You've followed all the right steps: finding an agent, getting a home inspection and tidying up. But if your home has been on the market more than six weeks and hasn't budged, it may be time to reconsider some things. While there are many factors out of your control in the hectic real estate world, the small details that you can change make all the difference.
Price is paramount
The most common and most detrimental misstep any homeowner can make is pricing their property too high. It's obviously in your best interests to set the price as high as possible in order to get the best return on investment, but many sellers assign a higher value to their house out of an emotional attachment. You probably put plenty of time and money into making your home what it is, and created cherished memories there. For better or worse, though, a stranger at a viewing will not recognize much of that sentimental value. Work with your real estate agent to realize a price that fits your budget and the local market. Ultimately, you may have to go below the price you were hoping for in order to make a sale. Research the prices of similar homes in the area and their final sale prices to get an accurate idea of what will work.
If your home is taking its time even in a seller's market, it could be because your real estate agent is just not that into you. If you seem to be getting pushback from your realtor, find it difficult to communicate or just don't work well with them, it may be time to move on. Realtor.com offers a few good tips on how to switch agents, and the key takeaway is preserving a professional demeanor. Make sure to get it in writing, and check any contracts you signed with the agent before making the move. In order to find a better realtor, Bankrate suggests relying on more than just advertisements. Check online for customer reviews and current listings for agents that interest you. To get a solid idea of an agent's experience, don't be afraid to test their knowledge of the local real estate climate, especially for homes similar to yours.
Your home is priced as low as it can go, and you're happy with your realtor - yet you still can't seem to stoke any interest in buyers. Even if it's well beyond a fixer-upper, even the smallest details can deter potential offers. The first order of business is to address any obvious red flags or serious safety concerns. Schedule a pre-listing inspection to identify these issues easily and quickly. There are some potential deterrents that a property inspection won't identify, though. Buyers can be turned off by everything from the landscaping to the color of a wall. While it's impossible to accommodate everyone's tastes, try to recognize ways in which your own style may interfere with your home's look and feel. Buyers generally want a neutral space that they can make their own. Consider removing any personal flourishes and painting rooms with flat colors in order to leave more to the imagination.
Be firm yet flexible
Selling your home has never been the easiest or most fun activity for anyone, even with the best agent by your side and a terrific property. It's important to take ownership of the process whenever possible, but know when it's best to back down and let an agent, or interested buyer, do their thing. If you think your listing photos or descriptions aren't up to snuff, talk to your realtor about changing them. Good pictures and vivid, descriptive copy are vital for generating interest and getting more viewings scheduled. If possible, hire a professional photographer to get the highest quality photos, and work with them to present every room of your home in the best possible light. When the calls start coming in, don't reject viewing requests without a good reason. This is the best way to prevent a house from getting sold. During showings, be present but not overbearing, letting the agent do their job. Work with interested buyers to accommodate their requests, as long as they're reasonable. The line between pushy and pushover is a fine one to walk. Finding the balance can push you toward getting the deal you've been waiting for.