You aren't concerned about the macroeconomic environment and how it affects the housing market, and you don't care about the happenings of Europe. You just want to sell your home and maximize your chances of selling quickly for close to your asking price. The problem may have nothing to do with the economy, but instead with what you're doing, or not doing, to catch the eye of potential buyers. Are you making any of these mistakes?

No Pictures
The best thing you can do for your listing is to include pictures, a lot of pictures. It's OK to post too many pictures, providing they show off your home in a way that will catch a buyer's eye. If you have a higher-quality phone, that will work fine. If you don't, ask somebody for help. Look at other people's listings and see what kinds of pictures catch your eye and take similar pictures for your home. Take a lot of pictures, but place the best shots at the beginning of the picture album on the listing site.

No Curb Appeal
If you're like many potential buyers, you scour the Internet for listings that fit your criteria and then get in your car and drive by the home. If it looks nice from the outside, you schedule a showing. Your beautifully remodeled kitchen will only ever be seen in a picture if your home doesn't have curb appeal. Trim the trees, fertilize the lawn, replace aging exterior lights and put some work into the landscaping. You have to impress them with the outside before they can fall in love with the inside.

Bad Text
The text that goes with your listing is vitally important, and a little bit of creativity is appropriate. Like any type of writing, stay away from cliché and outlandish claims. How do you know that your home is "the best home on the market." Is your home really "the perfect home for your family" if you've never met the reader? You can confidently say that the neighborhood is well-suited for young children, you've remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms, and the home has quick access to two major highways. Your text space is limited so make it count.

Price Too Low
Everybody knows that pricing a home too high won't produce an offer, but what about pricing too low? Once you price it, it's difficult to raise it back up because it may attract a stream of bargain hunters that are unqualified buyers. One unqualified buyer could take your home off the market for weeks or longer. Unqualified buyers can result in it taking longer to sell your home than if you priced it at market price.

You're Home for the Showing
There's nothing more awkward than walking into somebody's home with your agent only to find the homeowner is still there. You can't speak openly to your agent and, most important, when the owners are there with their dog and children you can't picture the home as your own. When a showing is scheduled, clean your house and take the family out to lunch. If you come back and you see the car in the driveway, run some errands. Don't let the potential buyer see you until the closing.

The Bottom Line
You can't control the economy, the housing market or the quality of your neighbors, but there are parts of the listing you can control. For a home to sell in a challenged housing market, make your home look as polished as possible and don't make the above mistakes.

Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    The Pros and Cons of Owner Financing

    Details on the upside and risks of this type of deal for both the owner and the buyer.
  2. Home & Auto

    When's the Best Time to Sell a House?

    Your timing is a key element in when to sell a house. Here's what to consider.
  3. Professionals

    What Does a Broker Do?

    In the investment world, broker is a term used to refer to an individual or entity that helps facilitate trading in financial securities.
  4. Home & Auto

    10 Things Your Real Estate Broker Won't Tell You

    Whether you're selling a home or buying one, go in with eyes wide open when you're working with a broker.
  5. Home & Auto

    7 Things Your Real Estate Broker Wants You To Know

    Even if you don't want to hear them. Listen up, though, and selling your home will be all the more successful.
  6. Home & Auto

    Is It Worth Paying For Professional Home Staging?

    Buyers need to be able to visualize a house as their future home. Skilled home staging can help them do just that.
  7. Home & Auto

    Low-Cost Curb Appeal Projects For Your Front Yard

    Some low-cost improvements to your home's exterior and front yard could increase its curb appeal and ensure a great first impression on buyers.
  8. Home & Auto

    6 Questions To Find The Best Real Estate Broker

    A broker will play a key role in selling your house quickly and for the best price. Here's how to identify one who will do the best job for you.
  9. Home & Auto

    Swimming Pools: Costs Vs. Long-Term Value

    Consider the costs of installing and maintaining a swimming pool, and compare this with the pool's utility and the market value it adds to your home.
  10. Home & Auto

    10 Must-Know Questions To Ask A Home Seller

    To get a sense of what the home you're considering buying is really like, it helps to talk to the seller.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Fair Housing Act

    This law (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) forbids ...
  2. Realtor Property Resource (RPR)

    A National Association of Realtors member benefit providing realtors ...
  3. Quitclaim Deed

    A deed releasing a person's interest in a property without stating ...
  4. Use And Occupancy - U&O

    Refers to a type of permit required by some local governments ...
  5. Appraisal Costs

    A specific category of quality control costs. Companies pay appraisal ...
  6. Dry Closing

    A type of real estate closing in which the entire closing requirements ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Where does the term "always be closing" come from?

    The exact origin of the sales phrase "always be closing" is unknown, but it was newly popularized by its usage in the 1992 ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is a fiduciary deed and when is it useful?

    A fiduciary deed is used to transfer property rights in a sale when a fiduciary must act as an executor of the sale on behalf ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Where do you get real estate leads?

    Real estate leads come from real world networking in addition to online sources. Tried and tested avenues of following up ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why do real estate agents fail?

    While most successful real estate agents will point to any number of reasons why others fail, the truth is that the reason ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do real estate agents market themselves?

    Social media is a leading way real estate agents in which market themselves and their properties to potential buyers and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can I tell when a real estate agent might be lying to me?

    Real estate agents are likely to lie or fudge the details about their own credentials, the value and condition of a property ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!