Even in a hot Vancouver Real Estate Market, some homes are not selling. Here are some reasons why:
1. Poor Quality Photography/Marketing
Almost all of Vancouver home buyers start their search for a home on the Internet, so your listing had better look great. Not just nice, it has to look big and beautiful. Today an internet view is the same as a ‘virtual showing’… if your listing gets past that, then you might get an appointment to see it in person. Today’s online viewers are expecting good quality photos. Make you Realtor earn their selling fee and pay the cost for a professional photographer. I seldom take buyers to view homes where the pictures are low quality as that makes the place look shabby.
For your own good, don’t have sparky the dog or your cat in any of the pics, that eliminates so many viewers. The absolute worst thing that you can do is have your home on the market with no photos. I have seen listings that have been on the market for over 150 days and no photos added yet – the solution for this = get a new Realtor.
2. Your Listing is Overpriced
It’s important to be as objective as you possibly can. Look at the home as though you are a buyer. If necessary, make an appointment with your Realtor to view other properties that are priced comparably to yours. Be brutally objective. Given the other options on the market (including foreclosures), would you buy your home over the others on the market? Being overpriced is extremely detrimental and can drag on the sale of your home for a long time. This is not always your fault as many Realtors do what’s called “buying the listing” which I have another blog on. I can tell you when I see a listing that has been on the market for 90 days and has had 3 price drops, I smell blood and go in for the kill. Do not let this happen to you. Do not get blinded by dollar signs when pricing your home and make sure you are shown why your home should be priced at the dollar amount your Realtor suggests. Usually, your home would have sold for higher of you priced it right the first time and didn’t need to drop the price three times. Even in a hot market your listing can be over priced. Price it well and watch it sell.
3. Your Home Doesn’t Show Well
When I say badly this means a multitude of things. The first step is to de-clutter. I can’t stress enough how bad homes look when full of clutter and things on the counter and etc…If you smoke in your home, don’t even think of trying to show it until you have freshened it up. If you have a tenant, make sure there isn’t 4 of them living in your one bedroom and please make sure they are not home when potential buyers come through. I have walked into people sleeping, parties, and much more. We typically walk in the home, laugh at the awkwardness, and walk out. All these things that aren’t visible from the internet will be more than visible the minute someone walks in.
Vancouverites are accustom to show home quality when it comes to looking at Real Estate. Keep that in mind when prepping your home.
5. Your Listing is Old, Tired, Stale
Okay… yes, you overpriced your home initially when you first came on the market a year and a half ago. But since then you have reduced your price almost monthly, constantly chasing the market down. Now, finally you’re truly priced where you believe should be, but your listing (not your home) has become tired and stale. Everyone who is looking for your type of home (1 bed, 1 bath) in your area has already seen the listing online, or even in person and they remember that there was “something” about it that they didn’t like. That “something” was the price. It’s time to take your home off market. Let it cool off (3-6 months), and bring it back on fresh in the Spring. Even let it cool off a week or two can help. Don’t keep lowering the price and let the hounds seek out a desperate seller. Take new pictures, re-list and regenerate the interested.
6. It’s Unavailable to Show.
Simply put, a buyer won’t buy it if they can’t see it. As good as your online photos are and how well it is priced, there are no substitutes for an in-person visit. If you have the mentality that if they want to see it, they will book another time – you are hindering the sale of your listing. The first few weeks are the most important in a listings lifetime. Buyers will quickly move on to the next home in your building and maybe buy that one instead. Once you put your home on the market it stops being your “home”, and has become your “product”. And you want your product to be seen by as large a buying audience as possible. Now I get it, you are busy and maybe have a kid or a dog and sometimes it is just not convenient to show. Once you list your home you need to be committed to sell the home. I can’t stress enough how frustrating it is when I have a buyer and we really want to see a home but the times that can be viewed are so tight we just can’t make it work, and we move on. Set 3 days for showings on week 1 and just make sure your home is show home quality for those days.
Now this is a two part problem. In many cases you are more than willing to show the home whenever there is a request to view but your Realtor is not. Unfortunately they won’t tell you that people are requesting to view and they can’t meet them. They will only tell you when a viewing is requested that can be done. You can always do your own policing on this subject but asking for weekly reports, having friends call for appointments to see how it goes, and much more. This is also a good time to mention that if you are selling a home downtown, don’t use a Realtor from Langley, or Richmond. I know we all have friends who are Realtors and you want to use them. But if you want your home to be available to see and sell faster, use a Realtor that will give your home that opportunity. Local agents can be there to show your home at the drop of a hat and that is essential for a strong and timely sale.