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In today’s non-news: Toronto is experiencing a hot real estate market. Houses are selling faster and selling for more money than ever before.
And yet…some houses are NOT selling. Here is our take on why your house or condo may not be selling:
1. Your Property Doesn’t Show Well – Online or in Person 90% of people begin their search for a home on the internet. 90% ! So if the pictures (and video and virtual tour) of your home aren’t absolutely gorgeous, homebuyers aren’t even going to bother seeing it. If you regularly read our blog, you know that bad real estate photos are a particular pet peeve of ours. Of course the experience a potential Buyer has when they walk into your home is critical: Buyers expect a super-clean and super-staged home (thanks HGTV). Another reason your property isn’t showing well? It isn’t being shown because people can’t get in to see it! Don’t make the mistake of putting your convenience ahead of the Buyer’s – yes, being away from your home is a pain, but the more flexible you are with letting people see your property, the more likely the right Buyer will see it. I can’t tell you how many times Sellers have turned down our appointment requests: “11 AM is not a convenient time for the Seller, he likes to sleep in on Saturdays -please re-schedule it after 4.” Really? I guess we’ll just look at the house down the street and put an offer on it!
2. Your Realtor isn’t Marketing Your Property Sorry to burst the bubble of the realtor-haters and lazy agents out there, but HOUSES DO NOT JUST SELL THEMSELVES. Well at least not for the highest price. Yes, it’s a hot market, and yes, realtor.ca is a great way of getting exposure for a property. But finding the right Buyer (the one willing to pay the most amount of money) means marketing that house EVERYWHERE potential Buyers are looking. In the mailbox, via social media, on Craigslist, via e-mail, via open houses, etc. etc. And marketing to other real estate agents is important too – did you know that 35% of Buyers end up buying a home that is introduced and suggested to them by their Realtor? Maybe they rejected the online listing or weren’t even looking in your neighbourhood. If your home isn’t selling, ask your Realtor what they’re doing to market it to the other Realtors who work in your area.
3. Your Price is Too High At the end of the day, any house will sell – for the right price: houses that haven’t been maintained or updated since 1972, houses backing onto to railroad tracks, houses that have racoons nesting in the living areas (true story). In a hot market, houses are most attractive to potential Buyers during the first 2 weeks on the market – after that, people start to wonder what’s wrong with it. So pricing a house right at the outset is critical – resist the urge to be greedy! The longer a home stays on the market, the lower a price it will eventually get – that’s just a fact. Not long ago, we saw a great loft in one of our favourite buildings where lofts generally sell in under a week. We do a lot of work in the loft world, so we knew instantly it was $100K overpriced. Unsurprisingly, it’s now been on the market for 45 days and the price has dropped by$75K – and still it sits on the market. I’d bet my dog (the one that barks all the time, not the sweet one) that this loft owner will take a bigger hit than the original $100K we originally estimated she’d take.
Yes, of course, there are other reasons a house may not sell…but usually, it can be traced back to one of these 3 reasons.