Category Archives: tips for selling your house

Why hasn’t my home sold yet?

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for sale sign at home ready for showingYou did everything you’ve read and heard about getting your home ready for the real estate market. You listed during the spring.  You mow your lawn on a regular basis to make it look well-cared for.  You think your home is a diamond in the rough. So why hasn’t your home sold yet?  Here are 10 reasons your home may not have sold yet—and what you can do about it.

Price

What: A realistic selling price is one of the most important factors in a quick sale.  Don’t use what you owe on the property or what you think your property is worth to set the selling price for your home.

The fix: This is one of those situations where experience counts because the best local agents use their experience with local real estate markets to price a home right.  To find out what that perfect home sale price is, contact a local experienced agent for a free consultation.  They’ll walk through your home and give you a custom fair sales price that’ll get your home off the market.

Cleanliness

What: Nothing sends potential buyers out the door faster than a dirty tub, or dodging creepy crawlies during the home tour.  Instead, your home should be clean during every showing, with the rooms clutter-free, floors cleaned, and every inch of the kitchens and bathrooms scrubbed down (more tips for a clean home for showings here).

The fix: Give your home a deep clean before you put it on the market, or make the cleaning a work-in-progress.  If you choose the latter option, start cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms which are the most important rooms to many buyers.  Another option is to hire a cleaning service to give your home a deep clean; if you want to go this route, choose an experienced realtor who can connect you to local, affordable cleaning service.

Location

What: Train tracks, a cemetery, electrical lines, where you are in town or a lot out in the country—all these different factors impact the value of your home.

The fix: While you can’t change many of these factors, you can improve your home so potential homeowners are so impressed by the home they forget about the train tracks across the street or the electrical lines nearby.  Improve your home within reason; you don’t want to “over improve” your home so that the improvements are beyond what local neighborhood values dictate (to find out where that line is, contact a real estate agent who knows your area and can give you information).

Curb appeal

What: Curb appeal is potential buyers’ first impression of your home: your front door, the cleanliness of your walks, your driveway, plantings, etc.  Any lapses in curb appeal can sour your potential buyers’ opinion before they even step in the front door.

The fix: Use our curb appeal checklist to make sure you’ve created a favorable curb appeal, or contact a local real estate agent for their opinion.  Ask for their honest opinion of your home’s curb appeal, and how you can make buyers want to come inside.

Repairs

What: A crack in the ceiling, an uneven driveway full of cracks, water damage stain on the wall—all of these items (and more) can make buyers walk away from a property that’s less than turn-key.  Even if you’ve promised to make these repairs at the time of sale, potential buyers may turn away at the sight of repairs.

The fix: Talk to your real estate agent when you list about what should be repaired before you list your home.  Make repairs to the home now while you can control the cost of the repairs.  If you don’t know where to start with repairs (or if any repairs need to be made), ask your real estate agent for a list of home inspectors who can tour your property and give you a pre-sale inspection.  This simple step saves you the headache of surprises—and can fast track your home sale.

5 Tips for Keeping Sane When Selling Your Home

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sell your homeWhether your home is on the market for a day or a year, selling your home is a process—at times, a taxing and draining process. From the uncertain length of time for the sale to the financial stress, selling your home can be a very trying time. But there is hope for homeowners ready to put their house on the market if you follow our tips for maintaining your sanity during this very trying—and exciting!—time.

Choose the right real estate agent

A good realtor is worth their weight in knowledge, profit and savings. That’s why it’s vital to choose the right realtor that can educate when needed, communicate with you on a regular basis, and knows their stuff. It sounds generic, we know, but the right realtor is an important part of the home selling process—along with a mortgage lender and home inspector, which we wrote about in a recent post.

So how do you choose the best? Read our article about how to select the right real estate agent. Look at their reviews on social media. Ask around. Check through local sales to see which real estate agents are selling properties. A good real estate agent has the experience and knowledge to see you through your sale, from the day you put your home on the market until the sale is finalized.

Get a pre-listing home inspection

If you want to minimize surprises while selling your home, a pre-listing home inspection is for you. A pre-listing home inspection is an inspection of your property by a licensed home inspector BEFORE you put your home up for sale. A pre-listing home inspection can locate potential red flags (even the not so obvious problems) before your home hits the market—and before a buyers’ home inspector finds them. This also gives you the opportunity to control who makes the repairs and the cost of repairs. If your home inspector finds an issue with your property during the pre-listing home inspection, you, as the home owner, can choose what professional and price you pay for repairs. If a potential buyer finds the issue, they can require that you use their home repair professional which may cost you more in the long run.

Develop a strategy for keeping your home ready for showings

Even if you ask your realtor for 24 hours notice before all showings, inevitable short-notice showings do come up occasionally. If you want to sell your house, it’s best not to turn away a potential buyer away, so it makes sense to come up with a plan. This may mean hiring a cleaning service to give your home a deep clean, and follow up appointments to keep your home clean for showings. If you have a lot of personal items that hide the size of your room or one of your home’s features, rent a storage unit so you don’t have to repeatedly remove and take items with you during showings.

Set a fair selling price from the start

A house priced too high is a house that is going to sit on the real estate market, resulting in price reductions that send all the wrong signals to potential buyers (“Is there something wrong with the house?” “Why has it sat on the market so long?”). If your home is priced too low, you’re not going to walk away with the top dollar you need, and no one likes to feel like they got ripped off. How do you determine that sweet spot, a fair sales price? Trust your real estate agent to do a market evaluation. The right price is determined by looking at purchase prices from comparable home sales in your area. For example, if you are selling a condo, find other condos for sale in your area. For more information on sales prices, read our blog post to guide you to the right sales price—the price that sells.

Stay focused on the goal

The process of selling your home can feel like a roller coaster; it’s vital for your sanity to keep your eyes on the goal. Educate yourself so you’re ready for the home buying and selling process, and don’t be afraid to take some time to relax during the process. Remember, there are some aspects of your home you can’t change (like location), but there are parts of your home you can ready for the market, such as cleanliness, condition and curb appeal. Do what you can to your home and choose the right professionals for your home selling process: an excellent mortgage lender, real estate agent and home inspector (we’ve given you tips on how to do so here). Keep your eyes on the goal; all of your due diligence is for a reason: so you can get a fair price for your home and move on.