You’ve redecorated your home, maybe spruced up the décor and tidied up the yard a little, and you put it on the market fully expecting to sell straightaway. But now you’re months down the line and you’re still waiting for that elusive buyer. What has gone wrong – why can’t you sell?
Here are a few things to think about that may sound simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t get them right.
1. You’re not presenting a blank canvas
Home staging is about presenting your home in such a way that a buyer can easily imagine themselves living there. Decluttering and tidying away the kids’ toys is a good start to making space for your buyer to picture their own things in your house. Don't stop there, though. Look for ways in each room to make your home a welcoming blank canvas for a prospective buyer. Remember that the goal is to neutralize your home; take your family's personality out so that the buyers can put theirs in!
2. You skimped on the wrong things
Many sellers make the mistake of skimping on things that buyers notice and care about, like old linoleum flooring or cheap, out of date countertops, and instead spend their money on items buyers don't usually care as much about, like upgrading an older but fully functional hot water heater.
Skimping on the things that buyers notice first and care about the most will leave the buyers thinking about how much extra those items are going to cost them over and above the purchase price. Make sure that if you're spending money, it's on necessary repairs, and on areas that buyers notice and value. (Hint: Ask your agent if you're unsure!)
3.Your home stands out for all the wrong reasons
Look around the neighborhood. How does your home fit in? If yours is the only one with fading paintwork or unkempt landscaping, then that may be the reason why you haven't gotten the offer you want. Your home starts making an impression on buyers from the moment they drive up to it. In fact:
Curbside appeal makes us think of security, safety, and cleanliness. We don’t want to go somewhere we don’t feel safe, or where we don’t think that they care. It is an instinctive factor that we may not even consciously consider, but it is a major factor in our decisions.
The moral of this story? Don't neglect that first impression of “curb appeal”!
4. The price isn’t right
One of the biggest mistakes many sellers make is to overprice their home. In some cases this is simply because they really don’t know how much to value the home at or they’re unduly influenced by unqualified opinion. The fact is that buyers won’t ever pay more than your home is worth no matter how lovely it may be or how desirable the location.
The truth is it doesn't really matter how much money you think your home is worth. Nor does it matter what your agent thinks or ten other agents just like her. The person whose opinion matters is the buyer who makes an offer. Pricing homes is part art and part science. It involves comparing similar properties, making adjustments for the differences among them, tracking market movements and taking stock of present inventory, all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion.
The best thing you can do is to get your pricing advice from an experienced listing agent, who knows your local market and knows how to properly price and market your home for the best results.
5. You aren’t marketing your home properly
It sounds obvious but if the right buyers don’t know about your home, they won't come make an offer on it! Simply putting a sign in your yard and posting a couple of photographs on a website is not the way to have buyers rushing to your door. Modern real estate marketing is a science involving custom strategy across social media, in-person marketing, and several online platforms regularly updated to open up your home to as wide a market as possible. A good agent will be able to explain how they use each of those channels to your benefit.
6. You aren’t SELLING your home!
Show off what's great about your home! If your home is near good schools, leisure facilities or transport links, or it’s in an exceptionally safe and secure part of town, then mention it to your buyers. These things are what most American buyers value in a home, so use them! Make sure you're also showcasing the best features of your house. For example, buyers tend to love windows that let in a lot of natural light, so if you've got those, make sure they're not being covered or shaded by landscaping.
Of course, a good real estate agent will give you great assistance and advice when it comes to selling your home, but if you have these basics covered, then you’re far more likely to get a quick – and well priced – sale.