7 Reasons Your Home Isn’t Selling
As we head into the first quarter of the year known as ‘season’, the real estate market in Vero Beach historically starts to pick up. Out of the holiday rush, Buyers – often visitors or snowbirds - start thinking about buying their slice of paradise. If you’re an owner who wants to sell your home or condo, it’s critical to make sure you’re doing the "right" things to ensure you get SOLD.
Below you'll find the top 7 reasons homes don't sell -- and how to avoid making them!
Sometimes when I meet with seller clients, they tell me "we want to only show our home on the weekends" or "our child naps between 1 and 3, so we don't want any showings during that time." While there can be extenuating circumstances that don't allow showings, if you have general restrictions on showings, many times a buyer will just "move on" if they can't see your house/condo, and not try to schedule their showing during a different time.
The answer: Selling is a numbers game. The more prospects through your property, the higher the probability of getting offers. Allow showings of your home/condo when buyers want to see it if at all possible. A home must be seen to get sold. At Daley and Company, all of our showings are accompanied by one of our licensed agents (with rare exceptions.) This means: we’re on site to advocate for your home, ensure key features are highlighted – and we’re boots on the ground to hear feedback about the buyer’s interest and sometimes, constructive criticism that can aid in the listing campaign.
The Internet has transformed real estate. Over 76% of buyers start their search on-line, (on their smart phone!) whether they live in Vero or Virginia. And buyers’ attention spans are shorter than ever: 8 seconds is the time a buyer takes to determine whether or not to click ‘more info.’ As a result of this new shopping dynamic, imagery is everything - and creates the critical first impression of your home. Amateur, iPhone or very few photos of a property will not spark buyer intrigue. Beautiful photography enables buyer to imagine what it’d be like to live in your home.
The answer: At Daley and Company all of our listings are professionally photographed, with virtual tours – and often, aerials and drone video.
Incorrect Photo Order
Another key element to listing photos is the order in which they appear. Start with your ‘wow!’ shot. The average buyer looks at the first three photos before deciding to view additional photos or to move onto the next property listing. If your first three photos don't pique prospective buyers' interest, you've lost them!
The answer: At Daley and Company we always use our ‘wow’ shot at the lead image in our listings. What’s the ‘wow’ shot? Depends on your house – could be pool area, water view, or kitchen. Generally, a careful review the photo shoot images make it obvious to your REALTOR which photos are your homerun images to incorporate into your marketing.
Not In Price Band
pre-Internet, when a buyer was searching for a new home/condo, they’d visit a Realtor's office and look through a big book of property listings. Now, 76% of buyers start their search on the internet. As with imagery, the Internet has transformed how buyers search for property, as buyers now search in price bands. What is a price band? Think price range: nearly all real estate websites have a search method that allows you to search properties between X and X price. These search fields are usually pre-populated with even numbers, now conditioning buyers to search in even numbers, eg between $300,000 and $325,000.
Why is this important? If you priced your home at $299,999, you'd be an invisible buyer that was looking in the price band of $300,000 to $325,000. At $300,000, you’d be visible to buyers searching $250-300,000 AND those searching $300-325,000. (Rule of thumb: the bigger the price tag, the bigger the price band.) In a goal to attract as many eyeballs as possible, that $1 could prove extremely costly!
The answer: proper price band placement is critical when determining a list price for your property to ensure your home is visible to ALL prospective buyers. Consult with your Realtor to find out in which price band your home should be!
Not Properly Staged
we live in an HGTV world in which buyers expect homes they tour to look like model homes, rewarding those who do with strong offers and lesser days on market, and penalizing those that do not with either no offers (no showings!) or low offers to ding sellers for work buyers perceive as critical to make the house their own. That means: staging is now a vital part of preparing your home for sale. Staging is about maximizing the buyer perception of value of your home. When it’s time to sell, your home’s a product getting ready to launch into the marketplace. Take a hard look at the photos of other homes for sale in your price sector – aka ‘the competition’. You may love your purple accent wall, but it will distract buyers, and those who’re interested will deduct the cost of repaint +++ from any offer made. A soft stage is ALWAYS part of preparing your home for sale, including de-cluttering, clearing counters, editing/removing furnishings from rooms, removing personal photos and artificial greenery. Repaint your front door! Replace that worn sod! Look at your house through buyers eyes. And: clean, clean, and clean again. And soft stage prior to photos – looking at your razor in the shower detracts from your shower! Full staging brings in leased furniture, artwork, accessories, rugs -- may be necessary in certain circumstances – whether a property in the high end of your market, or you simply want to maximize your sale price and minimize your days on market. This work before going on the market is often the most important work of your home sale. (Remember, one chance at a first impression!) Full staging can also extend to include judicious investment in items like painting cabinetry, interior or exterior repaint, removing dated window treatments, changing hardware and lighting or removing dated wall paper.
The answer: Have your Realtor walk through the house with you as a perspective buyer to devise your action plan to create the highest possible perceived value. At Daley and Company, part of our listing service includes assessment and management of items where judicious investment can offer a strong return on investment -- paint being the most potent renovation tool in your arsenal. Full staging is an investment that can run from $5,000-50,000 – that results in a higher perception of value, and often, a faster sale and a sale price that exceeds the cost of the differential between the property’s likely sale price if not staged and price achieved staged. We can offer some incredible case histories in support of stating and are one of the few firms in town who employ this critical tactic. PS” If you’ve not made recent updates that most buyers would want, your pricing needs to be reflective of the reality that most buyers will want to re-invest in cosmetic updates you’ve not made. At Daley and Company, we monetize the top items a Seller can do pre-list to get a bigger bang for their buck – or advise on a price as is. Your money, your decision. If it goes to market not updated, we can virtually stage new paint, new cabinets, new flooring – to help your likely buyer envision what the house could be.
Hiring a Family Member, Friend, or a 'Limited Service' Broker
This can be a great thing if your family member or friend is an experienced, full time, professional Realtor.) However, if you know are only having them represent you as a favor, you aren't doing yourself any favors. Selling a property is a business decision – and it matters with whom you choose to list. Realtors that work full time at their profession bring a different skill set that does a ‘hobbyist’ who may only handle one or two transactions a year.
Answer #1: choose your Realtor by asking them about their experience, their years in the business, and most importantly, how they plan on marketing your home or condo. Hiring a "limited service" broker: there are some real estate agents that will charge a nominal fee to get you set up with a listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This type of broker usually has one to two price fees based on services you choose. Keep in mind this business model commonly includes just putting your home in the MLS. As a home seller, you are then responsible (usually) for your own photographs, description and any additional marketing for your house. A legitimate option IF you’re a marketer skilled at print and internet mediums, graphic design, versed in and can obtain the requisite real estate contracts, an expert negotiator, and are comfortable representing yourself in the sale of your house and accompanying all showings. However, if you fall short on any of these qualities, you will most likely leave money on the table - if the house/condo ends up selling.
Answer #2: Hire a professional Realtor, to represent you, market for you, negotiate for you, and handle the myriad of details involved in selling (and closing) one of your most important assets. At Daley and Company our service delivery and average list to sell ratio of 95.5% means that your proceeds check will probably be bigger than were you to go it FSBO or with a limited service broker.
The Price is Too High
This is the #1 reason that homes/condos fail to sell. Price and presentation MUST BE CONGRUENT. Don’t want to/cannot stage, paint or renovate? That’s fine – just be certain that your price is consistent with condition. The longer your property stays on the market, the more your negotiation power diminishes. That’s why we think it’s a huge tactical error for sellers to say ‘let's start at this higher price and if it doesn't sell, we'll drop the price." If you are priced too high, you can turn off buyers that think you are priced too high and they don't want to insult you with a lower offer, or would be impossible to do a deal with.
The answer: talk to a professional Realtor about pricing and all the aspects involved with it. Pricing is a strategy in and itself, and can create a sense of urgency. At Daley and Company, we always advise listing price based upon a current market analysis that we conduct and share with you, as well as analysis of likely competition and short and long term market forces that may impact your property. Real sales – not asking prices – combine with current competition and on-going macro and micro market dynamics to provide clear trends on the most advantageous pricing strategy to get your home sold fast and for top dollar!