After months of waiting, you’re starting to get anxious. Your house is still on the market, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to budge anytime soon. It is common knowledge that houses that sit on the market too long develop a stigma that nobody wants their home to catch. But you’ve planned carefully, and even cleaned up your home before trying to show it. So where did you go wrong?
- You’re overselling with a price tag that reaches for the stars. Sure, you may look at your home and see nothing but wonderful memories, but you can bet that potential buyers will notice everything from the neighborhood to the scratches on your hardwood floors. Some owners do this in an attempt to stay afloat on their loans, but sometimes that’s not possible. Lowering your selling price to reflect the legitimate cost of the home may allow you to see more movement.
- You’re a step too far above the neighborhood. While the idea of having the nicest home on the block may be nice, there’s a thin line to walk here: Pricing your home too far out of the price range of the homes next to you will keep potential buyers from even looking there. Lowering your selling price just a little to close the gap between you and your neighbors may make a huge difference in the traffic to your home.
- You’re outdated. The flowered wallpaper and 1970s kitchen aren’t going to cut it. While minor renovations can be expected, most buyers don’t want to spend a small fortune gutting and redesigning their new home. Instead of spending a small fortune yourself, changing a few basics can make a big difference. Paint the walls neutral colors, and repair minor leaks or cracks to improve your home’s appearance.
- You’re overwhelming potential buyers with clutter. Even if it requires moving some of your things into storage while you’re attempting to sell your home, cut back on personal touches. Clutter should be organized and put away, photographs should be minimal, and everything should remain as neutral as possible to allow potential buyers to picture their own things inside the home.
But what if you aren’t to blame for your inability to sell your home? There are factors to selling your home that you simply have no control over. Understanding when it’s something you can change and when it isn’t is key to getting your home off the market just in time.
- It’s in a bad location. Even stunning, wonderful homes can fall victim to the stigma of a bad neighborhood. Homes that are too close to power plants, waste treatment facilities, or major highways often take time to sell – and may sell for less than their original asking price. Likewise, a neighborhood that has a higher crime rate or poorer school rating than adjacent neighborhoods will have a harder time selling houses. Sometimes lowering your asking price can make a difference; other times, it’s easier to rent the home out.
- It’s poorly designed. What was the architect even thinking? Strange or inefficient floor plans often sacrifice a home to a poor market. Potential buyers may be uncomfortable walking through one bedroom to get to another, or have a problem with no available parking – and rightly so. While lowering your price may have an effect on the potential buyers, it also may not – so be prepared to wait awhile.
- It’s a bad market. Especially after the real estate market hiccup in 2008, it isn’t uncommon to see rapid changes in the housing market. While the home may have been a steal when you first bought it, now potential buyers may feel as though you’re trying to rob them. Or there may not be any potential buyers in your area just yet. This problem’s solution is simple: Play the waiting game.
by RealEstate .com Guest Contributor on August 6, 2013