Every once in a while, a house goes up for sale in a fairly active market, and for some reason, it just sits there. The weeks tick past, the other houses in the nieghbourhood sport signs that read “SOLD,” but this house just doesn’t sell. If you’re the unfortunate owner of such a property, don’t consider yourself cursed – the answer to why you’re not selling is probably right under your nose. Before throwing in the towel on your sale, consider whether any of these factors might be throwing a wrench in the works.
A lack of curb appeal
If your kitchen updates and refinished basement aren’t bringing the buyers to your door, the problem might lie beyond the threshold. No matter how attractive your home is from the inside, the front is the first thing anyone sees when they visit or view your listing online; if it’s looking unkempt or unappealing, buyers are less likely to continue perusing your listing. It could be time for a small home facelift: repaint chipped or stained porches and foundations, and think about whether a bright, cheerful colour on your front door would add to your home’s charm. While you’re at it, reseal the driveway and add a few potted flowers to make your property ‘pop’ on the outside as much as it does inside.
Your unique style
If dancing to the beat of your own drum is a quality you bring to your home, you may become a frustrated seller. The truth is, many unique homes take longer to sell, especially when your unusual tastes are manifested in more permanent features like kitchen cupboards, bathroom tile, or wall coverings. If you’re just gearing up for some home improvement projects, keep in mind that the best strategy for a faster sale is to make your property appealing to the masses by keeping it fairly neutral. Remember that brightly-painted front door I mentioned? Rather than making it your favourite shade of lime green, stick to bolder colours that are also more classic, like firetruck red, periwinkle blue, or sunshine yellow. By towing the line, your odds of finding a buyer in less time go way up.
A price that’s off-kilter
It’s not an easy thing to accept, but sometimes a home lingers on the market because it’s overpriced. But, you argue, your home has a pool, or an extra bedroom, or heated floors? Well, the majority of buyers are more likely to compromise on their wish lists in order to get a better price, than to feel that they’re overpaying for everything they want. Remember, no matter how much money you’ve put into the house or how valuable you believe that it is, the market ultimately determines what it’s worth. If you’re feeling stuck with a “FOR SALE” sign in your yard, it may be useful for you to contact a real estate professional who can provide you with an up-to-date comparative market analysis.
Though it can be difficult to be objective about your own home – especially where style and price are concerned – it’s important to try to see it from a buyer’s perspective. If possible, ask a trusted friend or your agent to give you some honest pointers, or gather feedback from prospective buyers after open houses and showings. You may discover that the roadblock to your success has been within sight all along.