So why is my house not selling even in this hot seller’s market?
After talking it over with multiple realtors you listed house on the market. Sure, you and your agent expected it would sell quickly. But you haven’t received any offers and showing requests have been few and far between. As the days have passed and your anxiety has only gone up, it is best that you avoid delaying and start making changes. But when is the right time? Typically, if a house has not received offers in the first month of being listed – you have a problem. On average, depending on market of course, homes that don’t go under contract in the first 30 days will end up selling for 2-5% less than the initial listing price. And that is assuming the house doesn’t have other reasons keeping buyer’s at bay.
What are the most common reasons a house doesn’t sell?
First and foremost, understand that regardless of the issues that may apply – ultimately it comes down to price. Whether it is due to repairs needed or how unconventional the house is set up, both are going to cause buyers to want to offer less money. In a seller’s market, many buyers are reluctant to put in low offers. They assume the seller is going to decline and not even counter because it is a “seller’s market”.
Key Reasons a House is not Selling in a Seller’s Market
Price is always going to be the number one reason why a house doesn’t sell. But simply stating “it’s over-priced” isn’t helpful. Why is it over-priced? What is causing buyer’s to avoid the house or simply not put in an offer?
- Location – houses that are on busy roads, far off the beaten path, on elevated lots, have limited parking or any sort of difficult access will always sell slower. Especially if the buyer and their agent find it challenging just conducting a showing. Location, location, location – it’s number one on a buyer’s checklist.
- Condition – if there is work to do on the house in the areas of windows, doors, roof, foundation, etc., – buyer’s will be reluctant about the price regardless of the market activity. Taking on cosmetic updates is one thing, but making fundamental repairs (not improvements) to purchase a home is a difficult sale. And it may also reduce the buyers capable of purchasing the house.
- Oddity – if the house is setup with an unconventional room or maybe just a unique flow between rooms – the average buyer will pause and likely walk away. When a buyer views a home, they are thinking about how that house will work for their lifestyle. A “home with character and unique concepts” is not appealing the vast majority of buyers.
- Updates – homes that have gone 10 or 15 years without updates aren’t the issue. Those houses will sell, but maybe with a slightly lower price point. But a home that last saw updates 30 years ago, or maybe never, will absolutely be at the bottom of a buyer’s list. While the idea of a “fixer-upper” sounds good, the majority of buyers want a move-in ready home.
- Buyers – this may sound odd, but bear in mind that not all buyers are qualified with the same type of loan products. If your house needs repairs, it is unlikely that a buyer with a government insured loan (FHA, VA, etc.) will be able to purchase the house.
Other Reasons a House is not Selling
- Marketing – Simply putting a house on the MLS isn’t “selling the house”.MLS listings are not advertisements. They are the listing details and the apps and websites are simply tools that present listings. Good real estate agents will create marketing for the listing. A good agent will create a social media, email and direct marketing program for the home.
- Photos – cannot underscore the value of professional photography.Lighting, angle, color, etc., all make a huge difference. Regardless if it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market – professional photography is essential. And agents using a smartphone to grab a few photos and apply filter tools – are likely creating a higher expectation than the house can deliver.
- Vacancy or Staging – statistically, a vacant home sells for about 5% less than an occupied or staged home. Empty rooms are hard for buyers to envision. What happens is the buyer gets hung up on looking at…the wall color. Or the floor. Instead of seeing a move-in ready home, the buyer is fixated on the cosmetics and reasons not to offer.
- Curb appeal – similar to location, if a buyer drives up and sees a boring or cluttered yard, driveway or backyard – they are less inclined to pay full price. Some buyers will remake their yards in order to help a sale, but in most cases the curb appeal doesn’t take a ton of work. And remember, an exterior that is uninviting makes buyers less interested to see the interior.
Maybe You want to Consider other Options
If selling your home on the MLS isn’t going as you expected, it may be time to consider alternatives. If your home lacks updates, needs improvements or has repair requirements that are above and beyond anything you can or want to tackle – call us. Aside from any offer we could present for your home, our team is always ready to be a resource. Even if you simply need another opinion or want a fresh perspective. We are happy to help (and of course, there is never a fee or obligation for doing so).
To learn more about how to sell your home, when it isn’t getting those offers, call or message us at 203-486-8868.