How Do I Sell My House in a Slower Market?

Is Your House Languishing on the Market?

After several decades of being a real estate professional, there are numerous “givens” that affect why your house won’t sell. Try to avoid these seven things to give yourself a better chance of selling in a timely manner.

Vintage photo of woman in hat motioning for man with hat in hand to get outDon’t be Home during a Showing

Many times a homeowner thinks that if they can just show a prospective Buyer around their home that they will be able to make a sale. I mean, after all, the Realtor showing the house doesn’t understand all of the upgrades that have been done and the time and effort to make this a show place. But my best advice, Mr. Seller, is to GET OUT during a showing. People feel uncomfortable when a homeowner is present because there’s a sense of intrusion. They’re in a hurry to leave because they feel they are interrupting you.

Worse still is when a homeowner wants to show prospective Buyers every nuance of a home when the Buyers have already decided the floor plan won’t work for them, leaving everyone frustrated. Let me assure you that in dozens of years, I’ve never sold a home when the Seller was present during the first showing.

Don’t Overprice your Home

This is the most common reason a home hasn’t sold, but let me put it into a better perspective for you. If you’re home hasn’t sold, it may be one of these three reasons:

  1. It’s Overpriced
  2. You Want too much Money for it
  3. The Price is too High

Clean, Clean, Clean

It is no exaggeration that a dirty home can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. People can see through ugly paint and countertops that need to be replaced, but very few can see through dirt and accumulated filth. Trust me on this, either get some gloves and scrub down every room, or invest the money and hire a professional crew to come in and make surfaces sparkle. If your house isn’t selling, this is not an option if you want a quick sale for top dollar.
dated but clean room with woman in foreground with cleaning supplies

Declutter – No “Collections”

The way you live in a home is different than the way you market your home. Do you love your religious statues in each room of your house? Do your childhood dolls bring you peace? Do you have Raider paraphernalia on your walls in the midst of Bronco country? I’m sure they will all look beautiful in your new home, but now is not the time to have them on display. You’re going to be moving. Start packing! 

vintage bedroom with iron bed and teal carpet and whicker rockerChange out the Teal Carpet

I’m sure it was beautiful in 1984 when you had it installed. It may still be in pristine condition. But I promise you, in almost three decades of showing homes, I’ve never sold a house with teal carpet. Find it in your budget before you put your house on the market and replace it with something more neutral. You’ll be glad you did.

Try not to Show on Rainy Days

One of the first things I tell my Sellers is to never turn down a showing. But a situation that prospective Buyers can never seem to see past is how gloomy even the brightest of homes can be on a rainy, overcast day. Talk to your agent about how best to handle it, but if it were me, I’d try to put off a showing for an hour or two until the rains cleared out.

Take the First Offer Seriously

Depending on the market, the first offer can be attractive or it can be a low-ball. But don’t discount it because you didn’t like it. Counter it. Often the first offer is the most motivated and might be willing to negotiate to a higher price.