Top four reasons homes don’t sell

The Home Is Overpriced
Optimistic home sellers and sometimes optimistic sales agents love to parrot the old adage, “There’s a buyer for every home.” But they often leave off the qualifier : at the buyer’s price.”

The fact is that buyers, not sellers, ultimately determine the market value of a home. Every seller thinks their home is worth far more than it actually is due to the emotional connection, countless hours of painting, decorating, new features and many other improvements.

Overpricing is the most common reason homes don’t sell. When you ask an unrealistic price, it sets in motion a process that often works against you.

Most real estate agents, and hence most qualified buyers, will see your new listing within 30 days. If your home does not compare well to other homes in that price range, you have probably lost that potential buyer or given him a reason to put in a lower offer.

Your real estate agent may have approved or even suggested the inflated asking price to secure your listing. Conversely, other agents often use overpriced properties like this to sell their own listings.

If you have a house that really should be priced at $200,000 and you’ve got it listed at $255,000, you a re trying to compete against homes that really are worth close to $300,000 and all of a sudden your home ends up on the bottom of the list of best values.

The Home Doesn’t Show Well
If your home is competing against shiny new houses in popular subdivisions with attractive prices, special financing and great incentives. What can you do to make your home more attractive?

Remember, your goal is to sell the house, so it won’t matter that it doesn’t have your special touches. Your Realtor may suggest that you paint that pink room white, or that you remove the 70’s wallpaper that you love. You may love the colors, your Realtor may love the colors, but the general public may not love the colors and that who we are marketing the house to!

Cosmetic changes are relatively inexpensive, but can make a big difference, especially for the first impression. A new coat of paint, carpet cleaning, refinished hardwoods and something that seems as insignificant as cleaning your light fixtures can make a world of difference. I heard a Realtor tell a story about a woman who opened windows in the homes she was looking at and if the window track had dirt in it she would not consider it. Think of the little things that make a big difference like smells and furniture arrangement. You may like your recliner in front of the fireplace, but if the fireplace is the focal point of the room, it should be shown off.

Price and condition are two things that the seller can do something about. It is important that your listing agent be honest about things that may be sensitive like pet odors, but it is their job to eliminate any issues that potential buyers may have. Paint is probably the single most important change that a homeowner can make. When a home looks and smells neat and clean it makes a lasting impression on buyers and Realtors.

You Are Battling Competition or Market Conditions
We’ve all heard the terms “buyer’s market” and seller’s market.” In real estate, market conditions are affected by any number of external forces, some of the predictable like the weather (sort of), some of them unpredictable like the local economy, interest rates, public optimism or pessimism.

In a “hot” or sellers market, homes go fast, many times they are sold thousands above their actual list price. This is caused by the law of supply and demand. If there is a low supply of homes, but a large supply of buyers, chances are you will get a good price for your home providing all factors are comparable.

In a “flat”, “cold” or buyer’s market, sales slow to a trickle, inventories grow and buyers can find bargains, especially when they know the seller is motivated.

If you’re selling in a “flat” market, you may not get the price you want for your home, but if you are purchasing another home in the same market, the seller probably won’t get the price he wants either.

The Home Is In A Bad Location
Nothing has a greater effect on your home’s value than it’s location. A particular home might be worth a king’s ransom were it located in Beverly Hills, Long Island or Chicago. It might even jump thousands in value just two streets over in the next school district.

The point is location rules in real estate. If your home’s location is less that desirable, your options are somewhat limited. A good real estate agent will do his best to help you accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative of your circumstances, like by using foliage to screen off offensive adjoining properties or dampen traffic noise.

The best way to compensate for a poor location is to reduce your asking price or offer attractive incentives such as seller financing or helping with the down payment.