Your property is priced too high.
If I had to guess, I would say that 99% of homes that sit on the market do so because they are not priced properly. Even if your home has a crumbling foundation, Formica counters, and a hole in the roof- if its priced correctly, it will sell quickly. If you price your property too high, potential buyers will never even look at it, and if they aren’t looking they aren’t making offers. If you must sell your home at a price that is higher than its market value, consider making inexpensive improvements that will have significant returns prior to listing your property. Even if you can’t afford it, there are often pay at close companies that can replace flooring for example and you won’t pay for the work until the property sells.
Your photos are horrendous or you simply don’t have enough.
There is nothing that frustrates me more than seeing a listing with only one crappy cellphone pic. Except seeing a listing with zero photos. Everyone starts their search online these days. If your photos blow, the buyer is never even making it to the property to look in person. Images from google and disposable camera photos dated 10 years prior are equally horrendous. I found these photos on the MLS today (these listings have been on the market for 300+ days)
Your home smells.
You and your family may have grown immune to it, but my buyers and I notice Rover’s smell the moment we walk in the home. Make sure to steam clean carpets before you list your home. In addition to pet smells, over powering scents of any nature can turn off buyers. If your home smells like a Bath and Body Works, we are going to wonder what you’re covering up.
Your home isn’t staged.
Staged homes spend half as much time on the market as non-staged homes. The reality is we really aren’t that good at imagining things. A buyer has a hard time visually arranging furniture in a blank canvas. Similarly, any minor imperfections stick out like a sore thumb when there aren’t pretty floral arrangements to detract.
You weren’t coached on how to live in your home while it’s on the market.
Since a staged home sells better than a vacant one, I often advise my clients to stay in their home while it’s on the market if it fits with their schedule and lifestyle. That being said, they must comply with a few rules if they are to stay in the home while it’s on the market. I tell my clients to pretend like they are living in a hotel. Imagine what the room looks like when you first open the door. The counters are clean and clear, beds are made, and knickknacks are minimal. I recently showed a home and there were feminine products on the bed, clothes scattered all over the floor, and collection notices on the table- this is not the look we are going for.
Your home is not being marketed properly.
With most buyers starting their search on the internet, you want your home to be visible on as many sites as possible. You also want to make sure all the stats are correct and people can find your home easily. I recently showed a property that had been on the market for 104 days, that’s basically an eternity in the Austin market. I almost didn’t show this property. When I was mapping the showings through the MLS, it looked like this home was located in the middle of nowhere. I double checked and realized the agent had simply mis-mapped the property but this mistake likely cost them dozens of other showings.
No one can schedule a showing at your property.
We don’t want to disturb the tenants, showings only permitted with an accepted offer. Our child naps from 11-1 and 5-7 on weekdays, showings only permitted between 12-2 on weekends. Guess what? No one’s putting in an offer on your home because no one can see it! Also, if you or your agent isn’t easily reachable for scheduling showings, you’re missing out on potential offers.
It’s really not rocket science. However, it takes a unique combination of ingenuity, resourcefulness, attention to detail, common sense, and knowledge of the market to sell a home. When you price your home correctly, market it appropriately, and it shows impeccably- you receive great offers quickly.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.