There are many reasons why a home can stay stagnant on the market but there are 5 major issues why your home may be suffering from the dreaded days on market list. If you can remedy these top spoilers you put yourself in a great position to not only save more money but also put more money in your pocket.
For many homes that go on the market curb appeal tends to be one of the more neglected areas. If you can do a better job preparing the introduction of the home (the curb appeal and exterior) it could certainly result into a faster sell. Consider this for a moment. If you stop by Urhous’s office to talk about our firm representing you and notice that as you walked inside agents were wearing dingy t-shirts with un-pressed jeans and messy hair would you think we were the type of company that was professional and could give you excellent real estate service?
That’s exactly what it’s like for buyers when they drive up to homes with poor curb appeal. They start telling themselves a story before they even walk through the door. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, more than 10% of buyers make the decision not to even go inside when the curb appeal is not presentable.
These are missed opportunities and you want to make sure you capitalize on each of them.
So, here’s what you should do. Start by power washing the exterior. Not just the front!! (Lot’s of people try to take the cheap way out). The entire house. Also, power wash the driveway and the sidewalk (if you have one). The initial presentation needs to look pristine like the house was brand new.
Next, deal with the weeds in the yard and plant some new grass seeds (something that grows fast by the way). Then don’t waste time, pick the day you’re going to do the work and get it done!
Okay, so you got the house power washed and the lawn is getting it’s manicure. Now, do some landscaping. Put down some fresh mulch and get some color in the flower bed. Pick flowers that everyone would like. Don’t over spend and buy something exotic. You may even want to consider buying a few more flower pots for the porch. It adds to the “flow” -plus it’s a nice touch.
Here’s something that your spouse and friends have been trying to tell you for years. Your choice of paint colors are horrible! Okay, yours may or may not be, but there are thousands of sellers out there who can use some advice in this area.
Most people choose colors that are personal to them. And that’s fine, for when you’re not moving, but when you decide to put your house on the market your home becomes a product for sale, and it needs to appeal to the general market.
So, there’s a couple of things you need to do to ensure you don’t shock the world or try to start a new trend with paint colors.
Let’s start by talking about the old saying “use neutral colors.” I’m sure you’ve heard that one before right? They say to use colors that are neutral like egg shell or beige. These are sometimes the worst colors to use and here’s why.
They’re boring, they don’t make the other placement items in your home “pop” and they don’t give an emotional response to the buyer. Part of the buying process is an emotional one. You always want to appeal to the emotions of the buyer.
Therefore, you should focus on the colors that are “in.” You know, the one’s you see in model homes. So, what would those colors be? Glad you asked.
Colors that are part of the light gray and blue family tend to elicit positive emotions that are inviting and comforting. They also tend to work well with a wide variety of other colors and furniture pieces.
Oh yeah! Let’s not forget the trim, the doors through out the house, and the stairs (if that’s an area where you don’t have carpet). Those can all use a fresh coat of paint as well. Little scuffs tend to hide in these areas. Furthermore, the deck is another item you should add to the list that may need a fresh coat of paint or be re-stained.
People are often surprised by how much paint can change a home. But what they also find out is that it’s a cheap way to bring in a heck of a lot more money. The ROI (return on investment) on paint is hugely underrated.
Carpet can be a small expense but it’s worth every penny. Old, worn, dingy carpet tends to make a house feel dirty. In addition to that it absorbs odors of all kind, pet odors, cigarette odors, and different spices you may cook with.
Those stains don’t always come out from steam cleaning which is the reason why you should just spend the money and replace it. Sure, you might feel as though you’ve already spent money on so many other items but, like the paint, this is one area where you’ll get way more back than what you invested. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
Buyers who visit your home are going to know right away that they’re dealing with a seller who means business and fully expects to sell their home without any back and forth negotiating over the price and rather the home is actually worth what it’s listed for.
If your house has been on the market for an extended period of time, or, if it expired from the market, one of the problems you may have been suffering from is having too much of your personal items not stored away.
Remember, you’re moving! Do yourself a big favor and purchase a storage unit then clear everything that’s unnecessary out!
You should remove all personal pictures, art pieces, college memorabilia, religious artifacts, everything that is personal to you. This house is no longer your home. It is a product for sale.
On the otherhand, you may not want to have a huge wall exposed where there could be a painting or mirror that hangs to make the space feel more “homely.” But you want it to be generic. Something that doesn’t bring any attention to itself – just a place holder.
This gives buyers the opportunity to see a clean canvas where they can begin to picture their personal items and understand how the home fits their family’s situation. And that’s the point, you want them to see the house as their home.
One of the biggest mistakes many sellers make is they price above or at the top of the market. Their logic is that if they go on the market at a higher price they can negotiate down to the number they were actually thinking, or, if no one makes an offer they can lower the price in minor increments.
This is not a good strategy! In fact, it almost never works. Think about it, as a home sits on the market and days begin to go by how likely are buyers thinking that the home is worth what the sellers are asking? Hardly ever. Buyers are thinking that the home is overpriced and it needs to come down.
The longer you stay at that price the longer the home will sit and the more doubt begins to travel through the market about your listing.
Therefore the best pricing strategy is to price the home just a hair under the market. Remember, people like to think they’re getting more value for what they’re paying. Placing a home on the market for $325,000 where it may actually be worth $330,000 will most certainly get people interested.
And here’s what usually happens, if you’ve done all the other things mentioned in this guide, you won’t just get one buyer to make an offer, you’ll get several. They’re all competing for your listing! What do you think happens to the price of that home? That’s right, you got it! It goes up, and sometimes, way up! What was priced at $325,000 ends up selling for $335,000 or more.
This pricing strategy puts sellers in a very strong negotiating position. Remember, negotiate from a position of strength and this is a much stronger position to be in than if you’re attempting to negotiate from a price that is too high.