How to deal with homes that don't sell
Despite the best intentions of the owners, and their realtors, some houses can take ages to be sold. Here's a look at why your home or condo may be on the market for a while as well as some advice to combat that.
Why don’t some homes sell?
Well, of course, as a realtor I’m going to jump to the end and say it’s because of price, but that’s because I am assuming everything was done properly. I assume the house was prepared for sale, the marketing is up to snuff, the showing experience is perfect and that there were no unreasonable showing restrictions.
Sometimes there is just something that needs fixing that buyers don’t have the money for because all of their money is going toward affording the down payment.
What about condos?
Sometimes the condo building has a bad reputation, or is in the middle of renovations or updates.
The best thing to do is get on the condo board and control some of the things that will deter buyers, including condo fees that are out of whack or lingering maintenance issues.
Another thing that can be a negative is access to the suite. Finding lockboxes at some of these buildings can be time consuming and challenging, therefore making showings difficult.
I know that sounds silly, but believe me it’s a problem! Get a lockbox room that can hold all of them in one place.
What to do if your home isn’t selling?
The first thing I would recommend is to take a look at the days on the market statistics. If you find out that your home is taking longer to sell, it’s best to react fast. You want to protect yourself from any unwanted stigma attached to your listing.
Where do you start? Marketing. Is your home being promoted to the max? Are you using the right media and message to attract the right demographic to your home? Do you know who your buyer is? Make sure your marketing is focused in the right direction.
Once you get people interested, check outside - it needs to be perfect! Buyers drive by at all hours of the day, every day of the week, so take a good hard look how it appears.
How does it compare to the other homes on the street? What feelings does it elicit: ‘let’s take a look inside’ or ‘keep driving honey’? Once a buyer rejects your home nothing short of a miracle will get them to come back.
What happens when they open the door? Are they greeted with yesterday’s dinner, or worse, today’s diapers? Get an objective opinion on how your home shows. Being too subjective or refusing to change things because it’s too much work to put it back every morning is not going to help you sell your home. You are not giving your home away; you are asking a lot of money for it, so help it sell itself. Make sure you maintain the best showing atmosphere you can (sights and smells, flow and features).
Make it easy for someone to get an appointment to view. That means using a lockbox, removing showing restrictions that state after 6pm and never on weekends. Don’t refuse showing appointments because you are hung over or tired. Treat this like a job.
What if you want to buy a home that’s been on the market for a while?
Don’t be afraid to dig deep. Ask your realtor what has been going on, did the sellers get offers and reject them, if so, why? Sometimes an irrational seller has an epiphany at just the right time for you. Have problems been improved since the home was first listed? People can be frightened off by homes that don’t sell because they don’t know what the issue is. So, ask!