So this real estate question I don’t get very often, but it’s an important one. Of course, my first inclination is to say, “It’s because you didn’t list your home with me!” But in all seriousness, the truth is that there are many reasons a home won’t sell, but below are the biggest culprits:
Funky Smells – Pets, smoke, mold, exotic foods, rotting animals…you name it, I’ve smelt it. Even before potential buyers and I take in what we’re seeing, that first whiff indicates safety or danger. I’ve shown multiple properties that were otherwise great, but the smell immediately turned off the buyer. If possible, take corrective measures to eliminate the odors such as removing pets, priming and painting walls, placing a dehumidifier or removing furniture which might contain the odor. (Caution: Most buyers get spooked by a lot of air fresheners. I was recently in a home where every room had one…the buyer mentioned it and we quickly moved onto the next property.)
Priced Too High – 2017 is shaping up to be a seller’s market for sure, but built into that reality is that some sellers get a little too ambitious. Sure, in some cases a home is priced perfectly and it is simply waiting for the right buyer to walk through the door (generally the case at higher price points). However, if your home is on the market anywhere from $400,000 or below, the property presents well, is properly marketed, and it’s still not getting offers or even showings, then you know that something is amiss. Even in a selling environment like we are seeing in the Philadelphia area, homeowners and their agents can price themselves out of the market. If you suspect this is the case, have your agent re-run comparables to make sure you’re in line with the market. Also, physically take a look at some comparable properties with your agent to see what else is out there.
Outdated/Exotic Finishes – This one is a little harder to remedy unless you wish to invest money in the property. I tell my clients to be smart and keep potential buyers in mind when choosing their finishes. That really cool backsplash you see on HGTV might otherwise make for some eye candy when seeing it on the television, but in real life is it going to be something most buyers find palatable? If you’re finishes are a little funky, they might be scaring away some buyers.
Poor Marketing – There are some agents who simply hammer a sign in the lawn, list the property on the internet and perhaps hold an open house. To be fair, sometimes that is enough to sell a home in certain price points and markets, but if your home is situated in a more challenging market, you should ask yourself whether your agent is doing everything they can to showcase it. In fact, you should never sign on with an agent unless they have outlined their marketing plan. I personally present a “multi-channel” approach to marketing in order to maximize your home’s exposure.
Again, there are other reasons homes sit on the market, but these are the places to start. Home selling can be a relatively stress-free experience for many, but only if you’re armed with the right people around you to get the job done.
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