Why Hasn’t My House Sold?!

October 19th, 2015

Have you ever listed a home for sale that didn’t sell? Not only didn’t sell, but it was rarely shown. Or perhaps it was shown many times, but you STILL never got an offer. If you have ever experienced this, you probably were very disappointed and wondered ‘why’. And probably blamed the Realtor too, right?! Each home is different and there could be a hundred possible reasons why yours didn’t sell. In my experience however, there are usually two common denominators when a home doesn’t sell.

First, was your home priced to sell? And by this I don’t mean what you wanted to net from the sale. Priced to sell means your home is priced at a realistic number that will compete favorably with the other comparable homes on the market. The goal here is that your listing is perceived as the best value in your price range. In a second-home market like Cape Cod, Buyers that come to look at properties don’t have an unlimited time frame. They choose the homes they want to see in the allotted time they have. If there are many listings for sale in your price range and yours is not the best value or even close to it, your home will get scrapped before anyone even sees it.

Along these same lines, today’s Buyers are shopping for a home online first. Their computer is their window as they scroll through all the available listings for sale. If you don’t have an attractive lead photo that grabs your attention and a complete, compelling description, the Buyer will just click ‘NEXT’! You absolutely HAVE to have great photos, and they should also be changed out often to keep the listing fresh. If it’s the middle of winter when the house is listed, your agent should be out there taking new pictures as soon as there are leaves on the trees. It really aggravates me to see snow pictures in a listing in June. So many Sellers never follow up to see how their home is being represented online, I don’t understand that.

Speaking of photos, there also should be the maximum number of photos allowed on each website. If 30 photos are allowed, there should be 30 photos. And unless your property needs MAJOR renovation and does not show well inside, there should be a virtual tour or slide show too. I don’t care if your list price is 300K or 3 Million dollars, you deserve equal treatment. Your ad copy should also be the maximum allowed, well-written and descriptive with no spelling errors. Some of the descriptions I see are nothing less than pathetic!

Those two things are usually why homes do not sell. Their list price is not realistic, and/or the listing is not well-represented online. I don’t care what your house needs in the way of updates, whether it’s a new roof, landscaping, new bathrooms – you need to price it with this in mind. That is why it’s important for you to interview a number of Realtors and get their suggested list price and projected sale price for your home before listing. Once you do this, DO NOT choose the one who quotes you the highest list and projected sale price! This is called ‘Buying a Listing’ and unfortunately, it’s common in the industry. Study the comparable sales offered in your market analysis and try to be as open-minded and unbiased as possible. I know this is not easy as nearly every Seller has some type of emotional attachment to their home. Every Seller also WANTS a certain price for their house. But, IT IS WHAT IT IS, numbers don’t lie! Do you really want months (or years) to pass while you hold to an unrealistic price? Waiting for the right Buyer to happen along who will pass up all the other homes in your price range, and pay YOUR price that is way above market value?! Would YOU do this as a Buyer?

Price, location, and condition all need to be in-line when selling a home. That’s first. Second, your listing needs to receive the very best representation and presentation possible. Do these two things, and you won’t have another house that lingers unsold on the market.

Remodeling or Building on Cape Cod and Need to Choose a Builder?

December 6th, 2014

Have you always wanted to make some changes in your home but didn’t know where to start?
Most people don’t realize how much is possible in the areas of building and renovating and would be amazed at what a good Builder can do! Whether it’s creating your dream master suite, upgrading your kitchen with granite counters and new appliances, or adding a room over your garage. How about a new deck, or turning your deck into a four-season sun room for extra living space? Perhaps you are buying an older home that needs work. Nearly anything is possible these days in the area of building and renovating.

Your biggest decision is your first one: find a reputable, experienced Builder to assist you from start to finish. Ask for references, and check them out. Talk to people who worked with that Builder five, ten, fifteen years ago. Do they still have a good relationship? Do they still recommend that Builder? Did the Builder stay on budget and on the timeline? Visit properties that the Builder has completed. There are some big building companies around with a marketing department that creates beautiful ads and slick marketing materials. They charge premium rates, but that does not mean they are the best. Some of the most talented Builders around are the ones who DON’T advertise or own a fancy fleet of trucks. They have been here steadily working and serving the community before the Cape became as popular as it is today. (Before off-Cape Architects and building companies arrived to cash in.) These guys are HANDS-ON Builders. They don’t assign you to a “Project Manager”, they are on-the-job every day and are there for you from start to finish. Without the overhead of a large fleet of trucks, a marketing department and many Project Managers, you will also save money.

If you prefer to start with an Architect, do not use an Architect that requires you to use one particular Builder. You want the option of finding the best Builder who is the best match for YOU and your project. Likewise, a Builder should be able to recommend different Architects depending on your particular project requirements.

Make sure the Builder has the proper insurance, and hires only professional insured sub-contractors. The Government has gotten VERY tough and most of these guys face TWO audits annually. They have to pay huge insurance premiums just to stay in business. Please do not support those who take shortcuts. It is just not fair to the others who are doing it the right way, and you are hurting Cape Cod small businesses. The bottom line is this: you get what you pay for. In life, and especially in the trades.

You don’t have to wait any longer to make the changes that you’ve always dreamed about or to build your dream home, choosing the right Builder for your project is the all-important first step.