They pop up every day. A long list of “expired” and “cancelled” listing contracts. Sellers are left frustrated and anxious because their home failed to sell. Why? There are many factors at play here, but let’s look at the Top Seven reasons the sign on the home down the street says, “SOLD” and you seem to be getting nowhere.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself: Did I get the best advice? Was I prepared to really compete in a highly-competitive buyer’s market?
Let’s Look At 5 Reasons You Are Still Sitting Instead Of Selling:
1. Your Home Was Priced Out Of The Market.
Of all the things that you will consider when deciding to sell your Louisville home, pricing it right right out of the starting gate takes precedence over everything else. Long gone are the days when you can opt to “test the waters” with a higher price. In a buyer’s market, and especially in a still declining or flatlining market, all you will do is rack up too many “Days On Market” that buyers will use as ammunition against you to make an even lower offer than if you had just priced it to sell in the first place. As a general rule, homes priced right sell in the first 30 to 45 days in the Louisville, Kentucky area.
Question: Did you do some research on your own before you started interviewing Realtors? This will help the numbers make sense when Realtors come in and show you the competition and what comparable homes have been selling for in recent weeks and months. Go to OPEN HOUSES in close proximity to your home. And go in with an OPEN MIND. Yes, your home may be much more updated, but does the competitor have a nicer lot with great privacy while your home backs up to an apartment building? A good thing to keep in mind is that most homebuyers are buying the lot, the view, and the privacy as much as they are the bricks and mortar. So keep that in mind as you are trying to have some figures in mind before you set up Realtor interviews.
You may also want to opt for a certified appraisal to be performed on your home prior to listing, especially if your home has features or extra amenities that competiting homes do not have. For instance, if your home has an extra lot, or an additional garage, greenhouse, etc., it may be very helpful to get a good “nuts and bolts” appraisal to help you establish value. Just bear in mind that what a home may be worth, from an appraisal standpoint, and what a buyer will offer in today’s market, can be two different animals. A comparative market analysis from a reputable Realtor will show you the reality of where competing homes ultimately SOLD. But an appraisal helps you compare the two professional opinions.
Right pricing is 80% of the effort. In a buyer’s market, you have to price your home under your closest competitor. Remember, you’re in a competition. If you want to compete, you’ve got to be competitive.
2. Buyers Bought A Home Down The Street That Was In Better Condition.
The Realtor says to his client, “Hey, if you like this house for $200,000, wait till I show you the one a block away that has more square footage and a newly remodeled kitchen for the same price!”
Today’s buyer has so many choices. Long before they even get in the car to tour homes with their Realtor, they have been sitting in their pajamas at home searching online for weeks. They have a pretty good education at this point as to how much home their money will buy. And the savvy buyer is going to want to get the home with the most “bells and whistles” he can buy with the money he is prepared to spend.
If you still have that avacado green refrigerator in your kitchen and harvest yellow vinyl floor, while the guy down the street has updated his kitchen with new hardwood floors, custom cabinetry and stainless appliances, at the same price, of course you’re going to lose that buyer.
If you can’t outlay the money up front to compete with the listing with the updated kitchen, you must reflect that in your list price. Otherwise, bottom line – your home will not sell.
3. The Photos Were A Real Turn Off.
Everybody knows a bad photo when they see one. Some of the real estate photos posted on line are downright embarrassing to our industry. Why in the world would the photographer shoot a picture with dishes in the sink or clothes hanging on chairs. And of course there are the dark shots, the fuzzy shots, the what-was-he-thinking shots.
Photos really are worth a thousand words, and you need to make sure each and every photo is crisp and sharp, and that you take photos that add to that rooms appeal, not detract from. It bears emphasizing that it is not necessary to take a picture of a toilet and a sink. If your camera cannot capture all or most of the bathroom, don’t take a picture of that room at all.
Take photos with a high quality camera, or hire a professional photographer. It is a wise investment. A wide angle lens will really open up each room, but don’t use such a wide angle that the room looks like it is sitting in a fish bowl.
You can certainly take pictures of the same room from several different angles, especially if that room offers features that most buyers will appreciate. And since the heart of the home is the kitchen, you’ll definitely want to take several shots, showcasing the room’s unique amenities. For instance, if you have a designer backsplash, take a close-up of the beautiful tile work.
Think of your home’s very best features and be sure to shine a spotlight on them with quality photos you’ll be proud to see online. And add a description under each photo. Remember, you want to keep your audience engaged and falling in love with your home. If a buyer clicks through a series of bad photos, they will dismiss your home, and they won’t be back.
And fellow agents – this is not about you. Don’t wave at the camera in the bathroom mirror while you take the shot.
4. You Didn’t Keep Your Home “Showtime” Ready At All Times.
The showing you turned down because your dishes weren’t done and the beds weren’t made just may have been the buyers who got away.
The reality is that buyers often don’t give us Realtors much notice. Sometimes they realize they can take a little longer lunch break and might ask if they can view a few homes without giving us much of a window to work with.
If you are a serious seller you know that your home has to be ready to show at a moment’s notice. As difficult as it can be to make sure beds are made, toys picked up, floors and counters clean and neat at all times, it is so vitally important to be always ready for a showing.
Some buyers can look past clutter and even a little dirt, but most cannot. A neat, clean, staged home will sell for top achievable dollar every time, while the messy house often gets left in the dust.
5. Your Realtor Didn’t Pull Out Every Stop To Aggressively Market Your Home.
If the Realtor you have hired convinced you that all it takes to sell a home is to utilize the four “P”s: (1) Place the sign in the yard, (2) Place an ad in the newspaper, (3) Place the listing on the local MLS (Multiple Listing System), and (4) Pray … you have most likely made a bad hire.
By contrast, a professional Realtor knows what marketing efforts make the phones ring, and will aggressively utilize every available marketing tool to help ensure a sale of your Louisville home.
It’s Not Too Late.
If you still want or need to sell your home, do your homework this time around. Take time to research your marketplace. Make sure your home is in great condition, inside and out. Beat out your competition by pricing your home to sell. Make your home readily accessible at all times. Have professional photos taken of a clean, staged home, and hire the best of the best who knows your neighborhood and what it takes to sell homes in your particular area.
If you would like more information about how to win that buyer this time around, please write me at Jacki@TheShaferTeam.com or leave a comment below.