Home Selling Challenges? 7 Reasons Why Homes Don’t Sell.
There are 3 primary categories to effectively selling a home; Price, Marketing, and Condition. The first 6 reasons why homes don’t sell fall in to these categories. The 7th reason is having an exceptional agent that can pull these 3 categories together and effectively manage the transaction.
- Price – Above Market Value – Pricing correctly is the most important of the three key factors. If your Condition is not so good, well you just price it accordingly. Price as it relates to Condition in comparison to other recently sold properties is key to getting Pricing right.
We all want to get the most money for our properties, but the reality is you have to look at the numbers, the numbers don’t lie. You have to have an agent that is Honest with you. Some agents just want to get the listing and are Not Bold enough to tell you like it is for risk of offending you and possibly losing the listing, which is unethical. I have lost many listing for that reason and sure enough have tracked how the listing did with another agent and it did not sell, as expected.
Remember, your goal is to sell the property. Your agent has to do a very in depth analysis from several different angles. This analysis is typically referred to a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). In addition a good agent will visit some of the active comparable listings for a first hand preview of the competition.
The sweet spot is to get an offer within the first 3 weeks. The first 3 weeks are when a home will get the most activity. If the home is not getting 3 to 4 showings a week then something is wrong with price, marketing or condition. Price in relation to condition is usually the culprit for not getting enough showings.
- Condition – Bad Exterior Appearance (Curb Appeal) – If you haven’t been living in a closet, you have probably stumbled upon many of the TV shows about rehabbing a property. You probably have heard the phrase Curb Appeal many times in these shows and it is an easy concept for us to grasp. So why are there so many homes on the market that don’t have good curb appeal? It is likely one of two reasons; Seller doesn’t have any money to spend on it or the Agent is not savvy enough, conscious enough, honest enough, or bold enough to tell the seller that they need to do something about it.
Be conscious of Curb Appeal and put effort in to clearing out the front and sprucing it up. It can be very inexpensive too, for example, 26 cents a square foot for Sod or $35 for a cubic yard of mulch goes a long way if that is your need. A good agent will be able to give good advice regarding all this.
- Condition – Bad Interior Appearance – As important as curb appeal is, Interior Appearance is more important. If your home is cluttered, meaning you have a lot of stuff, then do something about it. It is well worth the money to rent a temporary storage space or put boxes of stuff in the garage.
We offer a free 90 minute staging consultation to our clients that we think need the help. Most of the time our clients don’t need a professional home stager. The “less is more” approach goes a long way with interior appearance. You just want enough furniture to define the space, easy as that. If you have too much furniture, put that in storage too.
Ensure that any unfinished DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects are finished up and any noticeable items are repaired before putting the home on the market. Buyers pick up on quirky items and often give creative nicknames to these homes when referenced later.
- Condition – Poor Presentation – When selling your home, you need to de-personalize it. You want to make your home a commodity, which is a house instead of a home. A home is something that is personalized and obviously something that looks lived in. A house is something that is less personalized that appeals to the masses. You don’t want pictures of grandma and grandpa on the wall and you don’t want dirty dishes in the sink.
Good presentation is not just visual, smell can play a big factor as well. Buyers will give nicknames to homes that smell too. I often wonder when I walk in to a home that smells if the listing agent told their seller that the house had a foul smell. Your agent needs to be bold enough to let you know if you house has some odd odors. Sometimes with older homes in particular not much can be done about it, but it can be mitigated with strategically placed air fresheners.
- Marketing – Weak Photos – Professional looking photos are very important to capture the previous 3 items relating to condition. Most times an agent can take good photos with today’s smart phones but that is not always enough. Ensure all the lights are turned on and the drapes are opened to let the most amount of light in. Time of day when taking photos in certain rooms can make a difference too in regard to showing how the sunlight fills a room. If there is not enough light your agent should bring in extra lights to brighten up the space to get great looking photos. Lastly, if necessary, your agent needs to be willing to bring in and pay for Professional Photographer.
- Marketing – Weak Online Advertising – Great Photos will certainly help your online advertising efforts. 90+% of home shoppers start their property search online. Marketing dollars are best spent with online advertising as opposed to offline print media. Of course some print media is needed like professional looking property flyers, but it can be limited to not much more than that.
The most basic online advertising effort is to simply post the listing on the local area MLS, any agent can do that. The listing on the MLS will be picked up by hundreds of 3rd party syndicates and be all over the internet. This is good, but a lot more can be done with active internet marketing to “Showcase” the property and bring attention to it.
Social media is huge, 71% of adults online use Facebook which blows away other social media sites like Linked In, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram. A great agent will be savvy with various internet marketing strategies such as Facebook Ad campaigns to target buyers. A tremendous amount of active “Showcasing” can happen this way. I’ve seen property listing links on Facebook for example get shared with a friend in a post and then getting called the next day from that friend requesting a showing. This doesn’t necessarily happen with passive internet marketing by just posting the listing on the MLS and hoping people respond. Active internet marketing can go a long way. It can get somewhat expensive for the agent, but then again what are you paying them for.
- Your Agent – Having a Lack Luster Agent – Sure there are other items that could be discussed here and the list could be 20 points long, but these 7 reasons are the big ones as to why homes don’t sell. Quite frankly you need to throw luck in the list too; you need the right buyers to come along at the right time. Pulling together previous 6 items and managing the transaction all culminates in what you the seller are paying them for.
Your listing agent needs to engage with you and many other items to ensure your home has the best chance of selling such as conducting a regular competitive analysis, getting useful feedback from showings, and giving you the seller regular weekly or bi-weekly updates. Maybe you have had an agent that wasn’t engaged enough, perhaps the reason was that they had too much volume and couldn’t give you the attention you deserved. Maybe the reason they weren’t engaged was that they were not knowledgeable or creative enough or just not interested enough, who knows.
In addition to engaging with the listing, a great listing agent will know how manage the transaction and preempt items that could later make an offer fall through. Such items could be recommending that major property condition items like a suspect roof or a septic system be inspected early on to avoid trouble later in a transaction.
Lastly, to wrap it up, a great listing agent will also be able to evaluate the quality of offers and provide counsel to the seller in regards to negotiation and accepting an offer or simply rejecting an offer. It’s better not to accept an offer that is questionable rather than to later receive a notice to terminate from the buyers because an inspection or funding issue caused the transaction to fall through.
We hope this has given you great insight on what to do differently or better next time so that you can get your property sold and move on with your life!
Wishing you all the Best,