With the hot Toronto spring delayed but now underway, houses are selling. Multiple offers are rampant. And buyers are on the hunt. Yet despite the favourable market conditions that exist for sellers today, some houses aren’t selling.
It is surprising that some houses don’t sell considering listing inventory is at such low levels, sales of properties are increasing week after week, and prices are inching upwards.
What’s wrong with houses that don’t sell?
And when it comes time to listing yours for sale, how do you avoid being one of the few houses that don’t end up selling?
Let’s have a look at three specific factors why some houses don’t sell and the solutions to each one.
Priced Too High
Contrary to what many home sellers believe, price is the most common factor a house doesn’t sell. The problem, to be specific, is overpricing.
Sure, it’s understandable for a homeowner to think that they’ve got ‘the best’ house on the market. (And, quite frankly, many do!)
But it’s one thing to think this way, and another to properly price a home to reflect what the market is willing to pay for it.
When you look at the data showing houses that don’t sell, you’ll discover that many of them start at a price that is well above the current market value.
It typically takes 20-25 days in the current market to sell a house. An overpriced property doesn’t sell, and it becomes stale.
Once a house has been on the market for 40… 60… 100 days… real estate agents start to think something is wrong with it. They convey this sentiment to their buyers, and sellers notice showings decline drastically.
The data shows sellers, following the advice of their agents, cancelling their current listing and then re-listing as if it were brand new. With this re-listing, of course, comes a reduced price.
What sellers may not realize is that real estate agents (the ones doing their jobs properly) can find previous listings with a click of a button on our MLS system. We will see every attempt made to sell a property, and how long each listing has sat on the market.
This begins a downward spiral. The property sits on the market for an extended period of time, and the seller ends up lowering the price once, twice, maybe three or more times, before eventually selling for significantly lower than what the market would have paid if they had priced properly from the beginning.
What’s the solution?
If you’re planning to sell your house, consult with your real estate agent so you can find out what the market values are for properties like yours. Your real estate agent will also tell you what other homes may be for sale in the current market, and how to properly position your property so it is attractive to homebuyers.
Overpricing is a very common challenge but is the easiest to fix. If you price your property correctly from the beginning, you will end up selling it at a much better price and you’ll encounter less stress and hassle doing so.
Not Presented Properly
The condition of your property also determines whether or not it will sell. Before real estate agents and their buyers come to physically see your property, they discover it in one of many ways.
The buyers may have come across it on Realtor.ca or on a real estate website.
Their real estate agent may have discovered it while searching for properties on the local MLS system.
A family member or friend may have recommended it to the buyer.
There are many other ways a buyer may potentially see your home listed for sale.
They say first impressions count — and this couldn’t be any truer and more relevant than with the sale of your house.
The photos, videos, virtual tours, 3D tours — everything that a buyer and their real estate agent sees about your house matters.
But what’s more important than these visual representations of your property is how well presented it is in ‘real life’ — meaning the condition of your house will determine whether or not it will sell.
The solution is simple — but can take a bit of time to do so make sure you prepare in advance.
Did you tidy up all the mess around your house? Did you declutter and depersonalize all of the rooms?
Did you paint the house in neutral colours?
Did you repair anything that might appear damage?
Have you done renovations or updated your home throughout the years?
Do you have properly fitting furniture in each of the rooms?
The way your home is presented once the photos and videos are taken will give potential buyers an impactful first impression if you’ve properly taken the time to present your home.
You’re selling what could be the biggest and most valuable asset you own. Make sure you present it properly so that potential homebuyers will get excited to come and see it with their real estate agent — and so they pay you for what your home is actually worth.
Very Minimal or No Exposure
So far we’ve talked about pricing your house properly, and making sure it is presented attractively to attract the right buyers. But what other mistake could potentially home sellers make when they sell?
Many home sellers prioritize the amount of commission over the fact that they need as much exposure possible to attract the right buyer.
Think about it logically. If you’re priced well, and have a perfectly presented home… but nobody finds out about it, what good will that do for you?
Sellers who try to sell their home on their own (for sale by owner) don’t have as much exposure as sellers who list their home with a proactive, professional real estate brokerage represented by a knowledgeable, full time real estate agent.
Let’s look at two scenarios.
Imagine you try to save commission by selling your own home, or by working with a ‘for sale by owner’ company that lists your property on the MLS.
Sure, some buyers may see your home for sale, but are you attracting as many potential home buyers as possible?
Is there a difference between one to five potential buyers seeing your home listed for sale… and hundreds of potential buyers finding out about it?
There is, and it is proven statistically that homes sold by their owners (even through for sale by owner companies) sell less than homes sold by professional real estate agents.
Even with the savings in commission, a home sold by a real estate agent charging varying rates of commission still sell higher, netting more money into the hands of the home seller.
The commission you pay determines how much marketing can be done to provide as much exposure to your house so that potential home buyers can find out about it.
Minimal commission means minimal exposure. How can a company pay for marketing when they’re not charging you for it?
The solution: do your research before deciding whether to hire a discount real estate company or a full service, maximum exposure real estate brokerage.
Ask for the brokerage and the real estate agent’s track record. See how successful they’ve been at selling houses — and how much money they NET their clients after commissions have been paid.
You deserve to earn as much money as possible from the sale of your house. After all, you’ve invested so much in it over years of home ownership. You need to make sure you receive maximum exposure and attract hundreds if not thousands of potential buyers to it so that you can find the right one to pay you what it’s worth.
How to Make Sure Your House Sells
We’ve covered three factors why some houses don’t sell — and what you can do to make sure yours does.
It can be as simple as pricing your property correctly, presenting it as attractively as possible, and giving it as much exposure to find the right buyer who is willing to pay what your house is worth.
Do your research. Interview real estate companies, brokerages, and real estate agents. Ask for their track record. Ask them to explain to you what they will do to properly market your house to find the right buyer. And make sure you hold them accountable to their promises and performance guarantees.
This is your house — and when it comes time to selling it, make sure you sell it for what it’s worth.