Few things in life are as stressful as selling a house. To make it worse, sometimes a property just sits on the market without any prospective buyers. If you’re frantic because your home hasn’t sold yet, here are seven reasons why it may not be selling.
Price is Too High
There is an old adage in real estate that every property will sell at the right price. If your house isn’t getting any offers, it is likely that the price is out of whack with the market. Realtors are experts and will help you to pick an appropriate asking price. They also have the expertise to market your home to qualified buyers.
Uninviting Curb Appeal
Your house only has one first chance to welcome buyers. It’s easy to become so used to your house that you don’t notice that it looks a little down in the dumps. Sadly, buyers miss out on many wonderful homes because the lack of curb appeal causes them to ignore the potential of the home. Indeed, some buyers won’t even get out of the car to look at a house with crummy curb appeal.
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to create curb appeal that welcomes buyers and encourages them to explore the many beautiful features of your house. One easy way to help you see things potential buyers may see is to invite a friend or family member over that can look at your house objectively. Have them make you a list of things they notice. Here are a few other ways to make sure that your house makes a fantastic first impression:
- Wash the windows
- Power wash the driveway and entry walk
- Mow and weed the lawn
- Trim hedges and trees
- Plant colorful flowers
- Put out a brand new welcome mat
- Ensure there is no trash in the yard
Do you use a particular trick to open your front door? If you have to use any skills to force your door open, it is critical that you either fix it or replace the hardware on the knob. Every real estate professional has stories of the front door that wouldn’t open. If a buyer can’t get into your house, there is very little chance that the buyer will make an offer on it.
A messy, unclean house gives buyers the impression that the owner doesn’t care about the house. Unless you are selling your house as a potential tear-down, it’s essential that you pull out your cleaning supplies and get ready for some hard work. A deep cleaning results in a shiny, sparkling house that inspires buyers to fall in love with the house.
Special Tip: Clean and organize your refrigerator until it looks like those refrigerators that you see in home decorating magazines. Savvy buyers will open the fridge to check up on the cleanliness of the house.
Too Much Character
You turned your house into your home through photographs, artwork, and collectibles. Do your friends admire your collection of Star Wars figures? Framed autographed sports jersey? A potential buyer might admire your collections and quirky style, too. The problem is that it makes the house feel like your house. Instead, you want a potential buyer to start thinking of the house as their house. They won’t think of it as their house if they feel like a visitor in your home.
The secret to toning down the character in your house is to declutter and neutralize. Examine each room for your personal touches, such as photographs, and remove them. Think of decluttering as packing for your move. An easy way to neutralize the style in a home is by painting the walls a neutral color such as grey and beige.
Ask any real estate specialist about the primary reasons that buyers reject property, and the subject of unpleasant odors is at the top of the list. Invisible stinky smells will drive buyers out of your house before they even notice the terrific floor plan and neutral wall colors. Common causes of nasty odors are pets, cooking, and cigarette smoke.
Some tried, and true odor eliminating methods include:
- Shampoo carpets and upholstery
- Wash pet bedding and toys
- Open windows
- Place a bowl of white vinegar in a room overnight
- Repaint walls
- Put an opened box of baking soda in musty smelling closets
Children and Pets
Remember how tears rolled down your cheeks when you watched the kids and pets in Marley and Me? Sadly, buyers hate pet odors and kid clutter.
Don’t worry, you won’t need to send your kids and pets to live with relatives while your house is on the market. Instead, ask your child to select a few special toys and box up the rest. Keep the remaining toys organized in one part of the house. It’s also helpful to repaint the walls in your child’s room with a neutral paint color.
You can minimize the presence of your pets through intense cleaning and odor elimination. Make sure that pet food bowls are cleaned and put away from sight before any house showings. Try to keep all of your pet paraphernalia in one organized location. Cat owners must clean litter boxes each day as litter box odors tend to waft throughout a house.
Special Tip: Don’t forget your small pets who live in tanks and cages. Everyone benefits when you make an effort to maintain your pets living spaces. Your beautiful fish tank, for example, is a delightful touch to your living room but will distract a potential purchaser if the tank water is murky and smelly.
In closing, a speedy home sale is the result of a competitive asking price and optimizing the appeal of the property.