7 REASONS HOMES DON'T SELL IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
If you have had your home on the market for several months and haven’t seen much activity or any offers, chances are that one or more of the reasons below are to blame.
Your price is too high
No doubt about it, the most common reason for a home not selling is that the asking price has been set too high. The reasons for setting your price too high are many, ranging from over enthusiastic listing agents to unrealistic seller expectations. Regardless of the reason though, if you’ve priced your home too high, you’ve set yourself up for a number of obstacles to selling your home. Even if you do get an offer for the overly high asking price, the deal may fall apart before closing because the buyer may have problems with a low appraisal and financing. Look at other homes for sale...ones as similar and as close to yours as possible. If they are going for less than you are asking, you may be priced too high. The fact is, if your home is competing against those other homes, then what buyers are willing to pay may determine the final sales price.
The condition of your home
Many buyers and sellers are glued to HGTV shows like "Property Brothers", "Flip or Flop", "Fixer Upper" and "Love it or List it". Your home has to compete against other similar homes for sale, as well as brand new construction homes. The more you can do to make your home look appealing to a buyer, the better your chances are for a quick sale. Look at your home with a critical eye – put yourself in the buyers position. Most buyers don't want to do a thing except move in. High end finishes like stainless steel appliances, granite counters, custom backsplashes, and detailed tile work were once considered "lavish" options. Today, however, they have become the "standard" and are often expected. Homes that are well updated with today's modern touches AND priced TO SELL move quickly. Those that are not may sit much longer.
For sale by owner - FSBO
If you are trying to sell your home without the help of a full service listing agent, your struggles are many. Every realtor starts their search for homes using the local MLS system. If your home isn't listed here, agents won't see it and won't show it. If you decide to use an inexepensive flat fee MLS listing service, agents will find your home, but probably won't show it. Why? Most agents DO NOT want to negotiate directly with the seller because sellers have a personal attachment and interest in the sale of their own home and real estate is a business. They also want to get paid a commission for showing and selling your home. If their commission is not guaranteed, they will not show it. Most agents don't have time to search forsalebyowner.com, craigslist, or FSBO sites for homes. Even if you can sucessfully market your home, how will you go about pre-screening potential buyers, avoiding scams, or successfully writing a contract that protects your interests? Take 2 Real Estate offers a comprehensive full service listing for just 3.5%. Buyers agents won't even show your home unless you can pay them a commission of 2.5%-3%. At 3.5% total commission, what do you have to lose with Take 2 Real Estate?
Location, location, location
It’s the oldest cliché in the world, but it’s true. When it comes to real estate, it’s all about location! When it comes to homes, things like how good the schools are, crime rates, visual appeal of the neighborhood and commuting distance can all effect how desirable the location is. If you’re in a bad location, a good real estate agent may help to minimize some of the impact by suggesting improvements to the house. But the only really reliable way to overcome a bad location is with a lower price. Simply put, an identical home in a bad location won’t sell for as much as the same home in a better location.
Your marketing campaign is out of steam
The best listing agents all use an aggressive marketing plan to market their listings. If your listing agent isn’t making sure your home can be found easily on the internet, isn't driving web traffic specifically to your home, and isn’t actively touting his or her listings to other agents in the area, then it might be time to change agents. The best agents may even host an open house or create a custom webpage just for your house! If all your agent has done is put a sign in your front yard and poorly added your home to the local MLS, then that agent isn’t coming close to doing all that can be done to effectively market your home.
The market is slow
You’ll hear it described as a slow market, or a buyers market, or maybe a cold market, but it all means the same thing....home sales in the local area, or market, are slow. There may be too many homes for sale and not enough active buyers. Regardless, there are several things you can do to combat a slow market. The most effective strategy is to sell at a lower price. Buyers are expecting to find bargains during a slow market. You can also help yourself by offering to pay some closing costs to help a buyer that might not have a lot of cash. The best way to beat a slow market might be to simply wait it out, but that’s not always an option for many sellers.
Your home isn’t easily accessible
To get your home sold quickly, it’s important that other agents in the area show it to as many potential buyers as possible. When a busy agent is compiling a list of homes to show a buyer, the agent will naturally tend to show those houses that are easiest to gain access to first. Many homes on the market have “sentrilock boxes” on them. This lock box is a device which holds a key to the home, that only qualified local agents can access. Homes that are listed as being “sentrilock box, show all days 9am-8pm” will get shown more often than homes listed as “restricted times, no lockbox, appointment only”. If at all possible, you should let your agent put a lock box on your home for easier showing. If not, you should do everything in your power to make sure showing your home is as convenient as possible for agents.