs neat and trimmed. Make sure gutters are clear. If you don’t have the time to do it, pay someone.
2. Exterior of home: Make sure the exterior paint is in good shape, the windows are spotless, and there is no clutter in the yard. Most importantly, remember that most buyers will notice the condition of the front door when they walk in. A new coat of paint costs next to nothing.
3. Interior: Make sure the carpets are clean and attractive, the walls painted (if they need it) and clean (no smudges & be sure to clean the light switches and molding!), and the kitchen clutter-free. While the decorative colors on the wall went perfectly with your décor, a buyer may not be able to picture their furnishings in the home. Paint is one of the least expensive fixes you can make that will give your home a clean, fresh and ready to “move in” look. Also, remove excess furniture (rule of thumb is put half the furniture in storage or the basement). Excess furniture makes rooms appear much smaller. Make sure your closets are organized. And finally, make sure the smell of the home is appealing. Vanilla scent works very well with most buyers.
As hard as this may be, you have to step into the buyers shoes. You have to look at your home objectively, NOT emotionally. Remember, these buyers are being lured out to Sun City Festival with great deals, granite countertops and NEW, NEW, NEW. Don’t discount the attraction. Most of our buyers are from out of state. They don’t know why Sun City Grand is better than Sun City Festival or Trilogy@Vistancia where the builders are giving them tens of thousands of dollars incentive for coming out and buying. You have got to make your home sparkle like never before. If you take the attitude that your house is different and buyers will see beyond “your stuff & dirt” than your home will, at the very least, continue to languish on the market. But you also may leave money on the table because you weren’t willing to do minor improvements.
Was Your Property Aggressively Marketed?
Another primary reason for homes languishing on the market is a simple lack of exposure. In a very hot market, a listing in the Multiple Listing Service alone should generate an adequate number of buyers. However, if the market is anything less than red-hot, the amount of inventory will increase and your home needs aggressive
marketing. Most buyers work with real estate agents. A good real estate agent will make sure your property is exposed to the active real estate agents in Sun City Grand by presenting your property to many of the area offices. Also, most active real estate agents have a strong network of other agents. When a property is attractive and priced competitively, it becomes the buzz of the realtor community. These are the homes that are sold in days/weeks versus months and years. Make sure your property is advertised in some of the area newspapers so that visitors who don’t have access to the internet can see your property.
Most importantly, make sure your property is advertised in heavily on the internet. Well over 80% of buyers use the Internet to look for homes! This is especially true for Sun City Grand buyers as most of these people come from out of state. I have between 70 – 125 visitors to my website every day. These are buyers who tell me my website is their favorite site to come to, to look at homes in Sun City Grand. I’ve made it easy for them to access the information they want so they come back daily/weekly to see what is new on the market. Many of these buyers have been watching for months, are now ready to make a purchase and are just waiting for the right home to come to market.
Finally, and Most Importantly… Did You Hire The “Right” Real Estate Agent?
Like any profession, there are very effective and ineffective agents. Many agents work hard and employ strong marketing techniques. Many agents have a strong network and access to buyers. Many agents simply work hard to get your home sold. However… there are many agents that do not. Did your agent simply place the house in the Multiple Listing Service? Or, did she or he inform their network of buyers about your property? How about presenting your property at sales meetings both at her or his office and other company offices? Did she or he promote your property to the other area realtors during a broker tour? Did she or he use aggressive advertising, including local papers, an “800” number 24 hour information line, a virtual tour, and heavily trafficked Internet web sites?
Ask yourself, was your agent passionate about selling your property? If not, now is the time to seriously consider hiring me… an agent who is well versed in the science of packaging, pricing, and aggressively marketing homes. I understand the sale of your home requires a proven marketing strategy and brilliant execution. I employ a highly effective three-tier Home Marketing Plan which includes:
• Packaging and cosmetically enhancing your property in all of the right places, at very little cost, to get the home sold fast and off the market.
• Aggressively marketing your property through proven, highly effective marketing channels.
• Expertly negotiating with buyers to maximize the equity you walk away with in the timeframe you want.
I hope this informational report was informative. As your local Home Marketing Expert, I am available to answer any questions you have about properly packaging your home to get it sold. You can call me at any time for advice, and please remember that you are under no obligation or pressure of any kind. I would very much like to help you.