If I Am In a Seller’s Market, Why is My Home Not Selling?
When housing is plentiful and buyers are scarce, it is easy to understand why your home is not selling quickly. But when housing stocks are in short supply and buyers are everywhere, a stalled sale is much harder to take. If you are selling your home in a great market and still seeing a dearth of buyers, it may be time to rethink your strategy.
If you want your home to sell, you need to look at everything you are doing, from how your real estate agent is marketing the property to how the house is priced to the types of buyers you are trying to attract. Just as importantly, you need to look for common mistakes that could be scuttling the sale.
Here are seven real estate marketing blunders that could be holding back the sale.
- Targeted marketing that is missing the target — Not every home is suitable for every home buyer and targeted marketing can backfire badly. Trying to attract first-time buyers to a costly home or marketing a starter home to wealthy buyers are just two examples of targeted strategies that miss the mark. Good real estate marketing today is data driven – make sure that the data lines up.
- Pricing that is outside the normal range — When pricing your home for a quick sale, you need to look at a number of factors, from the nature of the neighbourhood and the quality of the local schools to the square footage and floor plan. What is the current real estate market like in your area and is your home priced higher than similar properties, you could have trouble sealing the deal even in a positive market environment. You will want to check the real estate data to insure you are pricing the home within the correct parameters. The pricing of the home is the single most important aspect of the sales process.
- Outdated appliances – The last thing buyers want to do is invest in new appliances and lose access to the kitchen for weeks on end. If your appliances are showing their age, they could also be showing would-be buyers the door. This is especially the case with condos as many people purchase a condo because they are looking for a maintenance free lifestyle.
- An experienced agent – Not all real estate agents are created equal, and not all of them are equally skilled. Just because someone has passed real estate school, doesn’t mean they have the correct skillset to sell your home. If your agent is inexperienced, overworked or just not up to the job, your home could linger on the market for months while he or she learns the ropes. If your home is still on the market while neighbouring properties are selling quickly, it may be time to look for another agent.
- Lingering clutter – Hopefully you cleared out the clutter when you put your home on the market as it is part of preparing your home for sale, but over time some of that clutter may have crept back. This is a real danger if you are living in your home while trying to sell it, so pay attention to your surroundings and try to see the property through the eyes of a buyer.
- Neglected landscaping – If the bushes in your front yard are overgrown or dying, buyers may wonder what is lurking inside the home. Even if you are scrupulous about upkeep inside your home, neglected landscaping sends a bad message – and it could be scaring buyers away. So grab your hedge clippers, fire up the lawn mower and give your curb appeal some love.
- Evidence of pets – Even if your home is spotless and there is nary and odour, the mere presence of a litter box or kibble bowl could turn some buyers off. Those pet-averse home shoppers may picture sodden carpets and other hidden damage, and those assumptions could sabotage the sale. So the next time you schedule an open house or private showing, make arrangements for a friend or neighbour to pet sit – and send the litter box and food bowls with them.
Trying to sell your home can be a frustrating experience in the best of times. Most homeowners have a significant portion of their wealth tied up in their homes, and unlocking that value when shoppers are not in a buying mood is difficult to bear.
The situation becomes even worse when you keep hearing it is a seller’s market. In that positive environment, you start to wonder what is wrong with your home, or what you are doing to send would-be buyers fleeing. If you recognize any of the deficiencies listed above, a simple adjustment could be all that is needed to turn that For Sale sign into a Sold sign!