Hint: It’s Usually Not the Home’s Fault
If you’re finding it difficult to sell your home even though buyer traffic is increasing, then the problem might not have anything to do with your home. Unless your home is dilapidated or located in a high-crime area, then the chances are strong your decisions may actually be what’s causing the stalemate.
Here are the top six reasons why your home probably isn’t selling and what you can do to help get it sold faster during this spring or summer home-selling season.
#1: The Listing Photos Aren’t Great Quality
On websites like Homes.com, homebuyers look for homes in the areas where they want to buy without ever having to leave the house. This means that the better your house looks in its listing photos, the more interested buyers you’ll likely attract.
If your home’s photos are blurry, shot sideways or upside-down, or feature poor lighting or angles, then your home’s not truly being presented at its best. For many sellers, not having professional-quality listing photos is the number one thing keeping buyers away.
To fix this problem, hire a professional photographer with experience in taking home photos. Don’t rely on your Realtor taking photos with his or her smartphone. This single investment could get your home sold faster and for a higher price.
#2: Your Curb Appeal Is Lacking
When buyers drive past your home to get a glimpse of the property, their first impression matters. So, if your curb appeal is lacking, then you’re making a bad first impression. For many buyers, that’s all it takes to convince them that the property isn’t worth considering.
To fix this problem, you need to invest some time and money getting the front yard cleaned up, the home’s exterior looking clean and fresh, and anything else you need to do to make the home look great from the curb. A clean front exterior is attractive to buyers and sparks more interest, and it means you’ll also enjoy a higher selling price. In fact, in 2016, the National Association of Realtors reported that good lawn care gets a seller an average of 303% ROI.
#3: The Interior Staging Isn’t the Best
How you stage your home’s interior is just as important as its curb appeal. If your home is already vacant of furniture, then your home is going to have a hard time selling because a buyer needs to “feel” what the space is like to live in. They need to picture themselves living there, and that can be difficult to do when the rooms are empty.
But, even if you have furniture in the home, how you position it can also have a negative effect. You need to stage your home to show off its best assets.
To fix this, avoid cluttering any space and be sure to remove personal collections and other items that might distract the buyer. Make cosmetic repairs, fixing anything that’s broken, touch up paint if needed, and more. If you aren’t sure how to stage your home to sell, buy a book on the subject or hire a professional stager. A well-staged home is always worth the investment.
#4: You Set the Price of Your Home Too High
As a seller, of course you want to get the highest price possible for your home. But you need to price the home appropriately based on the state of the market. If you set the selling price of your home higher than what is considered appropriate, you can expect for your home to stay on the market for a lengthy time.
To set the right price, you must keep your emotions in check. To you, your home is priceless. To a buyer, they’re only looking for the fairest price possible. This means you should take a step back, look at your home with a buyer’s eye, research local buying trends, compare your home to similar ones that have recently sold in your area, and work with your agent to determine an adequate asking price.
#5: Your Home Is in Serious Need of Repairs
A buyer always expects a home to need minor repairs and upgrades when it’s purchased, but there’s a difference between minor repairs and major renovations.
For instance, if your home has a leaky roof, a broken central air conditioner system, flood damage, mold problems, or other costly repairs, then your home will probably be avoided like the plague. If this sounds like your home, then your target buyer will wind up being someone who wants to buy homes at the lowest price possible just so they can fix them and flip them.
As hard and costly as it might be, you should fix these major issues before you put your home on the market or you may not be able to sell your home. The only other option is to negotiate for the buyer to make the repairs, but you may have to shave money off your asking price if you go this route.
#6: The Home Has Foul Odors
Since you live in your home, you are used to all the smells and odors inside of it. For instance, if you like eating curry, the smell might seem nice to you, but it could be offensive to others. The same thing goes if you have pets or you are a smoker. Such odors get absorbed into a home’s carpets and walls, and if they aren’t eliminated, they could turn buyers off.
To fix this, ask a few unbiased friends or family to walk through your home. Ask them if they detect any unpleasant odors. If they do, then you will want to find the problem and fix it. For some odors, like from smoke, mold, or pets, using an ozone machine can help kill the odors at their source.
Cristen Lincoln, a broker with boutique real estate agency Living Room Realty in Portland, Oregon, recommends that for open houses, homeowners never use room fresheners to get things smelling better in a hurry. “Some people are allergic to it, and buyers will automatically think you are trying to hide a bad odor,” she warns. “If you think smell is an issue at your home, the best thing to do is find the source and deal with it. If you want to use smell to help create an atmosphere, bake some cookies the morning before your open, and as a bonus, leave them out for your guests!”
Homes.com Can Help You Sell Your Home
Homes.com is your home-selling partner. We not only make it easy to list your home on our site, we also have an informative How To Sell Your Home guide online. We can even help you find a reputable agent in your area if you need one. Use the free resources at Homes.com, and follow the tips above, to sell your home fast!