Are you preventing your home from selling

July 25, 2010 · Print This Article

Are you preventing your home from selling?

Has your house been on the market for 3, 6, 9, maybe even 12 months or longer and still no buyer? Not even a low offer from a buyer? Have you made multiple price reductions on your home but still no luck with getting it sold? Before you blame the market and start dropping your price even further lets take a look at some of the things you should be doing to get your home sold.

Do you make your home easy to show? Easy to show would mean that an agent is able to show your home with minimal notice, 1-2 hrs tops. Those are the types of homes that agents want to show and will not bother showing the homes that are difficult to schedule. Some homeowners require 24 hr notice to show but often agents may be going out on a certain day to see a few houses and they have limited time to show their buyers some homes. They have ready buyers trying to make a decision on which home to bid on and your home may fit their needs. Because they can’t see it the same day as the other homes there is a very strong chance they will just forget seeing the home at all and just never schedule a showing.  Some homeowners always want to be home for all showings and do not want a lockbox put on the house. This may be the single biggest mistake a seller can make when trying to sell their home. If a seller tends to be home pretty much all the time then this is not really a big issue but if an agent and their buyer have to work around the sellers schedule then they will just pass on the house and see the other homes that are much easier to show.

Is your home always clean and in showing condition? Sadly I see a lot of homes that are pretty messy with clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink, tons of stuff allover the bathrooms. The presentation of the home is completely ruined and the 1st impression of the buyer is not something you get a 2nd chance at. Think of selling your home like a job interview, you would not go to a corporate office setting with sweat pants and a ripped t-shirt but this is the same look that you are giving your home when prospective buyers see it. I have seen homes sell for 10’s of thousands of dollars less than they should have because the seller refused to clean up.

Is your home always light and comfortable? By light and comfortable I mean all the lights turned on and the temperature of the house comfortable. If it is summer and you do not have the air conditioning on (or windows open and fans blowing if you do not have A/C) and the house is too warm you will see buyers go in and out of the house in a matter of minutes. They will not spend time looking in each room like they should, they will never see the house the way they should and may miss something they like. The temperature must be bearable at all times. If you are home during showings then make sure to turn all the lights on. This seem to be such a little thing but it is very important when having your home shown. If you are not home during the showing then make sure you leave as many lights on as you can when you leave the home. I have seen quite a few smart sellers that were not home when we showed the house and every single light was left on and it made for a much better showing experience for the buyer.

Do you leave the agent and buyer alone during showings? The best thing an agent an buyer wants to hear from a seller other than “Hi this is Ed McMahon from Publishers Clearing House and you just won $10,000,000” is “I will stay out of your way and if you have any questions please let me know”. Buyers do not want to be followed around by the seller, the agents job is to show the house and know what the buyer is looking for and what things to point out while touring your home. Often times a homeowner tends to follow right behind and makes the buyer and agent feel uncomfortable, they will end up rushing through your house and get out of these as quick as they can. The best thing to do is stay in the kitchen, living room or maybe home office and offer to answer any questions they have. If they have any questions and they almost always do then the agent will ask you and they you can engage them in a conversation and point out any features of the home you think they may have missed.

Did you have professional photos taken of your home? This is quite possibly the most important thing that must be done on any home regardless of the price of the house. There are no exceptions.  Most cameras the average person has access too whether digital, SLR or digital SLR have very basic and cheap lenses; have low megapixels and cheap flashes. These lenses do not show the entire room in a photo and often leave out important features. The lighting that the flashes provided is also extremely weak. I have seen photos of homes for sale in the area that I have also seen in person, these homes look so much better in person but you cannot tell from the photos. The photos are so basic that it does not intrigue the buyer whatsoever. No matter how low you drop your price these buyers will never have any interest in coming to see your home.

I have done research and have found that on average homes that have professional photos sell quicker (1/2 the time it usually takes) and for 8-10% more than homes that used basic camera equipment. Those numbers are astonishing but the fact is that homes with basic photos like what is seen in most homes currently for sale are selling for a lot less than they should.  I would guesstimate that 90-95% of all homes for sale are using basic boring photos and these homes are selling for a lot less than they should if they even sell at all. All agents have access to these professional photography services and they are not expensive and should be used when selling any house.

Make sure to follow these simple guidelines when selling your home, these are very easy things to do and they can help you sell your home a lot faster and for more money than if you did not do them.

If your home has been on the market for a while and you feel it should have sold by now please give me a call so I can show you my unmatched marketing campaign. With the proper marketing and exposure any home should have a buyer in under 30 days, no exceptions! Do not settle for anything less! My recent listings have on average sold in under 2 weeks and received 99% of asking price!

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