There are many reasons why some houses sell faster than others. It may be as simple as location; some areas just sell faster because they are in high demand. This is a problem you can’t fix. Your house is where it is and you can’t move it. Just because your neighborhood is not as desirable, it doesn’t mean your house won’t sell, it just may take longer. Now that we have dealt with the neighborhood, let’s deal with some things that you do have control over.
Other than location there are two main reasons that houses don’t sell; price and condition, both of which you have complete control over. I will address them separately.
- Price: EVERYONE THINKS THEIR HOUSE IS WORTH MORE THAT IT IS. Ultimately the buyer will determine the price. If you overprice your house it will linger on the market with less showings and ultimately you will have to reduce the price. Have your realtor do a competitive market analysis with comparables properties from no more than a two mile radius. Take into account the condition of your house and then price it appropriately. Make sure that you price it under the trigger price points such as $199,999 instead of $200,000. This will bring your listing up in more searches. Remember most house hunting today initially takes place on the internet. Another important consideration on your pricing is the monthly carrying cost of your house. This is an important consideration because every month your house does not sell it is costing you money, most of which cannot be recouped. The difference between a correctly priced house selling in 45 days and another incorrectly priced house selling in 180 days can be the difference of thousands of dollars in carrying costs. If you wait 6 months to get your price you may actually get less net dollars. Best advice here is to do your homework by finding a good realtor and then trust them.
- Condition, condition, condition: Everyone has heard of the location, location, location adage, but the condition of your home can be just as important. Pretend you are the buyer and take a realistic look at your house and try to make it as appealing as possible. There are simple things that you can do, i.e. clean up the clutter, paint where needed, make sure the front yard and door are immaculate, get rid of the pet odor, take half the clothes out of the closets , make your bathrooms sparkle, and stay away from the house when it is being shown. You may love Fido and purple walls but chances are your buyers won’t. Ask your realtor for suggestions. They show houses everyday and they hear all the comments. Major renovations on the other hand rarely pay off in the short term. A $50,000 kitchen remodel might make the house sell faster, but it is unlikely you will recoup all the money you put into it.
In summary, you can’t change the location of your house or what your neighbors are doing but you can control the price and condition of your home. Choose your realtor wisely. The good ones are worth the commission. Finally, good luck and remember “there is a lid for every pot.”