How to Sell the House Nobody Likes!

Bobby Fenner, Lic. in VA
Bobby Fenner, Lic. in VA
Published on August 29, 2016

Why Hasn’t My Home Sold?

As home seller, you listed your home for sale a couple of months ago.  At the time, you reviewed the closest comps with your realtor.  The same model as yours had just sold down the Street for X.  That property had a swimming pool which is smaller than yours plus you have more upgrades. In addition to these amenities you have a more desirable lot location. In summary your home had several advantages over X. So you priced it at the  a price higher than what the X property sold for.

Now you’ve had your home listed or on the market for two or three months. You’ve had a few showings and yet, no offers. What should you do now?  You should explore the following issues to improve your home’s marketability.

Issues Affecting Your Home’s Listing

The first step is to look at how your home is presented online.  Does your home have it’s own website on the internet? Did your agent boast your listing in FaceBook? How do the room by room photos look?  Did your agent have Virtual Tour recorded?

Sometimes even great photos can be too small to see well.  We’ve even seen them turned upside down on some occasions.  If you see dark, hard to see photos in the MLS that could be part of your problem.  Our photos are professionally taken. It’s part of our service. If the agent used good photos and many of them, then we should consider other issues.

Why Don’t They Like Your Home?

What kind of feedback has your agent received from people who saw your home?  Are agents saying, the home is dated?  This is a common complaint we hear from buyers.  Shiny, brass fixtures of the 80s or white tile countertops will turn off many buyers.  They’ll see dollar signs for all the things they have to replace.

How are the colors?  The deep red you chose for the dining room may add glamour but most buyers will not approve.  And the children’s bedrooms in turquoise or violet will turn many buyers off.  It is true that they can be re-painted, but many or most buyers don’t want to do it themselves. The best colors tend to be the neutrals.

If your home needs a little TLC, it could be worthwhile to spend the money on it before you put it on the market.  It is said that a gallon of paint costs $35 but will get the homeowner $3500 more for their home. Some say that the flooring and countertops may be best left to new buyers because they will want to pick their own finishes. I disagree. When we present your home we want the potential buyer to say Wow!

If you can’t invest in creating that Wow Effect then, the price should reflect its true condition.  Remember, even a dated home with garish paint colors will sell if it is Priced Right.

Are You Putting Your Best Foot Forward?

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Serious home sellers don’t clean everything up for the pictures and video then let it fall apart soon afterward. Don’t let buyers come to find a messy kitchen with dirty dishes all over the counter and sinks.  Clutter is a definite DON’T.

Before listing your home, everything that isn’t essential for everyday use should be packed away. Do a real cleaning and make sure everything is tidy.  Then be sure to maintain it.  While it is true that you still live in your home, you still have to keep it presentable for that One Buyer. Buyers are emotional. First impressions are really important.

Do You Make It Easy for Buyers to View Your Home?

It is understood that that the Homeowners have a life and must have time for a quiet dinner without agents and home buyers traipsing thru.  At the same time, buyers have schedules too. They may be moving to Coastal Virginia in Hampton Roads from out of State and only have a few days to identify and negotiate a home purchase.  Or long hours on the job could mean they only have evenings or weekends to see your home.

Serious sellers do their best to allow qualified buyers see their home. Some home sellers tend to think that “serious buyers” will come back at their convenience.  This is not true.  Serious buyers have schedules also.  They need to see all their options so they can pick the best or their favorites.  If they have unreasonable wait times they may move on.  Unless your home is spectacular at a great price, limiting showings can be a mistake.

Is Now The Time To Reduce Your Price?

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After considering a few things such as, Your Home is Price Much Higher than Your Neighbors, You’ve Had Very Few or no Showings or You Haven’t Received an Offer to point out only 3 of several others, it’s a good idea to take another look at your price.  You know that a similar home sold for X before you listed your home. You listed your home a little higher because your home had a few more upgrades. That’s the way the market tells you the home is over-priced. Yes, you may have upgrades, but buyers aren’t valuing the upgrades.  To the buyers, these upgrades do not make the home worth more than the one that sold for X.  At the very least you should reduce your price to X, if you can.

If the Price has to be Reduced, do it sooner than later. Today’s buyers and sellers are both  well informed.  Buyers know how long your home has been on the market.  If it’s been 90 days, they know the home is over-priced or there’s something wrong with it.  The price reduction signals that you’re motivated. 

Bobby Fenner  is a Full Time Realtor with over 30 years experience in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Real Estate Markets. He and his team of Real Estate Pros offer the highest level of service.  If you’re buying or selling a Coastal Virginia home, call (757) 439-5779 or email [email protected]. We’ll be happy to assist you in your move.

How to Sell the House Nobody Likes!
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