As Austin’s economy continues to thrive and the city consistently leads as one of the most popular living destinations in the country, it’s no surprise that the real estate market remains a seller’s one. So, if your home has been sitting on the market for far longer than you’d hoped, you may be concerned and baffled.
We’ll help clear things up by sharing our list of common reasons why your home isn’t selling, and what you can do to get the offers rolling in.
Your Home Isn’t Priced to Sell
While you may be tempted to list your home for a price that’s higher than comparable homes for sale in Austin in the hopes of making a larger profit, chances are, this tactic will backfire. According to statistics published by the Real Estate Center at Texas A & M University, sales volumes in 2019 increased across all the major metros, and the average number of days single-family homes for sale remained on the market were 54.
Homebuyers compare house prices based on the facts — square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, and added features such as number of garage spaces, extent of remodeling, view, etc. If there’s another house for sale in your neighborhood that’s almost exactly the same as yours, but is priced lower than yours, buyers will be flocking to make offers on that property instead of yours. Sometimes, that will lead to multiple offers and even perhaps an offer higher than yours is priced.
Determining the correct price for your home requires careful research and balancing the value of local comparables with the specific features of your home. While your home holds special meaning to you, sentimental value must be kept out of the equation when setting a comparable asking price.
If you’re considering lowering your asking price to attract more buyers, you’re not alone. According to a 2017 study published by the National Association of Realtors®, recent sellers typically sold their homes for 99 percent of the listing price, and 23 percent reported reducing the asking price at least once.
In today’s digital world, online photos of your house are the new first impression. According to National Association of Realtors®, 44 percent of buyers look online before doing anything else, and 89 percent of buyers found listing photos useful. If your listing photos are dark, blurry or low-quality, they won’t show off how great your house is, and buyers won’t be motivated to come see it in person. Consider using a professional camera which studies show get 61 percent more pageviews.
There’s a Problem (or Problems) with the Home
Has your roof seen better days? Are there cracked and chipped tiles in the bathroom? Is there an off-putting pet odor that permeates through the home? There are many reasons why the offers aren’t rolling in for your house, and sometimes, you have no clue as to what issues are keeping buyers away. That’s why it’s important to get feedback from potential buyers after they’ve viewed your home. Your agent can collect honest feedback from buyers as to what they like and don’t like about your home, and use this vital information to make necessary changes.
It Needs Some TLC
Sometimes, all it takes is making some key cosmetic changes throughout the house to make it appealing to buyers. A few coats of neutral paint (soft shades of grey, yellows, blues and beige), replacing dated carpeting with affordable wood and laminate options, updating light fixtures, and replacing hardware on kitchen cabinets may be all it takes to increase your home’s appeal.
Buyers Can’t Visualize Themselves in the Space
When buyers are walking through your home during a showing, the goal is to help them envision themselves living in the space. That’s difficult to do when photos of your friends and family sit on the mantel, your souvenir collection from family trips fill the shelves, religious or political items embellish the area and other unique objects dominate the space. These personal effects hold meaning to you, but to your buyer, it’s a collection of your things which serve only to draw attention away from the features of the home. Pack away these personal items for when you move into your new home to help create a more neutral environment, where buyers can envision adding their own personal style to the home.
You Haven’t Set the Stage
While personal objects filling a home can detract buyers, so too can a house that’s completely bare. Vacant homes have the problem of potential buyers not being able to really envision the space’s potential. Staging is the solution to creating an atmosphere that’s warm and welcoming. Staging ranges from simple decluttering to make a room feel more spacious, to bringing in rented pieces for a neutral palette. The goal is to transform the look, flow, and feel of the home into one that’s widely appealing with a few homey touches.
For inspiration, think of popular home improvement shows. If your home currently looks like some of the “before” images, make changes so it looks like the “after” images. Consider bringing in staging professionals who can lend their expertise and make suggestions.
Selling your home quickly and for the highest fair market value will ultimately be easier if you’re working with the right real estate agent. An experienced agent will navigate you through a process that they’re highly familiar with and make recommendations about how the you can best prepare your house to secure a fast offer. They’ll also have a creative and detailed marketing plan to attract as many buyers as possible.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact us to learn how our team can put you on the path to receiving offers.