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Why Didn’t My Home Sell?

You put your home up for sale and it simply didn’t sell. Undoubtedly, this has created a lot of stress, inconvenience and anxiety for you and your family. Perhaps you already bought another home. Maybe you needed this home sold because of a job change. Regardless of the reason, it’s certainly a burden!

Why Didn't My Home Sell - home for sale

What Should You Do?

Take a step back and analyze the situation. Usually, the problems can be tied to a lack of exposure, overpricing, condition of the property, and most importantly, not hiring the right agent”

The first thing to do is:  step back and analyze the situation. Try to assess what factors led to your home not selling. Below are the top four reasons why homes tend to languish on the market:

Four Reasons a Home or Condo Doesn’t Sell

1.  Is The Property Overpriced?

Overpricing is usually the number one reason your home did not sell. Assuming your neighborhood or area has homes with similar features (number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, amenities, etc.) are on the market for a lower price, buyers will naturally buy those properties first. The price of your property should be competitively priced with these other homes. That means if you want to sell your home, price the home at or slightly below the comparable properties in your area. Your real estate agent will help you establish the best price based on the competition and what has recently sold. Again, pricing your property above comparable properties can easily cause it to languish.

Another problem with pricing higher than competitive properties are the inevitable price reductions. Most homeowners will reduce the price once they realize their home won’t sell if higher than the competition. Or worse, buyers will bring a much lower offer, which sometimes offends the homeowner. 

Another issue with overpricing is appraisal, if the buyer is obtaining financing.  An appraiser will use local comparable properties to establish a value for the buyer’s lender.  If your price is not in line with what has been selling and what is available, it most likely will not appraise. 

With today’s technology, once an agent enters a lower price, buyers are getting updates as soon as the price reduction goes into effect.  At this point, it may be perceived that the homeowner is somewhat desperate to sell and now the listing has been on the market for a while.  Ok – so not to “beat a dead horse,” be knowledgeable and careful when pricing your home at the beginning of the listing.  Your real estate agent will help you assess the competition and help you establish an asking price that will get the home sold.

2.  Condition Of The Property

We’ve created a video and checklist on preparing your home. You can use it to realistically assess what buyers are seeing. Please click to read Preparing Your Home for Sale.

Curb Appeal!  Remember first impressions are important and you want the buyer to have a great experience when potential buyers pull up to the property. 

From the front door and throughout, all of the cosmetic things such as: paint, fixtures, window coverings and flooring should be clean and in good shape.  It’s amazing how most buyers refuse to see through superficial or cosmetic shortcomings. To illustrate this point, most buyers can walk into a “perfect” home that is priced below market, however, if the house is cluttered, the carpet is worn, or the house has a strong pet odor, they move on to look at the next house. And making these cosmetic improvements costs little . . . mostly your time! To get the house sold, make a small investment in:

  1. Landscaping: Make sure lawn is in good shape and trees and shrubs neat and trimmed. Make sure gutters are clear. If you don’t have the time to do it, pay someone.
  2. Exterior of home: Make sure there is no chipping paint, dirty windows or clutter in the yard. Most importantly, remember that most buyers will notice the condition of the front door when they walk in.
  3. Interior: Make sure the carpets are clean and attractive, the walls painted (if it needs it) and clean (no smudges!), the kitchen should be clutter-free and the windows are spotless. Also, remove excess furniture (rule of thumb is put half the furniture in storage or the basement). Excess furniture makes rooms appear much smaller. Make sure all clothes are off the floor and organized in closets. And finally, make sure the smell of the home is appealing. Vanilla scent works very well with most buyers. A tried and true trick is to bake cookies, then the scent is real, some buyers are allergic to candles and air fresheners. 

3.  Was Your Property Aggressively Marketed?

Another primary reason for homes languishing on the market is a simple lack of exposure. Take a look at our Daytona Beach Homes for sale page to get an idea of what’s on the market in your price range. In a very hot market, a listing in the Multiple Listing Service alone should generate an adequate number of buyers. However, if your market is anything less than red-hot, the amount of inventory will increase and your home needs aggressive marketing.

Most buyers work with real estate agents. A good real estate agent will make sure your property is exposed to the active real estate agents in your areas by presenting your property to many of the area offices. Also, most active real estate agents have a strong network of other agents, and they will be on the phone and sending emails to promote the property to other buyer’s agents. 

Don’t be afraid to ask the real estate agents you interview about their marketing plan. 

Finally, and Most Importantly,

4.  Did You Hire The “Right” Real Estate Agent?

Like any profession, there are effective and ineffective agents. Many agents work hard and employ strong marketing techniques. Many agents have a strong network and access to buyers. Many agents simply work hard to get your home sold. However, many do not. Did your agent simply place the house in the Multiple Listing Service? Or, did they inform their network of buyers about your property? How about presenting your property at sales meetings both at her or his office and other company offices? Did they use aggressive advertising, including real estate magazines and heavily trafficked Internet web sites?

Ask yourself, was your agent passionate about selling your property? If not, now is the time to find the agent who will get your home sold.

I hope this report was informative. As your local Realtor Professional, I am available to answer any questions you have about properly packaging your home to get it sold. You can call me at any time to answer questions, and please remember that you are under no obligation or pressure of any kind. I would very much like to help you. Find out more about me on my about page.

Best Regards,

Lynn Byrne
1st Florida Realty

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