Real estate experts say that the longer your home sits on the market, the harder it is to sell. In some markets, you might have to adjust the asking price after just a few days. In others, you can let it sit on the market for a couple of months, and someone will probably snap it up.
No matter the market, if your home has been on the market for nearly a year or more, it might not sell in its current condition. You’ll have to adjust your selling tactics or certain aspects of the property to get it off your hands.
1. Lower the Asking Price
Eight times out of ten, if your property isn’t selling, it’s because you haven’t priced it correctly. Some markets are slower than others, but almost all real estate can be sold to the right buyer at the right price.
It’s probably been a while since you evaluated the market, so take a look at current market prices for a home similar to yours. You might have to knock off more than just a few thousand to price it correctly.
If it still doesn’t sell, price it below market value. You hate to see your hard-earned investment go for so little, but it’s best to be off the hook with an undesirable property so you can move on to other investments.
2. Change Your Target Market
Perhaps you’re trying to sell the property to the wrong people. If the home is run-down, outdated, and even unlivable, you’ll have a hard time getting everyday buyers to purchase it. However, this is the perfect property for investors.
Many people purchase homes to fix them and flip them, rent out to tenants, or wholesale them to other investors. By targeting people in this market, you’re more likely to sell the home for a good price.
3. Sweeten the Deal
Many sellers approach the sale of a home with a passive approach. Instead of thinking of what they can offer to the buyers to make the deal more attractive, they wait for the buyers to negotiate with them. The buyers might not realize that they’re getting more from the home than just the property.
When your home isn’t selling, think of ways you can attract a deal. You might offer to pay closing costs, leave the entertainment center, throw in all the appliances (washer and dryer included), pay the first year or property taxes, set up a home warranty, or cover other costs associated with the transaction. Your generosity won’t go unnoticed.
4. Make Some Updates
While it’s not always smart to make updates to a home you’re planning to sell, it can sometimes be just what’s needed. This is usually true when the expense is low and you’re repairing something that’s essential to the home.
For example, if the shower in your upstairs bathroom is improperly sealed and has been leaking under the floor, you’ll probably want to repair the shower and underlying damage to avoid scaring buyers. The same goes for repairing ceilings and walls that have experienced water damage from a roof leak.
While doing these updates, you don’t need to overspend, but you should look for ways to add value to the property or make it more appealing to show. For example, a brand-new shower and freshly painted neutral walls can be very appealing to new buyers.
5. Take It Off the Market for a While
When a home has sat on the market for more than a few months, buyers start to worry there’s something wrong with it. You might consider simply taking it off the market during a slow period of the year and relisting it in the spring when houses are more likely to sell.
When you bring it back, change your selling tactics. Update your descriptions and photos, and emphasize new features that might increase your chances of selling the property.
In the meantime, don’t be on the hook for the mortgage and taxes. Rent out your house (if it’s in livable condition) on a month-to-month basis. There are always tenants looking for deals like that, and that means you can sell the property without worrying about current tenants.