Why Hasn’t My Home Sold Yet?
Although 2005 was a record home sales volume year, the number of residence sales has slowed in 2006 and 2007. There are several reasons for this. After 3 straight years of 30% or more appreciation per year, the market was due for a “breather”. Also, mortgage rates have been slowly rising. Currently, there are about 4 times as many properties for sale in Sarasota County than there were in May of 2005. This means that it is definitely a “buyer’s market”. (There are more homes listed for sale than there are qualified buyers.) The result can be bargain prices for savvy homebuyers.
1) The asking price is too high.
This is, by far, the top reason a home doesn’t sell. Prospective homebuyers are very smart and know an overpriced listing when they see it. Worse yet, buyer’s agents won’t even bother showing homes with asking prices above recent sales prices of comparable nearby homes. For this reason, if you want to get your home sold, it is vital that your listing agent keep you informed of recent comparable home sales prices. Perhaps it’s time to lower your asking price.
2) The Listing agent doesn’t make the home easy to show.
If the listing agent makes it difficult to show a home, such as requiring the listing agent be present for all showings, this discourages buyer’s agents. Unless there is a security reason, listed homes should always have a MLS lockbox easily available for buyers’ agent showings on short notice.
3) Condition of the Home.
Most buyers want to purchase a residence in near “model-home” condition where all they have to do is turn the key in the front door and move in. However, if the residence requires considerable work, that turns off all but the most die-hard bargain hunting home buyers. Fixer-upper homes appeal to a very limited market of homebuyers. Sometimes known as “bottom fishers”, they will purchase such homes only at bargain prices, well below what can be obtained with modest fix-up work such as painting, repairing and cleaning.
4) "As is" home sale can be a red flag turn-off.
Closely related to homes that don’t show well are those listed for sale in “as is” condition. The term “as is” means the seller offers the residence in its current condition and will not pay for any repairs. However the seller must still disclose in writing to buyers all known defects. Whenever possible, home sellers should not offer their homes for sale “as is” because it’s like waving a red flag in the buyer’s face. A better alternative is for the seller to obtain a professional inspection report and have the recommended repairs made before listing the home for sale. Of course, when a home needs a major repair that the seller either can’t afford or doesn’t want to make, then an “as is” sale at a reduced price is advisable.
5) Ineffective Marketing Methods.
In today’s home “buyer’s market” in most communities, listing agents must use every marketing resource available. Most effective is the for sale sign on the front lawn. A close second is newspaper advertising. In third place is Internet advertising. In addition, listing agents have the local MLS and their special networking among agents who represent prospective buyers for the type of house or condo listed for sale. The best listing agents also use additional marketing methods, especially for their more expensive listings, such as color brochures and postcards mailed to nearby homeowners who may have friends who want to move to the area.
Selling houses and condos in the current buyer’s market requires hard work by successful listing agents. If your home has been listed for sale with a successful realty agent more than 45 days and has had no offers, it’s time to review the 5 key reasons some homes don’t sell, and make adjustments to get your home sold.
Michael Saunders & Co.
330 John Ringling Blvd
Sarasota, FL 34236