Selling your home isn’t as easy as putting it on the market and finding a buyer within a matter of months; we wish it was, but unfortunately, that’s just not the case. There are more steps to selling a home than that, for one thing. But for another, there are difficult to determine factors that can prevent your house from selling as quickly as it should. Sometimes, those factors are out of your control. But other times, you could be missing the key to your home not selling in a timely manner.
A few people have the luxury of waiting however long is necessary before their home sells, without any financial stress. But for most of us, a home not selling in a timely manner can be quite burdensome, in several ways. For one thing, when a house doesn’t sell, you will still be paying, at minimum, for the utilities, taxes, HOA fees, and other maintenance costs that come with owning the house. If it’s not paid off in full, you’ll also be taking on the mortgage payment, likely on top of rent or a mortgage payment for wherever you’re living now. Keeping a house that you don’t want anymore can also be emotionally stressful, especially if the house represents a time in your life that you would like to move on from.
Let’s explore why homes sometimes have issues with selling. The more you understand the problems that can occur when homeowners are attempting to sell, the easier it can be to address and fix those problems.
1. The Housing Market
One reason why your house may not be selling is simply the housing market. The housing market is dependent on many different factors, not all of which are easy to predict or control. The housing market can be examined from a national perspective, or on a more local level. The economy is one of the biggest driving forces behind a changing housing market. When people have more disposable income, they are more likely to buy rather than rent. They view homes from an investment perspective, rather than just as something they have to buy, which also makes them likelier to spend more.
Another factor that affects the housing market is the current interest rates. Like the economy, this unfortunately is a bit out of your hands. The lower interest rates are, the lower the cost of obtaining a mortgage will generally be in turn. As interest rates rise, the cost of obtaining a mortgage will rise in turn. At times, the government may try to offset the housing market by offering different subsidies and policies. For example, a tax credit may be implemented to encourage people to buy homes, as well as subsidies and tax deductions. Although you cannot control whether or not this happens, you should check on the housing market if your home isn’t selling; or better yet, look into the market you’re facing before you put your home on the market at all. You don’t always have a choice of whether or not you have to sell your home, but you should be aware of the market that you’re dealing with as you move forward with the process.
2. Your Realtors
There are two approaches that you can take when selling a home. You can either put it up for sale on your own, which is referred to as for sale by the owner. Or you can work with real estate agents. Firstly, we do recommend that if you’re trying to sell your home as quickly as possible, you work with real estate agents. Realtors have connections that you cannot as a homeowner. They are able to get your home more exposure to potential buyers than it would have if you were attempting to sell your house on your own. Additionally, they can allow you to focus on your life, your work, and if applicable, your move. When you’re in control of selling your home on your own, it can be quite difficult to focus on your daily responsibilities. The sale itself can be all-consuming. Therefore, working with realtors is the logical choice. Furthermore, realtors can advise you about things that would make your home more appealing to buyers. A realtor could let you know about the little touches that will put your home at the top of a buyer’s list, whether that means adding granite counters or a fresh coat of paint. They also often have connections that will make these types of renovations cheaper and easier for you to handle.
With that being said, not all real estate agents are on top of their jobs as they should be. A shoddy real estate agent could be the reason why your house isn’t selling. Some real estate agents prioritize higher-value sales over other sales, which means that if your house isn’t priced at the top of the market they may neglect it. (Though this is both unfair and unethical.) Other real estate agents simply don’t have a knack for the business the way others do. So with that being said, it’s important that you seek out a real estate agent who is at the top of their game. Look at their reviews online, and choose a real estate agent with the best possible reputation. These agents will also have better connections and will have more of a connection with potential buyers. Even if you end up giving a higher commission to a real estate agent who is more well known, this could very well be worth it in the end with your house selling faster. If you feel like your house isn’t selling because your real estate agent isn’t doing the job that it should be, it may be time to have a tough conversation and assess whether or not your business relationship should continue. Remember: your ultimate priority needs to be selling the house.
3. The Home Needs Renovations
Another big reason why your house may not be selling as quickly as you would like is that your house may need renovations before it really attracts the attention of potential buyers. Generally speaking, a lot of people who are seeking out homes for sale are looking for turnkey or near-turnkey homes. While they aren’t against basic renovations, they are not ready, generally, to completely renovate homes from the ground up. Your house needs to be in good condition if it is going to sell quickly unless you are ready to take a hit on your profits. Yes, handling those renovations will cost a bit of money as well. But you should consider things like maintenance services and renovations as investments in your home. You’ll be able to ask for more because you have invested more.
If you feel like your home has been on the market without gaining interest for an unreasonable amount of time, you should consider having it inspected professionally. An inspector could give you an idea of what you need to have done in order to make your home more appealing to buyers. Additionally, you may be able to avoid the dreaded risk of having a sale fall through at the last minute by getting ahead of the curve regarding renovations and repairs. There won’t be a catch, because you will have found the potential catches before your home is up for sale. Consider how devastating you would be if a sale didn’t go through because you simply neglected to have a bathtub drain repair executed. Take the time to really look at your home and determine what needs to be done.
4. The House Doesn’t Stand Out
Of course, there are truly necessary renovations, and there are renovations that you may want to invest in because they will help your home stand out. Quite often, the housing market is fairly crowded. This means that there will be a lot of homes in your area, and perhaps even in your same neighborhood. With that in mind, you should look at how you can best make your house stand out from the rest of the crowd. This is one of the advantages of working with a real estate agent, as previously mentioned. A real estate agent can look at your home as a product and will have a good idea of what other houses in the area have to offer. Making your house stand out can go beyond simply working with a window replacement service to make sure that your windows are up to date; it can also entail adding in things that not every home in your area may have. For example, if you have space for a driveway on your property, you may want to add that so that potential buyers won’t have to worry about street parking.
Although add cons and extras will vary from place to place, you should consider what your home is missing in terms of ‘perks’. What would you have liked to have in the house before you decided to sell? It may feel as if you’re making your home what it should be before you leave it, but remember that this can pay off not just in terms of how quickly your house will sell, but in terms of how much you can get from the sale. Something as simple as having automatic garage doors rather than manual doors could make a big difference in terms of how quickly your home will sell. Speak to your real estate agent about what you could potentially do to make your home less cookie-cutter, and more individual.
5. Your Price is Too High
We all want to get as much out of our houses as possible when we sell them. But somehow, what you’re asking for maybe a bit too much. Sometimes, we get overambitious, and this could be linked to how much you invested in the house in the first place. If you paid a certain price for the house ten years ago, you could reasonably expect to get the same amount or ideally more for the home now. After all, there is a reason why we consider home investments. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. For several reasons, your house could have lost some value in the years since you bought it. This could be because of damage sustained by the house during those years, or a lack of upkeep. If you didn’t invest in pest control services over the years and let your house sustain termite damage, it understandably may not be worth as much now as it was a few years ago. It could be due to issues that are out of your control, like depreciation of the area you live within in general. But for whatever reason, you may need to consider the fact that your house may not yield the profit that you thought it would when you initially bought it.
Another issue to consider goes back to the housing market. If you’re working within a buyer’s market, there could be a lot of other houses on the market that are potentially being more competitively priced. This means that you could be forced to drop the price of your house in order to have it move more quickly. Additionally, you could keep your price as it is for a while, but be open to negotiating with a potential buyer. Some sellers set a certain price with the intention of dropping it as a buyer begins negotiations. For many reasons, you need to be prepared to not get exactly what you’re asking for when you place a price on your home.
Again, be open to constructive criticism when you put a house on the market. Consider a new residential roof installation, or other repairs or updates. If your house isn’t selling quickly, something needs to be changed. You just need to be open to altering your approach.