Volusia County is still enjoying the high of a seller’s market, which means most homes are moving from “For Sale” to “Sold” in record time. That said, some homes sit around for longer than should, and that inevitably leads to homeowners believing, “Dropping the listing price is the only way to sell my home…”
We’re here to tell you that’s not always true! Unless your home was inaccurately priced too high from the get-go, a homeowner should never have to lower their listing price in a market like this.
Do I Have to Lower the Price to Sell My Home?
In a market like this, lowering your listing price should be a last resort. First, ask yourself the following three questions.
1. How long has your home been on the market?
Yes, the market is hot right now, but that doesn’t mean that every home sells within the first week or two. This may be true for updated turnkey homes with beautiful interior designs and landscaping, but it’s not true for the average DeLand area real estate listing.
According to Realtor.com, “On average, homes in DeLand, FL sell after 41 days on the market. The trend for median days on the market in DeLand, FL has gone down since last month, and slightly down since last year.” And, remember that 41-day figure is an average. It means that while some homes sell in 30 days or less, others take between 50 and 60 days or more to sell.
If you’re getting impatient about selling your home, but you’re only on day 21 or 35, take a deep breath. Your home sale may be right on track. That said, it’s also essential that you and your real estate agent honor every tenet of our “best residential real estate practices” to keep the home’s COE within that 41-day average if possible.
2. Are you working with the right real estate agent?
Who did you hire to sell your home? Yes, it’s easier to sell a home in a seller’s market. However, you still need the experience, networking, and marketing expertise provided by a licensed real estate agent – preferably one working with a respected broker.
If you are trying to sell your home on your own (For Sale By Owner or FSBO), do not lower your listing price yet. Instead, contact a few local real estate agents ASAP and schedule free consultations.
Read Why Should I Use a Real Estate Agent to Sell My Home, to learn why FSBO homes typically take longer to sell and sell for less than homes listed with legitimate agents.
Some of the signs your agent may not be the best-fit include:
- You’ve hardly had any showings.
- There’s only been one open house (or none at all).
- Photos of your home were taken with someone’s cell phone rather than by a professional photographer.
- The listing doesn’t show your home in the best light (poor lighting, things look dingy, living and outdoor spaces appear smaller than they are in real life, you wouldn’t want to buy your home either…).
- The real estate agent didn’t recommend changing a single thing before listing the home, such as decluttering, staging, removing personal items, sprucing things up).
- Your home isn’t selling as fast as comparable homes (comps) in your area
- The listing agent priced your home considerably higher than comps in the nearby neighborhoods.
If any of those are true for you, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with your agent about why they aren’t working as hard for you as they should be. It may also be time to look for a new agent, which is absolutely your right if the current agent isn’t the best fit for you.
Visit Choose the Right Real Estate Agent…to see whether your agent meets the criteria. If not, find a new one.
3. Did you prepare your home for the sale?
We mentioned above that some homes – those that are newer, beautifully decorated, completely up-to-date, etc. – could fly off the real estate shelf pretty quickly. However, most homes still need some pre-sale preparation work to sell faster and for more money.
Here at Southern Exclusive Realty, our agents walk sellers through our 7-Point Checklist. When sellers adhere to this, their homes sell. Period.
The pre-sale checklist includes things like:
- Updating maintenance issues. All of the industry research shows that homes sell faster and for higher prices when major systems such as roofing, siding, and HVAC are up-to-date.
- Staging the home. If you aren’t interested in professionally staging your home, you should do your own version. This means decluttering and deep cleaning the home, removing highly personalized decor so prospective buyers can picture themselves living there, adding fresh coats of paint, and sprucing up the exterior to optimize curb appeal. If your home is empty, definitely hire a stager to make it look a little homier.
- Pre-listing inspection for older homes. Homebuyers are understandably wary of older homes. Old homes are more likely to have outdated structural and mechanical systems or to harbor mold/mildew issues that can’t always be detected with the naked eye. They are also less likely to be energy efficient, which is important to today’s buyers. If your home is 10- to 15-years old or older, having a pre-listing inspection on hand (along with proof of any resulting work you had done) reassures prospective buyers.
If you haven’t done any of these things, you may be surprised at the increased foot traffic and offers that come in once you’ve completed the checklist.
Don’t lower your listing price just yet. Contact us here at Southern Exclusive Realty first. 386-279-7244. We promise your house will sell faster and for a listing price that honors its value when you follow our lead.