If your home didn’t sell this spring, it’s ok. Rocky never quit when he lost, and neither should you. Take stock and plan for your next sale.
If your home didn’t sell, you’re not alone. April’s existing home sales dropped 2.3 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors May 24th press release (nar.realtor). NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, stated that the April slide was “expected” because March sales were very strong.
Additionally, he pointed out that new and existing inventory is not meeting demand. Many prospective home buyers are frustrated because there is not much of a choice and they are not finding the homes they want.
Pending home sales also declined in March. Based on contracts signed, the forward looking indicator suggests additional decreased sales in the months to come. Yun also attributes the prospect of future decreased home sales to low housing inventory. He stated that the inventory of existing homes for sale decreased about 9 percent from the same time last year.
The appearance of a brief period of slow sales is not necessarily a warning sign of an impending housing crisis. Instead, a slower sales trend may be considered part of a normal economic cycle after a breakthrough sales year. It is a sign of a healthy market seeking balance. The cycle is caused by home buyers and sellers struggling to find equilibrium.
If your home didn’t sell, you may have a better chance in a few months when the cycle changes. However, before going with the same strategy, try to analyze what happened during this listing period. You may find interesting and revealing information, about your home and your agent, that could help you the next time.
First, talk to your listing agent. If they were active in marketing your home, they should have a wealth of information. Start by asking them about showings.
The number of showings determines buyer interest in your home. If you had few visits to your home, it could mean the price is too high. It could also be a result of low quality MLS pictures and information. Buyers start with the MLS listing to determine if the home is worth a visit. However, if you had plenty of buyer visits but no offers, there may be other issues that need attention.
Check with your agent for feedback. Agents often communicate about their visits to homes. Home buyers who attend open houses also provide feedback. Skip over the positive feedback because agents and home buyers often offer positive feedback just to be polite, even if it’s not warranted. Look toward critical reviews for help to improve your home presentation and marketing. If the same item is mentioned multiple times, you should take that as an indicator and begin there.
Price, presentation and marketing are relatively easy to adjust. However, your home’s condition could be a deterrent. Buyers in the current market are very demanding and selective. They want a turn-key home that has the recent updates featuring the newest technologies.
Even though housing inventory is low, many home buyers will not settle for any house. If your home is not updated relative to the top sales in your neighborhood, you may have to consider a major price adjustment.
If your home’s condition is holding back a sale, do a costbenefit analysis. You may discover that selling for less could net you more than if you spent tens-of-thousands on renovations.
Dan Krell is a Realtor® with RE/MAX All Pro in Rockville, MD. You can access more information at www.DanKrell.com.