In today’s hot real estate market, especially in Markham, Unionville and the surrounding GTA, there’s no reason why your house shouldn’t sell in a timely manner. However, in every market at any point in time, there’s always a selection of homes for sale that tend to just sit there and get stale. If your home happens to be one of these, you may often ask yourself: “why is my house not selling?” From personal experience as a real estate agent in Markham, here are the top 5 reasons.
The real estate market is often an overlooked aspect of selling your home. In Markham and the surrounding GTA, for example, we have always heard how hot the market has been for the past several years and how fast average house prices have been increasing. While that may be mostly true, it’s important not to assume as there are always peaks and valleys in any market and conditions can change from week to week.
Outside factors may also influence the market such as when interest rates increase or decrease and when the government implements mortgage rule changes. Market conditions can also be very neighbourhood specific so it’s not only important to take a look at what’s happening on a city or town level, but to carefully analyze the recent activity in your own block. For more insights on the latest market conditions please visit the Markham real estate market information page.
Another reason why your house is not be selling could have something to do with its overall presentation. Your home should appear clean, bright, spacious and well maintained. It’s no secret that staging your house will most likely lead to a quicker sale and a higher sale price, yet many sellers still don’t do.
Whether you use a professional or do it yourself, you need to make sure you do everything possible to make your home look great. The last thing you want is to have your home sitting on the market, wondering if you should have repainted the lower level, stored excess furniture or shampooed the carpets. By then, you’ll have already missed your home’s most marketable timeframe.
Whenever I visit a home with buyers that isn’t well presented and has been sitting on the market for a while, they only have 2 different reactions. They are either disappointed and go through the house rather quickly, if at all. Or, if they can see past it all, they might get excited and assume they can get a good deal on the house because it needs work and has been sitting on the market. Either way, you don’t come out ahead.
So while it might not always sound appealing to have to repaint rooms, declutter, store furniture, etc. it’s always worth it in the end and sometimes, it just makes more sense to get an outside opinion from a professional home stager.
Your home’s exposure to potential buyers is not only crucial to getting your home sold, it’s crucial to getting it sold for top dollar. If your listing isn’t selling, take a look at how and where the property is being advertised. There are many real estate agents out there that will simply throw your home on MLS, cross their fingers and hope that it sells. I see this all too often.
While uploading your listing to the local MLS is a very useful tool available to Realtors, it’s not enough. Yes, it’s true that your home might sell with only MLS exposure, but it’s not about just getting your home sold. It’s about getting it sold for more and exposing your home to more buyers with the ultimate goal of creating competition.
To accomplish this, your home should be advertised through a variety of avenues and your listing photos and marketing materials should be informative, accurate and inflict a strong sense of quality. Also, more than 90% of homebuyers will start their home search online so it’s extremely important that your MLS listing has a strong online presence and a great marketing plan.
Most sellers wouldn’t know to ask this, in fact the same would be true for many agents, but every brokerage owner has the option to opt in to have their listings automatically shared with a long list of 3rd party websites. For those brokerages that are part of the program, their individual agents also have to ensure that their listings provide permission to be advertised on other sites as well. If you’re not sure that your home is getting this added exposure, talk to your agent. You can also do a quick Google search for your home address and see what comes up. You should also be able to find your listing on my MLS listing search page.
Is your real estate agent part of the problem? Sometimes it’s easy to blame the agent when your home isn’t selling but make sure they are delivering on what they promised. Are they executing their marketing plan as discussed? Are they following up on showings and collecting feedback? Are they doing open houses for you? Are they keeping you informed on the market and communicating with you?
Unfortunately, many people think that all agents are the same and that it doesn’t really matter who they choose but that couldn’t be more untrue. Your home is most likely your largest asset and it’s important that your agent treats it as such. Choosing the right agent can be can be a difficult task and different people might place more value on certain aspects but you’ll at least want to ensure a few things.
First, it’s important that they are a full-time agent and fully committed to their trade. They should be knowledgeable about the market, industry practices and legalities as well as homes in your neighbourhood. They should have a proven track record, marketing system and deliver on their promises. Most of all, you need to be able to trust your agent and know that they have your best interests at heart instead of their own.
It may seem fairly obvious but if you’re confident that the previous 4 reasons have been properly addressed and your house is still sitting on the market with little interest, than it is very likely that you may be overpriced.
An overpriced home is often the main reason for a house not selling in a timely manner but it’s important to rule out the other possibilities first. After all, you don’t want to lower your price if you don’t have to. Be honest with yourself and listen to what the comparables are telling you, because they should be clearly telling you what buyers are willing to pay.
A classic mistake I hear a lot of homeowners say is: “Let’s just price it up here and see if anyone bites. We can always lower the price later, right?” While that may be true, your home will attract the most attention from buyers in the first few weeks of being listed and you are likely to receive the best price during that period. If you’re overpriced and don’t get lucky, you may miss your best opportunity.
Of course, there could be other reasons why your house is not selling, however, these are typically the most prevalent reasons. If, by chance, your home is not actually on the market and you’re not actually asking yourself “why is my home not selling?” then consider these top 5 reasons as a proactive checklist before listing your home for sale. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and most importantly, you’ll put more money in your pocket. If you’d like to discuss the sale of your home, please contact me anytime and we can figure out an action plan that suits your needs.