7 reasons your home hasn’t sold yet
1. Your home is overpriced
Probably the most common offender. You might be thinking when you start out: I can realistically get “x” for my house but maybe there’s someone out there that will pay X+20,000! This is wishful thinking. You may think “well there’s no harm in trying it out for a while and if no one bites we can lower it.” Well, I’m here to tell you why that’s wrong. While it is certainly your prerogative to price your home however you’d like, keep in mind that homes which go on the market overpriced are likely to sell slower even after price reductions. When a buyer sees that your home was lowered 20000 over the course of two months, their mindset is “there must be something wrong with that house.”
It’s kind of like being picked last for kickball. Once everyone sees you as the kid who gets picked last, it’s very hard to break that label.
After price reductions and time on the market, people no longer see the house as a great home at a fair price, but rather, they see it as “the home that no one wanted,” therefore, “I don’t want it either.” So, before you’re tempted to squeeze every last penny out of your house, consider the psychological impact an overpriced home may have on buyers out there. A good rule of thumb is to realistically determine what you would pay for your home if you had to buy it again. Try to put yourselves in the buyer’s shoes. Chances are, the buyer is in the opposite frame of mind. You may be thinking as a seller, “let me see what sucker will buy my house 20k over what it’s worth,” while the buyer is thinking “let me low ball an offer toward a desperate seller.” In fact, if the buyer sees that your house is on the market for several months because it was overpriced, he or she may think that they are entitled to a low ball offer because now you look desperate. And there’s a good chance you might be at this point, or at least highly impatient. The alternative is to come out the gate with a fair price that is based on comparable homes sold in your area. In the best case scenario, you’ll have multiple interested buyers who view your property with the “I need to get it because everyone wants it,” mentality. And then you may have multiple offers from which to choose. Some may even be over asking price if they think there’s a chance of losing it.
2. Your Realtor hasn’t utilized contemporary marketing vehicles
The MLS is not internet marketing. Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are a step in the right direction, but more could be done. Here at Rasmussen Homes we utilize all of the above as well as a social media marketing campaign optimized for Google search. Furthermore, we use professional photography and video walkthroughs of every home. These facets of home marketing are data driven methods proven to sell homes quicker and for more money. Make sure you are using all tools at your disposal to reach your audience. Not every buyer is going to show up to an open house. Some buyers will only go to open houses after selecting a few that catch their eye on the internet. So, if your pictures are average (ours are not) no one is going to come see it in person. And better yet, if you have a video, the lazy buyer whose only day off is Sunday has already seen your home from their couch and have the luxury of showing the video to their friends and family who will talk up your awesome home about how awesome it is.
Buyers want instant information and instant gratification. Play their game and you’ll reach your goals quicker. You never get a second chance at a first impression, so make sure you succeed out the gate!
3. Your description is not honest
What’s more appealing to you: A meh house that is described as “immaculate,” or a meh house that is described as “solid bones with great potential.” Believe it or not, buyers are not morons. Calling a house “immaculate” that clearly is not immaculate in the photos does not convince anyone. In fact, it probably makes them question everything else you’ve said about the home and potentially even what you’re not saying about it (such as concealing a flaw or defect).
Using hyperbolic or overused words like “immaculate,” “stunning” and “motivated seller” statistically prolong the sale of a home by up to 10%.
Also, and this hopefully is needless to say, but do not use an agent that is going to use improper grammar or WRITE IN ALL CAPS in the description. Not only is it tacky, but a buyer is going to wonder why you are yelling the word “immaculate” at them. I immediately don’t trust a Realtor when they write in all caps, or don’t know the proper usage of words like “your/you’re” or “there/their/they’re.” You’re paying a Realtor to market your home. No marketing agency will ever put out copy with improper usage, and neither should your Realtor. Their improper grammar will reflect poorly upon the sale of your home and your intelligence as a person.
4. Location, location, location
Here’s the solution: pick your house up and move it somewhere more desirable. Don’t you wish it could be that simple? You may have updated your whole house to look like something out of a magazine, and that will surely increase the sale price, however, there is a realistic cap upon which that home will sell based on your location. Schools, amenities, taxes, accessibility and the like are items that are out of your control. They nonetheless are going to have the number one impact on the sale of your home. So keep that in mind and be realistic about how location impacts the listing and selling price of your home.
Staging is important not only for walkthroughs and open houses but for photos and videos you’ll use in your online marketing campaign. Repainting in neutral colors, pre-packing and de-personalizing your space can make or break your home to a buyer. You might be thinking to yourself, “You mean buyers don’t like my lime green walls and billboard commandment of ‘live laugh love’ streaked across my living room wall?” The answer is no. And no one wants to see your dirty razor on the bathroom counter either. Staging is hugely important.
This is one of the reasons you hire a Realtor to sell your house. Maybe you think your home which has been passed down for five generations really is worth 2 million dollars. And to you maybe it is. It may even be priceless.
Unfortunately, your emotional attachment doesn’t equate to dollar signs on your home. Approach the sale from an objective, non emotional standpoint based on comparable sales.
Fortunately, Realtors are there to do this for you and should be able to talk you down from your overly attached metaphorical ledge. Buyers don’t have the memories you have of Johnny learning to ride a bicycle, or Susie learning how to pogo stick, or that time at dinner you laughed so hard you peed your pants (take the table and chairs with you.) Like I said, Realtors should make this plain enough so make sure to use one.
7. Just plain luck
Sometimes all the right pieces are in place and you just have to stick it out. It may be that you aren’t doing anything wrong and it’s simply because the right buyer hasn’t come along yet. Different regions of the country sell better at different times of the year. That might be worth looking into if your home hasn’t sold yet. A tactic that may work if your home has been on the market for a long time is to take it down, wait a week or two and re-list it. You may find that you just listed at a bad time originally and this may solve your problem. Or, nobody wants your house and you’ll live there forever.
I hope you enjoyed this article about selling your home! Please share with your friends, family, and your dog.
My name is Brandon Rasmussen and I’m a Realtor. If you are thinking of buying, selling, or renting a home I can make it simple and stress-free. Give me a call or text at 609-651-5167. Or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.