Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why Won't My House Sell?!?!

You have Heard that "Cash is King," well "Price rules the Roost." In many if not most cases, the reason a property doesn't sell is price. In the market we find ourselves in today you can price a home correctly at the inception of listing your home for sale, but if you're in the wrong price point your property won't sell. The reason? The credit crunch on jumbo properties and high inventory levels.

When talking home sales in the sub-$200,000 range, first time buyers have kept this segment of the market alive due to the first time buyer tax credit of $8,000. Higher-end homes that require "Step-up Buyers" which are generally homes that require financing over "conforming limits," are piling up on the market and inventory levels are growing in certain areas of the marketplace.

In many areas the highest loan amount you can obtain for a conforming loan is $417,000. Therefore if your property is priced more than $450,000, one key reason it may not be selling is that buyers are unable to obtain financing. I mentioned the words "Step-up Buyer" a minute ago. In this price range properties are definitely step-up properties where buyers may also have a home to sell before they can purchase your home. Compounded is this problem for the Step-up Market in that a high percentage of sellers today have no equity in their current homes. This can render the Step-up market all but impotent.

Does your house show "like new" or is it a train wreck? How is the curb appeal? Does the exterior need pressure washing? Is clutter all you see? Then your potential buyers are seeing it too. START LOOKING at your home in the eyes of a buyer. Remember your objective is to help the buyer your home as "their home."

Real estate comes down to three things: "location, location, location." If you have bought on the wrong side of town, a neighborhood full of foreclosures, or just a bad lot, at this point there is not much you can do about property location. You CAN make sure the price is adjusted accordingly based on the location. "Now wait, wait, wait Hank." I can hear the objections coming. Yes, adjust your price based upon a lesser location. For example, if homes in a given subdivision are priced at $120,000-$130,000 and your home sits on a lot off the entrance of the subdivision and backs up to another main road, then you should adjust down the price of your property. IT WILL NOT sell for what an interior property that backs up to trees might sell for in this market. Not with 12-13 months of inventory on the market for sale. Buyers have too much to pick from and your home will sit if you price it with the other listings in the neighborhood.

Do you, if selling FSBO, or your Realtor have a written marketing plan? Did he or she have a virtual tour made of your property? What's more, did they do a VIDEO tour? How many photos are online? Is it less than 20? If your answers are no, no, no, and less than 10, then you have some issues. Is your home being marketed on at least 30 major Web sites? Any you have ever heard of or do online home shopping on yourself?

Is your home on Realtor.com, your local MLS, Georgia MLS, Yahoo Real Estate, Trulia and Zillow? If not, find out why and make sure your Realtor immediately gets your home marketed on these locations as they are the most-visited online real estate sites according to Hitwise.com and other traffic analytic sources. If your agent has no idea how to do this and looks cross-eyed when you mention the word "Zillow," you might need to have a heart to heart chat with them.

If you are having trouble selling your home, figure out where you are on each issue. Also, address any issue you are short on today to get your home sold as soon as possible!


  1. I love your posts regarding real estate, and this one is so true. Thanks for the post.

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  3. Thanks for the great post. I'll be more than happy to answer any questions or feedback your readers might have

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  6. What an impressive post and I find it helpful as well. You did a great job. Big thanks and keep sharing.

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