Has your home been on the market for more than six weeks with no offers? You may be wondering if your agent is doing their job. If your home has had 10 or more showings, marketing isn’t the problem. There are issues no amount of exposure can overcome – location, condition and price. Here’s what you can do about each.
Reason #1 – Location
Is your home on a busy road or next to a water tower. This is a tough one. You can’t pick up your home and move it. Location impacts value. While your house itself may be fantastic, it may be over-improved for the site. Lowering your price is the solution.
Is an unmaintained neighboring home casting a shadow on your curb appeal? Reach out to your homeowner’s association and/or town government for assistance. They may be able to request a clean up and enforce ordinances regarding exterior care.
Reason #2 – Condition
You may have loved your house, but now its value is in the eye of the beholder as well. Does it need minor updates, renovations or maintenance? Buyers aren’t paying top dollar for potential. And they may not get past the photos to see a carpeting credit in the description. The best solution is to fix issues before listing or price for current condition. Visit open houses and check competing listing photos online to get an idea of how your home matches up. It pays to address paint, upgrade flooring and replace lighting fixtures.
Reason #3 – Price
If condition and location are good, then the problem is the price. The data in your comparative market analysis (CMA) doesn’t lie.
When deciding on price, your real estate agent should provide a CMA. It will include recently sold and active listings of homes in your neighborhood or area that share the same approximate square feet and number of beds and baths. The highest and lowest sold price creates a value range. Your home’s position in that range is determined by how its condition and location compare. Factor in market conditions, available inventory, asking price competition, available new construction and average days on market. With every new sale the data can change, so it’s important to keep up-to-date.
Start at Right Price
Some sellers want to over price and lower later. That’s almost always a mistake. The best chance of selling your home is within the first two weeks when it’s fresh and exciting. You don’t want to lose the market’s interest. Most buyers shop by price range and their agents won’t waste time showing overpriced homes.
Hoping the “right buyer” will come along (one who will ignore comps and overpay) is like waiting on lottery winnings. Don’t gamble with what is likely your largest financial asset. And remember, if sellers make less – so do their agents. Their pricing advice is given in everyone’s best interest.
Susan Matthews is a Realtor serving the greater Charleston area with Coldwell Banker Carolinas. Contact her for more info on selling your home.