So you’ve decided you’re selling your home, and you’re excited about the change of scenery—and even more excited to make a nice little profit on your existing home. But then you put it on the market, and…nothing.
Few things stink more than waiting around for an offer to come in—especially if you’ve had a lot of showings. A home that’s not selling can mean many things. Most often, it’s that your price is just too high. But that’s not the only reason no one’s buying.
1. Functional obsolescence
A home that doesn’t represent the needs of today’s buyers—whether it only has two bedrooms or one bathroom or is missing a garage—can be a tough sell. This is often seen in older homes in The Valley, and it can be hard to get a buyer to even look at one of them if it’s lacking the basic features they need. Unfortunately, there’s really no easy fix in many cases, and sellers often find that the price they want for their home and they price they can get for their home are too far apart.
2. Closed-in floorplan
File this common issue with older homes throughout Southern California under functional obsolescence as well. Your house may have cool architecture and charming details, but the fact that it doesn’t have an open kitchen and living area can be a sticking point with buyers. A good agent should be able to give their client ideas for updating the home’s layout once they buy, but knocking down a wall and creating a more modern floorplan may fall to you if your home continues to sit on the market.
3. Your personal décor choices
You may have the best taste in the world (although, everybody thinks that, so probably not), but that doesn’t mean your choices will appeal to buyers. If your bold paint colors are turning people off, listen to your agent and paint the walls something neutral. If your teenage son’s posters and album covers plastered all over his room are keeping people from actually seeing what it looks like, take them down. Taxidermy all over the house proving to distracting? Pack it up. Or throw it out. Your choice.
When the goal is selling your home, you may have to put your taste—and your feelings—aside. Living in a “neutral zone” is temporary. Enjoying all those dead animal heads you get to proudly display in your new place is forever.
4. Dirt, grime, stains, and smells
No one wants a nasty, stinky, dirty house. Your sink full of dishes can actually kill a deal if people interpret the mess as a sign of a house that’s not well taken care of. And they will. They do. All the time.
If that sounds like you, or if the dirty dishes are only the beginning of the offenses you’re committing, it’s time to clean it, scrub it, strip it, rip it out, or, at the very least, cover it up. The faster you get it sold, the sooner you can go back to living without worrying about every crumb, spec of dust, and foul-smelling cat box every moment of the day.
5. Your closets
If you’ve struggled with the storage space in the home you’re selling, the new owner probably will too. Overstuffed closets, cabinets, and drawers might just make a buyer pass on the home.
6. A bad agent
Real estate agents are a microcosm of the general population. Some of us are Bill Gates, some of us are closer to Bill Cosby. If you have a gut feeling that you’re not getting the level of service and attention you need to get your home sold, you just might be right. If your agent is: lazy, uncommunicative, belligerent, unprofessional, rude, uninformed, or unwilling to consider your feelings or opinions, it’s probably time to get a new one.
7. Unreasonable sellers
Yeah, I’m talking to you, “eager” seller who can only allow showings every other Tuesday between 1–2pm. And you, who has a shoes-off policy for showings but clearly hasn’t vacuumed or had the carpets cleaned in a year. Or you, who has refused to fix anything the inspection uncovered—including plumbing, roofing, and electrical problems. You know what they say about being part of the problem or part of the solution. Which one are you?
Tripp Jones Real Estate for Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys, Call 661-733-4555 or 818-527-6292