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My House is Not Selling!

Selling a home in 2015

Montclair Real Estate Market Graph and Statistics 2013

If your home is not selling it is time to first relax and then regroup. The truth is homes don’t sell for many reasons some are within a home owners control and some are dictated by the economic enviroment. The good news is that 2015 is a great time to sell a home. According to the S&P/Case-Schiller data house prices have increased 15% in the last two years alone and prices are expected to keep rising well into 2015. The National Association of Realtors back up this data with their Foot Traffic Chart. Buyers are actively searching for homes and homes are selling. So let’s take a look at the steps to correct a home listing package which is not working.

Everything starts with a Listing Price

The corner stone of you home marketing package is your listing price. A properly marketed home should sell within 5% of the advertised listing price. Time on the market has a direct effect on your ability to negotiate with a home buyer. When selling your home you want the buyer to say “How much do I need to pay to get this house?” and you want to avoid “What price do you think this seller will take for this home? After all its been on the market for 90 days?” It is also important to note that the real estate market is an auction environment and if your home is priced correctly, home buyers will react immediately. Home buyers are getting automatic emails of new homes on the market everyday (within their price range), if you home is significantly overpriced, you are not setting yourself up for negotiating, you are taking yourself out of the market by passing over viable home buyers. You are simple missing out on your target audience!

Quick Tips to Price a Home to Sell

Pricing New Jersey Homes for SaleThe most accurate way to obtain a home listing price is to get an appraisal on your home. If your home has already expired once, I would recommend having a home appraisal. A real estate appraisal is an expert opinion of value from a certified, state-licensed professional. With an appraisal, sellers can negotiate from a position of strength. Low ball offers can be countered with confidence and later, lenders will determine how much they are willing to finance based on the appraised value of your home. If spending $400 on an appraisal is not in your budget, then go shopping. Take a sunday afternoon and view open houses which are similar to your house. How do you compare? When pricing homes remember, the most important ingredient is location. Know your walk score. (Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.) Lastly call in an experienced broker armed with comparable properties and set your listing price within 5% of your expected sales price.

Staging a Home to Sell

Understanding that your home is priced correctly the next step is to clean it up or stage it. There are numerous tips on how to stage a home effectively but the best homes I find are already packed. Clean out the closets, empty out the basement, have a garage sale. Pack up your off season clothes and get ready to move. Often times clients wait until they get under contract to pack. If you think you are stressed now try packing 10 years of belongings in eight weeks. Leslie Piper, a housing specialist with Realtor.com says “Cleaning up the interior and exterior by painting, replanting or updating carpet can make a big difference and you’ll also make the home look larger.” The NAR recently did a home study on the effects of Homes properly staged on the real estate market for 2015. The results will amaze you. Yes it is worth while to properly stage your home! Many experienced realtors also offer staging services for your home, take advantage of these.

Home Shoppers are busy!

When selling a home you have three options when it comes to buyers viewing your house. You can request you listing agent to accompany all buyers (but what if she has another appointment), you can request to be present at all showings, or you can place a lockbox on the front door and let realtors show your home at their convenience. If the home has expired and you are going for a second round ask yourself “how convenient is it for a home buyer to view my house?” Consider the advantages of a lockbox. The lockbox electronically records the date, time and agents name as they enter and leave your home. It is a well known fact that homes which attach a lockbox are shown significantly more than a home without one.

Virtual Open Houses?

Choose a real estate agent who uses a professional photographer. With today’s busy lifestyle you need to motivate home shoppers to visit your house. Take great pictures and don’t compromise. Review the photos on the mls and watch your virtual open house tour. How is the lighting? Can anything be improved? Pictures and virtual open houses sell homes, period! Always check your pictures on the MLS.

Relax! All Homes Sell!

Negotiating a Real Estate Contract Located in Northern New Jersey within a 30-60 minute commute to Midtown Manhattan creates a unique housing environment. A properly marketed home should sell within 5% of its listing price within a 6 month listing period. A successful listing package should tap into this Manhattan Home Shopper, be mobile ready, have a national and international reach, as well as incorporate idx technology and great photography. For more tips on selling your home visit Find NJ House.

Additional Helpful Resources: Why Homes Do Not Sell

Wall Street Journal: Setting a Listing Price
Money USNews: How to Price a Home to Sell
USAA: Four Reasons Homes Don’t Sell
National Association of Realtor Reports 2015

The above real estate article was provided by Gerri Leventhal. An experience Northern New Jersey broker specializing in New Jersey homes for Sale within 30-60 minutes from Midtown Manhattan. Gerri can be reached via email at gerriwithremax@comcast.net or by phone at 973-489-7916.

Thinking of selling your home? I would love the chance to share my marketing expertise!

Gerri services Real Estate in the following Northern NJ towns: Bloomfield, Montclair, Glen Ridge, Little Falls, Cedar Grove, Verona, Essex Fells, Caldwell, North Caldwell, West Caldwell, Nutley, West Orange, Livingston, South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, Summit, Chatham, Short Hills NJ.

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