Reasons Why Your Home Won’t Sell

Posted on January 31, 2011. Filed under: home selling, Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Has your lawn grown up around that “For Sale” sign? Have the wasps moved into the lock box on your front door? Did you just receive an invitation to your real estate agent’s retirement party?

Say you’ve had your home for sale for months and not a single home buyer has decided to make an offer to you. You’ve spent a lot of money on home advertising, made a number of price reductions and nobody calls you. Maybe your agent now has an expired listing. It’s possible that you’ve even buried a St. Joseph’s statue in your yard, and that didn’t bring any offers, either. What can you do when it’s plain that your home isn’t selling?

If so, chances are your home sale fizzled. Here are the six most-common reasons why homes don’t sell and what you can do about it.

Your home is overpriced

Overpricing is the most common reason homes don’t sell. When you ask an unrealistic price, it sets in motion a process that often works against you. If your home remains on the market for too long, agents and buyers may begin to wonder if there are other, perhaps, more serious reasons why it isn’t selling.

Your home doesn’t ‘show’ well

Your home is competing against shiny new houses in those pristine subdivisions out in the suburbs with their attractive prices, incentives and community amenities.  Face it: Even the best old house needs a little makeover if it hopes to attract a qualified buyer. The good news is most of the work will be cosmetic and relatively inexpensive: a new coat of paint, a few attractive window boxes, a thorough cleaning of floors and carpets. Voila! The place may look good enough to reconsider

You’re in a bad location

Nothing has a greater effect on your home’s value than its location. If your home’s location is less than desirable, your options are somewhat limited. A good real estate agent will do his best to help you accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative of your circumstances, say by using foliage to screen off offensive adjoining properties or dampen traffic noise. The best way to compensate for a poor location is to reduce your asking price or offer attractive incentives such as seller financing or a lease option with rent credit.

You have a lousy listing agent

What’s more, if your agent is abrasive, arrogant or otherwise difficult to work with, other agents may not want the hassle of showing any of their listings to prospective buyers.

You are battling competition or market conditions

In real estate, market conditions are affected by any number of external forces, some of them predictable (the weather, sort of), some of them unpredictable (the local economy, interest rates, public optimism or pessimism). While in a “hot” or seller’s market, homes go fast. Inventory (homes on the market) may be low, meaning less competition for you. Chances are better that you will get your asking price in a hot market; in fact, it is not uncommon to even be offered more than your listing price. But in a “flat,” “cold” or buyer’s market, sales slow to a trickle, inventories grow and buyers can find bargains, especially when they know the seller is motivated (i.e., paying on two mortgages).

You have ineffective marketing

Gone are the days when an agent could simply place your listing with the local multiple listing services, hold a halfhearted open house and wait for another agent to bring forth a buyer. Today’s top performers launch a multilevel marketing plan that includes listing tours for area agents, newspaper and even TV ads, weekend open houses, listing fliers and placements in local real estate publications. Also, the Internet also had changed the face of real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, today more than one-third of all home buyers use the Internet for house hunting. The best real estate agents are computer-savvy. They have your listing in color on their laptops to show clients and communicate frequently via e-mail, a particular boon when working with out-of-town buyers.

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