Home ownership is one of the single most important parts of our lives. We work hard to purchase a home for our family where we can make memories, relax and just enjoy the ability to have a piece of the American Dream.
But what happens when life for whatever reason changes and you find yourself now selling your home? You may be relocating for a job, you might be downsizing, or you might be up-sizing, or maybe the house you’ve always wanted just came on the market for sale. Whatever the reason, a fast sale is what every seller hopes for. If your home isn’t selling and it’s been on the market for a while here are some reasons why it may not be moving.
- Your home is overpriced or overvalued.
Real estate markets shift and change and sometimes it can happen quickly. It’s imperative that you and your agent pay close attention to your local market and make the necessary adjustments to price as needed. You need to ensure that you have priced the home for the market at the time you list it. Listen to your agent, as they know the ins and outs of your current market.
2. The home is cluttered with stuff.
A cluttered home makes it hard for potential buyers to see past your stuff. They end up missing all the beautiful features of your home. One of the very first things you should do when listing your home for sale is to declutter your home. Start by packing away anything that you haven’t used in the past six months and anything you won’t use for the next six months.
If the furniture in your home makes the rooms seem small or overcrowds the rooms, we suggest that you get rid of some of the furniture. Only keep the furniture you absolutely need and arrange it so that it accentuates the floor plan and flow within the home.
3. You didn’t hire a professional cleaner.
You may not think that hiring a professional cleaner is needed but it really can make all the difference in the world when trying to sell your home. Potential buyers are looking at everything in your home. Having the carpets professionally cleaned can remove pet oil, dander, and pet smells. Additionally, the professional cleaners can tackle those items you can’t seem to find time for like cleaning the light fixtures, wiping down doors and trim, cleaning tile floors, etc. It also helps that they have the proper equipment for the job too. This is a very wise investment.
We love our furry friends but they can create some smelly situations for us. Make sure you empty litter boxes daily and if you have rabbits, birds, hamsters, gerbils, just ensure that you clean their pens frequently so that potential buyers don’t smell them. Pick up outside after your pets immediately after they go so you don’t have to go out and clean up bigger messes.
4. Open the curtains and let the sun in.
Some people prefer to live in the dark and love blinds and curtains and that’s okay, but if you are selling your home, one of the best tips is to let the sun in. Letting in natural light can make your rooms look larger and make the home more inviting overall. So lift up the blinds, open the curtains and let it shine! Just be sure your windows, screens, and frames are nice and clean.
5. The home has too much of you in it.
This is probably the single hardest thing for sellers to overcome. We know it’s your home and how dare we ask you to remove yourself from it. However, the goal is to sell the home and by doing so, it will no longer be your home. It will be someone else’s home. So when potential buyers come to see the home, they need to be able to see themselves living in it. That’s hard for them to do if they see pictures of you and your family throughout the home or anything that showcases memories. The safest bet is to take down any family photos, personal items and put them away. Make the home more universal and not so personable.
6. You let basic maintenance go to the wayside.
Home maintenance isn’t always fun, in fact it can be a real pain. But keeping up with basic maintenance on the home is essential. Some sellers put the house on the market with all sorts of maintenance issues, hoping that the new buyer will just take over the repairs. However, by doing this, you most likely will not get top dollar and many times seller concessions are needed to get a buyer to even bite on the deal. This just means less money for you in the end. So fix the leaky faucet, patch the holes in the walls, clean the rust rings out of the toilets, fix the squeaky garage door, replace the door handle that doesn’t latch, and replace the broken ceiling fan.
7. The home is outdated for today’s market.
It’s hard to sell an older home that is outdated, in fact, it can really turn a lot of buyers away. There are a few easy updates you can make that aren’t too hard on the pocket book too. A new coat of paint throughout the home does wonders, pick a nice neutral color that is popular today. If you need ideas Pinterest can provide you with many choices and examples. Change out the handles, hardware, and knobs on cabinets and doors. Replace light fixtures with something more trendy. Paint the front door an accent color. Paint interior doors and trim if needed.
8. Bad photography of the home.
Demand that your agent take high-quality photos and whenever possible hire a professional photographer. Having high-quality photos of the home helps catch potential buyers immediately considering so much home searching is done online these days. Good pictures really make all the difference and can help you stand out above the competition.
9. You are trying to sell FSBO.
Every seller wants to put more money in their pocket, but if you really want to sell your home it really is best to hire a professional realtor. The agent has a network of professionals who they can market your home to along with past and current sellers and buyers, all who might be looking for a home like yours. The agent puts your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). The MLS is a private database created, maintained and paid for by real estate professionals to help their clients buy and sell property. The public does not have access to this information. If you don’t list with an agent, your home will never get on the MLS and have the opportunity of being marketed to hundreds of agents in your area. And let’s not forget that selling real estate is a huge legal undertaking. There are all sorts of legalities to consider and the liability of doing it incorrectly can cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of headache. Hiring a realtor is just better for you.
10. You hired the wrong agent.
Unfortunately this happens. Everyone knows a realtor and they are common professionals in any market. But just like there are many doctors, finding a good one makes all the difference. Be sure that you research your realtor, check their credentials, ask for references, and check their sales history. Be sure that you hire a hardworking and experienced agent in your specific market.