Aug. 26, 2009

Why Isn't Your House Selling? 10 Likely Reasons (Part 2 of 3)

7. You have WAY too many knick-knacks and personal items covering your shelves and walls.  If your house looks like an indoor flea-market, potential buyers have a hard time imagining their own crappy junk littering the house.  The same goes for pictures of your wedding, vacations or grandkids- if home shoppers feel like they're in your house, it's hard or them to begin to think of it as their house.  Get yourself a professional staging expert.  It is statistically proven that staged homes tend to sell faster and for more money, usually more than enough to cover the staging expense.  At the very least, do what you can to de-personalize your home. I know you have to keep living there and you want it to feel like it's still your home. But remember, once you've put it on the market, it's really somebody else's home. You're just waiting for them to show up.

[caption id="attachment_2027" align="alignright" width="315" caption=""Howdy, neighbor!""]"Howdy neighbor!"[/caption]

8. Your neighbors live like extras from "Deliverance". No matter how nice your house may be...no matter how clean the kitchen is or how fresh the paint is on the trim, if your neighbors have 3 broken down cars on their lawn, beer bottles lining the driveway, and four layers of paint in various colors peeling away from the walls, your house will not sell quickly.  If it looks like your neighbors are selling more drugs than Rite Aid, buyers will be scared away.  Maybe it's time to have a friendly chat with them.  For instance, you could tell them about CarAngel, a charity organization that will haul away their old beaters.  Maybe you could offer to hire a couple of college kids on Craigslist to repaint their house or clean up the yard. Sure, it might be awkward, but it will probably go a long way toward getting your house sold without having to drop your price.

9. You picked the wrong listing agent. Believe it, or not, there are some not-so-good agents out there. Choosing a qualified listing agent is crucial and there is a lot more to being qualified than having the ability to stick a sign up in the yard.  Being somebody's friend-of-a-friend or mother-in-law, or having 30 years in the business are not sufficient qualifications.  Agents with decades of experience are often less likely to be aware of the latest developments in technology, rules and regulations, or marketing strategies, all of which are essential.  Veteran agents are often a little too comfortable with their own track record and fail to remember that this business requires constant education, adjustment, and re-invention. Agents who are socially awkward, ill-prepared or under-qualified are often successful in spite of themselves, simply because they have been doing this for so long or because they happen to be related to somebody.  There are also plenty of part-time real estate agents out there who decided to get a license because they were "thinking of buying a house, anyway" or "have lots of friends and family considering the market" and thought "hey, why not?" However, real estate is NOT a part-time job. Good agents do this full-time, and then some. A great agent spends countless hours learning the market, networking, and mastering the art of negotiation, so that when they offer advice, they do so with the confidence and integrity that is only afforded through real effort and earned knowledge.  Choosing an agent for any other reason leaves you exposed to the threat that they might inadvertently sabotage your listing or your offer, either through ignorance or social ineptitude. Either way, it's costing you money.

Click these links to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

This post simultaneously published by Rob LeRoy at theRealEstateNovelist.com

Rob LeRoy is a Seattle real estate agent and social media marketing coach with eXp Realty.

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