What to do if Your Home Doesn't Sell

Dated: August 5 2022

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Listing your home for sale and having it not sell is about the most frustrating thing that a homeowner can face.

Often, you’ll find yourself inundated with phone calls from real estate agents and real estate investors trying to either buy or sell your home.

This is when frustration really starts to set in for most homeowners. When you listed your house no one bought it but now that it’s not listed everyone wants to “help you out.”

My name is Matt Greer and I am a real estate agent who focuses on homes that didn’t sell.

I have received the SRS or Seller’s Representative Specialist Designation from the National Association of REALTORs because of my work and experience.

Through my experience and market research I hope to answer why most homes don’t sell.

I’ve managed to reduce it down to 3 main reasons: Price, Presentation and Marketing.

 

Price

Price is the first reason that determines whether a home will sell.

Price the home low and the home will sell quickly.

Price high and it will sell slowly.

Price too high and the home won’t sell.

No one wants to pay too much for anything especially a home where that translates to thousands of dollars.

We just came off the roller coaster that was 2020-2021. Demand was high and supply was low.

The same thing that happened with toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic happened to houses.

Everyone wanted to buy but there weren’t enough to meet the demand, so prices skyrocketed.

The fundamentals of how to price a home were thrown out the window, because it didn’t really matter.

If your home was worth $500,000 you could list it for $550,000 and get more than asking price, because buyers didn’t have any other options. This has come to an end.

Now that the Fed has raised rates buyers are more cautious because it will cost them more to finance the purchase.

Buyers are more cautious and have more options as the market returns to normal, so they aren’t willing to overpay.

A home needs to priced according to its actual value by comparing to similar homes that have recently sold in the same neighborhood.

If buyers see your house is the same floor plan as other homes in the neighborhood, but yours cost more and doesn’t have the upgrades to justify it they won’t even look at your house.

We currently have about one third of the homes on market in the Phoenix area undergoing price cuts.

This sounds scary, but there is a difference between market price and market value.

Market price is what you list the home for, and market value is what the home sells for and is the more important number of the two.

Market prices are dropping because sellers overpriced their homes, but market values are still going up albeit at a slower rate than last year.

The market has returned to normal. Don’t let that scare you. Be smart and know the fundamentals of home pricing.

If your real estate agent suggests a price, ask why and have them show you the comps.

If you interview multiple agents and one tells you he can sell your house for a higher number than the others presented you with ask where he’s going to come up with the extra money.

All too often I see sellers become enamored by an agent that promises to sell their home for more than anyone else only to have their home not sell.

If you start by pricing the home right, you’re on the right path.

 

Presentation

We live in a digital age. People don’t even go to stores anymore. They even find their future spouses online. People make huge decisions based on what they see online first.

Whether or not anything sells depends on its online appearance.

According to the National Association of REALTORs 95% of home buyers get information or find homes online.

The problem with this is there are a lot of homes for sale, and you can see them all online.

Most people look on massive aggregate websites such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin.

The problem home sellers face is when their home is posted on these sites they get lost in the crowd of other homes for sale.

Here in Phoenix, Arizona the homes all look drab with gravel. So how do you make your home pop out?

It starts by getting the right photographer. I refuse to hire a subpar or even “good” photographer for my home listings.

I know that the extra money I spend on a great photographer will more than pay for itself and then some.

When it comes down to it most buyers are sitting on their couch in their pajamas looking at homes online.

They decide which homes to view in person by what they see online first.

Most houses have one or two features that really stand out that buyers are looking for.

You need to showcase these features visually through great photography.

If you have a view, get a picture of it. If the home has an amazing kitchen get a bunch of great pictures of it.

Maybe your home photographs better at night or at a different time of day.

Get drone photos. People want to know what is around a house as well.

Your competitors are using drone photos if you don’t buyers will wonder what you might be hiding.

Once you’ve taken your pictures compare them to other homes like yours and they need to be the best if you want to sell your home first.

Now that you know how to present the home online to attract buyers it’s important that you maintain the in-person presentation as well.

Keep your home clean and uncluttered and free of odors (even if you think it’s a good odor get rid of it).

Open the blinds to let light in. Mow the grass and pull the weeds.

Make sure it’s neutral when it comes to divisive topics such as politics.

You don’t necessarily need to make massive renovations just showcase what you have.

 

Marketing

 

Marketing gets overlooked by too many people.

Here in Arizona, it can’t be overlooked because of our unique economy and how many people are moving here.

Most people simply list their home on the MLS and hope for the best. Afterall, it sends the listing to all the other major websites.

Won’t this work? Not really. I mean it will get the home sold eventually, but it also puts you on a stage with everyone else.

Currently there’s just over 18,000 homes on market and we want that number to be between 16,000 and 25,000.

If you just throw your home on the MLS you just put it on display next to all your competitors. Good luck! You only need to beat your 17,999 competitors.

Proper online presentation will help your home to stand out, but marketing will get buyers to look at your home first.

Arizona has people moving here from all over, but it can be narrowed down to certain areas.

Most of these areas change but the two that are constant are of course California and Canada.

When marketing it’s important to know who is currently moving to area and from where.

For example, if you live next to one of the major tech companies here in the valley like Intel in Chandler. I’d market your home to people in Silicon Valley.

There’s a few 55+ neighborhoods in Mesa that fly Canadian flags. I’d absolutely market that home to people in Canada.

The purpose of marketing is to send out an advertisement that gets buyers that would be interested in your house to look at your house without the noise of all the other homes on market.

You won’t get that just being on Zillow.

One way to decide who to market your home to is to look at yourself. Afterall, you bought that home before.  

What stage were you at in life? How was your income? What did you do for a living? Why did you buy your house?

You’ll be amazed how often someone just like you will buy your house.

So What Do You Do?

 

Don’t give up. Just start over and do it right. It’s easier than you think.

To successfully sell your home you must respect the fundamentals: Price, Presentation and Marketing.

If you sacrifice one of the fundamentals, you must work twice as hard on the other two in order to succeed.

If you Sacrifice two or more, you won’t succeed. Simple as that.

Call a different real estate agent and get their opinion on your home and why it did not sell.

Formulate a plan with them using the fundamentals of home selling and don’t cut corners.

You have paid a lot of money for your house over the years don’t let your haste allow you to cut corners in the listing process.

Every home has a buyer it’s just a matter of finding them.

If you have a home that didn’t sell and you’re in the Phoenix area, I’d be happy to go over your previous listing and make an assessment and then make a better plan with you.

Together we can get your home sold.

If you’re in a position where you don’t have time to list, I’d be happy to help you negotiate with cash buyers to get you the best deal as well.

Read: How To Find A REALTOR To Sell Your Home

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