For sale sign in the yard: Check.
Open house scheduled for this Sunday: Check.
Freshly vacuumed carpets: Check.
So why, despite all the hard work, is your house still on the market week after week? Maybe it’s your collection of ceramic frogs scattered throughout the house or your unique choice of paint color for your bathroom that’s turning would-be buyers off. Personal feelings aside, if the process is moving at a sloth’s pace in a gazelle housing market, it’s time to get to work and get your house sold.
Your home isn’t priced to sell
Buyers often have a hard time pricing their house without letting their feelings get involved. Don’t do that, experts say; it’s best to work with a Realtor who can accurately pinpoint a competitive price for your home based on the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).
If your home is over-priced for the surrounding neighborhood consider reducing the price. But bumping the price down a paltry $500 or $1000 won’t even cause potential buyers to bat an eye, and experts recommend reducing an over-priced house by a minimum of two to five percent.
Curb appeal is lacking
Pretend you’re a potential buyer and observe your house from the curb–what’s the first thing you see? Does your shabby front door that’s in dire need of paint steal all your attention or do you have trouble finding the home through the overgrown shrubs and bushes?
Homes that lack curb appeal tend to sit on the market far longer than their attention-grabbing counterparts. Don’t fret about investing tons of money to dress up your exterior though–focus on simple, inexpensive tasks to amp up your home’s exterior. Add a coat of paint to your front door, trim, or shutters for an inexpensive facelift or consider adding a pop of color by installing flower boxes or placing large flowering pots next to your front door.
You haven’t told the online story with compelling photography
Gone are the days of driving neighborhood to neighborhood looking for your next home. These days, consumers are jumping online first– so you better have bright, well-staged, professional photos to help market your home online to potential buyers. These photos should tell the story about the lifestyle your home offers and not just traditional photos of each room. If a consumer gets a bad taste in their mouth from your house’s virtual introduction, chances are they won’t even bother visiting your house in person.
Updates need to be made
Buyers today want move-in ready homes. Does your house still have a kitchen featuring appliances from your grandmother’s era? If you haven’t had an interested buyer grace your front steps in a while, it’s probably time to make some updates.
Focus on making improvements in the bathrooms and kitchen–these are the two areas buyers care most about. Painting old cabinets, replacing out-dated light fixtures, and adding new paint can make a world of difference without breaking the bank.
Your home isn’t staged to sell
An effectively staged home sells fast; in fact, experts report that on average,staged homes sell 88 percent faster and for 20 percent more than homes that aren’t staged. Work with a professional or go the do-it-yourself route to have buyers falling in love the minute they step in the door.
For some quick and easy staging solutions try getting rid of the clutter, removing anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. It’s also helpful to make sure your home is well lit, which will create a warm and inviting light to entice buyers. Don’t forget to remove personal items, too. Buyers need to see themselves in your home, and that’s hard to do when your family’s picture is lurking in every corner of the home.
You’re not reviewing your market position with your Realtor monthly
With the housing market improving, things change frequently, so it’s a good idea to review the active and sold competition relative to your home on a monthly basis. Evaluating this critical information helps you determine if you are in a good, competitive position so that your house stands out from the rest. Take this time to also evaluate the price (if necessary) and update photos with the changing season.
And as always, let Allen Tate Realtors know if we can assist in any of your home buying or selling needs!
Regional Vice President, Triad and Vice President of Operations, Allen Tate Companies