There is nothing quite as frustrating as putting your house on the market and it not selling. You see all of the other homes on realestate.com.au selling, why isn’t yours? You’ve spent a lot of time getting it ready, organised bin hire to get rid of additional waste around the home and done some minor repairs, so what gives? Here are the top six reasons why your house isn’t selling:
The real estate agent
Not all real estate agents are created equal. Handing someone the task of selling your biggest asset is a huge responsibility, so don’t feel obliged to use your local estate agents or even your family or friends if they are in the industry. Take your time to shop around for the right person so you can feel confident that they are going to do a good job of drumming up interest in your home and selling it at a price you are happy with. Word of mouth goes far in the real estate industry, so see what other people have to say about the person you are considering hiring. There are also various websites that give reviews of estate agents which are worth checking out as well.
Although it feels as though each weekend brings a new price record for home sales these days, it doesn’t mean you can slap on any price and expect someone out there will pay it. When setting a price for your home you need to take into account the market value for your area, the location and the potential of the home. If the home is a real ‘fix up’, then all potential buyers will automatically add the additional costs, such as skip hire and labour, onto the price you are asking for as that is a true outlay for them once they buy the home.
Bad first impression
You’ve heard the saying; first impressions count. This also applies when it comes to selling houses. Fix up the front fence, clear the pathway that leads to your house, and repaint the front door. Put a nice plant or statue out the front and make sure the light fittings are in good nick. Basically anything that a person will see before they even put one foot inside your house is going to make a huge impression on them. They need to be able to imagine coming home to this house, so make sure it’s warm and inviting. Also don’t forget the amount of people who will drive by once a house goes on the market and all they can judge on is the state of the front yard.
Once you’ve decided to sell up and move out, fixing that darn tap that’s been broken for years might be the last thing on your mind. But if you don’t get around to all of the repairs that need doing, you will literally be costing yourself money. Home buyers are looking for either a house they can move into with little work and little fuss, or a good and proper ‘do up’. The ones looking for a do up don’t want to spend too much money, as they know the real investment starts once they have been handed the keys. So if you want the best money for your home, make sure it is in a state that is good enough for people to be able to move right in without having to do too much work to it first.
Not enough preparation
Further to the point above, once you decide to sell don’t just rush out and put your house on the market straight away. Even if you don’t have really obvious repairs that need doing, there are lots of ways to prepare your home for sale before listing it. Start by giving your home a thorough clean out – nobody wants to see your clutter as they will get the impression there is not enough storage space in the home. Hire a skip bin and get to work, both inside and out (don’t neglect the gardens!). On open day, take the time to primp the house so it looks like it belongs on the pages of a magazine, and perhaps even light a nice scented candle or two. You are not just selling a home; you are selling the dream.
Marketing is important when it comes to the sale of your home. You can have the most amazing house for sale, at a bargain price, but if no one knows about it how will they be able to buy it? Check with your real estate agent how they plan to market your home; will it be listed on the real estate websites and sections in the local paper? Will they call, email or SMS potential customers? Will they make up a flyer for a letterbox drop? Whatever they have planned, it will be better than doing nothing and hoping for word to magically get out.
The marketing continues inside the home on open day as well. The idea is for potential buyers to be able to see themselves living in this home, not to be able to see the family that currently owns it. This means taking down all family photos and personal mementos. They don’t need to see all of your diplomas and awards hung in the study, or the photos lining the hallways. Remove all of this and replace them with generic decorations such as candles, paintings or statues.