Are you one of the thousands of Americans who's trying to sell their property in the hope of riding the real estate wave? If so, this article is for you. With the home buying season fastly approaching and the market officially turning on to your good favor (read: it's officially a seller's market), you must think that you're all set to sail off with multiple offers on your home. Well, apparently not - at least not as easily as you think it would be.
Recent research has uncovered puzzling statistical patterns from the way buyers look for potential investments or their next home. Although it is true that markets across the nation continue to get hotter with listings in respective regions receiving multiple offers just hours after posting, there is also truth to a great number of properties that sit unattended and unnoticed for six to twelve months with no takers and not a single offer.
According to research done by real estate aggregator Trulia, these so-called "turnoff listings" are the result of miscalculations and missed marketing opportunities on behalf of the seller's property. Plainly said, mispricing, excessive restrictions, and failure to present the property in a good light lead to their stagnation. Further, the research says that the existence of large numbers of unsold homes in the midst of high-activity markets is more common than generally assumed, suggesting that even in the tightest markets, there is an extended wait for some homes that are misrepresented.
Boston, being one of the key metropolitan cities that is currently and traditionally considered a "hot, active market", is not exempted from this. In fact, 10 percent of listed properties go unsold for 257 days or even more! This is definitely a long stagnant stretch, especially when you consider that the average DOM (Days On Market) in the Greater Boston area is only 42 days.
Some experts suggest that these unsold, stagnant properties are actually being sabotaged by the sellers themselves - not intentionally, of course, but there are things that the owners do that bungle up their potential buyer's bets. Most commonly, demanding unrealistic selling prices or refusing to negotiate. Understandably, these sellers would want to make the most penny out of their property, but to a fault that it fails to do exactly that.
Another reason for why some listings take much longer to get snapped up is because of the tight restrictions they apply to the property, most common of which is limited availability for showings and such. In other words, putting a priority on selling your property is essential, and if you're serious about it, you have to have the buyer's schedule in mind, not your own.
The search also found that other "significant turnoffs" to sellers include:
- poorly cleaned, messy homes that lack presentation and therefore shows obvious signs of age (translating to maintenance work the buyer needs to attend to)
- sellers being present and hovering about the property during previews
- unpleasant and unsolicited smells within the home (whether good or bad scents, try to have a plainly unscented atmosphere)
- false advertising and misrepresentation of the property
REMEMBER: Just because houses are selling fast doesn't mean yours will. You've got to think of it as a product you're marketing, not just as your home. Get it in shape to sell. Price it realistically. Be flexible and cooperative on showings and negotiations. Unless it has grossly off-putting features -- costly physical defects, ugly design, bad location, bad schools -- your property should sell.