As you know, the real estate market here in Richmond, Virginia continues to be very very tight. We are starting to see a slight cool down in the market, but we still have a very low number of homes for sale and a very high number of buyers still out there, even with the much higher interest rates. So it only stands to reason that homes in this area are flying off the market even today and most of them are still being bid up with multiple offers.
So if your home is on the market for sale, and you are either getting lots of showings but no offers, or you are getting low to no number of showings, and you have been on the market for more than a few weeks, you really need to ask yourself and your Realtor why your home isn't selling.
Having worked since 1996 as a full time Realtor with both buyers and sellers, here are what I see as the 15 reasons why a house isn't selling, even in this hot market of 2022!
Price Is Too High - or Too Low! Yes, this can happen! Buyers may be out there making offer after offer, but they are also savvy enough to know that they may have to pay top dollar, but they are not prepared to overpay for a house if they don't see the value! And if you are priced too low, in the hopes of generating multiple offers, you run the risk of buyers thinking that something must be wrong with the house since it is priced so low!
Curb Appeal Is Lacking! Buyers will tend to make split second decisions about your house, even as they are pulling into the driveway. If the first thing they see is a yard that lacks curb appeal and does not appear to be maintained, they may not be willing to give the inside a chance!
Location May Be An Issue! Location is probably the one thing you can't change, so you need to make sure you have priced the home for condition & location! All houses sell, even one that is next to a gym or backs to I-95. But if a buyer perceives the value at the price it is listed for, they will buy the house! Pricing overcomes all objections is one of the first things I learned when I became a Realtor!
Emotions Are Getting in the Way! I understand and get that this was and continues to be your home! However, when you put the house on the market, you will need to make sure you are now thinking of it as a house for sale, not a home with a lot of memories in it! After all, you put the house on the market to move on to the next chapter of your life!
The Place Is Not Looking It's Best! When your house is going to be shown, you want the buyer to be able to envision themselves in the house! Dirty laundry piled up, dirty dishes in the sink, pet/cooking/smoke odors throughout, dingy rooms - all of these things make the buyer want to leave your house sooner rather than later!
Your Agent Is Just Not Cutting It! One thing this seller's market has done is to bring a lot of new agents into the business! And your agent may be a friend, or a part time agent or they may not have been properly trained! They may not be as good at pricing your home, they may not be keeping you updated on a regular basis. If you find the Realtor you have hired is not marketing your home properly, or is not keeping up with the real estate market in your area, you may need to think about whether or not you want to continue your relationship with them!
It Is The Wrong Season To Be Selling! 2022 and 2021 are really unusual real estate markets - in a normal real estate market, spring is the best time to sell while winter tends to be the slowest time to sell! With an expected real estate market cool down, it may be that you are just listed at the wrong time!
Your Home Has Very Personalized Decor & Upgrades! I one time had a listing appointment at a house that had been custom built - in the bedroom was a heart shaped tub (like you see at the Honeymoon destinations in the Poconos). This was only feet from the bed itself and not in the bathroom! I did not end up getting this listing, but I talked to the listing agent after the house sold and he told me how hard it was to sell because of the tub in the bedroom!
There Is Too Much Work Needed! A lot of buyers may be willing to buy a house that needs some updating IF the location and the layout works for them! But if you are asking top dollar for your home and you want to sell it as is and do no repairs, then you need to make sure you have priced it to reflect the needed repairs and as is condition! It would be much better if you could do the repairs prior to putting the house on the market as many buyers don't want to have to do repairs after closing!
Too Many Homes Are Listed In The Immediate Area! I know it is hard to believe, with everyone talking about how low the supply of homes are in the area, but there are some neighborhoods where you will have a number of homes for a buyer to choose from! If that is the case, and you are not in show condition and priced to sell, your home may end up sitting! Worse yet, buyers may look at your home and then buy another that is priced more accordingly!
The House Has Been On The Market Too Long! Again, very hard to believe but I did a search of expired listings going back a year in the Richmond area. To my surprise, there were at least 81 homes that were listed and expired without having a closed sale on them! In this heated up market, if your home has been on the market for a couple of weeks, with few to no showings, the market is definitely telling you something! You need to talk to your Realtor to see if you can figure out why your home is still sitting on the market and what you can do to get it sold!
Your House Is The Smallest House In The Neighborhood! If you live in a neighborhood where all the homes are 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath two story homes with a 2 car garage, and your home is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch styled home with no garage, you need to be priced below the other homes in the neighborhood. Even though the neighborhood may be a great neighborhood, you will automatically eliminate some buyers who need to have 4 bedrooms!
Your Realtor Is New or Part Time! Although many people think that being a Realtor is easy - homes are selling so quickly that it may look very easy! But some agents (not all) may be part time - they aren't always available to take phone calls or show homes to buyers who want to see it! And some new agents (not all) may not have had proper training or may not have adequate supervision in case a situation arises that needs to be resolved!
The Pictures Of The House Are Bad! If the weather was bad on the pictures were taken, if the Realtor took pictures with their phone rather than a professional camera, if the home had a cluttered look when the pictures were taken, if the lighting was dark when the pictures were taken - these pictures go up on the internet for buyers to see your home before they even get in a car! A buyer can reject looking at your house even before they decide to go out with their Realtor!
You Stayed In The House While It Was Shown! Many buyers are not comfortable if they see the seller sitting in their favorite chair while they are looking at the house. As a seller, you should want the buyers to spend as much time in your house, getting to know how they can make the home theirs! If you are in the house, they may not take the time to ask their Realtor questions about the house, or be free to make comments (positive or negative) that perhaps their Realtor may be able to answer in the most positive light!
Most houses in today's market in Richmond are still selling quickly, within days of listing, and a lot of them are getting multiple offers and selling above the asking price. But there is no guarantee that your house will be one of those selling quickly and for more money! If you do decide to list your home, you want to do everything you can to make sure it does sell quickly and does not become one of those rare listings that end up expiring after 90 or 120 days!
If you are thinking of selling, or if you just have a question about the state of market right now in Richmond, don't hesitate to call or email me. I am happy to help!