It’s Been Months And My House Isn’t Selling…..Why?
A house that’s seen minimal movement on the market for months is frustrating. In fact, frustrating might be an understatement. For some, a home that won’t sell can be a desperate situation—especially if selling it was a last-ditch effort to avoid foreclosure. That’s why, if you have yet to find a buyer, it’s important to take a step back and assess exactly why your house isn’t selling. So let’s dive in and discuss some of the main factors that hinder house sales and how you can maneuver your way around them so you can offload your home—hopefully sooner than later.
Ask your real estate agent these questions
If your house has been on the market for months with no offers, the first factor you want to consider is the market. Does the current market favor buyers or sellers? Talk to your real estate agent about the median days on the market in your area for comparable homes. Perhaps things just aren’t moving quickly in the current market. Sometimes, real estate is hot, and other times it’s not.
You can also discuss any showings by your agent or other agents and the feedback given by other agents and potential buyers. Their feedback could help you rethink how you and your agent are marketing the house.
Some other questions to ask your agent include:
- Is your home listed on your local multiple listing service?
- Has every inquiry turned into a showing appointment? If not, why?
- How does your listing look compared with the homes priced similarly?
- Since the day you listed, what properties have accepted offers, how many days did it take, and what price were they asking?
Reassess your expectations
While you might think your house is a steal of a deal, make sure you’re able to objectively look at the situation, says Beverley Hourlier, a Realtor® with Hilltop Chateau in San Diego.
“The buyer has to perceive the value to be there. If not, no offers. How do you stand up to the comparables in the neighborhood? Be honest in your assessment, because vanity or pride could be costing you money,” she says
Is the price right?
Beyond the temperature of the market and your marketing efforts, the most likely factor when it comes to a lack of offers on a home is price.
“Properties sell when they are priced correctly,” says Tracey Martin, a Realtor with Realty World Premier Associates in Salinas, CA. “The value of your home is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. If it is too high, you won’t get any offers.”
Marketing makes a big difference, too, says Robin Lemmons, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker King in Gahanna, OH.
“If you have had a lot of showings with no offers, it is a pricing issue. If you are having very little activity, it can be a pricing or marketing issue. Is your house being marketed on all the major websites? How is the quality and quantity of the photos?” she says.
How low can you go?
If you determine your home was overpriced out of the gate, then lowering it might help. However, you need to be strategic in terms of just how much you drop the price. You can slash your price by $50,000, but if it’s still above your competition or there are major repairs or updates that need to be done, your chances of selling remain low.
Of course, you never want to lower the price below the amount owed on your loan. Instead of doing that, you should either stay in the property until the value goes up, or consider selling to a cash buyer.
Consider selling to a cash buyer?
If your agent isn’t responsive or doesn’t have a good explanation for why your property isn’t selling, then you might want to consider a new agent or not renewing your agent agreement.
If you speak with another agent, keep in mind that they are motivated to tell you what you want to hear. If they are telling you that they can get you the price you want, ask them for data to justify their claims. With the transparency and accessibility provided by the internet today, it is a rare circumstance when a real estate agent has exclusive access to any buyers. Buyers know what is out there.
While it might not always happen as quickly as you like, your home will eventually sell. You just need a strong strategy, a healthy dose of patience, and, let’s face it, a bit of good luck.
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