Alan May, an Illinois Realtor I know and respect from a distance, recently published a post that made a lot of sense to me.
He titled it “8 Reasons why your house won’t sell,” and I’m going to crib shamelessly from and expand on the wise observations that he shares to focus just on apartments. Here goes:
- Price. Of course, that’s always first in my book as a barrier to buyers.
- Inadequate staging. A home that has been lived in usually shouldn’t look that way, while it does, of course, have to appear inviting. By the same token, a vacant apartment with bare walls and floors tends to leave buyers cold at a time sellers want them to have warm feelings.
- Bad photos. With the vast majority of consumers searching for a new home on the Internet, the easiest way to winnow possibilities is to eliminate those with pictures that are fuzzy, cluttered with the detritus of daily life, poorly staged and otherwise unappealing.
- Poor marketing. Internet presence that is at best minimal is one of the worst things that can happen to a property.
- Property deficiencies. An apartment that doesn’t show well won’t sell easily either for a variety of reasons including the following ones: a poodle that barks ceaselessly next door; lingering odors of tobacco smoke in public hallways or the unit itself; generally objectionable paint colors; inescapable evidence of pet occupancy; grit and grime; overstuffed room; and immutable issues such as poor layout or obstructed exposures, or, often, an ambiance that betrays the advanced age of its owners.
- Inaccessibility. Parents with young children, individuals who work at home, tenants and others with personal concerns can frustrate buyers and their brokers trying to see a place. Understandably, you can count on hot prospects taking the path of least resistance.
- Hovering. It doesn’t matter whether it is the listing agent or the homeowner, but nobody likes an overbearing presence while viewing a condo or co-op and wanting to peek into closets. There’s a reason “just browsing” is the phrase most heard in retail settings.
- Staleness. When a listing gets long in the tooth, potential buyers already have moved on and purchasers new to their home search assume there’s something wrong. A radical price cut, time off the market or both are indicated.
While I’ve indicated my eight most compelling reasons that sellers may be unsuccessful in finding buyers, you can be sure that there are plenty more.
Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022