Ugh. Your home sitting on the market for months and months is the absolute worst! I actually encountered this very situation as a seller before I was a licensed real estate professional and I absolutely feel your pain. You’re probably thinking “It’s a seller’s market! What’s going on?” Low inventory in Atlanta markets has left buyers scrambling to find their new home so why isn’t yours selling? Unfortunately, even in a seller’s market, homes drop off the market everyday without being sold. To help unravel the mystery of an unsold home in a seller’s market, I’m sharing my top 5 reasons home are left unsold.
#1 – It’s Overpriced!
A buyer’s agent will always compare your home to recent sales in the same area. If a house down that street with an extra bed and bath recently sold for $10K under your list price, it’s a good indication that your home is overpriced and unlikely to sell – at least without a price drop. When considering how to price your home, make sure you have a candid conversation with your agent about your goals for the sale. Some folks want to get the best price possible, other people want to close as quickly as possible and still other sellers are focused on some other variable that is important to them. Your agent should balance your articulated goals with what the market indicates is possible.
#2 – Right Place, Right Time, Wrong Agent
People choose their agent based on any number of reasons. Sometimes the agent is a friend or family member that the seller trusts. Other times the agent just happens to be the first result on Google that answered the phone. Whatever the reason, it’s important to carefully vet your agent to ensure they’re the right choice. An agent can be perfectly trustworthy and still not have the requisite experience. The agent may not be familiar with your area, they may be more effective working with buyers than sellers or they might not be the right fit for numerous other reasons. Take the time to inquire about the agent’s record, investigate their portfolio of experience and check references.
#3 – Renovation Required
Whether it’s just a bit of TLC in the form of some fresh paint and power washing or eliminating that fuschia tile in the bathroom, every homeowner (and their agent) should critically examine the home from the perspective of a potential buyer. Small actions can often have powerful results when it comes to making an impression on buyers. Focus on cleaning and decluttering, eliminating unique or drastic design decisions where possible (think neutrals), and fixing obvious but easily corrected issues.
#4 – Seriously, What Is That Smell?!?
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve entered a home with potential buyers only to leave without seeing the entire property simply because of an unpleasant smell. If you have pets or if you smoke, it’s best to assume that your house might harbor some unpleasant odors. Cleaning (especially carpets and upholstery), using air filters and letting in fresh air when possible can help ameliorate this issue for potential buyers. Be strategic about where you place litter boxes or puppy pads and consider enjoying your smokes in an outdoor environment while the home is on the market.
#5 – Is It Really Dark In Here?
True story, my wife and I bypassed viewing our current home several times because the listing photos were terrible. It was ultimately the allure of the neighborhood that prompted us to take a look despite the photos. Photos should always be taken by a professional using the correct equipment – which is not a smartphone. Listing photos should highlight the best areas of your home while minimizing areas that may not be as appealing. Remember that photos really set the tone for a potential buyer – if your photos are off-putting in some way, chances are that the buyer is already approaching your listing with that frame of mind. Alternatively, if your photos are inviting and the buyer can picture themselves in that space, they’re going to approach your listing with a positive picture already in mind.