I saw an article from Trulia, written by Laura Agadoni and thought of a house I had staged 6 months ago that recently sold. At first I wondered why it took longer than expected to sell in a hot sellers’ market. It was in a desirable neighborhood and was a newer model with many amenities–even being on a golf course. But then I realized the house had been previously listed showing the owner’s furniture and accessories in the online photos. When the owners needed to move out, the house became vacant. Anyone who might have been interested had already dismissed it—becoming a stale listing.
Factors to Consider
Perhaps the house is priced too high. There’s high demand, yet low supply. Therefore, you can usually expect to get more money for your home. But that doesn’t mean the sky’s the limit when it comes to your listing price. “In a seller’s market, a seller may feel comfortable pushing the asking price a bit higher, and this can be a huge mistake,” says Chase Michels of Brush Hill Realtors in Downers Grove, IL. “Determining the best asking price for a home is one of the most important aspects of selling a home. If your home is listed at a price that is above market value, you will miss out on prospective buyers.”
Perhaps the agent isn’t a good fit. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with your house at all: It’s priced right and is well-maintained. But your agent could be turning people off. “The agent is your front-line representative,” says David Kean, a Beverly Hills, CA, agent with Douglas Elliman. He notes, however: “Some agents have little to no personality, some are burnt-out, some don’t care, and others have no social skills.”
Perhaps the timing isn’t right. Being in a seller’s market might mean that your home will get snapped up for premium price, no matter its condition. But that isn’t a strategy to count on. “Sometimes homeowners and agents get overconfident in a seller’s market and get lazy about ‘Home Selling 101,’” says Sep Niakan, broker and owner of HB Roswell Realty in Miami, FL.
Sometimes, the reasons why a house doesn’t sell right away has nothing to do with the house itself, but with the neighborhood or its surroundings.
A few comments from buyers or sellers:
“Online photos were misleading because they used a wide-angled lens. Made small rooms look a lot larger online, but were disappointing in person.”
“Some agents do not represent their sellers very well. Their agent told the sellers they could get full price for their home even though the inspection report noted about $50K of work to be done.”
“Buyers think the home should look like the ones on HGTV. It’s not realistic.”
“By the time I have to spend all that money to update my house, I might as well not sell it.”
“Because of the updates we did, we were able to list it for a lot more than what the updates cost.”
“You want your home to appeal to the majority, so hire a stager.”
Whatever the reasons a house takes longer to sell, the important thing is knowing you did all you could to make your house appeal to the majority. Most of the time that means cleaning, decluttering, making repairs, updating some items, and hiring a home stager if your house is vacant. From the “before” photo here to the staged photo above, it is clear which photo might entice a prospective buyer to schedule a showing.
Contact Premiere Home Stagers for a consultation. 608-345-9396