Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, after you crunched the numbers, spruced up the place, and found a good agent, you finally have it on the market. Or, if you’re the agent, you networked. You found a motivated seller. You’ve listed the property.
And just when you thought you’d hear the offers come rolling in… crickets.
Yes, it’s still a sellers’ market, but both realtors and their homeowners may be feeling a sense of frustration while properties linger, unsold. According to Rocket Mortgage, as of March 2023, it takes an average of 54 days on the market to sell a home, and add to that a minimum of 30 to 45 days if financing is involved. That’s about 100 days before property and cash exchange hands.
If you are having trouble selling a particular property, this seven-point checklist of the top reasons homes don’t sell quickly, may help you find out why, and let you know what to do about it.
Reason #1: The property is priced too high
The solution—find the sweet spot. It’s the most important factor when it comes to buying and selling real estate. As a seller or selling agent, you want to make a decent profit, but by pricing the property too high you can scare away potential buyers. As every realtor knows, the comps are only as good as the people using them. It’s your job to inform and steer your client toward a price that moves similar homes in the area, one that both the seller and potential buyers find reasonable.
Reason #2: Inside, the house is poorly staged
The solution—see the place through a buyer’s eyes. One of the biggest things you can do to make your home sell faster is proper staging. Looks are everything and you want potential buyers to see themselves living in the home. Make sure the place is clutter-free and choose a single neutral color throughout. While you may love the fiery red accent wall in the living room, it may be off-putting to potential buyers. When you create a blank slate, it allows others to imagine themselves living there.
Reason #3: Outside, there’s no curb appeal
The solution—apply a little elbow grease. A dour exterior and unkempt lawn can put a buyer off before they even set foot inside your home. It doesn’t cost much to mow the lawn, do some weeding, power wash siding, and add flowering plants. A freshly painted front door in a vibrant color can go a long way toward enhancing how your home looks from the street. Curb appeal goes a long way in inviting potential buyers inside for a look.
Reason #4: Being a helicopter host at home showings
The solution—stay put and let the house sell itself. You may think hovering around visitors as they look through rooms, looking for opportunities to talk about the unique architectural is a good idea, but it more likely makes visitors feel uncomfortable. Finding something to do with yourself during multiple showings can be a challenge, but the first and best rule of home showings is to not be intrusive. The best thing you can do in these situations is be available for questions by situating yourself in one spot and letting the lookers roam about freely.
Reason #5: Limiting access to the property
The solution—stop making it so difficult to purchase. Someone is going to offer good money for a new home, but if they can only view it during limited times, you are stalling the buying process, and all but guaranteeing the home won’t sell. Everyone would love it if all their home showings took place between 8 am and 5 pm when the owners are at work, but it doesn’t work that way. Find a way to make the home available for viewing when potential buyers want to see it.
Reason #6: The home is in disrepair
The solution—spend a little to make a lot. While there are those home buyers who are actively looking for fixer-upper opportunities, most people are searching for move-in ready houses. In fact, one of the amenities most often asked for now is turnkey or move-in ready. People want to arrive, unpack, decorate and get on with their lives. All appliances, electrics and plumbing should be in good working order. Replacing a leaky bathroom faucet and fixing a constantly running toilet allows potential buyers to focus on the great qualities of the home rather than sizing up unwelcome work and household hassles.
Reason #7: Pets are scaring away buyers
The solution—don’t let creatures make people uncomfortable. Homeowners may love their dogs, cats, and other critters, but when it comes to pets in the kitchen, living room, or breezeway, potential buyers would rather not know they exist. Especially the stains and smells they leave behind. While removing pets from the home during showings can be difficult, this is one of the most common home improvement tips recommended by 85% of real estate agents. Aditionally, the carpet should be given a good shampoo and furniture should be cleaned to remove any lingering smells.
Choosing the right lawyer for a real estate transaction is especially critical during the closing process. For solid property advice and your peace of mind, contact Florida Bar Board-Certified Attorneys David E. Klein, Esq. and Guy Rabideau at Rabideauklein.com. They have the expertise and experience you can depend on to ensure your interests are protected when buying or selling property in the Palm Beaches and throughout Florida. Contact Rabideau Klein today to discuss the legal implications of your next move.