Expired? Cancelled? Off Market? What's a Seller To Do? You are not alone. Many homes in Seattle and elsewhere have languished on the market for months. In other words: Unsold. No action for weeks. You're the seller. The sign post in your yard has been leaning toward the street for so long you can tell it's trying to run away. What do you do? Blame your agent? Blame the market? Blame the banks and their lousy short sales and foreclosures? Let me help you here. There are only three reasons your home didn't sell. And you the seller are directly responsible for two of them and partially responsible for the third.
Here are the three reasons your house didn't sell:
PREPARATION: The advice on how to prepare a home for sale is unlimited and it's free. Most sellers know well in advance of their own moving plans and have ample time to prepare. Sometimes sellers may not have the money to do major repairs, but a clean and tidy home, inside and out, is the first step in assuring that your home will sell. All you have to do is look and/or ask a professional.
PRICE: You know how hard you shop for bargains. Home buyers are out there scouring the listings for that special value. If you've been expecting that rare buyer with more money than brains is going to show up and fall so soundly in love with your house that they will pay way over market, you need to think again. That happens when the market has been trending up for years and even homes that seem to be over-priced get more than one offer. Select an agent and go with him to look at the competition before you decide on a price.
MARKETING: Some properties slip through the cracks. Not many, but a few do. Often properties marketed by owners are finally listed by agents but already have long market times. This is a turn off to buyers. Everyone wants to get something that's new on market, or they want a deep discount. Marketing can't cure all ills, but if your agent doesn't have a strong Internet presence, doesn't use high quality photography, doesn't advertise your listing online with more than just the simple MLS broadcasting, doesn't have a social media plan to expose your property on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craig's List, Active Rain, Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com and others, you aren't getting full exposure. There is such a diverse array of Internet sites these days, all vying to be "the only one" that no buyer is able to check them all.
As a seller, it is up to you to properly prepare and price you home. Don't kid yourself into thinking that those things are not that important. And it is up to you to interview agents and find one that will thoroughly work all avenues of listing exposure to assure that the right buyer will see your home soon after it hits the market.
Homes are selling in Seattle and all over the country. But not all homes. Too many end up expired, cancelled, or just off market.