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4 reasons your home isn't selling

Ginger Dean

April 9, 2015

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Finance and LegalInterior Home Improvement

Gone are the days of simply placing your home on the market and having offers coming in droves. Buyers have choices today. Lots of them. So if your home isn't selling, it's time to take an objective look at what's missing and see what you can do to offer buyers something they can't get elsewhere.

Given the fact that you will have some competition, think about what makes your home stand out. Can the buyer imagine their family life in your home or do they have to sort through clutter just to see the bedroom closets? Their decision to buy or walk away from your home could be determined by the following issues:

Curb appeal

Your listing has to first bring the buyer in. What do they see first? Will they be disgusted by the weeds in the garden and vines growing up the side of your home? Is your grass browning and overgrown? Do your walls or pavement need power washing? Is the exterior paint washed out, cracked or chipping? These are are just a few curb appeal issues that could prevent a buyer from even scheduling an appointment to see your home. Ask yourself if you'd buy your home looking as it does now, then make any changes necessary for your answer to be a resounding "yes."

Overpriced

In some markets, the price per square footage is skyrocketing. You may see that and want to list your home at a similar price, even if you're outside the city seeing those high prices. However, if you live in a place where the cost of living is average and where the home prices have been pretty stable, follow the herd. Don't list your home with an outrageous asking price because most buyers will be so turned off they'll refuse to place an offer. Check the market for homes with similar specifications (bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage) within a 1-3 mile radius. This lets you know whether your price is within range or outrageous.

If you want your home to sell fast, price your home like the ones right around your, but over-deliver on the features. Even just one or two stand-out things can make a difference. For example, new kitchen countertops and new flooring could be just the thing that makes a buyer pick your home over another.

Seller concessions

Buyers are always lured in by a good deal. So what could break the deal on your well-priced home? Seller concessions. This can include any combination of the following:

  • Origination fees
  • Closing costs
  • Inspection fees
  • Downpayment assistance
  • Transfer taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Homeowner association fees

Consider what you're willing to give up in order to make the sale.

Staging issues

This is an often neglected part of the home selling process. It is vitally important that you make sure your home is properly staged. This means removing most personal items, having your home professionally cleaned, and organizing your furniture in a neutral but functional manner. The goal is to allow the buyer to imagine themselves living in your home. They can't do this if distracted by clutter, mounds of clothes in the closet, and/or children's toys in every room. You should also invest in having a good photographer take flattering photos of your home.

You may think this is overkill when it comes to selling your home, but respecting the fact that buyers have choices goes a long way. You want your home to be the belle of the ball amidst all other comparable homes in the neighborhood. Check to see if your home violates any of the reasons above and make the necessary changes.

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