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7 Reasons Why Your Home Won’t Sell

Sat, 8th January, 2011 - Posted by Sean Kavanagh

1. Your property won’t sell because it’s overpriced. It is very difficult to accept that your house may not be worth as much as you think it is worth. A house is only worth as much as the last sale, of similar structure, in your neighbourhood OR what a buyer is willing to pay for a home. It is also a mistake to add every dollar that you have spent on your house and add it to the sale price. It is a difficult exercise, but sellers should always try to look at things from a buyer’s perspective and ask themselves, “Would I buy this house for this price?”

2. Your property won’t sell because your photos are “less than impressive”. The vast majority of home buyers now start their property search online, so your property had better look fantastic in photo. Today an internet view should be considered your first showing and if the photos impress, then you can hope for the second showing when they actually come to the home for a visit. People want to feel like they have been through a tour of the home when they view the photos online, so satisfy them by using as many photos as you can.

3. Your property won’t sell because it shows badly. This is a test for the senses. Do you have a dog, do you smoke in the house, do you cook with strong odour ingredients? Do you have mildew around the bathtub or shower, are the carpets stained, are the windows clean? Are all the dishes washed and put away, beds made, clothes off the floor? How is the lighting in the home? Is it too dark for evening showings? Do you still have every family photos and heirloom displayed prominently in the home? Is the grass cut or walk shovelled?

These are all things to consider when you look at how your home will show. When choosing your realtor, be sure to ask if free staging is part of their client services. This way you can be sure not to miss any of these important details.

4. Your property won’t sell because you’re invisible. With over 90% of buyers starting their real estate searches online, you have to expose your listing on as many real estate websites as you can. Long gone are the days of simply listing your home on the MLS and waiting by the phone. Be sure to hire a realtor that understands this and ask to see how he/she plans to expose your home to the market. With twitter, facebook, linkedIn, YouTube, company websites, blogs, kijiji, Craig’s List,… Today’s buyer comes from the internet, almost exclusively. The more places you expose your home to, the greater chance of it selling quickly for close to your asking price.

5. Your property won’t sell because it’s unavailable to show. The first 2-3 weeks is the most crucial for any new listing. If you plan on listing your home, you must be prepared to live at the mercy of the BUYER. If you don’t want to show your house because Mom is visiting from out of town, OR because you have temperamental pets, OR if you have children that need their uninterrupted scheduled naps, you should reconsider listing your home at a time when ‘anytime is a good time’ to show the home. One of the big mistakes sellers seem to make is when they turn down a showing with instructions to come back at a different time. “They can’t come at 2:00 because the game is on….tell them to come back at 6:00!” By 6:00, the buyers have decided 2 things: 1) you really aren’t interested in selling your home anyway and 2) they have decided to buy your neighbours home. If you are not prepared to open up your home at the convenience of the BUYER (not seller!) you should reconsider listing your home. As with an overpriced listing, a house that stays on the market too long will become stigmatized and prey for the bargain hunters……if you get any offers at all.

6. Your property won’t sell because of the time of year you listed your home. I do understand that many sellers cannot choose the time when they list their home, but for the people that can choose the time of year to list their property, please know that it is harder to sell a home with a pool in November than it would be to sell in March or April. Buyers will not only want to use the pool once they take possession, but if purchased in the winter, they will not be able to check all the mechanical workings of a closed pool. Also, bargain buyers will know getting rid of a home with a pool will be difficult in the late fall/winter months and use that to their advantage to get your list price down.

Also, if you are planning on selling a family home, do not list in the middle of the summer. Most families will want to be in their new home by the middle of the summer so the kids can get used to the new neighbourhood and can develop some friendships before the start of the school year. So, if we assume the average close on a property is 60 days and it takes on average 30 days to sell your home (depending on the market), you need to think about listing the home at least 60-90 days before the middle of summer.

7. Your property won’t sell because your listing is tired and stale on the market. Okay… yes, you overpriced your home initially when you first came on the market a year and a half ago. Now, finally you’re truly priced where you believe should be, but your listing has become tired and stale. Everyone who is looking for your type of property already saw your home when it first came to market. It is sometimes a good idea to remove the listing from the market and then re-list it to give it a fresh start.

This strategy only works, however, if all of the other 6 points listed here are taken care of. Remember, in a healthy market, your home should never become stale or tired if you have:
a) Priced it properly
b) Have attractive photos displaying the finer points of your home. AND the more photos the better!
c) It showing in tip top condition
d) Exposed your listing to the market in numerous and various methods marketing
e) Made your home easy and available for other agents to show your property
AND
f) Considered the time of year you are listing your home.

Category: Burlington / Sellers

2 Responses to “7 Reasons Why Your Home Won’t Sell”


Boris January 9, 2011

You forgot to mention – modestly – that one needs to enlist the services of a great agent, which you certainly are, Sean.

Thank you again for masterfully handling all three real estate transactions for us in 2010.

Sean Kavanagh January 9, 2011

Boris, working with you and Nada was a pleasure. I am just glad we were able to find you everything you wanted and needed.

Best wishes for 2011



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