Having a home on the market for months without receiving an offer can be stressful, and it can eventually become a home seller’s worst nightmare: an expired listing. After being flexible with your schedule, letting strangers walk around in your home, and trying to keep everything neat for longer than you ever imagined, you can still end up with a home that doesn’t sell.
Here are a few tips to prevent that from happening to you.
1. Don’t list before you’re ready to sell. That seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen a lot of listings with photos that show visible work that needs to be done, extreme clutter (clean out that junk room before you list!), poor landscaping, and other red flags that yell “steer clear!” to potential buyers. The first two weeks are critical for a home sale because the listing is new, and after several weeks, the traffic tends to die down. If a buyer does decide to come see the property and it is in poor condition, that’s a buyer that you’ve lost for good. Very rarely will a buyer come back to a home after they’ve already seen and dismissed it, so if you realize that you should make some improvements two months after listing it, that’s traffic you’ve lost and that you won’t get back.
2. Price it correctly. It can be tempting to try to list your home with a high price to leave room for negotiation or to compensate for upgrades and renovations, but if you price yourself out of the market, your home is going to sit. If you aren’t getting any requests for showings and you have an attractive home, it’s probably because it’s priced too high. Your real estate agent should provide you with a market analysis for your home, which will compare your home to similar homes in your area that are on the market and have sold. Using that, they will be able to determine a good price point. The market in Central Ohio is amazing right now, and the homes I’ve listed that were priced correctly have received several asking-price offers within a few days of being listed.
3. Pay attention to feedback you get after showings. Ask your real estate agent to share any feedback you receive on your home, and take the time to review it. Your home won’t be for everyone, but if you see the same comment again and again, you might want to consider addressing that issue.
4. Keep your home clean. The longer your home is on the market, the harder this is to do, but it’s important that your home looks its best for each and every showing. Smells and stains can repel buyers, so try your hardest to keep your home in pristine condition.
5. Listen to your real estate agent. Your agent doesn’t want your listing to expire either, and they probably know why buyers are choosing other homes over yours. If your home has been on the market for a few months without a lot of activity, ask them what they think you should do to bring in an offer.
The housing market (especially in this area) is great right now, so if you’re following the above advice, there’s no reason your listing should expire. With summer right around the corner, many homes will soon go on the market, so make sure that yours is priced well and ready to sell. Good luck!