Even in an active real estate market, some homes sit unsold for months. San Diego County’s real estate market is a prime example of this. The overall expected market time in San Diego is 38 days, the lowest it’s been since 2013. Even so, a third of the active listed inventory has been on the market for two months or more.
Why do some homes sit on the market while others sell in a matter of weeks? There are a few things that could be slowing down the sale of your home. Let’s look at the most likely causes.
The price is too high
Aspirational pricing is the number one biggest mistake sellers make when listing their homes. It can be especially tricky to pick the right price if you’re selling in a growing market or recently revitalized area because the last selling price of houses in the area won’t always be the best indicator of the current market value.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 22% of sellers in 2017 reduced their asking price at least once before selling their home. Setting a competitive price from the beginning saves you that delay.
One reason it’s hard to pick the right price for a home is that there are a lot of factors you have to consider. It’s not just about the home’s condition and features, either. The exact same home in two different neighborhoods can sell for drastically different prices. In San Diego, the length of commute can play a big role. Buyers will pay more for a home closer to the city, paying a price premium to spare themselves a long daily drive that puts lots of wear and tear on their car.
It’s poorly staged
Staged homes sell up to 87% faster than those that aren’t. This might seem silly at first glance since the home will be vacant by the time the buyer moves in. The difference is more psychological than practical. It’s easier for potential buyers to picture themselves living in a staged home.
Having too much stuff in a home can be just as detrimental to its sale time as leaving it completely empty. Cluttered spaces look smaller and don’t give buyers a good look at the home’s potential. Smart staging emphasizes the home’s highlights and downplays its flaws.
Luxury homes can take longer to sell
The demand for luxury homes has been climbing steadily in San Diego. That climb has slowed in July, but even so pending sales are up and the number of available active listings has dropped. Even with this high demand, a significant percentage of the luxury housing stock sits on the market for 60 days or more, as you can see in this price break-down from the San Diego Housing Report:
The higher the sale price of a home, the more limited the pool of potential buyers is. There simply aren’t as many buyers out there who can afford (or even want) a home that costs $1.5 million or more.
The key to selling a luxury property quickly is knowing how to market it. Quality virtual tours and photographs are crucial for attracting buyer attention. You also need to know where to post listings to get them in front of the right buyers.
Price plays a role here, too. Just because someone can afford a million-dollar property doesn’t mean they want to throw their money away. It’s common for luxury homes to start off priced too high for the market. An in-depth comparative analysis of similar homes in the area can help you set a competitive price from the beginning.
Is a Fast Sale Important?
Some homes simply take longer to sell. This is often the case with unique properties that offer features appealing to niche demographics. In some cases, you’ll be better off waiting for the right buyer than reducing the price or making modifications to make a quick sale.
If your home’s been on the market for 60 days or more and you’re not sure why consulting an expert is your best next step. Talk to local realtors and ask if they think it’s priced too high or staged incorrectly. A few small tweaks could be the answer to getting a buyer’s attention.