If you’ve put your house on the market, I can assume the purpose is to sell it. Sellers do so many things that are hindering this process without even knowing it. Do you know the three main reasons a property won’t sell? Read below to discover the answer to this vital question.
Here are eight things you can do to sell your house and get on to your next adventure more quickly.
- Listen to your REALTOR. You hired a professional for a reason; get your money’s worth by being open and honest. Take the advice given (yes especially on the listing price he suggests) and understand that your REALTOR is not an expert in everything under the sun. If he tells you to call someone else for that information, call someone else. REALTORS are trained to know when to refer you out to another professional, so when you are referred out understand your agent is doing his job properly and professionally.
- Be Flexible! Scheduling can get CRAZY! When you list your property you can tell your agent when you want and don’t want the property shown and any other conditions on scheduling (day sleeper, pets, no showings after 7 pm, etc). Think about what’s most important and try to not place too many limitations on access to the house. Also let your REALTOR deal with scheduling! When a buyer’s agent has to “contact seller for appointment,” it opens them up to liabilities. Many buyer’s agents won’t do that, so you’ve missed an opportunity! Accessibility, or lack thereof, is a huge factor in why a house won’t sell. Buyers can’t buy your house if they can’t get in. Let them in!
- Make it look pretty. Houses that are fresh and clean sell faster. Plant seasonal flowers. Touch up the paint. Patch the walls. Get rid of the pet smell. Remove stains. Clean out the spiderwebs from the garage. Dust everything. Make the beds. Open the blinds. Buy a new welcome mat. Paint the front door. Just an overall “freshening up” will go a long way.
- Then keep it clean. It’s not easy to keep a house “show ready,” but that’s what you must do. Declutter and remove personal items. Buyers want to see a property that is being lived in, but they don’t want to step over piles of dirty clothes and see family pictures on every wall. Nor do they want to stand at the doorway looking into a room that they can’t actually get into. If you’re trying to sell your house, it’s time to disconnect from it emotionally and let the buyer begin connecting. It’s not easy, we know, but it has to be done.
- Rent a storage unit. You want potential buyers to see your home as being spacious. To do this, you have to move things out. Move out everything that’s not vital to your every day life. Remove your family photos. Pare down the kids’ toys. Take away out-of-season clothes and shoes; people love large closets, but they can’t see how large it is if it’s stuffed to the brim. You have to move it all out ANYWAY, right? And if moving it now will help you sell, why wait? And if you’re lucky, you’ll only need the storage unit for a few months…and your REALTOR might be able to hook you up with discounts. Ask her!
- Board your pets. I hate even suggesting this one because I love my pets, too. But keep in mind your goal is to reach as broad an audience as possible. And this means your house might have struck the interest of someone who is allergic to pets, or is frightened of pets, or (GASP) doesn’t like animals! That’s okay; we’re all different, and your job is to sell that house. Quite frankly, your pets can make it more difficult. If you have a nearby friend and family member who is willing, take Fido there every day. If not, doggie daycares should be investigated. Then you can treat them well at the end of the day when you pick them up.
- Be creative with the pricing structure. Your REALTOR will probably give you a suggested range and let you determine the exact price you’ll list at. If you don’t want to do anything extra to your home and just put a sign up, then don’t expect more than the price at the low end of the range. If you expect to list higher, then be prepared to do some sprucing up, like was discussed above. However, if you’d like to pull out all the stops (maybe you’ve lived there awhile and you know you should do some upgrading or perhaps you’d like to use a professional stager or maybe your neighbor just sold for a lot more than your agent has suggested but that home has more features/upgrades), you can ask a higher price IF you intend on bringing your property up to standard. Keep in mind you’ll need to work for a higher price, but if you’re willing to do it, then do it! But you MUST be willing to drop the price if/when your REALTOR suggests. Asking the wrong price for your house will keep it from selling.
- Be creative with the commission structure if needed. You and your listing agent will negotiate the commission you’ll pay when your house sells. Your agent will share that commission with the agent who sells it. Not paying a reasonable broker commission will keep your house sitting on the market longer than necessary. Now if you want to sell fast, or your house is difficult to get to (gated entry, guard, or other accessibility factors) you can offer a broker bonus to the buyer’s agent to get them there. You can also offer a little higher percentage to ensure those agents bring their buyers to your house when they visit other homes in the area (or instead of others). Even a half percent more offered to the buyer’s agent will bring the agents to your yard…and more eyes on your property means a great chance of a sale!
There are so many factors that go into selling a house that no one can be expected to know everything. Did you discover the three reasons a house won’t sell? Price, accessibility, and broker commission are roadblocks to the closing table. But following these simple suggestions will take you farther down the right path.
The bottom line is that you want to sell, so do what it takes to sell!