Residential Broker Associate
Oh, things are not as dismal as the news reports. People are definitely still buying homes and homes are definitely still selling, yet the process has significantly slowed. A common question I get from seller’s that choose to re-list with me after not having their homes sell with their previous Realtor is “why?” So in an effort to help them understand, I have compiled a “top 5 list of reasons you’re your home is not selling.” It simply revolves around the fundamentals of supply and demand as well as presentation and marketing. Getting a house ready for the open market is much like getting ones self ready to date after a hiatus from singledom. You’ve been there and you know what I’m talking about. When you aren’t on the market, either as a home or person, 9 times out of 10 yet get a bit relaxed about the details because you are not in competition mode. And competition it is especially in this market of hideous abundance (I’m talking homes here). So in an effort to take the mystery out of why some homes sell and why some don’t, I have come up with my top 5 reasons as to “why”.
1. Presentation- Your home should be impeccably clean, de-cluttered, and easily accessible. Much like going out on a 1st date, the 1st encounter people have with your home can make or break their desire to see it again. Spending money on a deep clean and taking the time to de-clutter helps to showcase the natural beauty and highlights of your home. People get very distracted and disturbed by excess . . . much like someone wearing too much make-up or too many accessories, an excess of chotchskys and/or mess are a real turn off. If you have pets, ensure that there are zero pet odors. . . Just like someone that shows up for a first date with body odor, a home that smells bad will most likely not get a second visit. Make sure that your home is easy for Realtor’s to show. Too many showing stipulations send a “high-maintenance” message to potential buyers. In this market of over abundance, a Buyer’s Agent doesn’t have the time or the inclination to jump through a myriad of hoops in order to show your home. Too many or intricate showing instructions sends a negative “high-maintenance” message. Guys can you imagine how you would feel if you called a gal up to ask her on a first date and her reply was that she needed ” 24 hour notice, you were only allowed a 1 hour window, and only Tuesdays-Saturday, 10am-4pm will work.” That type of response would be annoying to most, not to mention that it sends a message that you are a pain in the ass to deal with.
2. Marketing- How your home is being positioned on the market place can make all the difference in the world. Not every home can obtain show-home condition. Some need a lot of TLC and should be marketed as such. By merely positioning your home as an “investment opportunity”, a “fix-up”, or a “potential scrape”, your Realtor can get the right people in the door that will be willing to overlook a less than perfect environment.
3. Realtor Follow up- Believe it or not, how your realtor deals with potential buyers and buyer’s agents can make or break a deal or discourage a potential offer. In a market of plenty, good Realtors steer clear of bad ones because they can do so without it usually affecting their client’s number of choices. Nothing makes a difficult market more arduous than an unpleasant, unknowledgeable, and/or rude listing agent. A good listing agent should be calling every agent after every showing and keeping on top of the feedback. The Buyer’s agent’s feedback is one of the greatest resources out there for they are usually the ones most current with the competition and seeing your home the most objectively. Be sure that your listing agent is following up with agents after each showing and sharing the information they obtain . . . both good and bad, so that you are able to make educated market adjustments.
4. Location-Is your home located on busy street, across from construction, in a sea of suburban sprawl, next door to a disreputable “home business.” These factors can all negatively impact the desirability of your home. Either have your agent adjust your home’s price accordingly or wait out the bad situation that could cost you thousands.
5. Price- Last but certainly not least is Price. In today’s market having your property the least bit over priced is detrimental. With the number of homes on the Denver market at an all time high, having your home the least bit over priced is detrimental. After seeing 15 to 30 homes in the same price range, Buyers have as good of gage as anyone as to what is and isn’t over priced. My rules of thumb in the DENVER market (not suburban): If you are getting a decent amount of showings yet not one offer in 3 months for a residential property, 6 months for an income property, and 6 months for a condo, your property is over-priced. If you are not even getting showings then your property could be suffering from significant over-pricing and/or poor marketing as well.
Moving a house on today’s market comes down to the simple laws of supply and demand. If you your home isn’t selling than it isn’t fairing well against the competition. By examining your property’s public presentation, marketing materials, Realtor, location, and price, one can usually figure out the “why” of the situation.