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Expired: How to Sell a Home that Didn’t Sell

December 15, 2009

So you attempted to sell your home by owner, or with an agent, it didn’t sell and now you’re feeling frustrated and discouraged and aren’t sure what to do next. Before you put your home back on the market, take a step back and review your situation. Usually when a house doesn’t sell it’s due to one of four things: PRICE, CONDITION, MARKETING, or THE AGENT YOU HIRE TO SELL YOUR HOME. 

1. Price (or is it price range?) rules all In most cases, the reason a property doesn’t sell is the price. The ‘Right Price’ depends on market conditions, competition and the condition of your home. If your home doesn’t compare favorably with others in the price range you’ve set, it will not sell.You’ll get the facts when you see the statistics! To help you establish a realistic selling price for your home, ask your Realtor to provide an up-to-date competitive market analysis to give you: a review of comparable homes recently sold as well as those currently available for sale. Sold homes represent what homes are currently selling for while active listings represent your competition.

Here is the simple truth about pricing a home:

1. You must price it based on the current market.

2. You must effectively market and expose the home.

3. If it is priced right, it will sell. If it is priced to high, it won’t.

All else is commentary. The simple fact is the market is always right! If you attempt to argue with the market, the market will always win! If a home has been on the market, and it has been effectively marketed but has not sold, it is overpriced.

Pricing Luxury Homes – In today’s luxury real estate market, you can be priced perfectly, but if you’re in the wrong price range your property won’t sell. In other words, your property can be in perfect condition and in perfect alignment with the comparable sales and it can still sit on the market for months. The reason? The credit crunch.

The first-time-buyer market has been flourishing, largely due to the first-time-buyer tax credit of $8,000. Homes that require financing over and above the “conforming loan limits,” however, are languishing on the market. A conforming loan meets the guidelines to be purchased and securitized by either the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac).

Conforming loan guidelines include a maximum loan amount determined by geographical region as well as the requirements to meet certain down payment, credit and debt-to-income requirements.

If your property is too expensive to fit into the conforming loan category and you have a considerable amount of equity in your home, some sellers have been able to sell by carrying some, or all of the buyer’s financing. In fact, 35 percent of the properties in the U.S. are free and clear.

In most areas, the maximum amount that you can obtain for a conforming loan is $417,000. In certain expensive areas, the maximum loan amount that a borrower can obtain is $729,750 (through the end of 2010, unless these upper limits are extended).

Thus, if your property is priced more than $450,000, the reason it may not be selling is that buyers are unable to obtain financing to buy it. A second reason is that if your home is a “move-up” property rather than a first-time-buyer property, your potential buyers may be unable to sell their existing properties in order to buy your property.

There can be a wide variety of reasons for this, the most notable of which is their properties are worth less than they paid for them. In many cases, their properties may fall into the “short sale” category where they owe more on the mortgage than the property is worth. When a substantial number of sellers in a given area have no equity in their current properties, the move-up market will be dead.

2. Condition Does your house show like a model? Is it someone else’s idea of a dream home? How does the house look from the street? Is the landscaping attractive? Is the exterior well maintained? When buyer’s enter are they inspired? Is the house cluttered with your personal belongings or have you cleared out as much as possible? You need to get into the mindset that it’s not your house anymore. Your goal is to help the buyer imagine that your house is their future home.

Visit our home enhancement guide for advice on preparing your home for sale.

3. Marketing Gone are the days when all an agent had to do was put a sign in the front yard, place the home on the multiple listing service, run a well worded sales ad and wait for the offers to come in. Today’s agent must have an aggressive marketing plan that makes effective use of new innovative, non-traditional marketing approaches.

Is your listing being marketed on at least 25 major listing portals?

Does your agent know which real estate websites are the most visited online?

In addition to the local multiple listing service is your property on (is it a featured listing), Yahoo Real Estate, Zillow, HomeGain, Craigslist, Cyberhomes, or Trulia to name a few?

4. The Listing Agent Your listing agent is key to the sale of your home and will need to be able to completely and proficiently assist you in PRICINGENHANCING and EXPOSING your home. You need an experienced and aggressive professional you can trust, and one whose expertise extends into cutting edge sales and marketing techniques.

If you’re having trouble selling you home carefully evaluate where you stand on each of these issues. If there’s an area that needs improvement, don’t wait… address these issues today and get your property sold tomorrow!

If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please contact The Opland Group. We offer professional real estate advice and look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals!

The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Salesin;  Bexley  Columbus  Delaware  Downtown  Dublin  Gahanna  Grandview Heights  Granville  Grove City  Groveport  Hilliard  Lewis Center  New Albany  Pickerington  Polaris  Powell   Upper Arlington  Westerville  Worthington


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