What do you do when your property isn’t selling?
This is a more common issue today than most think. In spite of being in a strong, upwardly surging market, some homes and land is sitting on the market for extended periods of time. If you are struggling to sell a property, what can you do to get over that hurdle?
The latest data all seems to indicate that the U.S. real estate market is strong, or at least heading in that direction. We could be on the verge of a new boom, if not already earnestly in the middle of one. New sales and price records are being set, home search volume is up dramatically, days on market are down, and publicly marketed inventory is low. Many properties are flying off the shelves. However, some seem to have been sitting on the market for months, if not years. The key to getting out of the slump, and getting that property sold, really starts with understanding why that property isn’t selling.
Let’s look at the five most common reasons that properties fail to sell today:
Price: Price is the most common issue that sabotages efforts to sell houses and land. Sadly, many underestimate how critical pricing strategy is. It matters down to the penny. In some cases, house and lot sellers are just wildly unrealistic. Some see the positive media, and are overlooking what is really happening in their neighborhoods. Others think that because they owe so much, they need to price high instead of pursuing a short sale or another creative solution. Others fail to convey the value of their house. Many don’t take a second to think about how price affects potential buyers. It either has to be priced well enough for someone that likes it to buy and live in, or for a real estate investor to make money by redeveloping it or renting it. Remember that this not only includes the purchase price and a mortgage, but property taxes, insurances, and any HOA dues, and maintenance too. The bottom line is that if you are serious about selling, you have to price it perfectly from the beginning.
Looks: We’ve all heard about the importance of curb appeal. Looks do matter. Real estate investors may buy houses based on the numbers, but looks can still play a role. For regular home buyers, looks are make and break. That starts with images used in advertising a property for sale. This doesn’t have to be a major remodel or gut renovation. A lot can be done with a little if you plan it right. In some cases, there is only so much you can do depending on time and budget restraints. Maybe the property is just small. This is where virtual home staging and creative marketing can really help. Open up prospective buyers’ minds by letting them know if they can add a second story to the home, or put in a pool, etc.
Trust: There has been so much bad business, so many real estate scams, and so much press about it that people are scared to death of being taken advantage of. No one can afford to lose all their savings when trying to buy a home. Many decide the safest thing to do is nothing. You may be offering your property at a ridiculously low price, on awesome terms, and it may look beautiful, but if people don’t trust you and your real estate ads they are not even going to pick up the phone or drop you an email. Take a look at what you are doing and ask how you can deliver more trust.
Visibility: All of the above won’t matter or help you sell your property faster if your real estate isn’t visible. It has to be seen by agents, buyers, and investors in order to attract interest and actually sell. Sometimes this requires more volume. How do you get more eyes on your real estate listing? Google ads, real estate blogs, Facebook, print magazines, newspapers, and online classified and Realtors can all help. Check and see where your property listing is really showing up. Sometimes it isn’t about volume at all. It is about getting the listing in front of the right buyers. So who is the best buyer for your property? Is it a family buying their first home, or a real estate investor?
Financing: Financing is still a major drag on the real estate market. You can get all the above right, but if buyers can’t get financing, they just can’t buy. Maybe you’ll have to turn to an investor that can pay cash, or offer seller financing.