If you List it, it Will Sell! Or Not?
The sign is in the yard. Your home is live, online. Now, everyone and their cousin say we should just stand back while the buyers come beating down your door with a contract in hand. And watch them offer “above asking price” and waive the inspection. Let them help your neighborhood break a record for the highest price-per-square-foot sold.
And yet, crickets! So what do you do when the fast sale doesn’t happen?
It’s true that mortgage rates and market listing numbers are low, and demand is through the roof. But just because the real estate market is hot doesn’t mean you’ll sell the next day. (And just because you don’t sell right away doesn’t mean you won’t ever.)
If you feel stuck in listing limbo, don’t despair. We’re sharing some common issues with manageable solutions to help you take advantage of the current buying frenzy. And hopefully, earn that coveted “SOLD” sign!
THE PROBLEM: You’re too optimistic
THE FIX: Is your home overpriced? Start with a check of the average price-per-square-foot in your area. Are you in the middle of the pack? Your agent should be able to check comparisons on recently sold houses and evaluate the market. You’ll want to share how much work you’ve done on the home (and how much you still have yet to do!) and adjust accordingly.
THE PROBLEM: Your book’s being judged by its cover
THE FIX: Stand in the street in front of your house. How’s your curb appeal? Is your lawn tidy, and are the edges trimmed? Does the landscaping look fresh and green? Do the siding and sidewalks look clean? A fancy bathroom renovation isn’t going to count for much if your buyers can’t get past the moldy siding and cracked front porch bricks. Outdoor upgrades are one of the easiest ways to boost your home’s value: well-landscaped homes are worth up to 10% more than homes with no landscaping.
THE PROBLEM: You’re a unicorn
THE FIX: If your house is unique (or maybe even a tad odd), you may expect that it could take longer to find the perfect fit with the right buyer. If your house is the most expensive in the neighborhood or the largest among relatively small homes, this can also add to the length of list-to-sale time. Someone might love the quirky features, so don’t be tempted to reduce your price too soon. Or they could love the area enough to overlook that your home is different from others nearby. However, a price adjustment could be in order, bringing you more in line with the other houses on your street.
THE PROBLEM: You need some TLC
THE FIX: The fix is THE FIX. You need to fix what’s broken, update what’s dated, and make sure you can come through your inspection with flying colors. Every house has “its thing,” but a home in evident disrepair will scare off buyers more than a next-door neighbor with a pit bull. And if things are obviously broken, it’s an easy guess that there could be a ton of hidden problems, too. And while you’re at it, make sure to clean and nicely stage the whole house. Pack away excess photographs and your silver spoon collection. You want a buyer to say, “Wow, I could see myself here!” right as they walk in the door.
THE PROBLEM: You need to up your online game
THE FIX: It’s an era of open concept plans, Pantone paint, and HGTV-worthy listings. Shadowy or blurry pictures won’t inspire buyers. You want the most high-definition, brightly lit, gleaming photographs you can afford so you can spotlight the very best of your house. Check your photos for blur factors, and make sure you’re not accidentally displaying grimy windows or your neighbor’s overgrown backyard. Write a description that points out the unique features and not just what you can see clearly in the photos. Set yourself up for faster success: create a crackerjack listing that’s much more likely to motivate buyers to want to look at it right away.
THE PROBLEM: You stink
THE FIX: As the saying goes, “if they can smell it, you can’t sell it.” This one’s hard to hear, and if you’ve been living there a long time, hard to detect, too. Ask your realtor or a friend if they smell anything when they walk into your home. Then try a few remediation remedies. It might be as simple as burning a few candles or turning the air conditioner too low for a day to dry it out. But if you have carpet and a lot of cloth furniture, you might need a deeper clean. Finally, be sure to get to the heart of any moisture issues that might create an aroma that makes potential buyers turn up their noses.
The longer a listing sits, the more likely its sale price will go below the list price. Studies show that after 120 days, the sale price dropped to an even smaller percentage of the asking price. Buyers likely see a long-term listing as a potential poor-quality home. While that isn’t always true, don’t you want to do all you can to try to avoid the long-listing pitfalls?
As always, ask your realtor (or research a new one!) for more information and help.
When you do finally land that sale, keep Clean Title, LLC, in mind. We’re researching the past to protect your future!
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