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Your House is Old, Outdated, or Damaged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Outdated or unusual features also take longer to sell.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.