What to Look at When Buyers Don’t Place an Offer

house with for sale tagIf your home has been on the market for few months and you have zero offers to show for all the showings, you should begin to question why. Maybe it’s the asking price or there are other issues that potential buyers see when they view the home, which sends them running. It may be time to sit down with your REALTOR and discuss what changes need to be made, what feedback they have received from buyers at showings, and if lowering the asking price is the next best step.

I know.  Nobody wants to lower their asking price, but studies in the real estate industry show that the longer a home sits on the market without selling, the less money the seller eventually gets when it finally sells. So, if you perhaps priced the home very aggressively, thinking that at least one buyer would be willing to pay more than market value (because your home is better than the others out there in your opinion), maybe, just maybe, you were incorrect.

Ask your REALTOR for their honest, educated, and researched (determined through a CMA) advice on what the asking price should really be based on the current market in your area. Lowering it to where the market dictates could actually achieve the results you want and maximize your profits.

The Asking Price

Remember, there is no "absolute" asking price that you begin with that carries any guarantee. If the price you listed your home at was set based on what the market looked like at the time, it wasn't necessarily priced incorrectly. One reason may be that the market in your community is quickly changing or your competition (other homes like yours on the market) has increased. The basic law of "supply and demand" can change on a daily basis.

But, if you, as many sellers do, wanted to set it above the current market value, you may have scared away potential buyers from placing an offer.

Whatever the cause, you really need to understand what is stopping buyers from making an offer, so ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are buyers viewing your home and walking away? If quite a few people have seen your home and nobody has placed an offer, there must be a reason.  What feedback are buyers and their brokers giving about the home following the showings? Are they complaining about the price? Do they spot repair issues and wonder about how maintained the home really is? Ask your Realtor what the feedback has been.

  • How quickly are other listings in your area doing? Are they selling quickly or are they lingering on the market too? Are sellers getting asking price? Has the market changed in your area since you listed?

  • Have other homes in the area reduced their asking price? If this is true, ask if those homes sold after those reductions.

  • Is there something buyers are seeing/experiencing during a showing that is turning them off? It is hard to see our own home an others see it. Do you have pet odors and tell-tale pet stains in your home? Is your neighbor’s unkempt yard and trash cans visible from your home and perhaps part of your normal view? Has your furnace started to make weird noises when it first clicks on? Think about all the potential things buyers may be seeing and experiencing when they come into your home. Maybe these issues raise concern and lower the value of the home in the buyer’s opinion.

Here is a bit of advice. If the view from certain rooms of your home is not great, consider buying nice blinds for the windows. Repair or service any of your home’s systems that may be showing signs of not operating correctly. Clean your home thoroughly before each showing and professionally clean carpets with pet stains. Try and identify and fix any of these issues that could be stopping buyers from feeling at home in your home.

Finally, ask your REALTOR for a brutally honest opinion on what the reason may be that nobody has placed an offer to buy. Listen and take his educated, experienced advice. If it is the pricing and you are worried about under-pricing your home, remember it is almost impossible to this. A low-priced home attracts many potential buyers who will start bidding with each other for the “deal”, and then you may have more offers to work with than you could imagine and a sold sign in your future.

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