When a “For Sale” sign goes up in front of a home, sellers and agents alike gear up for showings, offers, and contract negotiations. Expectations can run high, and a flurry of activity is anticipated. What happens when showings don’t produce interest or offers and listings seem to languish on the market? Here are some factors to consider that may be discouraging offers:
One of the best ways to spur interest in a listing is to lower the price. In addition to making the home affordable for more budgets, a price drop can trigger online messages and bulletins that can bring publicity, reach new lookers, and generate interest. Dropping the price of a home can also indicate that the seller is motivated to make a deal.
Some houses that may have great interiors can lack in curb appeal. With a critical eye, take a new look at the home’s exterior from the street view. Sometimes even simple things can make a home seem warmer and more inviting, such as a fresh coat of paint on the front door, the addition of some plants and blooming flowers, a new mailbox, or a garden bench. Be sure to take new pictures of any changes that you make to update online listings.
Sometimes a home that needs updating may be priced right and could be a great opportunity, but lookers just can’t see the potential. Consider clearing out clutter or any furnishings that may be blocking or hiding interesting architectural or structural elements of the home. Generate a set of computerized layouts that give a rough idea of how floor plans could be updated or how additions could be made to the home, and leave those out on a table for potential buyers to peruse. Ask sellers to consider changing outdated or garish paint colors or take down heavy draperies or window treatments that could be blocking light and views.
Even subtle odors or musty smells can turn off potential buyers. Opening windows can help air out a home, or a thorough house cleaning may help freshen the property. In some cases, it may be necessary to have the ducts cleaned or to hire a professional inspector to find the source of displeasing odors.
Homes that have obvious neglected maintenance issues can be hard to sell. When potential buyers see immediate work that needs to be done, they may be dissuaded from making an offer. Encourage sellers to tend to exterior maintenance tasks such as cleaning gutters, clearing leaves and branches from lawns and landscaping, repairing cracks in structures and sidewalks, and cleaning or repairing roofs. If home systems and appliances need updating, consider adding an HSA Home Warranty to the listing. An HSA Home Warranty brings value to any real estate listing, but especially to those with older appliances and systems covered by the HSA Home Warranty where reliability may be a question.
In addition to helping provide budget protection and peace of mind for potential buyers, home warranty coverage can help attract interest in the home through signage and listing descriptions. HSA Home Warranties also help differentiate a property from others on the market. Another bonus is that, until the coverage transfers to the buyers, sellers enjoy coverage for specified home system malfunctions during the listing period. And, once an offer comes in, an HSA Home Warranty may help mitigate covered issues noted on the home inspection report to help get the sale to closing.