There are times when the best plans on paper don’t quite turn into reality. You may have spent months working on a rehab or preparing your property to sell, only to find much less interest than you anticipated. What you do at that point will often determine just how successful you are with the property and in your business. The most important thing that you need to know is that as long as you own the property you have options. Sometimes this means choosing between the best of whatever bad options are available, but they are still options. Your home may not be selling as quickly or for as much as you may have thought, but that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.
The first, and most obvious, item that will impact your sale is the price. Many rehabbers, and sellers in general, think that their property is worth more than what the market is telling them. They feel that any improvements and upgrades should have a much greater return than it actually does. Instead of looking at the high end of any comparable sales, it is important to look at the other side. Buyers will compare your property with the lowest selling comparable to try to get the best deal. If you listed too high, you need to make a reduction that is significant enough to generate interest and bring buyers to your property. If you make your reduction small, it won’t have the impact you desire and all you will do is waste another few weeks. The ideal scenario is to list at the right price, but if you feel the need to make a change, make it large enough to have a real impact.
You may have your home listed at the right price, but if the exposure isn’t there, buyers won’t know about it. How you market the property is largely your realtors responsibility, but there are things you can do on your own that can have an impact. Social media is one area that you should focus on that doesn’t cost you anything and won’t take more than a few minutes a day. A quick post of the property listing every day will have a bigger impact than you realize. If you have an open house schedule, you can ramp up your exposure and ask your friends to pass your information along. The more you can do to get the word out, the higher the chances that you can find a buyer.
How your property looks can have a direct impact on the demand. Every showing should be treated as if it is the last one you are going to have. This means making sure that the property is as perfect as it can be, from the inside out. If there is clutter that is impacting the curb appeal, you need to get rid of it. If the house is dirty, cold or dark, you need to make the necessary improvements. It is a good idea to ask a friend or family member to look at your house and tell them the first thing that they notice. Something small like changing the shutters or front door handle could be all it takes to find a buyer.
Time On Market:
You may have it in your mind to get your property sold in 30 days, but the market may tell you something else. Before you panic and drop your price or explore other options, look at how long the property has been on the market for. You can tell if you have the price right by the number of showings and offers you have received. Transactions will not happen overnight, especially in this market. You need to have some level of patience and look at the big picture.
If you have given your listing ample time without getting it sold, your next option is to explore renting it. In many cases, renting can be more than just a stopgap until the market appreciates. The rental market has never been hotter in many areas, and can offer a greater return than you may have thought. There is a lot that goes into being a landlord, but if your property is sitting on the market without making you money you need to take action. The idea of a tenant providing you with cash flow or paying your mortgage every month is not the worst option to have. It is important to take the time to find a qualified tenant and not just the first one that shows interest. Renting can be great, but don’t make a bad situation worse by taking on a poor tenant.
If you are still set on selling, you may need to spend money to make money. Look at where your property may be lacking and make any necessary improvements. Buyers look at properties that they can move right in at and not do any work. If you can provide your property free of any work, you will most likely increase demand and get your home sold quickly.
The most important advice, if you are having trouble selling, is to act quickly to resolve your problem. Whether you need to drop your price, do some improvements or look for a tenant, the worst thing you can do is nothing. You have options, you just need to act on one of them.