The traditionally busy spring home buying season is rapidly approaching. Over the past year, we’ve enjoyed a strong housing market – one that featured more buyers than sellers in some communities. In fact, there just aren’t enough good listings to go around and this could be an excellent time to consider selling your property.
But even in a “seller’s market” like this, some properties sell faster than others. Have you ever wondered why one home sells almost immediately and another one down the road sits on the market for months?
There are several key reasons why some homes languish on the market, including price, condition, and other variables. My hope is that this list will help you put your best foot forward when it comes time to sell your home:
- The price is too high. Setting the appropriate price for a home is always more difficult for a homeowner, who has personal feelings for the property, than for an experienced, objective agent. REALTORS® do a thorough market comparison of comparable homes and a careful evaluation of the home they’re listing in setting a competitive price that will attract buyers. If a home has been sitting on the market too long, the market may be sending a message that the price is too high for the area or the condition of the property.
- There’s too much clutter. Even if a seller chooses not to use a professional stager, they need to do what all stagers do – get rid of the clutter! We all accumulate knick-knacks and mementos over the years and have a house full of family photos. But when it comes to selling a home, less is more. Sellers should put much of their personal items in storage so that buyers will be able to see the home more clearly – and see themselves living there, not the current homeowner.
- The home isn’t marketed extensively enough. The days of sticking a sign in the front lawn and taking out a newspaper ad to sell a house are over. Today nine out of 10 buyers turn to the Internet to start their home search, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. If one home shows up quickly in Internet searches the chances of selling are better than a home that doesn’t have that same online exposure. Also, more buyers are using mobile devices and social media in their search. So it’s important to work with a real estate professional and brokerage that has a strong digital marketing strategy, such as Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
- A picture (and video) is worth a thousand words. If a home isn’t selling, the marketing may lack enough visual elements to attract potential buyers. Buyers want to see lots of photos to get a sense of what the property actually looks like inside and out. More agents are using virtual tours and YouTube videos in their marketing as well to give consumers an even greater feel for the home. Listings that lack photos or videos may leave potential buyers wondering what the seller is trying to hide, and they may be more likely to move onto the next listing in their search.
- A seller isn’t objectively weighing offers. In a seller’s market, some homeowners have a tendency to reject early offers, thinking that they may get a higher price down the road. However, this tactic can easily backfire and result in a home being on the market for several months. And experience has shown that the longer a home sits on the market, the more challenging it can be to sell without reducing the price. If sellers are receiving bids that are close to their asking price, this may actually be a sign that their asking price is accurate for their local market.
Selling your home is one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll ever make in your life. So it’s important to work with an experienced, full-service professional REALTOR® that can get the job done right. Please give me a call and I’ll be happy to talk about the ways to get the most for your home when the time is right.