Why Homes Don't Sell
It’s easy to come up with a short list of Classic Seller Mistakes that hamper sales:
Overpricing - This is one of the most common issues. Most sellers cannot objectively price their home. Sellers are often desensitized to the homes flaws. They also have dificulty separating themselves from the home. Statistics show that sellers who end up getting the best price on their home list it for the correct price right from the beginning and often sell it the fastest. Get the Facts About Pricing Your Home for Sale.
Poor Property Preparation - If the home doesn't have good curb appeal or look good in Photos, Buyer's will often pass over a listing. It is Imperative you properly prepare your home to sell and have it staged. Competition in the Raleigh - Cary and Triangle Areas can be fierce. Most people aren't looking for the "Diamond in the Rough". They want the Pottery Barn or Ethan Allen home. By the way, if the do want the "Diamond in the Rough" home, then they want the price to more than reflect it.
Poor or NO Pictures - This is a Big Mistake! Did you know there are website and blogs dedicated to Poor Real Estate Listing Photos? Generally speaking, your Agent should have Professional Photographs taken of Your Home when Listing it to sell. The only exceptions are if You're an excellent photographer and providing the photos or Your Agent Takes Photographs as good as the Pros do.
Distinct Odors - Homes tend to have their own smell based on the current occupants and how they live. Homeowners often don't detect an odor in their own home. Buyer Do! You want to Neutralize the Smell of Your Home or Have a Light Non-Offensive Fragrance. You especially want to eliminate pet, cooking, and smoking odors.
Ill Mannered or Agressive Pets - Most people love pets. However, they can detract from your homes showing. Do you know how your pet behaves around strangers when you're not home? Some bark the entire time, others try to escape, and then there are those who want constant attention. Need I mention Pets that are Agressive. Believe it or not, there are some people who are afraid of dogs and won't even enter a home that has them. Same goes for repties. We've also noticed more and more buyers who have cat allergies. They can't help it and neither can the cat but, it can make house hunting very uncomfortable. Moral of the story, if it is at all possible, remove pets and at the very least, crate them. If it can't be done, then give your Agent clear pet instructions.
Sellers that insist on being at the House or Giving Guided Tours - Home Buyers tend to not want to enter homes when sellers are present, rush through the home, or not really get a good look at the home when sellers are present. It is best for everyone if the seller isn't home during the showing.
No Lockbox - Fortunately, we don't see this a lot. When there isn't a lockbox, that usually means the seller is home. If the Agent and Buyers get behind and need to reschedule, it usually frustrates the seller because they've been waiting for them to show up.
Not Registered with Showing Service - Every so often I'll run across a home that requires you call the seller or seller's agent to schedule a showing. It usually isn't easy or effective. Those homes probably see only 25% - 30% of showings they'd receive if they were registered with the Showing Service.
No contact = no showing. No showing = no sale.
The very sellers that, by necessity, need to make access the easiest are, in fact, making it almost impossible.
Not Listing with a Realtor® - Professional Real Estate Agents are trained to sell your home just as you are trained in your profession. It is extremely rare for a seller to save money by not using a Realtor®. It is more likely than not the home won't sell or won't sell for as much as it could have. Buyers know Real Estate Professionals have standards and regulations (many of which sellers aren't aware of) and they Trust them to Provide the most accurate and timely information. A Full Service Agent is Worth their Weight in Gold!
There is, however, one mistake that stands head and shoulders above the rest. And ironically, I’m seeing this issue actually grow in frequency to the point where it’s seriously hampering our ability to sell homes to our buyers.
Access - If we can’t get in, we can’t show the house.
If we can’t show the house, we can’t sell it.
Sellers may not realize it but, the agent may have 12 or more homes to show to one single buyer in one single day. Scheduling this number of homes can be easy or it can be a nightmare!
Appointment Only - I understand that in some parts of the country, “Appointment Only” this is status quo. In those locales, sellers and buyer agents are well trained and make it work. In contrast, here in the Triangle area, the majority of homes have always had lockboxes and showing instructions have been some variation of, “Call, leave a message”.
Once in a while a seller really needs to limit access to their home to specific times. Valid reasons include illness, babies napping, pet removal, latch-key kids home by themselves, swing-shift workers sleeping during the day and so on. If you MUST be "BY Appointment Only", be prepared to do your best to work with Home Buyers and Agents.
What Can a Seller Do to Improve Home Accessibility?
Put Yourself in the Buyer's Shoes
Allow Buyers Access When Buyers Are Available - Time is at a premium and buyers have precious little of it. If we can’t get into any specific home, buyers normally won’t come back. They often feel that if a seller is too unreasonable to let them in when they’re available, they’ll probably be unreasonable in other areas as well. One comment I often hear is, they must not want to sell it bad enough.
Map out Showing Hours if necessary - Occasionally a seller can allow access only during limited hours. Those with napping babies are a prime example. We understand this. Once you and your agent carefully map out showing hours that work, your agent will ensure that the stated hours for showing are clearly written in the confidential comments section on the MLS. Since we also know that many agents DO NOT carefully read the confidential comments, we also provide this information to the Showing Service to pass on to the Buyer's Agent.
Handle the Pets - Pets don’t have to be a problem. I’ve sold homes with dogs, cats, iguanas, snakes and a host of other animals. Critters can be in crates, a specific bedroom with a “Do Not Open Door” sign … with a padlock on it if you feel it’s necessary. The garage and back yard also work. Buyers get it and they appreciate the access.
At the end of the day, making it easy for Buyers to View and in essence BUY your home is in Your Best Interest. We work with our Sellers to Create the Best possible Access Solutions!
by Carla Freund