You spend your free time cleaning and de-cluttering, making sure beds are made and toilet lids are shut, only to find yourself months down the road with little or no showings, and definitely no offer in sight. I am going to explain why that happened to you, or at least the major reasons it happens. Every situation is unique.
This is going to be a long post, so go grab a coffee or tea and kick back in your comfy chair. Here we go.
- Your agent sucked! I’m just gonna go ahead and get that one out of the way. You may be mad at your agent right now and hate their guts. That’s ok, there are some agents I don’t like either. 🙂 Seriously tho, you may feel like your agent let you down, promised the world, then signed you up, threw a sign in the yard, a lockbox on the door, never to be heard from again. The no communication part is a killer! Maybe the absolute worst thing an agent can do. Or not do actually. They may have done everything right. Ran the facebook ads, sent just listed postcards, blogged about your home and the list goes on, but they never told you! Some agents are afraid to tell you that nothing has happened. Which at times, nothing does happen and that’s a part of selling. I personally know an agent who communicates with their sellers at least once a week, every week until the house goes under contract and closes. Hint hint (Pam Graham 904-910-3516) 🙂
- Your showing restrictions are ridiculous! What does that mean you ask? I’ll tell you. The other day I was making multiple showing appointments and ran across a couple with way too many restrictions. Seller needs 24 hour notice for all showings. I saw one that needed 2 days notice! What!?! In this market, we need to make the appointments the day before to make sure they haven’t went under contract. If you’re trying to sell your house, do you really need 24 hours notice? Why? Here’s another that hurts…you make your appointments and everything is a go, but you get a call from the listing agent saying the seller has rejected your appointment and this is the norm. Sometimes, things happen and you just can’t have your home shown. That’s ok, but if this is occurring frequently, then you are possibly keeping your home from selling and losing out on that perfect buyer.
- Location. We have all heard that 3 word saying….location, location, location. Sometimes, you buy a house that is as desirable as you thought it would be or maybe it was something you could overlook, but you’re like the only one. I’ll give you examples. Your house is on a busy road or maybe the back side is and that you could come home one day to find the car of your dreams sitting in your backyard, but that’s not how you wanted to acquire the car of your dreams. Maybe you’re in an area that floods and your house has flooded in the past. If that’s you, don’t lose hope, I’ve sold a few homes that have flooded and we disclosed it to the buyer. Yes it hurts the price, but it can be sold. I had a buyer that didn’t want to be close to schools, because they didn’t want to have to drive through the school zone. That’s not usually the norm, but it can happen.
- No pictures or your pictures suck! Ok, sometimes in rare cases, usually when a tenant is in the home, taking pics will make the house look worse. They have no motivation to keep the house clean. Or they just have ugly stuff. There should never be no pictures at all though. Even if there’s only 5 or 10, that’s better than none. This part kinda goes back to the agent sucks, but I’ve seen some horrible pictures in the MLS. Too dark, blurry, taken from their car. How do I know they took it from their car? I can see their side mirror in the picture! What! If that’s the photos your agent is using to represent you, then yes, they do suck. I almost forgot those darn distorted pics that make the rooms or yard look much bigger than they really are. Buyers hate coming to a house excited, because the yard looked like a football field, but then they pull up and it looks this tiny 5000 square foot yard. Again, I know an agent who uses a professional photographer to take most of the pics for her listings. (Pam Graham 904-910-3516)
- Condition of your home. You’re asking top dollar, yet your house looks like it had a tornado blow through and left pink shag carpet, dishes piled up in both sinks, hot pink walls (yes, I may have something against the color pink), especially on the walls!!! Or on a Mustang, why would anyone want to paint a Mustang pink? Oops, I got distracted. Back on task….I won’t leave out green toilets, holes in the walls, a pool that is so green you can’t see the bottom. Now, it seems I’m picking on green. I like green actually, I really do. Just not on toilets or in a pool. I know having your house in show condition every single day of the week gets old. If you’re reading this because you had your house on the market and it didn’t sell, then I’m assuming you have went months keeping it ready for showings. I am going to let you in on a little secret. Before you have your pictures taken, you make your house look like a model. I mean so clean that the 5 second rule can be pushed out to like 30 seconds. Take the pics, then relax some. Before that tho, have a yard sale, declutter, box stuff up, get your repairs done and whatever your agent, meaning me, tells you to do. 🙂 After that, have a system or checklist for everyone to do before they leave for the day. Maybe that’s to make their bed, put their clothes in the hamper, put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher or whatever is necessary. You want the bathrooms and the kitchen to be awesome as much as possible. Maybe, look into hiring someone to clean once a week to give you a break or every other week. Whatever works for you.
- Tenant occupied. This can be very frustrating for everyone involved. Tenants are not evil people, some are the bomb diggity, reward them if they are, but this needing 24 hour notice or can only be shown after 5 on the weekdays and from noon to 2 on the weekends is for the birds. I have seen in some leases that the tenant agrees to allow the house to be shown in reasonable times. The examples I gave are not reasonable. Put specific showing instructions in the lease that both parties agree to. Saying reasonable is way to open ended. Another thing that can help is to give them a break on the rent. Like if they cooperate the whole time, you will knock $100 off their rent each month. I know that may hurt the pocketbook a little, but it could be very brief if they allow these showing to occur, which procures a buyer.
- The Market. The market sucks. Currently, as of September 2015, the market is good, so really, if your house didn’t sell, there is something else wrong. If we were experiencing the market that crashed back in 2007 and beyond, then lots of houses sat, until the prices adjusted to what buyer’s were willing to pay.
- The real estate company doesn’t answer their phones. Very frustrating when trying to make multiple showing appointments and you come across one or two that you have to leave a voicemail. So you do, but you never hear from them. How will your house get shown if they don’t answer? A company that uses Showing Desk, can get their calls answered 7 days a week, so you want to make sure the agent you choose works with a company that answers their phones everyday. I know the perfect agent for that. 🙂
- Sex offender next door or close by. Not much to say on this one. It is what it is and you can’t really change it legally.
- Your house looks like a tornado resides inside. Clutter, dishes piled up, clothes on the bed, or things just everywhere! What a turn off to the buyer. A buyer will think there is hidden issues with the house, if you haven’t taken the time to clean and make your house look presentable. I know that may sound dumb, but think about it. If you haven’t taken the time to clean up and de-clutter, what else haven’t you taken the time to do? Change the AC filter? Check the roof for missing or popped shingles and the list goes on.
- Last, but not least….Price! Your price was not in line with what the buyers were willing to pay in your neighborhood. This one hurts the most, as to a home owner, this one seems to hit the bottom line the hardest, but really, all the reasons above hit it just as hard. Some properties are unique with challenges finding the perfect comps and perfect buyer for that matter too. Price will also fix every issue mentioned above, even the ones you have no control over. When pricing your home, you have to put your objectivity hat on and look at this through the eyes of a buyer. Also, don’t say you don’t want to give the house away. Giving it away means signing it over to someone for free. That’s not what happens at all. What happens is you sell the house for what the market will bear and if it’s not at a price that you can live with, then the timing just isn’t right for you. That’s ok, maybe you need to wait, pay down your mortgage some more or decide that you will sell now at the price buyers are willing to pay.
That was a long list and I hope I didn’t lose you along the way. Or, you didn’t get too much drool on your keyboard, because you fell asleep. 🙂 If you’re thinking of selling…again or you just found this post and want to try to sell for the first time, but would like to know what your home is worth, then just click that previous link. I’ll send you the activity report from your neighborhood and give you a price range your house could sell for i today’s market.