So, your home has been sitting on the market longer than you expected, and you are having trouble figuring out why. There are things you may not know, or misconceptions that may have led you down the wrong path. Here are a few issues and solutions to help you out.
1. Let the Professionals do their job. Find a listing agent that you can trust. One that will be brutally honest with you. Trust me, no one wants to tell you that you have poor taste in paint color, but you want some one who will do just that if you want your home to sell quickly for the highest amount. Even if you are selling your home by yourself, get someone to come in, take a look, and give you some advice. Don't ever assume that a buyer can see past the flaws. Subconsciously at the very least, those flaws are registering with them, and when they go into the house down the street that fixed all their flaws, you lose.
2. Price it right. Never, ever price a home high. Some people will price a home high thinking that it gives them room to negotiate. The fact is you are drastically reducing the number of people that will look at your house. The first criteria buyers and agents put into their searches is price. Even if your home comes up in their search, why would they come and look at your home when a simliar home close by is less. When you have to drop your price, people will wonder what's wrong with it. It is better to price your home low and draw many people, and an auction atmosphere will develop, driving the price up. Your home will sell for more and sell quick if you price it right (low), than if you price it high and drop it as time goes on.
3. Mix it up. Try something fresh. If you have been doing the same thing for a while, yet nothing has come of it. Try something new. For example, take out a big newspaper ad. Leave out the specifics of the property, but give them interesting bullet points. It will catch peoples eye, and create curiosity. Or, do the tried and true open house, but maybe rent a bouncy house for the kids.
4. Rennovations are not the end all be all. It is important to talk with your trusted agent, or someone who can advise you on whether or not renovation is important to sell your home, and if it is cost effective. Price is what drives the market. Yes some rennovations can help make the property more marketable, and help with the sales price, but be smart. It is pointless to do $10,000 of renovation so you can raise your price by $10,000. It is more important to make sure the house is clean, well staged and priced right.
5. Lastly, Don't fight the market. If the market is not moving in your area, or prices haven't reached the point where you need them to be, there is nothing you can do about it. It may be better to wait for a while and not stress over it that try and wish it into happening.