Designer, Realtor, Builder, Developer Nancy Harris Keenan Tells Us Why
It’s a seller’s market, and the houses in your neighborhood are going fast, yet yours. Sits. And sits. Why?
When a house isn’t getting the interest it should, it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. Selling is about location, price and presentation. There’s nothing you can do about location, but you may have the price and presentation all wrong. Here are the top 5 reasons why houses don’t sell:
#5 No curb appeal = bad first impression.
If the prospective buyer won’t even get out of the car to see the inside of your house, you’re doomed. First impressions matter, and they’re typically made within the first seven seconds of seeing your home for the first time. Act like the buyer and take a new look at your house. Go through the front door (if you typically use the side or garage door) and make sure it’s not full of cobwebs, dirty, dingy or unkempt. Small things like painting or staining the front door, adding shutters, new address numbers or some fresh landscaping can make all the difference. For an investment of just $500, you can get $20,000 more on the price of your home. I know that, because I’ve done it.
#4 Your home is quirky or has a little too much personality.
In other words, your home may be “taste-specific,” and may not appeal to other people. It’s time to rethink that hot pink and chartreuse color scheme or the groovy flower power wallpaper. Now is the time to neutralize. You love your sports team, but the buyer may go for the big rival. Put away sports memorabilia, religious and political paraphernalia or anything specific to you. You want the buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.
#3 Your home is dated and in need of TLC.
There are simple, low cost changes you can make to give your home a facelift. Change out doorknobs and faucets. Spray paint light fixtures to give them a fresh look. Bring new life to dingy kitchen cabinets with a wood finishing product like Restore-a-Finish, and bring back luster to the wood. Brighten dark rooms with lamps and bright white LED bulbs.
#2 Poor marketing
Either you have no Realtor, your Realtor isn’t a good match or your house photos don’t represent your home well. House hunting begins on the Internet, and you have about 20 seconds to grab a buyer’s attention. The first three photos of your home are most important. First, the front of your house; second, the kitchen; and third, the master bedroom/bath. Video is also a great way to attract buyers and keep them coming back, as you can re-tour the house online and show it to friends and family. Why should you hire a Realtor? First of all, Realtors have buyers and work with other Realtors who have buyers. Theme: Buyers. Purchasing a home is among the biggest investments of your life. Would you go in to a courtroom without representation? A good agent will help you set a fair and competitive price – – increasing the odds of a quick sale, and has experience negotiating to get you more money. They also know the tricks of the trade, helping you avoid pitfalls and costly oversights.
#1 Your house is priced too high.
Buyers are educated and no one wants to overpay. It’s a beauty contest. Who will get chosen first? The house with the best price, look and location will win. If you’ve had no offers in the first 30-day period, your house is priced too high. When a house is priced correctly for the market and condition, it will get offers.