I’ve been toying with writing this post since 2012… that was the year that it became much more challenging to sell your home in Greater Moncton. And, if your house isn’t selling, this post is directed at you. So before you read on, I want you think about how badly you want to sell your house. Also, please remind yourself that my only intention in writing this post is to help you sell your house. Period. I’m sure you have great taste & style!
I’m no stranger to what it takes to sell a home. I’ve been marketing and selling homes for 11 years (as a former Realtor and now a builder). I even completed a home staging designation and have overseen complete transformations of my client’s homes to ensure that they get the most money when they sell. So here’s the kicker… I’m not a Realtor any longer but I still hear my clients’ disappointment when they can’t start their new home project because they can’t sell their current home!
Why Isn’t Your House Selling? It’s simple really…. you haven’t created enough VALUE for the buyers. Period.
Marketing 101: Value = Benefits/Cost
How do you create value? Follow the simple equation above and you will see that once benefits outweigh cost, in the mind of buyers, you’ve achieved value and your home will sell. The problem that you’re having is that the benefits to the potential buyer of your home have not yet outweighed the cost. To sell your home, you need to start thinking like a marketer and of your home as a PRODUCT! Buyers don’t have the sentimental attachment that you do, so it’s best to save the nostalgia for the photo albums and take it out of the home.
To shift the value equation and sell your home, you have two options:
- Increase the benefits
- Decrease the cost
In this post, I will to consider each way that you may not be maximizing your home’s value.
Increase Your Home’s Benefits
You really need to be in tune with what buyers are looking for on the market to understand what your home may be lacking. Particularly in a buyer’s market, there is so much choice out there that you cannot afford to have a home that is just average. In our market, your home will often be competing with brand new construction homes so you need to recognize your best assets and let them shine.
1. What is special about your home already? Scream it from the rooftops.
Does your neighbourhood have mature trees? Do you have an oversized lot? Are you close to an amazing school? Can you walk downtown? What does your home have that it’s competitors lack? Buyers need to be told what makes it special. (Remember, the home is a product).
2. What is not so special about your home? Fix it.
Flooring and paint make over this kitchen.
Remember, this post is for people who REALLY want to sell their homes. This is the single hardest hurdle to overcome with home sellers. I’ve had to convince clients to stain their floors, paint their wood cabinets, change their siding… you name it, my clients have done it. And their houses sold.
There are a few reasons that I see people list homes that are not “market-ready”.
1. Many sellers will not change things about the home because they personally like the house as it is. This is a dangerous way to approach your home sale in a buyers market. Have a look at the homes that are actually selling in your price point. If those homes all have dark modern hardwood and your home boasts a golden oak, it’s time to consider the idea that your flooring is not appealing to buyers and needs to be changed if you want to sell (see image above).
2. Another argument against doing the work up-front: “Why would I change the house? I don’t know what the buyers will want.” The reality is that the majority of buyers have already looked at photos of your home. If you haven’t given them a reason to come see it in person, they simply won’t. You can’t afford to look dated/average in a buyers market.
Decrease Your Home’s Cost
Market value does not lie. Buyers are only willing to pay the price that they are willing to pay and overpricing your home can be dangerous to the selling process. Frankly, it’s great if you think that your home is worth $500,000.00 but that doesn’t change anything if buyers value your home at $350,000.00. Overpricing a listing simply means that the buyers who would have considered the home are not even visiting because they perceive the home price out of their budget.
The price of your home should only be set using a Comparative Market Analysis- a set of stats showing what other comparable homes are selling for. If you’ve done a CMA and your home still isn’t selling, you may be experiencing a market shift and should consult your Realtor regarding whether a reduction in price would be helpful.
Over the next while, I’ll follow up with some specific actionable steps you can take to work on increasing the benefits of your home. Have you had success updating your home to sell it? What worked for you? I’d love to hear.