Inventory is by far the greatest challenge for buyers in today’s housing market. There are simply more buyers actively looking for homes to purchase than there are sellers selling them, so the scale is tipped in favor of the sellers. If you’re looking to sell, you have the advantage right now. Here are 8 pitfalls you’ll want to avoid to make the selling process a positive one!
1. Price is too high
When you or your real estate agent set the asking price for your house you probably looked at similar home listings. Remember, the real estate market can change fast, so your asking price may have started out fair but due to changes in the market you’re now overpriced.
Even if price drops begin, this signals to the home buyers they can continue to wait. They assume more price drops will be coming (even when the seller has not realized it yet). As more time passes, even with price cuts, the home now develops a problem. Buyings start asking, “What’s wrong with it? “Why isn’t it selling faster?”
Over time, multiple price drops signal that price cuts are acceptable to the seller, so buyers will expect another big price cut before they buy. The buyer believes they are now able to offer a significantly lower price. Unfortunately, the seller gradually trained the buyers to think this way.
2. Price is too low
Just as you can accidentally be priced too high, you can also end up being priced too low. This can backfire, because buyers will think there is something wrong with your house if it is priced below market.
If there are problems with the home, smart pricing can overcome those issues. No matter how bad the issues are with a home, pricing can still make the home appealing to someone.
Today’s buyers are smart! They research online, they watch home prices, and they know an overpriced home quickly. You will not fool buyers into even investigating a significantly overpriced home. Their time is valuable and house hunting starts at home on the Internet or in the local paper.
3. The home lacks proper market exposure
One reason for a home not selling is it has not been marketed correctly. The homeowner and their agent are essentially trying to sell a hidden secret! If the potential buyers of this property don’t know it exists, the price and everything about the property is meaningless. You can’t sell something that no one knows about it.
The home must be marketed to the right prospective buyers. A “For Sale” sign with all the right information can look great in front of your yard but how do you reach the buyer who is somewhere other than around the corner? Make sure your home is marketing correctly! Lack of targeted marketing is one of several reasons why homes are slower to sell.
4. Your advertising photos don’t showcase the home well
You only have a few seconds to make a first impression — and the same goes for your house. Many buyers start their search online and make a decision about whether to come see your house based on a quick glimpse of your listing photos. If there is a lack of photos or no photos at all, buyers assume the worst! If the photos look bad because they weren’t taken by a professional, or house looks cluttered in the photos, most buyers will move on to the next listing.
Did a professional photographer take your listing photos? As we mentioned, nearly all buyers go online during their home search. If your photos look like they were snapped on a flip phone, that is a huge red flag to potential buyers. Make sure your photos show your home in the best possible light (literally). Dark photos or those that don’t clearly show the room are useless. Luckily, if you’re using Delphi Real Estate agents, our team will take care of the photography.
5. House looks cluttered or smells bad
Too much furniture, pictures on the walls, or knick-knacks everywhere can make it too hard for buyers to imagine that they live in your house instead of you. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal décor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.
“If I can smell it, I can’t sell it” says Joshua Spotts, a Memphis, TN, agent. If you’re immune to the smell of your home, get a friend’s honest opinion. There is nothing better than walking into a house that smells refreshing and is sparkling clean. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.
6. Your yard sign has too much information
You’ve probably see houses with ‘for sale’ signs that have a cluster of information hanging underneath the big sign with phrases like ‘new on market’, ‘reduced price’, and ‘RV parking’. Having too much information on the sign can backfire because it looks like you’re trying too hard to sell your house.
7. The kitchen is outdated
Lots of buyers will accept a home with original kitchens and baths – if the price is discounted to reflect the work they will have to do. But they won’t pay top dollar for a house that is not in top condition. According to a survey from consumers as to what they consider is the most important room in the house, the kitchen can make or break a deal. Look into refinishing any existing cabinets, upgrade door handles and update old lighting fixtures. Stainless steel is the way to go. Old, yellow or white refrigerators are out. Potential buyers realize they can easily replace a refrigerator, but if your appliances look as if they’ve been around since the early 70’s, buyers might wonder what else will need replacing in the home.
8. Not Using a Good Real Estate Agent
Choosing the right Real Estate agent might be the most important decision you make in selling your home. A good realtor makes all the difference in selling your home successfully and for the highest profit. If you’re not using a real estate agent to help sell your home, that may be your problem. Selling an item worth hundreds of thousands of dollars needs the help of someone who is a professional in the field. Plus, having an agent allows you to list your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
If you already have an agent and your home still isn’t selling, that is a warning sign that you have a bad agent. Let us help you out with that! Give us a call at Delphi Real Estate Group and we will be happy to get your home sold for you or answer any questions you have!
For comments or inquires contact:
Alex Khodadad, Broker, CPA
1930 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
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