What to do when you home is not selling - Atlanta Realtor Jess Cooke Scarborough
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What to do when you home is not selling

What to do when you home is not selling

As a Realtor®, I’ve seen this situation many times – especially in a seller’s market like we’re experiencing now here in Atlanta – a seller puts their home on the market, the days and weeks go by with some interest but no reasonable offers. They begin to get frustrated, questioning everything, and ultimately ask their real estate agent, why is my home not selling?

It’s a valid question and one I recommend you ask if you’re in this situation. If I’m asked this question, or asking it of myself when one of my listings is not selling, here’s the thought process I go through.

First, has it been on the market for at least two weeks?

I use two weeks as a good benchmark because buyers are typically buying “off the top,” meaning the buyers actively in the market are buying the newer listings as opposed to the older listings. This is why pricing right early on matters so much. Being priced right from the outset ultimately allows sellers to get a better price in a shorter amount of time. So, if there have not been any serious offers, it may be time to make some adjustments. If your home is positioned and priced well, it should sell.

The next step is to consider the price.

Even in a seller’s market, pricing is a huge factor. There are so many considerations when coming up with the right price and if they have not all been properly calibrated, the house will sit, or take much longer to sell. I always tell my clients, that the market will communicate to us what’s going on and if we’re not priced right, the message will come in the form of no offers. So, as a rule of thumb, if you have not received any offers within two weeks of listing, you are priced too high.

Ask, how move-in ready is my home?

The largest pool of homebuyers right now is Millenials and Baby Boomers. Both populations want move-in ready homes. They do not want lots of projects, renovations, or updates when they move in. So, my recommendation is to tour your home with the eyes of a young buyer with a young family. How ‘2018’ is your home? Are the colors updated? Is the home ready to accommodate children? Older homes are great for young families, as long as they have fresh paint (interior and exterior), updated appliances, and newer flooring – at a minimum. I’m thinking of a listing right now that I know would sell in a hot second if only the exterior paint colors were updated.

Ask, how ‘show-ready’ is my home?

Remember, once you list your home, it becomes a ‘show home.’ Help your home look its best for showings by making sure it’s decluttered and staged to show off it’s best features. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression!

Remember, timing is everything.

Before listing your home, make sure to have the conversation with your agent about timing. There are optimal times of the year for certain properties. For example, single family homes in the suburbs are going to sell for the best price and the quickest during the spring/summer months when families are out of school and more eager to move before the next school year begins. High rise condos often sell the best later in the year when corporate relocations are most common. How will timing affect your listing?

Ask potential buyers why.

If you want to know why your home is not selling, just ask. When potentially perfect buyers tour your home and don’t buy, it’s a good idea to ask them why. What would they like to see in your home to make it more desirable? What are the factors keeping them from putting in an offer? Your agent can help with this, but survey those that tour the home and see if you can get some helpful ideas for how to better sell your home.

For example, I sold a gorgeous older home with a very contemporary interior. Buyers that wanted an older home wanted a more traditional interior and buyers that loved the contemporary interior were also looking at newly built homes, not older homes. So, there was a disconnect. Learning this helped me to better position the home to the ‘right’ buyers and the home sold.

The bottom line is that if your home is not selling, there’s lots you can do to change things up and help get it sold within your desired timeline. Don’t give up! Ask your Realtor®’s advice and see what you can do together to increase interest.

Happy selling!



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