The Market Is Hot, But My House Still Isn’t Selling – What Gives?

The past few weeks have been incredible for our real estate market. Properties get listed for sale and shortly go under contract, lately with multiple offers. Yet there are still some properties that just aren’t selling even though inventory is ridiculously low. So what gives?

As of this writing, there are 307 properties in Arlington under contract. Of those, 84 sold in the first 2 weeks (27.4%). Also, 110 of those sold in first 30 days. So you can see the market is busy!

So why then of the 425 active properties for sale in Arlington (yes, only 425 in the entire County), how are 20% of those still on the market after 200 days? That’s almost 7 months these properties have been sitting without a sale!!

1. Price. The most obvious of roadblocks for sellers is the price. If you’re overpriced when you hit the market, you’ll start to collect days on the market until someone either a) lowballs you and you accept, or b) you reduce your price to a market value that gives someone incentive to make a move. The more days on the market, the more buyers will wonder what’s wrong with the house.

2. Listing Information. I recently saw a house listed for sale that was a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom….except the listing agent said both bathrooms were in the basement. Um, I am pretty sure that’s not accurate, but I haven’t seen the house. Ask your agent for a copy of the listing information sheet the agents and buyers  see. Make sure everything listed is correct – # of rooms, # of bathrooms, room dimensions, etc. You know your house better than anyone, so while your agent should be held responsible for mistakes, who better to catch them than you?

3. Take new pictures. First, if you don’t have any pictures – ADD SOME!! Second, if you have had the same pictures the whole time, take new ones. Maybe a different angle, or some new paint or small changes will catch the eye of someone as it appears to be a “new” house on the market.

4. If the house has been vacant, or you have a unique floorplan, try Staging it. Sometimes I think staging isn’t necessary, depending on the floorplan and layout of the property and/or your tastes in furniture and decor. But if your property has been vacant for a while, or you have a few scattered pieces of furniture around, try staging it and taking new pictures. It might create a new visual for buyers.

5. Get creative in marketing. Rather than “motivated seller” or “make an offer,” which screams “desperate” and will guarantee you’ll receive low ball offers, try offering something to the buyer. For example, try offering 6 months paid condo fees (as a credit at closing), or $X credit for new flooring or cabinets. If you know your house needs a little TLC and you don’t want to invest the money yourself, advertise you’re willing to give the buyer money towards those fix-ups.

Want more ideas? Send me your address and I will be happy to give you my opinion!