Sunday, October 26, 2014

There Must Be Something Wrong

Yesterday I showed a house to buyer clients that has been on the market for just over 100 days.

As we looked around the question came up, "so it's been on the market 100 days, what is wrong with it?"

This is not only a common question but one that is very justified.  Especially in a healthy real estate market like ours has been in 2014, sitting on the market for 100 days just isn't the norm.  My answer, unfortunately, is just a list of guesses based upon previous experience and stories that I've heard.

Here are some reasons a home could be on the market for longer than expected..

1.  It's the norm!- The first thing to keep in mind is that 100 days may not actually be a long time on the market.  Without assistance from your Realtor to look at the comparable properties in the area, you'll never know if any of these reasons are true, or if 100 days is actually the average amount of time homes in a certain area stay on the market.

2.  Home overpriced-  I've always been told by folks that I trust in the business that if a home isn't selling, it's overpriced.  Seems too easy right?  Pricing a home to sell is the most important thing a seller can do from the very beginning.  Most showing activity on a home will happen in the first 20 days or so.  If you are overpriced during this time, you are putting a bad taste in the mouth of your most willing buyers.  The chances of them coming back to see your home after you drop the price aren't good!  Remember, it doesn't matter what your neighbor sold for, what you need to pay off your mortgage, or what you would like to get... The price is set by the market.  Overpricing is detrimental to your bottom line.

3.  Condition, floor plan, amenities, location-  Yes, there could be a problem.  It could be a major structural problem, could be on a busy street that no buyers are interested in, could be in a school district that is continually failing levies, or it could just be a floor plan that was popular 10 years ago but is not the current trend.  Sellers need to now that even with any of these problems, an appropriate price will sell.

4.  Stigma-  There may be nothing wrong with the home.  It may be appropriately priced and in good condition.  But, since it has been on the market for so many days, it may have a stigma of having something wrong.  This is most frustrating for sellers, but it's a reality.

5.  Liens, financing- The reason the home has been on the market for so long may have nothing to do with the physical structure of the home.  There could be liens against the property that prevent it from selling or it could be in an area with financing and insurance issues.

I'm sure there are several more reasons to list here, but this is my personal list that I have mentally compiled to share with buyers in the scenario I began this post with.  After covering all of these reasons, I always come back to... "Let me worry about the 100 days.  I'll try to find out what is wrong, you guys just try to find out if you love the home."

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

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