House For Sale Sign My House Isn’t Selling, What Can I Do

My House Isn’t Selling, What Can I Do?

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Depending on where you’re located, the average days on market varies. A good listing, with a fair price, for a house that’s in good condition and in a good location will attract buyers quickly enough, especially in a hot market. But maybe that’s not your house selling experience.

Has your house been sitting on the market for a while? Are you still waiting for the right offer, or any offer? There are many reasons a house does not sell, but then the big question is: what can you do about it? What can you do to get your house sold faster? Let’s discuss reasons your house may not be selling, and then what you can do about it.

Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

There are many steps in the home selling process, so it’s not uncommon to make mistakes. Even in a hot real estate market, mistakes will cost you more money. So what makes a house unsellable?

The Asking Price is Too High

A huge mistake that a lot of sellers make is asking too much for their property. A high pricing causes prospective buyers to pass over your listing because it’s out of their price range.

Zillow, Redfin, and the like are not always reliable for estimating the value of your property. They are missing key information and updates, like damages and improvements, and do not account for location issues.

Learn the 4 signs that indicate you need a price drop.

Your House has Location Problems

Location matters! It isn’t just about being in the city, the suburbs, or rural areas, but also about what’s around you.

Most buyers do not want to live near a source of loud noise or a busy street, or where the property taxes are too high, or in a high-risk disaster area, or where there are too many registered sex offenders.

Another issue is bad neighbors. Their yard is unkept, or they have aggressive, barking dogs, or they are loud during showings. In fact, bad neighbors can lower the market value of a house up to 10%. If that is the problem you are facing, read this article on what to do when you want to sell your house but have bad neighbors.

Your House is Old, Outdated, or Damaged

Home buyers frown on a house with extensive problems. They’re already pouring their savings into buying the property; they don’t want to pay to fix it or do extensive renovations too.

Outdated or unusual features also take longer to sell. Sometimes they make the house unsellable to the common buyer. This is one of the reasons why, oftentimes, these houses are purchased by investors with capital to invest in in-depth renovations, repairs, and/or modernizing the house.

Old Listing

If your house has been listed on the market for over 30 days, especially during a Seller’s Market, buyers assume there is something wrong with it, even if that’s not the case. They’ll intentionally avoid it, and after 3 to 6 months, the listing is a failure.

You’ll want to pull the listing, revamp and relist it. If you hire a realtor, it’s actually their job to draw up the listing and post it in the multiple listing service (MLS) and other home selling sites.

Bad Listing Photos

The pandemic forced a number of industries into the digital age, and chief among them was real estate. Home sales became virtual. Safety precautions encouraged against open houses, and instead buyers surfed online listings.

Though we have returned to normalcy, potential buyers still search homes online. You know what they say: a picture is worth a 1,000 words. The National Association of Realtors report 89% of buyers find photos to be among the most useful features of a house listing. Family photos do not cut it, and the camera on your mobile device is not good enough. You need sharp, quality photos; otherwise, buyers cannot envision themselves living in the house.

Bad Advice

Really? Yes. Often we get input from friends or family members whose home sold, or we turn to real estate professionals. In all honesty though, most of the issues listed above could have been avoided by working with an experienced agent. Your realtor should make recommendations to improve your property, including repairs and staging, and even advise on the pricing. They are also responsible for organizing open houses, marketing, listing, and sharing feedback from potential buyers.

Some realtors fall short of perfect though and give bad advice. Some realtors fall short of perfect though and give bad advice. If that’s the case, they’re not worth your time or the 3% to 6% commission. Or sometimes, a home seller ignores good advice. A good listing agent knows what interested buyers are looking for, and they may advise a seller to make a change, but the seller refuses. Why hire a professional, if you’re not going to listen to them?

What You Can Do If Your House Isn’t Selling

There are a few things you can do to improve your chances of a sale.

1. Make Improvements

If your house needs TLC to make an impact, you must be willing to make repairs and renovations. But maybe you can’t afford restorations. If that’s the case, a price reduction is necessary to make up the difference. When extensive work is needed, oftentimes it’s best to sell “as-is” directly to a real estate investor and avoid losing money on contractor fees.

If it’s just minor details, in addition to fixing obvious issues, be sure to improve your curb appeal. Potential buyers start evaluating the property when they pull up. That first impression matters, so spruce up the yard, clean windows, and give the house a fresh coat of paint.

2. Strengthen the Listing

Depending on the market, there’ll be a shortage of buyers or a shortage of houses for sale. Either way, your house must stand out from other real estate listings.

Listing your home online requires a few things…

Take Good Photos

Always take photos in the spring and summer, when the outside of your house is green and beautiful. Inside photos should be staged to show off space, and important aspects and best features. You also need to take enough photos, at different angles, to show the flow from one room to another.

Listing photos must be high quality enough to grab buyer attention. A study by Realtor.com shows that 9 out of 10 buyers, under the age of 55, value photos as the most important part of a listing. The best thing you can do is hire a professional photographer – or your realtor can hire one. Below is an example of a good listing photo.

living room and dining room professional staging photo real estate

Add a Video or Virtual Walkthrough

Consider adding a video walkthrough to your listing. This way, buyers get a better idea of the layout if they prefer to view it virtually, or they are out-of-state buyers. This trend reached its peak during the pandemic and will likely remain long after.

Add Highlights

Even minor renovations, like a new coat of paint, power washing, and improved landscaping, can be enough to spark interest, if highlighted properly in the listing description. Location appeal can also increase interest, like proximity to shopping areas and awarded schools or popular recreation.

3. Improve Your Marketing Outreach if FSBO

When you try to sell your House By Owner (FSBO), perhaps your biggest challenge is visibility. You need to market your home for sale through all possible channels.

Many buyers search MLS listings. Even if you choose to sell your house alone, you can still pay an agent a small fee to list it in the MLS, so it appears on Zillow and similar sites. Be sure to promote it through social media too. Ask friends and family to share, and post to your local neighborhood / market pages.

Here are more tips on how to sell your house by owner (FSBO).

4. Cut Your Price

You cannot afford pricing mishaps. To get a better idea of an ideal asking price, (1) evaluate comparable homes and the market, (2) consider buyer search parameters, and (3) deduct repair costs plus ugly house effect, if you do not plan to improve the property.

5. Offer Financial Incentives

If you’re not willing to budge on the price, you can always offer financial incentives.

Incentives include covering the first year of the home warranty, the closing costs, or including the furniture and appliances with the house. You are essentially sweetening the deal.

Or, You Can Sell to a Real Estate Investor

Wait, what? Yes, you can skip the last five steps we mentioned and sell to a real estate investor. This is a great option if you want to sell your house fast and for a guaranteed cash offer. Most investors will buy a house “as-is,” with damages – no repairs or improvements necessary. And because they pay with cash, you avoid the long mortgage approval.

Investors do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections, and they’ll cover closing costs and additional sale fees. If you’re in a tough situation, like foreclosure or bankruptcy, you can short sale to an investor and save your credit history. What’s more, you choose when to close, which can be in 30 days or less, giving you time to pack up and move.

SolidOffers Simplifies Your Home Sale

If your home isn’t selling, and you’re not sure how to find the right investor, good news: we’ve already done it for you! SolidOffers is not an iBuyer. Rather we are the middle man between you and our network of certified investors. We screen our investors to verify experience and professionalism, and we’ll pair you with an investor in your market who can make you a solid cash offer.

Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a house

Why the Holidays are a Good Time to Sell a House

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You’d think the opposite, but selling a house around the holidays is not a bad thing. Most people believe spring is the best time to sell – there are more bidding wars, but also more competition. Wintertime has its advantages and disadvantages too, but around the holidays, the market often comes alive.

If you position your property the right way, market it effectively, and prepare for buyers, you can close fast, maybe in time for the holidays or even the New Year. But why would you want to sell around the holidays? Maybe you can’t wait – relocation, growing family, downsizing, ending forbearance, etc.

Here are five reasons why the holidays are a good time to sell.

1. Buyers are Serious

A lot of buyers in the springtime like to look at houses but are in no rush to purchase. Anyone who shops the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is no doubt serious. Think about it: winter holidays are when we plan festivities, visit family, and shop for presents. If a person takes time away from those things to look at a property, chances are they’re ready to buy.

2. Housing Inventory is Low

Since most sellers aim for spring, there is less competition in your market around the winter holidays. Fewer houses for sale increases your chances of buyer interest and getting offers.

Price wars may break out in your neighborhood. So long as the price is right, and you have a lot of potential buyers, your property may only sit on the market for a few weeks, maybe even a few days.

3. End-of-Year Tax Breaks

Tax breaks are one of several reasons buyers are serious towards the end of the year. If a house sale closes on or by December 31, the buyer can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and interest costs (of the loan).

Can a home seller get a tax break? Yes, but only if you owned and lived in the house for 2 of the 5 years before sale.

4. More Attention from Realtors

With fewer house listings to be concerned with, your realtor, if you have one, can focus more on your property. They are available for more showings, appointments, and negotiating deals.

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, so hiring a real estate agent may take some of the stress off of you. Otherwise, if you do not want to pay commission, you can sell For Sale By Owner (FSBO).

5. Festive Time of Year

Believe it or not, the holidays spark warm feelings in buyers. They visit a house that is staged for comfy, homey vibes, appealing to their emotions. So they are more likely to fall in love with the feelings the house conjures and make an offer.

In contrast, during the spring, there’s a lot of foot traffic and distractions, and buyers cannot focus during a walkthrough.

Want a Guaranteed Sale By or Before Christmas / New Year’s?

Sometimes you cannot wait for a traditional buyer. You have your reasons to sell now, before the end of the year, and you cannot afford to wait. If that is the case, consider selling to a real estate investor for cash.

Most investors make a cash offer on a property “as-is,” without repairs or renovations. Even if the property is damaged, vacant, or mid-renovation, they will still buy it. They do not require traditional sale warranties, an appraisal or inspection, and since they pay with cash, there’s no lengthy mortgage approval process.

You (the seller) choose the closing date. It can be in several months, giving you time to pack and enjoy the holidays, or in 30 days or less, if you’re ready to move right now.

Home Improvements to Do Before the Holidays if Selling christmas tree

Home Improvements to Do Before the Holidays if Selling

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Are you selling your house around the holidays? Does it need a facelift? Some home improvements can help you sell faster or even get a better deal. The alternative is to lower your asking price to cover renovations the buyer pays out of their own pocket.

But which improvements have the most impact and the best ROI? Here are 11 home improvements we recommend to do before the holidays, if you’re selling a property.

1. Remodel the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where family comes together, especially around the holidays. So when buyers visit this time of year, you want the kitchen to make a good, lasting impression.

Kitchen improvements include a new backsplash, upgraded countertops and flooring, refinished cabinets, and better lighting.

2. Fix Up the Bathroom

The bathroom is a private space, and it should be nice. Fortunately, most bathrooms are small, so improvements do not take long. You can replace light fixtures, upgrade faucets and fixtures, retile the floor and shower, and repaint the walls.

3. Put Down New Floors

Your floors take a beating and see a lot of foot traffic. Wood floors especially get scratched and chipped and lose luster. Consider laying new planks or making the switch to tile for a fresh look.

4. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Inside and out! Interior walls and the exterior house siding will benefit from a fresh coat of paint. Think about it: when buyers drive up, do you want them to see drab or life?

You might also consider a coat of sealer on any surface of the house that gets covered by snow.

5. Repair the Roof

Winter is coming, and you’ll never go wrong if you patch or replace the roof to prevent leaks. Leaks can cause damage inside the house, so why not prevent additional repairs?

6. Seal Gaps and Add Insulation

Chilly drafts ruin energy bills and the warm, cozy feeling of the house interior. Check caulking and weather stripping, and seal where necessary. Get an R-Value for your insulation levels. The recommended level of insulation for most attics is about 10 to 14 inches.

7. Tune Up the Furnace

Speaking of cold weather and energy, get your HVAC system inspected to ensure its functionality. If it needs work, make repairs so your house is kept at a comfortable temperature, so that it’s cozy for buyers during walkthroughs.

8. Winterize Your Property

One of the most common mistakes by sellers, especially those with vacant properties, is failing to winterize. The worst is not draining and protecting your pipes from freezing: you risk them bursting and flooding the property.

Winterizing your house includes looking after the pipes, insulation, fireplace, gutters, roof, furnace, and windows and doors.

9. Improve Curb Appeal

Winter is when your plants go dormant. Hopefully, your online listing shows photos of your house in the spring or summer, when it looks its best.

The outside of the house is the first impression buyers have of the property as a whole. To jazz it up, you can do the following:

  • Add cold weather plants
  • Trim back trees and bushes
  • Manicure the lawn
  • Clean windows
  • Paint front door
  • Furnish the front porch
  • Update lightning

Sell Your House Without Making Improvements

If you have neither the time nor the money to make improvements, you can always sell “as-is” to a real estate investor for cash.

But will I lose money? Most investors pay 70% of the market value AFTER repair value. The investor does not require repairs or renovations, even if the property is degraded or damaged. There’s no mortgage approval, no appraisal, nor an inspection. Moreover, the investor often pays all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money compared to a traditional sale.

If, however, the property is in good shape and in a good location, some investors will consider paying the market price or perhaps 2% to 3% less.

Either way, you can enjoy a quick closing, in 30 days or less, and focus on spending the holidays with family, perhaps in your new home.

when to lower your asking price on a house

When to Lower Your Asking Price on a House

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Has your house been sitting on the market for a while? Have you gotten any offers? You just don’t understand it: it’s a seller’s market, and maybe you chose the best time of year to sell, but still you have no offers. Perhaps the issue, then, is your asking price.

When is it time to consider a price reduction? And by how much should you lower your price?

4 Signs You Should Lower Your Asking Price

How long has it been on the market?

A house that’s set at the right price from the start will get offers within the first few weeks. If it’s been 5 weeks or more since you listed, it may be time to lower the price, or even delist it.

Delisting your house gives you a chance to make improvements and relist later, so the listing is “fresh” again.

Listen to Buyers

Have you had multiple showings but received no offers? This is an obvious red flag that something’s wrong.

Do not be afraid to ask buyers and their realtors for feedback. If the majority say, “It’s too expensive,” or “Out of our budget,” or the like, then it’s time to drop the price.

Know Your Market

We’ve been in the midst of a seller’s market for some time now. A lot of buyers are shopping the market, but inventory is low. Most times, this means properties sell faster, but the market does not guarantee a sale if the price is too high.

Search comparable properties in your area to answer the following:

  1. Are they selling fast or lingering?
  2. If they sold, how much did they sell for?
  3. What is the average time a house sits on the market (in your neighborhood)?
  4. How many houses (in your area) had a price reduction?
  5. How long did it take houses to sell after a price cut?

If you’re past the sell-by-date for your area, it may be time to cut the price or delist for a while.

Your Property Appraised Low

Buyers who take out a mortgage are required to appraise a property to confirm its value. If the house appraises too high or too low compared to the selling price, the lender may refuse to loan them the money.

Sellers should get an appraisal of their property to find out its true value and decide its asking price.

By How Much Should You Cut the Price?

Choosing when to reduce the price and by how much is never easy. The timing is important, and the price reduction must be worded just right so as not to raise buyer suspicion.

If the price is too low, buyers will think there’s something wrong with the property, and you may lose thousands of dollars. If it’s still too high, buyers will continue to avoid it to save their time and budget.

Most times, the average price cut is 2.9% of the list price. Your best ally, though, in changing the price is your real estate agent. They can tell you if the price is too high or unrealistic, and they should have an understanding of market trends to properly evaluate your property.

4-Point Price Reduction Strategy

  • Act Fast: if the number of showings versus offers in the first few weeks is not good, don’t wait to reduce the price. Otherwise, you may have to delist.

 

  • Be Realistic: sometimes a price adjustment, even one that’s slightly lower, is worthwhile, compared to accumulated mortgage payments and utility costs over the time of the listing. Ask yourself: what’s the lowest you can go but still make a profit?

 

  • What are Other Sellers Doing: again, look at comparable properties, with or without price cuts, and how long it took them to sell.

 

  • Reduce the Price ONLY Once: multiple small reductions go unnoticed by buyers. Make a single significant cut to jump-start interest in your property.

Sell for a Price Cut Out in Cash

Rather than speculate markets, buyers, and prices, consider selling to a real estate investor for a cash offer. Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is”, without warranties, inspections, or repairs. They cover all closing costs and additional sale fees, but you pick the closing date, which can be in several months, 30 days or less.

Most investors pay 70% of the market value AFTER repair value. But if the property is in good shape and in a good location, they’ll pay the market price or 2% to 3% less, which is still more than most sellers get with a traditional sale, since their agent takes a 3% to 6% commission.

Steps to Sell a Multi-Family Property

7 Steps to Sell a Multi-Family Property

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Selling a multi-family home is more difficult than a single-family because it involves more people. A multi-family property can be a multi-generational home, where families live together and share expenses and responsibilities, or it can be a dwelling with multiple units, each one with a family. We will discuss selling the former.

Step 1: Get Everyone on Board with the Sale

If you share your house with your parents, grandparents, sister or brother and their family, it’s not just your best interests at stake. Everyone has a voice in what happens to where they live. Will your extended family move with you into your new home? Will they move someplace else? Or maybe they’d like to buy the house from you – if that’s an option.

Discussing the house sale together is also a necessity if more than one person’s name is on the title. All owners must agree to the sale.

Step 2: Research the Market and Best Time to Sell

Market conditions often change. Determine if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market, and inquire with your real estate agent if it would be better to wait for a seller’s market.

Also, if you have the option and are not pressed to move right away, decide when you want to sell. Most people are of the opinion that spring is the best time for a house sale. But every season has its benefits and drawbacks.

We are still in the fall season, and though the market tends to cool down this time of year, that does not mean you’ll miss out on an opportunity. Buyers are actually more serious, and there’s less competition at the turn of winter.

Step 3: Get an Inspection and Make Repairs (Optional)

This step is optional because you can make repairs now, or negotiate them with a buyer later, after the inspection. The good news is you have more contributors living under your roof to help with repairs.

Step 4: Price Competitively

Pricing your property is important but tricky. Price it too high, and buyers won’t even make you an offer. Price it too low, and they suspect something is wrong with the property, or you’ll miss out on thousands of dollars.

You can do the following to help price your house:

  • Research comparable properties
  • Hire an appraiser
  • Talk with your real estate agent

Sites like Zillow or Redfin do not always provide accurate estimates because they lack information on your property. However, we can give you a fair market offer, based on the information you provide us. Just click below to request your free offer.

Step 5: Clean and Stage the House

When buyers visit for walkthroughs, they want to picture their lives in the house. Too much clutter impedes the vision and makes rooms appear smaller.

Working together, you and your family can pack and move belongings into storage. Whatever’s left you can donate or throw away to make your eventual move less of a hassle.

Be sure to do a mass cleaning inside and outside of the house and stage rooms to encourage the buyer’s vision.

Step 6: Market Effectively

If you sell your house For Sale By Owner (FSBO), you’ll have to list the property and market its availability all on your own. Potential buyers are found online nowadays, through property listing sites and social media. It requires constant attention, updating details and answering inquiries. If you have a good real estate agent, they will do all the work for you.

Step 7: Clear Out During Walkthroughs

The best thing you can do to get an offer is clear out of the house during showings. Let your realtor show off the house, while you and your family go out for the day.

Sell Your Multi-Family Property without Stress

If you want to sell your multi-family property without cleanings, showings, or inspections, consider accepting an offer from a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a property “as-is,” be it damaged, neglected, or have a great big mess inside. Investors will even buy a house with discarded belongings, if you want to lighten your move.

Investors do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections, and if you don’t have a realtor, there’s no commission fee. You can even sell the house virtually, without the investor ever visiting the property. All you have to be concerned with is the closing day, which is up to your discretion and can be in several months, 30 days or less.

Common House Selling Mistakes

8 Common House Selling Mistakes

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A house is the most expensive item you’ll ever sell, and mistakes are costly. There are so many hurdles to jump, and one misstep can bomb your finances and house sale. Here are eight common house selling oversights you’ll want to avoid.

Mistake #1: Pricing It Wrong

Pricing a property is tricky. If the price is too high, buyers will not touch it because it’s out of their budget. If the price is too low, they’ll think something’s wrong with the house, or you’ll miss out on thousands of dollars.

Do not trust online sites, like Zillow or Redfin, to accurately value your property. These sites lack the information necessary to estimate its value. Instead, ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis that shows how much properties like yours are going for in your area.

Your realtor should be able to suggest a fair price. It may be a good idea, though, to get an inspection and deduct repair costs.

Mistake #2: Not Expecting House Selling Costs

It is a big mistake to assume that selling a house does not cost you money. There are all sorts of fees that you, as the seller, are responsible for, including:

And, of course, the cost of your next home is a factor too. If you are not prepared to pay these expenses, you’ll have trouble making a profit or even breaking even with your sale.

Mistake #3: Selling It by Yourself

Going the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route is not impossible, but it’s a lot of work. You may do it to avoid paying commission, but the truth is, a good realtor is worth their weight in gold.

A good real estate agent handles all sorts of responsibilities, including:

  • Performing real estate market analysis;
  • Helping price the property;
  • Listing it on the MLS;
  • Running advertising campaigns;
  • Answering phone calls and emails;
  • Scheduling appointments;
  • Hosting showings; and
  • Managing communications with buyers

If you sell FSBO, in addition to these tasks, you’ll be dealing with buyer-requested repairs, possibly shopping for your next house, packing and moving. Spreading yourself too thin can jeopardize your sale.

Mistake #4: Bad Listing and Advertising

Buyers today shop for houses online. In fact, more than half of last year’s shoppers found their new home through online listings.

A bad listing, improperly worded and featuring bad photos, will lose buyer interest right away. Moreover, if you do not take advantage of online and offline advertising, you miss the opportunity to reach more potential buyers, and thus miss out on a better offer.

Mistake #5: Failing to Winterize and Perform Maintenance

The worst thing a homeowner can do is neglect to care for their property. As long as you own it, and that includes while it’s listed for sale, you need to perform weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance to keep the property functioning and safe.

Winter care is especially important. Perhaps one of the most common incidents is frozen pipes bursting and flooding the house. So make sure your property, whatever the season, is ready and will pass a home inspection.

Mistake #6: Skimping on Staging

Buyers want to envision themselves living in the house. Too much clutter impedes that vision.

Staging has a dramatic impact during walkthroughs. If done right, it can showcase how spacious rooms are and give buyers an idea of what it’d be like if they lived there.

Whatever you do, do not show an empty house. If you’ve already moved, rent furniture or hire a professional stager to model the home.

Mistake #7: Failing to Clean

How would you feel if you went to an open house, and the bathrooms had soap scum, dishes were piled in the kitchen sink, and belongings were strewn about the rooms? You’d no doubt be put off, right?

Keep the house clean to make a great first impression every time.

Mistake #8: Signing a Bad Contract

You must be well-informed of the details in your real estate contract. Know your rights and responsibilities before signing, and do not be afraid to go over it with your realtor or a lawyer. If you blindly sign, you may be agreeing to a bad deal that costs you thousands of dollars.

Selling to an Investor, aka The Best Decision You’ll Ever Make

If you want to sell fast and avoid all house selling issues, consider selling it to a real estate investor. Most investors offer cash for a property “as-is,” be it damaged, neglected, or vacant. They do not deal in traditional sale warranties or inspections, but pay all closing costs and additional sale fees, actually saving you money.

Moreover, you choose the closing date, which can be in several months, 30 days or less. You’ll enjoy a quick closing and maybe use your cash proceeds to buy a new home.

turkey Tips to Sell Your House Around Thanksgiving

6 Tips to Sell Your House Around Thanksgiving

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Contrary to popular belief, selling a house between Thanksgiving and the New Year is not a bust. Buyers are serious during the winter holidays, and competition thins with fewer houses for sale. If you’re listing your property in November, here is what you can do to improve your chances of selling around Turkey Day.

Tip #1: Avoid Clutter and Keep the House Clean

When buyers visit, they want to picture themselves living in the house. Too many belongings disrupt their vision and limit the perceived size of rooms and the house overall.

Family visiting during Thanksgiving can add to the clutter. Encourage your relatives to keep spaces clean, and consider hiring professional cleaning services to tidy up before showings. You can also move your own belongings (that you can spare) into storage.

Tip #2: Price Property to Sell

The right price makes buyers merry, or in this case thankful. Your real estate agent should recommend a good price, based on your property’s current condition, age, issues, and comps in the area.

If you do not have a realtor, you can still price the property yourself by:

  • Pulling comparable listings;
  • Researching the market; and
  • Getting an inspection and deducting repairs

If you need to sell fast, lowering your price may be necessary.

Tip #3: Spruce Up House Listing

More people are searching for houses online, so make your listing attractive and word it properly. Any photos you show should be during the warmer seasons, when curb appeal is at its best. Be sure to also stage the interior for photos.

Tip #4: Do Not Go Overboard on Decorations

While it’s fine to get in the spirit of the holiday, you never want to over decorate. Decorations are distracting and can clutter spaces. Focus instead on creating a warm atmosphere that encourages buyers to envision themselves celebrating the holidays in the house.

Tip #5: Send Family Out During Showings

There’s nothing more distracting than a bunch of bodies, making noise and being disruptive. The best thing you can do is let your realtor handle showings, while you and your family go out.

Should you not have a realtor, though, you can show the house yourself. Treat your family to tickets to a museum, movie, or something else entertaining, while you host an open house.

If it’s easier, consider putting your family up in a hotel, so the house is free of bodies and messes at all times.

Tip #6: Enjoy Your Thanksgiving

Do not stress out about selling your house on Thanksgiving Day. Buyers will not be shopping then, nor is it likely that they’ll be searching on Black Friday. So enjoy your Turkey Day with your family.

The holiday is also a good time to relax and recover before you start hosting open houses again or continue with buyer negotiations.

Sell Before or by Thanksgiving

If you need to sell before or by the holiday, consider selling it to a real estate investor. Most investors pay cash for a house “as-is,” without repairs or renovations. There are also no warranties or inspections, and no commissions like a traditional sale.

Investors often cover all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money. You pick the closing date, which can be in less than 30 days or in several months. This way, you enjoy a quick closing and can celebrate Turkey Day with family, maybe even in your new home.

little girl selling a house with kids

How to Sell a House with Kids

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Selling a house is enough of a juggling act without adding kids to the bustle. We love our children, but they do not understand a house sale, or why strangers (i.e., your buyers) are walking through their home.

Believe it or not, your children could drag out a house sale. Every child’s superpower is to make a mess, get underfoot, and take up your time and energy. You’re exhausted keeping up with them, and you’ve no energy left to clean and stage for walkthroughs.

67% of all home sellers have at least one child living at home, so you’re not alone. Here are 8 steps you can take to get to closing day faster in spite of your kids.

Step 1: Deep Clean

Send the kids to a friend’s house and spend the day cleaning. Hire a professional cleaning service, if you can afford it. Otherwise, you are responsible for crayon on the walls, juice spills on carpets, handprints on windows, etc.

Clear the toys in the hallway and put all belongings in their proper place. You’ll have an easier time staging rooms if the messes are cleared away.

Step 2: Get Rid of Clutter

Kids are really good at spreading their toys throughout the house. Toys seem to accumulate everywhere, and it’s too much. The same happens with adults – we all collect and hoard.

It’s time to get rid of the clutter! With your child’s help, fill a box with toys they can part with, and fill some boxes of your own. Donate these, and then get a head start on packing.

Be mindful of eyesores, like the Barbie Playhouse or the Play Kitchen, and put these out of sight.

Step 3: Paint Over Kid-Themed Walls

Buyers want to envision their own lives in your house. Your child’s room, with its brightly painted colors or cutesy wallpaper with the animal prints, can overwhelm visitors.

Best thing you can do is paint over the walls in plain white or with a color that is not so loud. This way, buyers can picture the room to be anything they want, and they don’t need to worry about painting over the walls themselves.

Step 4: Take Photos of the Staged House

While the kids are away, and the house is clean, take photos of its staged rooms for its listing. This way, buyers know what the house looks like when it’s at its best.

Step 5: Remove Yourself and the Kids from Showings

If you have a realtor, let them manage the walkthroughs, while you take the kiddos out for the day. If you are selling FSBO, ask a friend or family member to watch the children while you entertain buyers.

Sell the House “AS-IS” to an Investor

If you want to forgo all this work and sell in less than 30 days, consider selling to a real estate investor. Most investors make a cash offer on a property, no matter what condition it’s in, be it damaged, neglected, or outdated. They do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections and will pay all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money.

Investors most times do not even need a walkthrough. You can show them the house virtually, over a webcam, or send them photos and videos of the property in its current condition.

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8 Home Seller Nightmares and How to Avoid Them

Home » House Selling 101


Every house sale has bumps in the road. Some are unavoidable, while others can be prevented or resolved by the right means and with the right resources. Here are 8 possible issues that can quickly turn selling your house into a nightmare, and what you can do to prevent them.

1. Structural Issues

Structure damage to the foundation or underlying structure of the house, mold, termites, flood, or fire damage, all deter buyers from making an offer. The bones of your house should not be compromised.

Have an inspector come through, then resolve all issues before listing the property.

2. Lender Drops the Ball

Though rare, it is not impossible for a buyer to get a bad lender. Lenders are responsible for paperwork, necessary filing, and approval of the loan. If they misplace documents or miswrite information, your house sale can drag on and cost you more money.

Since the buyer chooses their lender, there’s not much you can do. But your realtor can nudge things along and keep an open channel of communication between you, the buyer, and their lender.

3. Buyer was Pre-Qualified, but Not Pre-Approved

It happens more often than you think: a buyer gets pre-qualified for a loan, but not pre-approved. The reason is pre-approval requires a more rigorous screening process, and a bad credit score or outstanding debt is often met with rejection.

To avoid this situation, require your buyers to submit a letter of approval from the lender when they put in an offer.

4. Faulty Appraisal

The lender requires an appraisal of your property to confirm it’s worth the loan amount. If you live in a hot market, and properties in your area are selling for more than the asking price, your house may not appraise well. A bad appraisal can result in the buyer not getting their loan.

To combat this, your realtor should gather property appreciation values in the area to argue the appraised value, or negotiate adjustments to the purchase agreement.

5. Repairs are Not Made in a Timely Manner

When a home inspection finds issues, buyers ask for repairs. You hope repairs will be fast, easy, and affordable, but sometimes you get a bad crew, or they uncover additional problems. Either way, the longer repairs take, the more money you lose, and the buyer may find a more attractive deal elsewhere.

Again, the best thing you can do is get your property inspected before listing. You can then calculate costs and project a timeframe for repairs, and screen professionals to make repairs.

6. Bad Realtor

Your real estate agent can make or break a deal. A good agent should do everything in their power to find buyers, gather offers, and expedite the sale process. They should also care about getting you a great offer since they take a 3% to 6% commission fee.

Do your research. Screen realtors carefully and check online reviews. Ask friends or family if they recommend a realtor. Look for someone who is knowledgeable and experienced, but also likable and tech-savvy.

7. Property Sits on Market, But No Attention

You can do all the right things, but the longer your house sits on the market, the less attractive it becomes. Buyers think a house that sits too long must have something wrong with it.

You can offer financial incentives and/or price it below the market value to spark new interest.

8. Bad Neighbors and Other Put-Offs

You cannot help where you live or who lives next door to you. Bad neighbors run off buyers with their eyesore lawns and loud, nosy personalities.

But maybe it’s not your neighbors. Maybe your property sits near an airport or busy highway or is in a bad part of town. If it’s outdated, cluttered, or in desperate need of maintenance – these are all issues that make a house unsellable.

Some things you cannot fix. The best you can hope for is to sell to a desperate buyer or a real estate investor.

Sell Your Nightmares to an Investor, aka The Dream Sale

Real estate investors will buy properties, with cash, in any location in any condition. The house can be damaged, rundown, or a hoarding space – they will buy it “as-is.” Investors also void traditional sale warranties and inspections and pay all closing costs and additional sale fees.

You can walk away from your problem property in less than 30 days, forgo home seller nightmares, and use the cash proceeds for a down payment on your new dream home.

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Can You Sell a Haunted House?

Home » House Selling 101


A haunted house? Seriously? Yes. Selling a haunted house is not an unusual inquiry, especially during October, the spookiest time of the year.

64% of millennials and 55% of baby boomers say they’d be willing to purchase a haunted house.

There are four states that deal with paranormal activity or the supernatural in their real estate disclosure laws. We will go over these and answer two questions: (1) can you sell a haunted house, and (2) how?

States that Deal with the Paranormal in Housing

New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Minnesota discuss the paranormal in real estate.

New York says that a court can overturn a house sale if the seller was not forthcoming about the property’s ghostly reputation, after spreading rumors that it’s haunted. An example: let’s say your New York condo features on a reality ghost hunters television show. If later, you sell the place without telling the buyer it’s haunted, the court can cancel the sale.

New Jersey insists that if a buyer asks about phantoms, the seller disclose the truth.

Massachusetts and Minnesota directly mention “paranormal or supernatural activity” as a “psychologically affected” attribute of a property that does NOT need to be disclosed.

States that Deal with Death in Housing

Other states, while not acknowledging hauntings, do insist that a death on the property be disclosed.

In California, a death on the property must be disclosed within three years. In Alaska, within one year.

Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and South Carolina all state a death on the property should be disclosed only if the buyer asks.

South Dakota insists a homicide must be revealed to buyers.

Whether or not you believe a death on the property is followed by the spirit haunting the premises does not matter in these or other states not mentioned.

How Do You Sell a Haunted House?

Can you sell a haunted house? Yes. On a rare occasion, with the right audience, it can be a selling point. Most times, though, it discourages buyers who believe in the mysterious and unnatural. So what can you do?

1. First things first: confirm you live in a haunted house

Sometimes weird occurrences can be explained. Get the house inspected for maintenance issues and make repairs. If, after doing this, strange things keep happening, keep a log to establish a pattern that points to the paranormal.

2. Talk with a realtor

If your house is haunted or cursed, or where a homicide, suicide, or other criminal activity occurred, or as they call it in the real estate industry, is “psychologically impacted” or a “stigmatized property,” talk with your realtor about associated laws and selling options.

3. Unless Law Requires, Say Nothing

If you live in a state where real estate disclosure laws do not require revealing deaths and hauntings, why say anything? If after you sell, the buyer claims the house is haunted, they have to prove to a court first that the house is in fact haunted, and then that you knew about it. Impossible, right?

Sell the Property and Its Ghosts to an Investor

Real estate investors are not afraid of no ghosts. They will pay cash for a property “as-is,” be it damaged, neglected, or inhabited by spirits. The investor buys without traditional sale warranties or inspections, and covers the closing costs and additional sale fees. You can offload your haunted property in less than 30 days and use the cash proceeds for a down payment on a new house with no specters.