Having Trouble Selling Your Home? Here Are A Few Potential Reasons Why
When we put our house on the market, we all have a desired time frame for completion. As we move closer to, or past, that completion date, and a sale is not forthcoming, it can be seriously disheartening. The home we have loved for many years isn’t loved by others. Part of it could just be the current housing market – it goes through fits and bursts, and if you’re unfortunate enough to put yours up just at the point that everyone decides to stay put, you could be in for a long, painful, and tedious ride. But there are other reasons too. It’s essential that you’re able to step back and look at your property critically, through the eyes of a buyer, in order to be able to sell. If you’re having trouble getting buyers to bite the bullet, here are a few potential reasons why.
You’re asking too much
When you sell a home, the price you ask shouldn’t be the price you expect, but the price you want. People will then offer what they think it deserves. If the price you’re asking for it massively at odds with the price they think it’s worth, they’re not going to put an offer in, even if they love the house. Don’t assume the sky’s the limit – yes it tends to be weighted towards the seller, but not to the point that you can be unreasonable. Using a real estate agent that can be trusted to be honest with you should be able to help you to arrive at an asking price which is both reasonable, and expected to be successful. If your realtor suggests you’re going too high, don’t just blindly blunder on – take their advice.
There’s no curb appeal
First impressions matter, and humans will always judge a book by its cover. As a potential buyer approaches your home from the road, you want them to fall in love. Address any external issues first for this reason. Make sure your front yard is tidy and well-kept. Keep woodwork painted, take out clutter, and use color to give the house interest and liveliness. If they see your house from the street and it looks run down or tired, that will alter their initial impression, perhaps irreconcilably.
There are obvious long-standing problems
Many people buy a house with the intention of having to do a bit of work to make it their own, but not many people buy with the idea of having to make it livable. Any obvious problems, such as broken windowpanes, cracked brickwork, or termite damage, will put 99% of potential buyers off almost immediately. Dealing with these problems by replacing broken windows or calling out pest control can be costly, but the longer you leave your house on the market for, the worse these issues will get. Dealing with any long-standing issues before your house goes on the market will speed up the sale, and avoid any cause for concern which could put a buyer off.
It doesn’t smell right
Every home as its own unique smell. Some smells are fairly innocuous, and shouldn’t upset potential buyers, but others can be seriously off-putting. Try asking an honest and trusted friend to be upfront with you about any smells your home may have, so you can address them at the source. A scented candle might be all it takes, but some might need more intervention. If you smoke inside, consider quitting or smoking in the yard while you’re trying to sell the house – the smell can linger, and be very off-putting to buyers. Pets can also have a certain smell, so make sure they’re washed regularly, and cleaned up after daily. Otherwise, molds and mildew are often the cause of unwelcome odors, so dealing with those problems at the source, and maybe investing in the help of a dehumidifier, can help to banish those odors.
It’s cluttered and untidy
People will usually only buy a house that they can feel at home in, even during the initial walkaround. If a home is cluttered and untidy, it can really put potential buyers on edge. It can also make the home feel smaller and more cramped, a feeling which doesn’t make the home feel attractive. Ensuring you have sufficient storage space, and disposing of unnecessary items, will make the home more attractive to buyers. It’ll also make it easier to pack up your belongings when it’s time to move, so it’s a win-win situation.
People can’t imagine living there
Potential buyers need to be able to imagine their life in their new home. This is why it can be difficult to sell a home which you’ve already vacated. When there is no furniture in place, it can be tricky to comprehend the size of the space, and the way in which the buyer’s own furniture will fit into the rooms. At the very least, ensure your realtor photographs include furniture, even if you can’t afford to keep the place furnished after you leave.
You’re pressing too hard
Pushy sellers can really put off buyers. When the realtor brings them over for their viewing, try to make yourself scarce, or at least keep out of their way. The realtor is a professional, and while you think you might be helping, you might be completely busting their sales pitch. It can also look needy and desperate, which some buyers love to take advantage of with low offers.
Your real estate agent isn’t great
A great realtor is the key to a great sale. They’re the brains of the operation, and should be able to advise you comprehensively on the best way to get what you want. When there are no problems with the house, a sale should be easy. However, if there are any issues, and negotiations are afoot, you need a real estate agent who cares. They need to be engaging and interesting to deal with, but most of all, you need to be able to trust them to act with your best interests at heart – after all, why else are you paying them? If you think your real estate agent isn’t acting in your best interests, it might be time for a swap.
It needs a lot of work
Many people want a “fixer-upper”, but they also need a price that reflects this. If you’re offering a home that requires a lot of work, for a move-straight-in price tag, you’re going to find people are less forthcoming. Choose one or the other. If you think you can charge more than the costs of the work if you do it up yourself, and you have the time and the up-front capital, then that makes the most sense. Otherwise, unfortunately, you might have to drop the asking price to reflect the costs that the buyer agrees to in order to make the home viable.
If your decor is… avant-garde
As mentioned previously, people want to be able to move into a home which they can imagine themselves living in. While some people can look past the psychedelic wallpaper and brightly colored decor, others might not be able to. By all means, give it a go, but if you’re finding that buyers are turning their noses up at the slightly more off-the-wall style, it could be time to break out the magnolia paint and make the decor a bit more mainstream.
The housing market is a fickle game, and there could be literally no issues with your home, but the market just isn’t playing ball. Once you’ve ticked each of these off your list, with any luck, a sale will be just on the horizon. Good luck!