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Why no offer on my house after six months?

Dear Heather,

Why isn’t my house selling? I have had it on the market for six months and many people have looked, but no one has made an offer?


Dear Disappointed,

The bulk of mail I receive from readers asks for tips on selling a home. Many have had their home on the market for months without a showing. Some home sellers have had dozens of buyers preview, but not one offer. Ask yourself why a buyer would choose your home over all the other houses for sale. In buyers’ markets it is especially important to pull out all the stops and make your home stand out among the sea of inventory. It can help if you follow the checklist below:

1. Consider the condition of your home

Check out your competition. If 90 per cent of the houses in your market are not selling, then your home needs to outshine the top ten per cent. Look at the houses that are pending sales, because that’s your current indicator. What’s sold or comparable could be four to six months behind market movement. Your agent can provide you with information pertaining to what is happening right now, and pending sale data will tell you which homes are selling.

Apart from preparing your house for sale, consider its condition. Perhaps you should consider adding updates or repairs before selling. If the top ten per cent on the market have new flooring but your flooring is worn and dated, your home is not going to sell. Replace the flooring. Paint the walls neutral — not white. Check its curb appeal.

2. Choose your listing agent carefully

You want to work with an agent who is competent, experienced and honest. There are a variety of ways to find an agent but the easiest way is through referrals from friends and family.

No single aspect of marketing sells a home. It’s a combination of marketing efforts. These days most buyers find their new homes on the internet.

Find out how your agent is going to tailor-make your marketing programme and their strategies.

Additionally, it takes a team to sell the house; many houses are sold by other agents within the company as they all have ready, willing and able buyers on their books. It makes sense then, that the more agents there are within the company you choose, the more likely you are to sell it.

3. Price your home to sell

To sell your home, the price must be right.

• Don’t “test” the market or ask an inflated figure because if you do, your home will probably sit on the market.

• Dated listings don’t generally sell for list price.

• If your home has a bad layout or is located in a bad location — for example, near a busy street or bordering a noisy car repair shop — you’re not going to get the same price as homes with a good layout and in a good location.

• To avoid overpricing your home, ask your agent to sit down with you and examine comparable sales. If the last three homes in your area sold at $400,000 you might not think they’re comparable to yours because they haven’t been updated but if they are located on a quiet street and your street is noisy, your home is probably worth about the same. A plus $50,000 adjustment for the updates could wash out the minus $50,000 for the busy street. Adjust for square footage, if necessary

• In a buyers’ market (such as we have now), price your home a minimum of two per cent less than the last comparable sale. If you can’t live with that price, then don’t put your home on the market and set yourself up for disappointment. Overpricing is one of the worst mistakes a home seller can make. Homes that sit on the market a long time, rarely sell for what they are really worth.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 25 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate