Hows the Market..

6 reasons your home isn’t selling

MSN Money

 So, you’re in agony because your home has languished on the market week after week. Here are some culprits that may be keeping buyers away in droves. By Bankrate.com
 Has your lawn grown up around that “For Sale” sign? Have the wasps moved into the lock box on your front door? Did you just receive an invitation to your real estate agent’s retirement party? If so, chances are your home sale fizzled.

 

Here are the six most-common reasons why homes don’t sell and what you can do about it. 

 

Your home is overpriced
 Optimistic home sellers love to parrot the old adage, “There’s a buyer for every home.” But they often leave off the qualifier: “at the buyer’s price.”

 

The fact is that buyers, not sellers, ultimately determine the market value of a home. You can ask for the moon and set your listing price well above comparable properties in your neighborhood, but at some point it will be up to you, the seller, to accept what the buyer thinks your home is worth.

 

Overpricing is the most common reason homes don’t sell. When you ask an unrealistic price, it sets in motion a process that often works against you. Here’s why: Most real estate agents, and hence most qualified buyers, will see your new listing within 30 days. If it is overpriced by as little as 5%, it will be duly noted and interest in your property will wane, especially if you show no intention of coming off your asking price. You likely already priced out buyers who might have qualified for financing at a more reasonable price.  Even if you manage to find a buyer at your inflated asking price, the property may not appraise at that figure and the financing will fall apart.

 

Your real estate agent may have approved or even suggested the inflated asking price to secure your listing. Conversely, other agents often use overpriced properties like yours to help sell their own listings. (“Here’s what they are asking. Now would you like to take a second look at that first house I showed you?”)

 

“If you have a house that really should be priced at $200,000 and you’ve got it listed at $260,000, you are trying to compete against homes that really are worth close to $300,000 and all of a sudden your home really is not competing well,” says Jeri Fisher of Jeri Fisher Real Estate in Missoula, Mont. “You want to compete with what is available out there among homes similar to yours.”

 

If your home remains on the market for too long, agents and buyers may begin to wonder if there are other, perhaps more serious reasons why it isn’t selling. “It becomes shopworn, the same as a jacket hanging in the store week after week,” says Fisher. “People are aware that it has been on the market a long time and agents stop showing it.”

 
 You’re in a bad location
Nothing has a greater effect on your home’s value than its location. Your humble abode might be worth a king’s ransom were it located in Palm Beach, Aspen or San Francisco. It might even jump thousands in value just two streets over in the next (and far superior) school district.

 

“If you’re in one of the higher-ranked schools around here, you’re going to add $50,000 to $100,000 to the price of the same house,” says Lenn Harley, a broker with Homefinders.com Inc. in Maryland and Virginia.

Your home doesn’t show well

Your home is competing against shiny new houses in those pristine subdivisions out in the suburbs with their attractive prices, incentives and community amenities.

 Face it: Even the best old house needs a little makeover if it hopes to attract a qualified buyer.

 The good news is most of the work will be cosmetic and relatively inexpensive: a new coat of paint, a few attractive window boxes, a thorough cleaning of floors and carpets. Voila! The place may look good enough to reconsider.

A good real estate agent can advise you on where your time and money are best spent. 

 “Price and condition are two things that the seller can do something about,” says Fisher. “I always give people my ‘honey-do’ list. I think paint is probably a seller’s best friend because it makes things smell fresh and look fresh. If it’s time to paint, it’s time to paint. It’s the best return on investment.”

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