Selling a home isn’t an easy business by a long shot. Homes are both the biggest financial and most substantial emotional decision many people will make, and often finding a buyer can take time (and a whole lot of work). If your home has been on the market for weeks or months, it may be time to take a step back and see what may be driving willing buyers away.
Price. Pricing your home will make it difficult to sell. This one seems kind of obvious, but it has to be said. Conversely, if you price your home well below market value it can also prove more difficult to sell in less-competitive markets, as many people will be wary that there is something major wrong with the property. Speak with an appraiser to get the price right before you publicize your next open house.
Curb appeal. A lot of selling your home is selling the walk up first. People generate a lot of opinions on a home before they walk in the door. And no one wants an ugly house! Putting a little extra into small touches like landscaping, exterior paint, flowers, flags, and the like will help attract attention of prospective buyers.
House outdated. Trends change quicker than you may think. This years soapstone counter tops may just wind up being wood paneling and shag carpet level uncool in a matter of a few years. While it seems counter-intuitive to update a home that you are actively looking to sell, sometimes a small investment can lead to a much larger turnaround profit (this is what good house flippers do with outdated fixer upper and rehab properties, after all). Do some research into what buyers are looking for and make your house more appealing to help move your sale along. People don’t want to buy a house that straight up looks awful too. If your carpets and floors need refinishing or replacement or walls are in need of repainting, etc, taking care of a good cleanup will help your house sell.
Not neutral enough. People add a lot of themselves to the home they live in. Whether it’s decor choices or room use, people establish themselves in their house and make it suit their needs. If you have too much of your personality on display it can put off buyers however. Quirky furniture, bold wall colors, and alternate room uses (think a home office instead of dining room/children’s room, etc) can make it more difficult to land a buyer. Repainting walls to a more neutral pastel tone and moving statement pieces out of view in the home can actually make a big difference.
The market. Like everything, timing is everything. Housing markets warm up and cool down in waves, thanks to seasonal buying trends, the local economy, and a whole lot of other factors. If you’re in a position to hold off on selling, you can actually end up getting a lot more on your asking price if you list your property during a hot season instead of a slow one. Look at available data for your local area and figure out when the most sales are happening (for the most money) and list then. If you are moving into a new home and don’t want to pay two mortgages, alternative arrangements like rent to own offer sells a great chance to secure a tenant now who very well may become a buyer.