You’ve seen this happen…
A house sits on the market forever in Oakland County Michigan, and it doesn’t get sold.
You see an agent’s for sale sign sitting in the yard for months and months. And then, all of a sudden, another one appears.
Sometimes, the new agent will get the house sold.
But sometimes, no matter how many different agents list the house, it just never sells.
You’ve been watching that house “expire”.
That is industry-speak for when a house doesn’t get sold during the time frame an owner has a listing contract with a particular real estate agent.
When a listing expires, it’s not uncommon for the owner to hire someone new to list their home…figuring the first real estate agent just didn’t have what it takes to get their home sold.
But, it usually isn’t the agent that was the problem. There are a few common problems that cause a house to expire.
However, it almost always boils down to one specific issue…and one specific solution.
So, here’s a list of the typical problems that lead to a house “expiring”, so you don’t make the same mistakes when you sell your own house. We’ll end with the one that is the overall problem and solution.
You can’t sell what people can’t see.
Sometimes it just boils down to buyers being unable to get in and see the house easily. Some homeowners make it too difficult for buyers and their agents to come in and view the home.
It’s fine to have some limits. But if a homeowner requests that all buyers give 24-hour notice, and will only allow the house to be shown on Thursdays between 11:30AM and 2:23PM, that makes it pretty tough to go see.
The maid is on permanent vacation.
It can be tough to keep your house spotlessly clean while it’s for sale. People wake up and run out of the house for the day having left some dishes in the sink, or beds unmade. That happens. It isn’t the worst thing in the world.
But some houses are just a mess. Buyers and agents come in wondering how anyone lives there, or even lives like that. There’s stuff everywhere. It smells.
No matter how much imagination a buyer may have, it’s hard to truly look at a house that’s extremely cluttered, or downright dirty, and picture themselves living there.
Location, Location, Location
The location of a house might just be undesirable.
If a home is located on a main road, or under power lines, or train tracks…or across the street from a firehouse…it can be harder to sell and may take some time for the right buyer to come along.
Supply and demand Expire
If the market is “slow”, or a “buyer’s market”, it isn’t uncommon for houses to expire.
Sometimes it’s just a simple matter of supply and demand.
If there are a lot of houses on the market, and only so many buyers buying, there’s only so much you can do to prevent the expire.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of buyer preference. A house could be easy to show, clean, and priced well against the competition. But if there’s only one buyer for ten houses that are equal in appeal and priced similarly, there’ll be nine disappointed homeowners, and one happy one. That buyer may have just chosen the house they chose because they knew someone who lived on that street. Or liked the paint color, or layout a little better.
There isn’t much a homeowner or agent can do about this.
To be fair…
It could just be that the real estate agent (or agents) the homeowner hired stink at selling houses.
That could be the case. But that usually isn’t really the problem. And another agent usually isn’t really the solution.
Most of the time agents are advising their client to make the home as easy to show as possible. And to declutter, and keep it as clean as possible.
And they take into account the location of the home and supply and demand.
That doesn’t mean that their clients listen to them in regard to the biggest problem and solution that takes all of the above into account…
You may have heard this before: In real estate, price isn’t always the problem, but it’s always the solution.
Sure, a house could be worth every penny a homeowner is asking. It might very well be justified by recent comparable sales in the area.
But price will always get a home sold. And if a home isn’t selling, it’s almost always due to the price not being appealing enough to overcome any of the above factors.
- It can overcome having strict showing times. If a homeowner wants to limit their house to being shown one day a week at a certain time… Fine. If you price the house aggressively, buyers will go out of their way to adjust their schedule.
- It can overcome clutter and messiness. It doesn’t matter how awful the house shows, or how smelly it is…if it’s priced appropriately for the condition.
- It can overcome supply and demand. If few homes are selling, and there are a lot of similar choices for buyers to choose from, a lower price will certainly make the buyers choice easier.
As much as real estate agents are perceived as being pushy, most are not. And they get blamed for houses not selling — for expiring — when most of the time it’s because the homeowners they represented didn’t listen to their advice about pricing their home. Price takes into consideration every factor.
So, when you see a real estate agent’s sign linger for too long… Or watch their sign disappear, and another one take it’s place…
Don’t be too quick to judge the listing agent for the lack of success.
It’s more than likely due to a homeowner who isn’t listening to good advice, that would help them avoid these common issues, and get their home sold.
Looking at Homes in Person
When home searching you might have heard real estate horror stories where houses put up for sale online turned out to be riddled with all sorts of problems when buyers actually visited them.
Considering the competitive nature of the market, most sellers today offer buyers the opportunity to tour their houses virtually. A professional blueprint of the house is made and you can have a satellite view of the house, the rooms and even see the minutest details such as the arrangement of bed sets and furniture.
If you are scouring the market for your next potential home in Oakland County, Michigan, here are key differences you need to know between searching for a house online and in person:
Home Searching Online
Here’s the harsh reality: what you see online might not be the closest to reality most of the times. There are many flaws in a house that can be hidden with proper lighting and photography techniques. Browsing homes online? Knowing the following will help:
· It’s Huge
Photographers use wide angle lens when capturing images, which can make absolutely anything look fabulous. A room might seem huge to you so much so that you think it can fit anything.
· It Looks Like a New House
The lighting and the angles can give the house a new look. In the pictures, you might see pristine walls with no scratches but you won’t see the reality until you can physically inspect the walls.
· It Looks So Peaceful
Pictures taken of the front yard and backyard are usually close-ups, so you don’t see anything out of the ordinary. You might assume that the house has a nice green backyard and a full garden but in reality, it was just a picture of a patch and a few planters.
· I Have a Good Feeling about This House
Pictures can change your mind because your expectations are based on what you saw online. You cannot base your decision solely on pictures and this is why it is important to tour the home for sale in Oakland County, Michigan in person.
Home Searching In Person
If you want to have a look at every nook and cranny of the house, then it is better to visit the place.
· Is This a Room or a Closet?
That bedroom you fawned over in the pictures… doesn’t it look like a closet? That’s the deception of pictures! When you are standing in the actual space, you realize how small the rooms are.
· What’s that Smell?
If the previous owners had pets, you can probably smell them by now. This is why it is important to go into each room and make sure that there are no bad odors or stains.
· Did I Just Hear Gunshots?
Well, this is reaching too far but did you search the area before visiting the house? You never know how high the crime rate is in the areas until you see the surroundings.
· Is That a Goat Farm in the Neighbor’s Yard?
While your neighbors are allowed to do anything on their property but too much noise can be a problem. Your neighbors might include couples who party too loud or pets who may be bent on destroying all your precious plants.
Now you know why it is so important to physically visit homes for sale, rather than making an offer based solely on photographs. If you want to buy a Oakland County, Michigan that falls within your budget and has all the features you need, then visit Homes2MoveYou. Get in touch with me and start exploring houses in areas of your liking.
Real estate agents hear this all the time…“I wish I had called you before. But I just didn’t want to bother you. I know you’re busy…”…after it is too late.
There are times when you might feel like you shouldn’t “bother” the real estate agent you know. (Could be your friend, a neighbor, your brother-in-law, cousin, your sister…)
Maybe you’re truly trying to be considerate.
But, maybe it’s because you’re not even aware that you should.
Or, you just don’t want to feel obligated or pushed into doing something. (Despite what many people think, most agents are not pushy. Most are the exact opposite.)
So, let’s go over a few times that you should “bother” your real estate agent. Because it really isn’t a bother.
In fact, we’ll get into why it will bother them if you don’t reach out to them for any of these things.
1. No Bother if You just want to check out a house.
You see a house online. Or a For Sale sign. Maybe even just stumble across and open house.
You’re not all that serious about buying a house. Maybe you’re only just starting to think about it. Or, maybe you have no desire at all to move, and you’re just curious and want to take a peek.
So, you don’t want to “bother” the agent you know to show you the house.
Instead, you call the listing agent. Or some random agent you don’t even know. Or just walk right into the open house.
Next thing you know, you love the house. You’re making an offer. The offer is accepted. And then you regret it. Or problems come up. Or the process is miserable. Or you don’t feel like the agent you’re dealing with is giving you the best advice.
And that’s when you call the agent you know.
Too late. At that point, the agent you know can’t help. (Or at least shouldn’t…) Because now you are represented by another agent. The agent you know can get in a lot of trouble for even giving you friendly advice.
As innocent as it seems, when you just want to go see a house… you are inadvertently making a bigger decision than you think — you are deciding who will represent your interests, advise you, and help you through the process.
Even if you just go see a house with another agent, and before you even make an offer you decide to have the agent you know write up the offer and represent you… the agent who simply showed you the house could claim you as their client. It’s called “procuring cause”. I won’t get into the details here, but it can become messy.
You’re better off calling the agent you know to show you the house in the first place. You won’t be considered a bother.
What will bother him is to have to bite his tongue and not give you the help you want further into the process.
2. Not a Bother if You want to know how much your home is worth.
Maybe you’re just curious about how much your home is worth. Or, maybe you’re actually thinking of selling. It might be because you want to get a feel for your net worth.
Nowadays, you can hop online and check out any number of sites that will give you the value of your home.
So, why “bother” the agent you know about this?
Because most of what you will find online is highly inaccurate to begin with. They are “automated” valuations. They are based upon data and algorithms. They have never even seen the inside of your home. They do not take into account your local market conditions.
And if you base your hopes, dreams, and decisions off of an inaccurate value, that can hurt you quite a bit.
Again, asking the agent you know to do an analysis and give you a true market value… not a bother.
But, it would be bothersome to hear that you’ve based important life decisions off of an inaccurate value once it’s too late.
3. You are considering a home improvement project Not a bother.
The real estate agent you know probably isn’t an architect. Or a builder, a plumber, an electrician, a painter, etc. So, they probably can’t advise you about the ins and outs of a specific project or costs.
But once you have a sense of the proposed cost of a project, before you just pull the trigger and move forward, you really should “bother” your agent for their input.
Putting on an addition? That will surely increase the value.
A kitchen or bathroom remodel? Yep, your house will be worth more.
But will the value increase more than the amount you spent? Will that matter in your situation? Will the choices you make in decor, layout, or fixtures appeal to a buyer down the road? Does that even matter, given your future plans?
All questions and thoughts your agent can get into with you. Before you spend the money and go through the headaches of a huge project.
On the other hand, if you go forward with a home improvement project and spend, let’s say $60,000, and then call your agent…
You could seriously regret how much you spent, or even doing the project at all.
Your agent doesn’t want to break the news to you that your home is only worth $38,000 more after you spent $60,000. There is no joy in that. There is nothing that can be done at that point.
That’s just three examples. There are certainly more. But you get the point…
So, reach out to me before you do anything real estate related… and just trust that it isn’t a “bother”.