biffspandex/iStockA house that's seenminimal movement on the market for months is frustrating.In fact, frustrating mightbe an understatement. For some, ahome that won't sellcan be a desperatesituation-especially ifselling it was a last-ditch effort to avoidforeclosure. That's why, if you have yet to find a buyer, it's important to take a step back and assess exactlywhyyour house isn't selling. So let's dive in anddiscuss some of the mainfactors that hinder house sales and how you can maneuver your way around them so you can offload your home-hopefully sooner than later.
Ask your real estate agent these questions
If your house has been on the market for months with no offers, the first factor you want to consider is the market. Does the current market favor buyers or sellers? Talk to yourreal estate agentabout the median days on the market in your area for comparable homes. Perhaps things just aren't moving quickly in the current market. Sometimes, real estate is hot, and other times it's not.
You can also discuss any showings by your agent or other agents and the feedback given by other agents and potential buyers. Their feedback could help you rethink how you and your agent are marketing the house.
Some other questions to ask your agent include:
[*]Is your home listed on your local multiple listing service?
[*]Has every inquiry turned into a showing appointment? If not, why?
[*]How does your listing look compared withthe homes priced similarly?
[*]Since the day you listed, what properties have accepted offers, how many days did it take, and what price were they asking?
While you mightthink your house is a steal of a deal, make sure you're able to objectively look at the situation, saysBeverley Hourlier, a Realtor with Hilltop Chateau in San Diego.
The buyer has to perceive the value to be there. If not, no offers. How do you stand upto thecomparablesin the neighborhood? Be honest in your assessment, because vanity or pride could be costing you money, she says
Is the price right?
Beyond the temperature of the market and your marketing efforts, the most likely factor when it comes to a lack of offers on a home is price.
Properties sell when they are priced correctly, saysTracey Martin, a Realtor with Realty World Premier Associates in Salinas, CA. The value of your home is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. If it is too high, you won't get any offers.
Marketing makes a big difference, too, saysRobin Lemmons, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker King in Gahanna, OH.
If you have had a lot of showings with no offers, it is a pricing issue. If you are having very little activity, it can be a pricing or marketing issue. Is your house being marketed on all the major websites? How is the quality and quantity of the photos? she says.
How low can you go?
If you determine your home was overpriced out of the gate, then lowering it mighthelp. However, you need to be strategic in terms of just how much you drop the price. You can slashyour price by $50,000, but if it's still above your competition or there are major repairs or updates that need to be done, your chances of selling remain low.
Of course, you neverwant to lower the price below the amount owed on your loan. Instead of doing that, you should either stay in the property until the value goes up, consider a short sale, or pay the difference between what you owe and what you can get for your home.
If your agent isn't responsive or doesn'thave a good explanation for why your property isn't selling, then you mightwant to consider a new agent, saysTeresa Stephenson, vice president of residential brokerage for Platinum Properties in New York. Just don't expect a new agent to have the magic solution.
If you speak with another agent, keep in mind that they are motivated to tell you what you want to hear, Stephenson says. If they are telling you that they can get you the price you want, ask them for data to justify their claims. With the transparency and accessibility provided by the internet today, it is a rare circumstance when a real estate agent has exclusive access to any buyers. Buyers know what is out there, she says.
While it mightnot always happen as quickly as you like, your home will eventually sell. You just need a strong strategy, a healthy dose of patience, and, let's face it, a bit of good luck.
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