Why do some homes linger on the market for months — or years — while others are snapped up in a matter of days? While much of it has to do with price and local inventory, a whole host of factors can conspire to make a home sit and stagnate on the multiple listing service without showings or offers.
To find out what makes some listings such laggards, Murney Associates,Realtors polled agents in our offices and combed through properties looking for real-estate wallflowers and the issues plaguing them.
Think of these examples as cautionary tales for sellers, with a bit of advice sprinkled in from agents who have seen it all before.
“The longer a house sits on the market, the more it gets stigmatized,” says Joel Gaisford. People ask, “What’s wrong with that house?” and “Why hasn’t it sold?” If you don’t want your home to be the listing that won’t budge, read on for eight listing no-nos and for tips to help you sell lickety-split.
1. A ‘what the heck are they thinking?’ price tag
Price is usually the overriding factor in any home that doesn’t sell. Whatever its problem, it can usually be rectified by adjusting the price, says Mike Green an agent with the Murney Associates East office.
“It’s always price for condition or price for location,” Green says. “That’s one of the main reasons [homes] sit. Forget what you paid for the home, the upgrades you have done and the location. FOCUS more on what is selling around you and come to a good sales price.
2. Tacky or dated decor
Everybody’s taste is different, so less is more when it comes to decor at sale time. Loud patterns and bold colors can be big distractions. When in doubt a hint of Khaki color is good.tacky
3. Poor condition
If a home looks as if it’s going to cost half as much to repair or renovate as it does to purchase, it’s going to take a long time to move, agents say. Indeed, today’s buyer is a lot more reluctant to take on a “project,” says foreclosure expert Jim Cline, especially if there are houses around it that don’t need as much work. Ditto for homes that have strong pet or mold smells. So fix it, or prepare to lop a large amount off the price, agents say.
4. Bad location
A wonderful house can’t always overcome a bad location. Homes that are close to a power plant, waste-treatment facility or busy freeway will often sit, unless the seller is willing to take a major hit on the price, Morrow says.
5. Bad Design
With many homes, it’s an inefficient or strange floor plan or design that acts as a barrier to a sale.
In some cases, it’s a matter of functional obsolescence, when a dated design no longer serves today’s population, such as older homes where you have to walk through one bedroom to get to a second bedroom. Also selling a custom built home can be a hard sell as well because the design may not suit all interested parties.
6. A fancy hacienda among humble homes
While it certainly feels nice to have the largest, most elegant home in the neighborhood, it won’t do you any favors when it comes time to sell, agents say. People are paying not only for the house but also for everything around it. If the homes around yours don’t mirror yours in size or polish, you might have a hard time getting a luxury price.
7. Investor-owned condo projects
Some condos can be a hard sell for banks, including those in largely investor-owned communities.
8. Frightening photo hoarder
If a seller can’t be bothered to clean up before the sale, the agent probably shouldn’t include many interior photos. Clutter and messy home will detour buyers quickly so rent a storage unit to store items you are unable to part with and get the clutter out.
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