House not selling? Wondering how to interpret what is going on? Here are a few of my thoughts on some common situations……Now, all assume your house is being presented well online with plenty of good pictures and marketing remarks that describe your house as more than a “Must see (insert number of bedroom and style of house here) in a convenient location that won’t last, so hurry, and isn’t a drive-by.”
The house that gets lots of showings but no offers
Assuming that you don’t have some negative that wasn’t disclosed like backing to a highway, apartments, or having an Eifel Tower looking electrical thing in your yard, this situation simply means that the house doesn’t live up to what people expected. The good news with this one is that buyers think the price for what they thought the house would be is good or else they wouldn’t come at all. The solution here is to either lower the price or improve the house so that it meets the expectations buyers have, whichever is easier.
I once had a condo that got tons of showings. I kept encouraging the seller to paint. Once we did, it sold. I recently had another listing that was gettings tons of showings. It was a nice place, but just felt like a 15 year old house that needed a fresh vibe. The seller did some painting and replaced the flooring in all the bathrooms. As soon as it was done, it sold. Both of these places looked great online, and just needed to match what buyers thought they were getting. Both were improved for far less than the price reduction we would have needed, so both sellers actually came out better by going that route!
The house that gets no showings
This one is easy, but hard for sellers to accept……The price is too high. If a house is presented well on the MLS, and still nobody comes to see it, all you can do is lower the price. Real estate is all about price, location, and condition. You can’t change the location, but the other two you have some control over.
A good example is a recent listing of mine. It had some bold colors and was priced too high. We had priced it right after the tax credits expired, meaning all the comps used to determine value were from a much different market when values were higher. The seller painted and agreed to lower the price to reflect the current market and it sold just a couple days later.
Also something to think about is this: If you have a $200k house and you’re asking $250k for it, buyers are comparing it to other houses that are really worth the asking price, and the buyers who are going to spend what your house is really worth aren’t even going to see it since the list price is over their budget.
The house that gets the same bad feedback over and over
This is the least fun thing that can happen to a seller. I mean, they get kicked out of their house for showing after showing with no offer AND get to hear what people hate about their house!
Several years ago I had this really cool older house that had been mostly remodeled. It had the smallest living room I have ever seen……must have been the smallest anybody had ever seen since that I all I kept hearing after the showings. I’d call for feedback and the agent would go on and on about how beautiful the place was, how unexpected it was to have walk-in closets in such an old house, then they end by saying that their client wasn’t going to buy it since the living room was so small.
We tried putting in smaller scale furniture, but that didn’t help. After that, all we could do was drop the price. A price reduction opens the house up to a larger pool of buyers as well as enticing them to overlook a shortcoming if they are getting a better deal. We got that one sold too!
If you have a situation that doesn’t fit into these scenarios, give me a shout and I’ll let you know what to do!