Every home owner wants their home to sell quickly. The sooner you can stop the parade of curious buyers through your home, the better, right?
In order to make sure your home sells quickly, I've gathered a list of the top 10 things not to do when your house is up for sale, so you're not left asking yourself "why isn't my house selling?"
- Your asking price is too high. While your asking price may have seemed reasonable when you first put your home up for sale a month ago, buyers are now comparing your home to the two homes down the street that have sold since, and all for $40,000 less. Sometimes a slight tweak in your asking price is all that's needed to pull those buyers in.
- The photos of your home are not great, or non-existent. Probably one of my biggest pet peeves is when a house is up for sale but there are no interior photos of the home. How can your expect buyers to be interested in seeing your home if your real estate agent only posts two blurry iPhone photos of your bathroom and kitchen, and that's it! Or even worse, no photos at all! Buyers are visual, and they want to be able to picture your house before they even step foot into it. Professional photography is key in my opinion.
- You haven't been flexible about allowing showings. Expect to get requests for showings at 9:00am on Sunday mornings, at 8:00pm when you're trying to put your kids to bed, and during your family dinner. The more flexible you can be in allowing showings, even when they are booked on short notice, the better. Every showing that you turn down, is a potential buyer you are turning away.
- You stay home during showings. If you are home when buyers come for their showing, your presence will make them uncomfortable. A buyer already feels like an intruder when they are viewing someone's home, but if the home owner is there while they look around that feeling is multiplied. If you are home, you can pretty much guarantee that buyers will spend less time in your home, and l will not feel comfortable asking questions to their agent knowing you are within earshot. For your own benefit, leave your house. Go get groceries, take a walk around the block a couple times, drive to Starbucks, or sit in your car down the street if you don't want to go too far.
- Your home is vacant and not staged. Photos of a house with no furniture or decor make it hard for a buyer to visualize themselves living in your home, let alone get excited about going to see it. Spending the money to have your house staged can go a long way. It gives the home a "lived in" feel, even if no one is actually living there. It also helps buyers visualize how they could use the space. When vacant houses aren't staged, it's easy for the buyers to jump to the conclusion that the seller is desperate to sell and will accept a low offer.
- Your house isn't in showing condition for each showing. Your home should be clean, tidy, and smell fresh for each and every showing. Hide clutter, empty the kitchen garbage, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink, run the vacuum through quickly. A clean home is an inviting home.
- You're ignoring feedback. Some agents will share feedback with your listing agent after they show your home to clients. Sometimes the feedback is for things you have no control over, like the buyers didn't like that the home had a small backyard. However, if you get feedback about buyers being turned off by your "friendly" dog who spent the whole showing barking them, this is something you might want to address before your next showing.
- Local agents might not know your home is for sale. If you have hired a real estate agent to sell your home who is not a member of the local real estate board, there is a chance your home might not be listed for sale on your local real estate board. If this is the case, the local real estate agents might not even know your home is for sale. And if the local real estate agents don't know your home is for sale, that could explain your lack of showings. More details here - Sellers: Buyers Might Not Know Your Home Is For Sale.
- Your real estate agent has gone MIA. If the last time you heard from your real estate agent was the day he/she put the For Sale sign in your front lawn, it might be time to ask them why your house hasn't sold. A great agent will keep you updated about what homes have sold for in your neighbourhood since yours went up for sale, will share any feedback they get from other agents, and will work hard daily to get your home sold. After all, isn't that what you hired them for?!
- Your listing is stale. If the seasons have changed since you first put your home on the market, it's time to have new photos taken of the exterior of your home and to "refresh your listing." This means that your home would be taken off the market temporarily and then re-listed with new photos and possibly a new price. The number of Days on Market would start again at 0, which looks a lot more enticing to a buyer than 97 days on the market.