Home Sellers, Marketing, Home Buyers, Housing Market, Real Estate, Economy
You have a nice cabin in the mountains but life is ever changing and now you either want or need to sell it. You feel confident that the cabin will appeal to a lot of prospective buyers so you think it should sell fairly quickly and you can get on with your life. After all, you love the cabin and therefore, most everyone else will too.
But, “what if” it doesn’t sell right away?
Have a backup plan in case it takes longer than you expect for your cabin to sell because an uncertain housing market and economy is bound to bring uncertainty.
Before you go to market, factor in that it might not sell for reasons beyond your and your Realtor’s® control. There are external factors such as, economy, gasoline prices, unemployment that affect virtually every real estate market. Be prepared for the possibility that a sell may take longer than you desire.
Are your expectations realistic? Keep your personal feelings toward your cabin in check, (many sellers feel their home is the best there is and is worth more than it really is so remember-market determines a listing price but what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept determines the selling price).
Remember the worn out phrase from the 90s, “It’s not personal, it’s business”? Well, in real estate, it is personal and it is business! But as a seller who has made the decision to sell, you must try to remove your emotional attachment and realize you’ve made a business decision. Treat your approach in a business fashion. Meaning, hire a real estate professional who knows the market and will tell you the straight of it and be open to the facts. Be careful of those agents who will tell you what they know you want to hear. To them, it’s a numbers game (the more listings they get may lead to more sales) but You should not be a number! Make sure you get actual=factual market statistics on properties that recently sold, pending and actively for sale comparable to your property because this is valuable information in black and white which will provide great insight into what’s happening in your market area and neighborhood. An experienced Realtor® knows where to dig to get the most up to date information. Don’t rely on internet real estate websites that offer home value estimates. Prices can be grossly overstated and understated. These sites are satisfactory for searching properties but not so great for estimating the values. Some sites even give themselves low accuracy ratings for certain market areas. One main reason is: these sites are only going on stats and can’t factor in that gorgeous view you have or that you are a stone’s throw from a lake, parks, etc. and many other things that have to be taken into account when determining listing price.
If you think hiring an agent cost too much, and you will save money by DIY, then consider just how much it’s really going to cost you in the long run by time lost from sitting on the market (time is money) and especially if you are making monthly payments by not hiring a professional. Ask yourself, what kind of marketing are you getting from DIY or a limited service brokerage firm, keyword “limited”! Hire a professional who knows real estate, works in the profession full time, who knows your market area and offers a dynamic marketing plan. And I might add an agent who understands that marketing and sales are two completely different dynamics. When you decide to list, you want a robust marketing plan, especially in a buyer’s market when the recovery of the economy is fragile at best. Remember, you’ve made a business decision to sell, so treat the marketing of your property like a business.
So why hasn’t your home been snapped up by a buyer?
A distressed housing market and ailing economy is not the best backdrop for buyers to make large financial purchases. Understandably, prospective buyers are rightfully cautious before spending hard earned cash on anything and especially a purchase as large as buying real estate. So, stay in control and understand why buyers are not falling over one another to buy your home.
Here are four of the most common reasons why your home is languishing on the market.
Blame your real estate agent
because the blame may actually belong there but if you did your due diligence before you hired an agent, then more than likely, this is not the problem. More realistically, is price but not always. Even though you feel it’s priced well, you must remember that buyers have a budget and you could still be priced out of the average buyer’s budget. Here’s where compromises may have to happen with the buyer on how much you and the buyer think the property is really worth. I’m not saying give your cabin away, but you are competing with many other properties, foreclosures, short sales, etc. The competition diminishes the chances of your home selling if a buyer perceives pricing isn’t on par.
Your house is in a less-than-ideal neighborhood
Buyers are more educated now due to great accessibility to real estate information so they know they are not just buying a vacation retreat but they are also buying location and amenities.
If you are in a good location, near towns, parks, lakes, reputable schools perhaps, decent roads, then you stand a good chance of bagging a good price for your cabin. If not, you may need to accept that you are not going to sell for a large profit. If that’s your motivation, then you may need to wait out the market a bit longer. However, you can update your cabin as much as you want to make it shine (and you absolutely should) but you can’t change the location where it sits.
What level of marketing are you getting?
Good marketing can highlight the positive aspects of your home and downplay the negatives. It means really reaching out to buyers and making them pay attention to your home. Only having your property advertised in multiple listing services alone won’t cut it. You need a robust marketing campaign.
Your house must be in show condition – outshine your competition
To successfully sell your home, it’s important for the seller to get inside the head of a prospective buyer and try to view the property from their eyes which may be hard to do, especially if you can’t put aside the emotional ties you have with your property. This is where a real estate agent can give you valuable insight and advice because they know what buyers are looking for and what it takes to get a buyer to buy.
Every home needs some level of repair from simple touch-ups to visits from the plumber, painter and/or electrician. Even a brand new house is not exempt. You don’t have to spend a lot of cash but make sure your home is squeaky clean, remove the clutter and repair a torn screen or windows and doors that don’t close properly. (Most home inspectors will get you for this anyway). Replace burned out light bulbs, lighten things up, take care of pet odors, make your home feel as welcoming and relaxing as possible.
Associate Broker, GRI