As I go about my daily routine selling Denver real estate, I get asked by home sellers, "why doesn't my house sell?" That is the $64,000 question.
I wish there was one simple and complete answer, but alas there isn't. In today's real estate market we are dealing with factors beyond what I've seen in my 24 years in the business. We are seeing sales occur in the first 30 days and others that take 6 months or more.
Typically the reason the home is not selling is either price, condition or location.
What most seller's don't take into consideration, they are competing with the market as a whole, not just their neighborhood. True when pricing a home we look to the area for valuation. That is normal and accepted.
What isn't realized is buyers have many choices. They might like a particular neighborhood or any of the other hundreds of neighborhoods in the Denver metro area. Seldom do buyers (or at least the ones I've worked with) hang around waiting for a home to go up in one specific neighborhood.
Most buyers are going to buy based on 1) their budget 2) personal tastes 3) proximity to work and/or schools. These requirements often times have multiple solutions, so your house may work or maybe not.
Condition of the home is a huge factor.
Today most savvy agents and homeowners take the time to prepare the home by hiring a professional stager. We learned a long time ago "the way you live in a home and the way you sell a home are two different things." Hiring a professional to come into the home and either work with your belongs or augment some of their own, works miracles. Simply said.
It has been my personal experience the expense of hiring a stager often comes back in multiples by shortening the listing period and increasing the homes potential. (a great resource for staging is found at Staging rants & ravings)
Another factor that makes a home more difficult to sell is the "dated aspect". A homeowner must consider who the potential buyer will be. In the year 2000 home styles changed. We went from gold fixtures to chrome. Some age demographics will not purchase a home with anything gold in it! Changing out the fixtures is usually a fairly easy fix. However if your home has 1970's vibrating through it, the makeover my be more than one will want to do. The only way out maybe to price it accordingly and let the buyer bring it up to date.
Homeowners who want to "update" a home, be sure you are up to doing the job, not just right, but complete. There is nothing sadder than having a seller update part of their home. Buyers will come look and the only thing they will see is the undone updating. Yes, buyers are cut from the same "the glass is half empty" mold.
Location is so important.
Buyers shop for the best of everything. If your home has a location with a glitch, say an apartment building next door, or a messy neighbor, barking dog, busy street, backs to a freeway, a blinking sign glaring through the bedroom window or railroad tracks in the back yard, you may have a problem.
Location issues can be overcome. Sometimes the best thing to do with a bad location is tackle it head on. Some buyers actually LIKE homes on a busy street, because they crave the "pulse of the city" nearby. Others might be looking for a home next door to the soup kitchen, because they are into volunteering. Creativity is part of sales. Get creative with a solution.
Pricing is the most important factor.
When all else falls reduce the price. Statistics have shown a property that has 10 showings and not offers is over-priced. Homeowners who insist on a price that home buyers aren't grabbing need a reality check, or to remove their home from the market.
Overpriced homes that get shown and are getting good feedback maybe being used as an example. Buyers are comparing values and if one home isn't selling and the other one is, perhaps being the bridesmaid again and again means it's time to adjust for the market.
When it comes to real estate there is a mathematical equation that works time and time again.
Find the right price and find the sale.