What Can I Do If My House Isn’t Selling?

by Courtney Christensen

Are you ready to move, but your house isn’t selling? It can be a frustrating place to be, especially if time is a factor in your move. Sometimes, easy fixes like tidying up your home before an open house can be just the thing you need to get your home from For Sale to Sold. However, sometimes you may need to put in more effort (and possibly more money) to get your home off the market finally.

Easy Fixes

Before you bring out your wallet to update anything, try these things first. These are typically free ways to increase your chance of selling your home, but fees may apply depending on your method.

Take better pictures. The first impression your home gives potential buyers is made online. Make sure it’s a good one! Take photos with a decent smartphone camera or ask your real estate agent to take the pictures instead. Remove any blurry images, pictures with people in them, and pictures that make a room look smaller than it is.

Pick a new agent. Unfortunately, some agents aren’t as invested in selling your home as you are. When this happens, it may be time for a new real estate agent. Ask friends and family (or your loan officer) for recommendations for a better agent. This can take a little bit of time, but stick to your guns and get the help you deserve.

Clean and tidy. If you are experiencing issues selling your home even after an open house and viewings, it could be that your home is too cluttered. Clean up the house, paying attention to clear off the floor and counters.

Stage your home. Staging your home is a significant step in selling your home. An essential part of staging is to remove anything personal from the house. Family photos, postcards, and artwork hanging on the fridge should all be tucked away to put up at your new home. Also, don’t forget about scents! Scent memory is powerful, so make sure you make good connections by having your house smell good. Favorite scents are lemony-fresh and home-baked cookies. Use candles, scent sprays, or bake some cookies for the open house.

Hard Fixes

Costly fixes are hopefully avoidable, but if not, you may need to give up some of your cash to make the sale. Some things like water leaks, infestations, mold, and structural issues are absolute no-gos for some loans like FHA. This means the pool of buyers is much smaller than it could be if those problems were fixed.

Hire an inspector. One of the most important parts of selling your home is the inspection. While an inspection will be ordered during the sale process, it’s a good idea to pay for one in advance, too. If you get your home inspected before putting it on the market, you can save yourself many headaches by fixing the issues before buyers ever see them.

Spend wisely. Spend your money where it needs to go. Be sure to budget your financial decisions to still come out with a profit when your home is sold. Do you need to update your roof? Your appliances? Your flooring? Spend your money on projects that will bring in a return on your investment.

Check for liens. If there is a lien on your home or other issues with the title, you may not be able to sell your house. Check ahead of time to ensure that you won’t get caught up in a complicated mess at the closing table.

Be flexible with your terms. It can be challenging, especially for first-time sellers or long-time owners of a home, to be flexible with your price, but it’s of the utmost importance in a fluctuating housing market. Take the advice of your real estate agent when it comes to pricing your home – they’re the experts! They will help you decide on a fair price for your house.

Out of Your Control

Sometimes, when you’ve done everything right, your house still isn’t selling. At that point, you need to look for problems outside of your control.

The market isn’t working with you. Because the housing market is always changing, you may find yourself in an unforgiving position – your home just isn’t selling. There could be an influx of new homes on the market which could be drowning out your own home. Keep up with marketing your home and work with your agent to put your best foot forward. Eventually, the market will turn again!

The location is undesirable. Location is the number one thing that homebuyers are looking for when deciding on a house. Often, homebuyers will choose smaller, less extravagant houses to find a home in their preferred neighborhood. If your home is in an area of town that is less-than-popular, you may have a more challenging time finding a buyer. Try marketing your home to a new audience!

 

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