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Five Things That Can Stop A Home Sale Dead In Its Tracks

Wednesday, October 23, 2019   /   by Keri McCombs

Five Things That Can Stop A Home Sale Dead In Its Tracks

Thinking of selling your home and wondering what can stop your home from selling in the drop of a hat? Check out this list of five things that can change the path of your home sale from successful to a dead halt. 


1. You've Priced It Too High
Many years ago, it was common that sellers would price their homes high to give negotiating room in price. For the last several years and in our current market, the pricing method has shifted significantly. Due to the changing demographics of much of the buyer pool at large, buyers expect that the list price of a home is what sellers expect an offer price to be. So many buyers will completely forego making an offer, even if the list price is just a few thousand dollars too high, because they expect it won't work out. Now you may be thinking, "Well make the offer anyway!" Most buyers won't do that, because they don't want to invest their emotions and thoughts in falling for a home that they fear they won't be able to get anyway, so why waste the time and energy and effort to make the offer. At the end of the day, just remember: if you price your home even a few thousand dollars too high, it can make all the difference in your home sitting on the market for months, and it could even cost you lots of money.


2. "Ooohhhh that smell... can't you smell that smell?"
Okay, if you know these lyrics to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, you may know it has a totally different meaning that how I'm about to use it. Nonetheless, it's a classic 70s rock song, and the lyrics fit perfect for the purpose of this article! The smell of a home can seriously make or break a buyer's choice to make an offer. In fact, a recent study from homebuyers showed that over 50% of buyers will turn around and walk out the door of a home if the smell is unpleasant. Odors can originate from our beloved pets, our cooking, and can be trapped in the flooring and the walls. Although the smell of a home can be a sensitive topic to address, you want to make sure to ask your agent, and you want to work with an agent who will be straight with you about this area. 


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3. Your Agent Used Cell Phone Pictures
I am reigning myself in a little on this one, because this is one of the biggest hot button issues for me. We live in a digital age where almost all buyers are heavily searching the internet for possible homes that might work for them. A buyer's very first impression of your home is from the pictures they see online, even before a buyer drives through your neighborhood to check it out. Don't let cell phone pictures be the thing that holds up your home sale! Professional photography will highlight your home beautifully, and good pictures are the key to enticing a buyer to set up an appointment to see your home in person. Professional photography on your home isn't that much, and it's part of what your agent should be paying for in the commission you pay them, along with marketing your home. So make sure you're working with someone who sees professional photography as a must when selling your home.


4. Skipping The Marketing.
If you've been anywhere near the Spokane real estate market for the last few years, you know homes are selling like hot cakes. But this isn't every home. Homes that have been priced correctly and include professional photography still have been sitting on the market. Why is that? Because there is literally no marketing done to advertise your home. This may sound crazy, but even in a strong market that favors sellers, marketing is so important. Although homes are selling quickly, you have to think about the number of homes out there for sale and how many buyers are looking. It's easy for your home to get buried among similarly priced homes, because nothing was done to advertise your home on social media or national home sites. Why do I mention these two specific areas? Well, because close to 100% of buyers are looking on one or both of these outlets to find a home to buy. So your agent should be spending money to put your home in front of people where they are looking most: online! 


5. Your Home Doesn't Show Well
Last but certainly not least, there are many aspects to showing a home that are important, so let's go through each one.

-Lighting: you want your home to be as light and open as possible. Your home may be shown after a few, which means the agent may not be able to get there before the buyers to make sure all the lights are turned on. So make sure lights have been turned on and blinds and curtains are open.

-Staging: your furniture should be staged so that it fits the size of the room, has a natural flow of traffic, and shows buyers where furniture placement can go. This helps a buyer to envision their belongings in your home. You also want to remove most personal items (if you have an overwhelming amount), but removing all personal items isn't necessary anymore. Since we live in an age now where we can go stalk someone on social media and find out who they are, most buyers actually want to see some personal touches in your home. It helps them to see who you are and have a better understanding of you. This actually helps with selling your home, most of the time, because they can make a personal connection to you and want to make a better offer to you.

-Cleanliness: Anytime you leave your home, make sure you've done all the dishes, cleaned all the floors, made all the beds, and tidied up things (even if that means throwing them in a clothes basket and putting them in your closet). I know it can be a pain to elevate your level of cleanliness to keep everything pristine while showing, and it will make the biggest difference in what buyers see. They feel like you actually care about selling your home, which in turn means they're more likely to make the best offer to appeal to you.


If you're wondering about anything specific that you should do with your home before you consider selling, don't hesitate to reach out! You can reach me via call/text at 509-844-5843 or via email at keri@spokanehaven.com.


Keri McCombs


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Haven Real Estate Group
Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201
509-590-4701

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