When you decide to list your house for sale, the ideal situation is that it sells quickly and at a great price so you can get on with your life. While this scenario is not impossible (in fact with a good agent, this is definitely achievable), if you’re not careful, you can be stuck in real estate limbo for a long time. If this sounds like you, and your house has been on the market for months, then something has to change.
You can’t keep everything the same and wait for a miracle if you want to get your house sold quickly. This doesn’t mean you need to completely change everything either. If your house has been sitting still and quiet, make sure you know the reasons why this is most likely the case and then make the necessary adjustments. Here are some likely culprits for a stagnant listing:
You let your emotions get the better of you -- If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably developed an emotional attachment to your home. This is especially true if you have lived in the home for a long time, or if the home holds special significance; it’s your first place, your family home, or the house where you raised your children.
The problem is, those emotions belong to you and you alone, and buyers are not going to consider your feelings when making a deal. Your home might be priceless to you, but you need to be realistic when you are setting the list price. Overpricing your home is a big mistake, and it’s a surefire way to keep your home stuck on the market.
You may have exaggerated a bit -- You’ve heard the saying that “honesty is the best policy?” Well, when you are selling a home, it’s important to keep that mantra in mind because telling anything but the truth will only hurt your chances of a sale. When you are listing your home, make sure to be completely honest with your description of the home, and don’t gloss over problems or over-embellish any aspects.
When people come to see your home in person, you definitely don’t want them to be surprised for all of the wrong reasons. You want them to see the house that they saw online, and if they are surprised, it’s because they like it even more in person. If you are upfront from the beginning buyers will trust you. If you bend the truth or try to paint a different picture, then buyers won’t trust you, even when you are being honest. Losing your credibility with a buyer results in losing the sale.
You underestimated the little things (and the clutter) -- Have you noticed how after a while the things that bug you in your home, like the small knick on the bathroom wall or the wine stain on the carpet, start to not get on your nerves so much? It’s because you see these things every day, and your brain starts to get used to it. You know these things still need to be fixed, but they just don’t seem like that much of a big deal anymore.
If you list your house on the market without addressing these seemingly small issues, they become glaring problems to potential buyers. The best thing to do is to have your agent advise you on what should be fixed and addressed in your home before it is listed. Your agent will look at your home with an unbiased opinion, and a brand new set of eyes. It is likely that she will recommend you get rid of clutter, fix small repairs, shampoo carpets, and remove personal items and knick-knacks so that buyers can easily picture themselves living in the home. If you don’t have an agent, you should at least do this step with a friend or someone else that does not see your home’s little imperfections daily. This way you can gain better insight into what would most likely be a red flag to buyers.
Your pictures were worth only a few words -- Today everything is online, and the majority of house hunters first find their home through searching on the internet. This means you better have some very good pictures so that you can make a killer first impression. Ultimately, buyers want to see homes in person, but the pictures that they see help them filter down their potential options.
If you are working with an agent, then she probably uses a photographer that specializes in real estate photography, or she may even do them herself. Either way, you need to make sure that the pictures show your house well, without exaggerating any features; remember, honesty is critical. Pictures should be clear, and there should be multiple pictures to show buyers the house, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, main living areas, the exterior, and any other extra features like a garage or bonus room.
If you’re trying to sell your house, and it’s been sitting on the market with not so much as a twitch, then it’s time to consider making some changes. Knowing the reasons why your house may have missed the mark is a great first step. For more helpful posts about selling your house, and other great tips, check out the rest of our blog! You can also get to know our incredible team of professional and knowledgeable agents who are ready to help you get your house sold!