Why Your Home Isn't Selling

September 20, 2016 Jennifer Smith

Maybe you're selling your own home, maybe you have a Realtor listing your property. Either way, when it comes to selling quickly for the best price, there are some things you can control, some things you can't.

For example, there's very little you can do to control your local market trends, whatever they may be. There's also not much you can do about any given buyer's tastes. Maybe they like the kitchen you just paid $40K to update, maybe not.

To be blatantly honest (despite what anyone tells you), as with business success and making lots of money, there's just a lot of pure, dumb luck involved in selling your home. 

Learn More: Luck and Business, Luck and Wealth

But there are some very important things you can do to help your chances. As they say, "luck favors the prepared."

Here are three things vital to the successful sale of your home:

3. Prepare Your Home As If You're Leaving Now

Sellers often think they don't really need to prepare their home for sale. The thought is often, "well, I'll just see what I get" without having to do all the work to set up my home for sale. Sure, it can be a lot of work, but it's inexpensive and easy to do. It can not only mean the difference between a quick sale and one that drags out, but one that's $10K or more off of what you thought you'd get.

When you lure potential buyers to see your home, they need to see it as if it's one of those model homes they set up when selling homes in a new community. That means not only opening up your home by de-cluttering, but also:

  • De-clutter, de-clutter, and then de-clutter some more - Not only main rooms, but closets, basements, garages and attics too.
  • Open up rooms by removing excess furniture and re-arranging to highlight ease of moving in and through the area.
  • Remove all personal items from main rooms such as diplomas, trophies, family photos, clothing and more.
  • Create comfortable furniture settings that highlight natural light and window views.
  • Color coordinate rooms with neutral, soft colors.
  • Add some green to your home in the form of living plants.
  • Make sure your home smells good at all times - Light-smelling candles, Febreeze and other subtle-but-pleasing odors work the best.
  • Make sure all rooms are well-lit with soft light bulbs.
  • Convert spare rooms/storage rooms to functional spaces such as an office or laundry room to highlight potential use of the space

Once you're all set, take some good photos with your phone from angles that highlight the openness of each room. 

It's also very important to try your best to keep your home prepared this way through the selling process. Buyers often form a very immediate, negative opinion of homes that don't look like the pictures they saw online. 

2. Price Your Home Right, Expect Give and Take

When selling your home, you should approach the process as one that will inevitably end up with haggling over price. It always does. Many buyers take pride of ownership too much into consideration when setting their price.

These same buyers also tend to have more deals that drag out and/or fall apart even after accomplishing the hardest part of the process - getting a buyer to make an offer. The most successful sellers are ones that understand the deal involves give and take, are flexible, leave emotion out of the deal and who negotiate reasonably with buyers who are "on the hook." 

As for setting the price in the first place, whatever you do, don't use Zillow estimates as a benchmark. If you don't want to have a professional Realtor give you data and info on recent comparable homes that have sold, you yourself should monitor prices and actual sales of comparable homes in your immediate area.

At the end of the day, mortgage companies and appraisors control the value of your home more than you can. It does't really matter what special features your home has, it only matters what the last few most comparable homes have sold for. As such, it's best to think this way from the beginnning: what comparable home did someone just get a mortgage for and how much did it sell for? Getting a professional appraisal can be money very well spent. 

For many FSBO sellers, you may also think about contacting a local Realtor experienced with Pocket Listings.

Pocket Listings are great ways to test the market and your prices before formally listing your home for sale. While you're preparing your home for open sale, it's a great way to gauge buyer interest and reaction to your price before you arrive at the final numbers. 

1. Get Your Home in Front of As Many People as Possible

Put simply, it's a numbers game. The more people you get to see your home, the better your chances.

In order to get as many people as possible to see your home - and be attracted enough to come and see it - you have to make sure it's easily found where people most likely to be interested in the first place are looking. That means the web, mobile and social media.

But it's probably a bit different nowadays than you're used to. 

These days, it isn't enough to post your home on Craigslist or even put it in MLS. The web has become a very complex and noisy environment. That means to sell your home, you have to leverage smart digital marketing and advertising designed to put your home in front of just those web viewers who want to see it as they search the web.

That takes a lot more skill, money and time than can be expected of an FSBO or even a professional seller. Services like HomePocket let you post your home, then we handle the rest. Our system matches our listings with buyers likely to be seeking homes in a given area.That means more of the right kind of exposure.  

If you're not getting regular showings and interest in your home, it's not being marketed well.

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Let HomePocket get you the digital exposure you need for your FSBO or Pocket Listings. Snap, write, post and get advertising to buyers in 5 mins flat.

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