BY SUZY MINKEN
Realtor at Keller Williams Realty in Short Hills, NJ
For some homeowners, there comes a moment when they ask their realtor a question that they never dreamed they would be asking, “Why isn’t my home selling?” If your house is on the market for sale and you’ve been wondering why that right buyer hasn’t come along just yet, we need to first evaluate the overall market conditions.
Based on the market data, we can determine whether homes similar to your home, in the same price range, have had any accepted offers. In other words, we need to look at the market activity and see if potential buyers for your home have “passed you by” in favor of another home in the neighborhood. If we conclude that the market is strong for homes in your price range, then let’s look next at my top 3 reasons why your home may not be selling.
Is your home “market-priced”?
The listing price for a home when it goes onto the market establishes what I call an “expected value” among potential buyers. There is an immediate correlation between price point and value in the mind of the buyer. When buyers look at homes on the Internet and then in-person, they will formulate their views on whether the house is priced “too high”, “just right” or “priced to generate multiple offers”. When there are other homes on the market at a similar price, buyers naturally will compare one home to another. The home that offers the most value to the buyer is the house they will select. Each buyer, of course, will have his own list of criteria that defines “value” to them.
For many homeowners, however, the list price is often based on other factors that are not market based, such as what they initially paid for the home, the cost of their renovations, what their neighbors got for their home when they sold, etc.
To achieve results and get your home sold, the winning strategy is to choose a list price that is “market-priced”. This is a list price that is based on the current buyer activity in the your local market. And when the list price matches the buyer’s “expected value”, the buyer is likely to write an offer to purchase your home.
Do your photographs “market” your home?
With over 90% of homebuyers searching for homes on the Internet, the photographs of your home play a crucial role for buyers in deciding whether they want to schedule a showing appointment. To ensure your home shows its best on the Internet, you will want to make certain your realtor engages the services of a professional photographer. Your property needs to stand out when buyers are scrolling (often 24/7) through homes on the Internet and professional photographs make a big difference.
While you or your realtor might be tempted to photograph every room in the house, I recommend you give consideration to what I like to call the “money shot”. There needs to be one or two photos that capture the essence of why your home is special (for example, what did you love about the house when you bought it) and why buyers will want to be sure they come see your home.
The professional photographs need to go beyond simply documenting what your house looks like – – the photographs need to “market” your home. When I list a home, I work closely with the photographer. I will preview the photos while I’m at the house as well as recommend specific shots that better capture a particular room or design feature. Buyers buy with their eyes first and professional photographs are a must when selling your home.
Is your home “market-ready?”
With the increasing popularity of HGTV, today’s buyers are well-acquainted with home improvement and renovation projects that transform the home. Buyers have become quite savvy and are looking for updated kitchens and bathrooms in the quest for that “move-in ready” home. As a result, today’s sellers are being challenged to prepare their home for market prior to listing it for sale. While a homeowner can’t change the location of their home (e.g. on a busy road, near railroad tracks, etc.), they can enhance the home’s value in the eyes of the buyers.
How can homeowners do this? The answer is to engage the services of a professional home stager. Buyers today have come to expect that a house will be staged and “market-ready” when it is listed for sale. A professional home stager will help the homeowner transition to a “home seller” and see the home from the buyer’s perspective. The home stager might recommend, for example, refreshing the home with a new paint color on the walls, or simply re-positioning and/or removing some furniture to create a better room flow. One or two key staging recommendations that showcase the home’s best features can be the tipping point for motivating buyers to choose your home rather than a competing home on the market. A staged home will also translate into more appealing photographs on the Internet.
If your home is not getting offers or not getting any showing appointments, you might just find that one or more of my top 3 reasons is the source of why your home may not be selling. For additional insight regarding the home selling process, please contact me at [email protected].