When your home is on the market for months with no reasonable offers on the horizon, discouragement begins to creep in. Trying to keep a home show-ready for any extended length of time takes a lot of work, especially if you have small children and/or a busy lifestyle. In the Lake Conroe and greater Houston area, homes are selling at a rather rapid pace but no matter where you live if your home isn’t selling you are left scratching your head while your neighbor’s For Sale sign did a quick disappearing act after only being in the yard for a week. If this rings true or if you are considering selling your home, then take a minute to ask yourself these questions.
1. Is your home priced right?
Most people selling their home would strongly state that their home is priced right. Pricing is one of the number one reasons a home does not sell. In today’s market, the first place potential buyers look is on the internet. On any MLS site the buyer types in a price range as well as other specifications. If the home is not within the price range entered then it does not show up in the search. Your home may be above the price range by several thousand dollars which knocks you out of the competition. Pricing your home competitively is key. Homes properly priced will sell within 3% of the seller’s asking price. If a property has not received an offer within 60 days, it is overpriced by at least 5% to 10% and possibly more. Hiring a realtor will help you get a complete picture of the market, what is selling, what is not selling, and where your home fits in to this equation.
2. Does your home need updating?
Unfortunately we live in a fast paced, “I want it now” world. Most people don’t want to take the time to make a lot of updates to a home. One of the first and cheapest things to do to update your home is to put fresh neutral paint on the walls and replace old carpet. If your home has dark paneling, paint it a light neutral color. The kitchen is one of the top rooms that sells your home. You may consider updating appliances and counter tops and painting over older cabinets. You are competing with newly built homes so make yours look fresh, bright, and updated.
3. Does your home need major repairs?
Unless you are selling your home at an extremely low as-is price that someone could come along and fix up to make a large profit, your home isn’t going to sell if it needs major repairs. Again, people don’t want to take the time or spend the money to make major repairs. Your home will sell for more if you take the time to take care of these repairs before placing it on the market. Most buyers are looking for a move-in ready home. Even if your home is a larger home on a huge lot, if it needs major repairs then buyers will be drawn to a smaller home that doesn’t require any repairs.
4. Is your home represented well online?
Every realtor will list your home on a multiple listing site but every realtor does not put the time and effort into making your home stand out. Do the photos of your home attract buyers? If the pictures are dark, fuzzy, and have little or no description then your home will often get overlooked by potential buyers. When listing your home online a realtor only has so many characters allowed in the main description of the home however, each picture provides another opportunity to highlight the features of your home. A good realtor will use quality pictures as well as key words and descriptors so that your home that will show up in online searches and pique the buyers’ interest.
5. Is the timing right?
Maybe now is not the time to sell your home for the price you want. If you are not in a hurry to sell then placing your home on the market at a very high price to only sit on the market for months and months will hurt you in the long run. Buyers begin to wonder why your home isn’t selling after being on the market for a long time and often offer low-ball prices or just show little to no interest.
Anthony Coleman, Realtor, Top Guns Real Estate