Why isn't your home selling?If the listing for your home hasn’t been attracting buyers for a few weeks, you certainly have good reason to be worried.
A home doesn’t sell due to a variety of factors, some of which you can control and some of which you can’t.
Let’s start with the things you can control, which also happen to be the most important elements of any home’s appeal to buyers: price and condition.
Price Your Home Right, From the Start
A good REALTOR® will help you determine the correct price for your home based on a thorough comparative market analysis (CMA). The reason it’s so important to price your home appropriately from the beginning is that a home that’s priced too high will languish on the market without any offers.
Even if you lower the price later, you will have lost the momentum of the initial listing period and buyers will assume there’s something wrong with the home. Eventually you may sell it, but more than likely the final sales price will be lower than your correct initial price would have been. Price your home too low and you have lost out on potential profit.
Your price should be based on current local market conditions, not on what you need to pay off your mortgage, what your neighbor sold her place for a year ago, nor your guesstimate of what your home is worth. Your REALTOR®’s CMA will look at recent sales, homes that didn’t sell and were pulled off the market, and current listings to guide your price decision.
Condition of Your Home
Regardless of your local market conditions, buyers have high expectations for your home, beginning with the exterior. While you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money, you do need to raise the level of your home’s curb appeal with some sweat equity. Pull weeds, trim the grass, plant a few flowers and perhaps paint your front door to make sure prospective buyers don’t decide to drive away.
Inside, your home needs to be consistently clean, neat, decluttered and depersonalized so that buyers can visualize themselves living there. Your REALTOR® should be able to suggest ways to prepare your home for a sale, which, by the way, is nothing like the way you live in it. Your kitchen counters should be cleared, your bed always made and your dishes always put away in case a buyer wants to visit.
Marketing Your Home
When you choose a REALTOR® to list your home, make sure you ask about photos and a marketing plan. The majority of buyers look online first at properties so it’s crucial that your home has multiple professional-quality photos that make it look as enticing as possible, and that your home appears on multiple websites so buyers can see it. A listing without a photo or with one badly lit photo isn’t likely to generate many offers.
Make Your Home Available
One of the more challenging aspects of listing your home for sale is that you must make it available to buyers as easily as possible. Buyers prefer to see a home without the owner there, so make sure there’s a lockbox at your property and that you allow nearly unlimited access to prospective buyers.
Sometimes market conditions or a specific flaw in your home make it tougher to sell as quickly as you would like. Your REALTOR® can help you evaluate the market and let you know if you need to offer particular incentives, such as closing-cost help. If your home has an awkward floorplan or is located on a busy street, you and your REALTOR® can come up with ways to emphasize its positive aspects and deemphasize any negative aspects, such as by staging the backyard or highlighting the renovated kitchen.
Want to sell your home? Don't Do these 4 things
Where do most sellers go wrong? Here are the main mistakes they make:1. Ignore curb appeal
How your home appears from the curb is extremely important. It’s the proverbial first impression. If your home looks inviting from the outside—the yard maintained, the garden manicured and the paint fresh—potential buyers will take an interest in it. If not, they might think the interior is likely unkempt, too—and they’ll move on.
When you sell your home, take yourself out of the picture. If you happen to be home, greet any potential buyers and then allow them to walk through your home undisturbed. Give them a chance to picture their couches in the living room or their dining set in the dining room. Let them have space to discuss what they’re seeing.
Some sellers crowd a buyer, thinking that any newcomer will want all the details of every renovation and every nook. Don’t do this. Let the buyer be. Ask your Realtor to provide a brochure to give to the customers. to describe anything you feel should be mentioned. Let your Realtor do his/her job.
Prospective buyers don’t want to see your clutter. It’s distracting and makes it hard for them to picture themselves in your home. A mess can often hide aspects of the home that would entice someone else to buy.
When you’re selling, keep a tidy home and tuck away all your family photos and knickknacks. Try to create as many open, clear spaces as you can. Clean off counters and other surfaces. Even the toaster and blender should be stored away when you show your home.
Ideally you will have time to give all the rooms a fresh coat of paint. You don’t need to hire an interior designer, but do look over your home with an unbiased eye. Is it warm and inviting? Pleasing to the eye?
If you smoke or have pets, your home will likely have an odor. Although you might be used to it, others may not appreciate it.
Removing pet urine smells out of carpets takes care; you’ll likely need to use special solutions or a steam cleaner. With rugs, you may just have to buy new ones. Vinegar will work on most flooring. If you have a litter box, change it daily while showing your home.
If you smoke, try to smoke outside as much as possible. Most nonsmokers are sensitive to the smell of smoke. Not only will they want to leave, they may also find the prospect of cleansing a home of smoke odor a turnoff. You may be so used to it that you hardly notice the odor, but others will walk out the door quickly.
If there is a heavy smell in the home from years of smoking indoors, try washing the walls with vinegar. And don’t forget the curtains, shades and anything else that might collect the tar and resin from the smoke.
For any unwanted smells, try baking soda. Sprinkle it around the house, on the furniture and on the carpets. Let it sit for a day so the granules can absorb the odors and then vacuum it all up. You may have to do this a few times.
Think of it as vacuuming your way to a good deal on your home.
THE PRICE OF OVERPRICING
The biggest detriment to selling real estate is the all too common problem of overpricing. For the last 20 years, I have been approached by anxious sellers who want to know why their property is not selling. the answer is always the same the asking price is too high.
Why do people make the common mistake of asking too much? There are several reasons. Some owners expect the present home to bring them enough money with which to purchase a more expensive home. In other words, they just are not facing reality. Other price it too might because they have not had their property evaluated by a professional. Relying on hearsay only they put a price on their property that does not compete with other available properties.
An asking price must satisfy three basic criteria: (1) The asking price must be competitive with the asking price of similar homes. (2) It must allow for some negotiation so the buyer feels that he or she struck a fair agreement. (3) The final negotiated price must give the seller the highest possible return considering the condition of the property and the marketplace.
If your home is overprices, here is the sequence of events you can expect:
1. Salespeople, knowing it is overpriced, will not show your home.
2. Your home will sit on market while others around you are selling.
3. Prospective buyers, seeing your home on the market for a long time, will begin to feel that there is something wrong with your home.
4. You will begin to get anxious and lose patience.
5. Because of the time restraints you are under, you will reduce the price below the asking price of competing property.
6. Your property will sell of lower price than it is worth.
Time and time again it seems to happen as we have described above. An owner who did not know or ignored the market facts in order to try to get top dollar ends up getting less than fair value.
ADVICE: Be careful when setting your original asking price. Ask your REALTOR® to present you with all the pertinent market facts.
Prepare Your Home for a Virtual Tour
With more buyers shopping for homes on the Web, photos and virtual tours are a must. There are many things you can do make your home shine on camera.
How to Improve the Odds of an Offer
* Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.
*Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
*Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.
*Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.
*Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering yourasking price.
HOW TO GET LINGERING ODORS OUT OF YOUR NEW HOME
When homeowners sell and move out, they sometimes leave behind lingering bad odors. If you’ve just moved in to find an odor you didn’t notice before, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to eliminate smells.
Easy odor removal: Light odors from a refrigerator that wasn’t properly cleaned or a trash bag that hung around too long are easy to combat. First, remove the offending source if it’s still around. (Be sure to check the back of the pantry and cabinets for hidden leftover foodstuffs.) After you’ve cleaned the area, neutralize the odor with these common items:* Baking soda: Open a container and place it in the area where the smell originated.* Coffee grounds: Put used coffee grounds in a shallow bowl and place it around your house. The coffee grounds will absorb smells.* White vinegar: Bowls of white vinegar can act as an odor neutralizer.* Apple cider vinegar: If the sink has an odor, it is likely coming from the drain. Pouring apple cider vinegar down the drain will eliminate the smell.*Lemon: Chopping up a lemon and putting it through the garbage disposal will remove odors from the disposal and drain.
Smoke and nicotine: If the previous homeowner was a heavy smoker, the nicotine may have left stains as well as scent. Nicotine streaks’ smell can linger long after the last cigarette was stubbed out. Try combating the odor first by washing the walls and windows. Wait a day or two before giving it the all clear, as the smell may return. If stains are stubborn, consider a heavy-duty cleaner like trisodium phosphate.
For persistent odors, you might want to use an odor-blocking primer and sealant, like Kilz, to repaint your walls. Dry-clean curtains and other upholstery around the house. If your house came furnished, you may want to consider tossing out some of that furniture, especially the upholstered pieces.
Pet smells: If lots of pet hair was left behind, you probably want to consider buying a vacuum or an attachment for picking up pet hair. Before you vacuum, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the carpet and let it stand for a few minutes. It will help neutralize odors.
If you have pets of your own, brush your pup every day for about five minutes to cut down on both loose hair and pet smells.
Not so fresh? Clean the ducts: If your house smells musty, check the air ducts and look for evidence of mold. If you can’t determine if it’s mold, you can have a sample analyzed by a microbiology testing center for about $50, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The extra precaution could be worth it, since a duct cleaning could cost between $450 and $1,000, according to the EPA.
If you don’t think your ducts need a cleaning, replace the filters.
Rotten egg smell: Unless someone actually left rotten eggs or garbage around, the smell of rotten eggs likely indicates a gas leak. Leave your home and call a professional as soon as possible.
Last resorts for odor removal: If you just can’t get the smell out, you’ll have to take more drastic action.
· Remove and clean or tear up and replace the carpets.
· Repaint walls in rooms where the odor is strongest.
· Hire a professional cleaning crew.
If you’re considering a cleaning device like an ozone machine, rent the product rather than buying one yourself. Since you’ll get only one use out of it—and many devices don’t work as well as we’d like them to—it makes more sense to rent than own
Home Staging: Increase a Home’s Value With Lighting
You know that your home needs to look its best when it’s up for sale. Cleaning and rearranging the furniture go a long way toward making your home more appealing to buyers, but don’t overlook lighting. When you’re staging a home for quick sell, lighting can help things go much faster.
Use the following ideas to help you make the best use of lighting in your home to increase its value:
If you know someone with a home on the market, please share this advice with them. Thanks!
Helpful hints for Sellers
The objective is to sell your property at the highest price in the current market. The National Association of REALTORS has a wonderful website that has great information to answer your many questions as you consider the sale of your home. Here are just a few suggestions for preparing your home for the sale, and making the listing and showing process more manageable. At ERA Big Sun Realty REALTORS we take pride in our ability to guide our customers through the entire process from the day you make the decision to sell, right up until you pass the keys to the new owners.
For Better Home Showings
Avoid These common mistakes when selling your home
When selling your home, it’s easy to get caught up in second-guessing your decisions
You don’t want to overprice or undersell. You need to showcase your home but you don’t want to make things look forced or pressure potential buyers with a “hard sell.” You want a good listing agent who understands the market and knows what works where you live.
You’ll want to make sure that all the ups and downs, the almost-sells and the strangers’ critiques don’t become an emotional rollercoaster that dictates your life.
Work to avoid these four mistakes, and you’ll find yourself doing the right thing at each stage of the process.1. Price Points
Your home must be priced competitively to sell. Overpricing can leave your home lingering on the market. Buyers compare your sale price with comparable homes in the area—looking at places similar in square footage, construction, numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, age and condition.
Your real estate agent can provide you with a Comparative Market analysis, often referred to as comps, on your home to assist in establishing a competitive price. Comps can include homes recently sold or currently on the market.
While everyone hopes to maximize the sale of their home, pricing yourself out of the market could leave your home unsold for a long time. Competitive pricing will spark considerably more interest and can generate multiple offers—and ultimately a better sales price and quicker sale.
As for appraisals, they’re easy to misunderstand. An appraisal isn’t the market value of your home: It is an opinion on value that means one thing to a mortgage lender and another to your local appraiser, who collects real property taxes based on that assessment.2. Showcasing Your Home
You want potential buyers to imagine themselves in your home. You don’t want any hiccups. Take the time to fix any visible issues such as broken windows and chipped or peeling paint, as well.
Removing clutter and doing simple upgrades to window coverings and counter surfaces can also make good impressions. Ditch ugly furniture and clutter that detracts from the cleanliness of each room. Consider staging each room: There’s an art to filling a space with some personality without making it too personal.
Also consider the photos, videos, and other marketing materials your real estate agent might suggest. Many potential buyers scour online listings, so photos that show off the best of your house can make the difference between full or sparse open houses. Some homeowners even start house blogs.
Your real estate agent will know professionals to consult and may offer photos and video as part of their home-selling package.3. Customer Mindset
Don’t make the mistake of thinking each prospective buyer will be “the one”: Patience will allow you to survive the home-selling process.
Your real estate agent may suggest leaving the house when it’s time to show the home. The last thing buyers want is an owner following them, anticipating questions and pointing out each improvement and amenity. Let them discover things on their own.
Not everyone visiting your home will bid: You’ll likely have at least some lookers who just want to window shop, especially during an open house. You may also have people who want to get a sense of the area, perhaps because they’re interested in a nearby home. Or maybe they want perfection and will look at 50 homes—and not buy anything.
It’s time to move on. You’ve decided to sell your home and embark on a new adventure.
Unfortunately, potential buyers don’t care about how long you obsessed over choosing the perfect bathroom tiles or the number of carpenters you interviewed to make the perfect built-in bookcase. To the buyer, those items may not matter to the value of the home, eve...n if you think they should.
When it’s time to sell, you have to price your home right, using tangible factors. Here are six rules to remember:
1. Price is king
Your asking price determines how long the home will sit on the market. Pricing the home too high may reduce the number of interested buyers, which can cause your home to sit on the market too long. If your house is on the market too long, it may create the perception that there’s something wrong with it. It can also lead a buyer to think that you’re desperate for an offer. You want to avoid these outcomes and not overvalue your home.
On the flip side, pricing the home too low may create some skepticism and raise unwanted questions about the home’s true value. This will hit you in the bank account if multiple offers don’t drive the price up to its true market value.
2. Use comparable sales
The simplest way to figure out the right price for your home is to compare similar homes that have sold in your neighborhood. Instead of skulking in the shadows and casing the neighbor’s house, use realtor.com to check out nearby stats.
Compare your house with those with the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. If you find comparable homes with similar floor plans and outdoor space, all the better. See how many homes in your area have sold recently and what they went for. You can also work with a real estate agent to help you compare houses.
3. Compare fairly
Make sure your comparison is fair. If there are neighborhoods in your subdivison that are more desirable, consider that in your comparison. Also consider your location and what buyers want. If a similarly sized home sold for top dollar down the block, you may not get the same amount for your home if it is dated.
4. Check the market history
To get a more comprehensive picture of the real estate market in your neighborhood, check the listing history of a home. Compare the original asking price with the final sale price, and note the amount of time the house was on the market until it sold. A REALTOR® can help you with this step.
If you’re looking to speed up the process, you may want to price your house a bit lower. However, if profit is your motive, you may need to wait a few months for a sale on the high end of the spectrum.
5. Consider special improvements
Consider whether major improvements you’ve made warrant a higher asking price. If you’ve remodeled the kitchen and put down a new0 floor, or if you really feel the special woodwork details will clinch the sale, make sure those enhancements are reflected in the price of the home. Be reasonable. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get as much money as you expected—improvements don’t always recoup their cost.
6. Don’t ignore supply and demand
In a buyer’s market, with many homes for sale and sellers competing for attention, you may want to ask a bit less for your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. In a seller’s market, where there is little home supply and much buyer demand, you may want to ask a bit more and maximize your profit.