Housing prices in the Twin Cities are high, and inventory is extremely tight. Things are looking good for sellers currently, and the numbers bear this out: pending home sales rose nearly 10% over May 2015, and many sellers are actually getting more than their asking price.

Still, some people have homes that languish on the market for longer than the owners would like. I consistently see four main issues that can cause a home to sit for too long without hanging a Sold sign out front. 

It’s priced too high. This is the main issue. Some realtors, in an effort to acquire a client, will tell homeowners that they can sell a home for a high price. The homeowner understandably agrees to do business with this agent, as he or she wants to get the most money possible. However, if a home is not realistically priced, it’ll sit on the market, and the owner won’t make a sale. Getting a formal appraisal might help in this case.

At the same time, sometimes homeowners factor their sentiment into the sale price. But just because you love the fountain in the backyard, or the laundry room where you marked your kids’ height on the wall, doesn’t mean that an impartial buyer will value those things. In fact, many personalized details in a home are viewed as negatives by buyers.  

It’s rundown. Yes, if your home could use a coat of paint, has peeling shingles, or has walls pocked with holes, you’re less likely to get top dollar. Take the time to spruce the place up before you put it on the market.

In a similar vein, make sure that you’ve taken care of any odors. Smokers, pet owners, and anyone who’s gutted a deer in the garage need to take special care with aromas. Potential homebuyers need not be distracted by strange smells.

You have a poor visual presence. If you don’t have good photos of your home, you’re much less likely to garner interest in it. Make sure your place is neat and clean, clutter free, and photographed in good light, at good angles, by a good photographer. Good pics can get people in the door.

Your agent is indifferent. Not all real estate agents are created equal. You need to find one who you trust, who will look after your best interests, and who will work for you. If your agent isn’t excited and motivated to show your home, you won’t get many people through the front door.

If you have questions about buying, selling, or pricing your home in the Twin Cities, give me a call. I’d love to be of service.