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.
When it comes to real estate, it’s a sellers’ market here in San Diego. There are many, many buyers out there looking for a new home. They are looking because interest rates are so low that it makes it possible to purchase a much larger home today then they could afford yesterday. In fact, there is a major “traffic jam” when it comes to banks even processing all of these new mortgage applications.
The is good news for anyone considering selling in today’s market is that there is a noticeable shortage of available homes in the San Diego housing market. According to Zillow, the San Diego market is predicted to be California’s hottest real estate market in 2020.
Features Attractive to Buyers
Hardwood Flooring – it is a fact that, on average, having hardwood floors can add around 2.5% to a home’s sale price. Buyers love the ease of cleaning and the durability of hardwood.
Updated Kitchens and Baths – updating these two areas will bring you the greatest return on your investment. Stainless steel appliances and granite or quartz countertops are like magnets to buyers. Also when doing any upgrades, consider adding a kitchen island if space permits. Buyers also love for the kitchen to be open to a family room or great room so that they can cook and still be a part of any gathering.
Electronic Extras – Ring doorbells and Nest thermostats are popular features. Mobile devices that can control lighting, home theater projectors that can connect to the various streaming networks like Amazon Firestick and Google Home are more electronic extras that influence buyers in a positive way.
Additional Storage – that added storage could be in bedroom closets, kitchen pantries, or mudrooms. Garages are also a good place to show off additional storage features by installing shop cabinets and built-ins or by creating overhead storage options.
Outdoor Spaces – it can be a wooden deck or a paved patio, as long as you also add outdoor furniture and maybe a fire pit or Spanish fireplace to show off the space. When adding lighting make sure that it also can be controlled by mobile devices.
Marketing In a Sellers’ Market
Selling now in a sellers’ market, you can expect to receive offers in days instead of weeks. Straightening things up week after week for showings is just not going to be required. Your home is going to sell. As a matter of fact, don’t feel like you need to accept the first offer that will be presented. Quite often during times like this you will receive multiple offers and will be able to accept the one that pays you the most or offers you better options. Options could include the number of days to close on the deal or the number of days for you to vacate the property, things like that.
Also, remember to limit showing times or days. People always want what they think they can’t have. Having more than one buyer in the home at the same time could also increase the feeling of urgency or make them submit a higher than asking offer.
Talk to your agent and consider keeping the asking price slightly under the true market value. This may attract more buyers and start a bidding war. Let it be known that any and all offers will be considered at a set time and not as they come in. You may lose a buyer with this strategy because people hate to wait, but the buyers that are truly interested in your home will make sure to put forth their best offer the first time.
Hire a Knowledgeable Realtor
Every REALTOR® has to start somewhere, but you don’t need to finance his or her acquisition of experience. Hire a proven winner who has been marketing homes like yours in your area for a number of years. When the market is swinging in your favor you need to hire a sharp, experienced REALTOR® who knows how to set your home apart and attract quality buyers.
Contact Shirley Smith today to sell your home for top dollar!