Why Isn’t My Miami Real Estate Selling?
When you finally hire the right residential broker and place your property on the market, you might be hopeful for fast results selling at or near the list price. This is especially so if you’ve put a lot of money into improving the property with so much enthusiasm from your new representative.
While you shouldn’t panic if your property doesn’t sell during the first week you go live, you should begin to worry when several months pass by without any real activity, communication, and offers. If this is the case on your Miami property, there are multiple reasons why your home or condo may not be selling.
1.) You and the Broker Have Overvalued Your Property.
If your property is overpriced, it’s simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold along with the active competition within your condo building and/or market area to get a better idea of its true value. You may also review the expired list to see what other seller’s attempted to do in selling high but failed. An experienced real estate broker can give you a fairly accurate value of your property and when the market average is 5% discounted, the best broker will bring you the buyer at or less than the market average. Additionally, don’t make the mistake of adding on the cost of any renovations you made – you cannot assume that the cost of a renovation translates into added value as the next buyer certainly does not. They are out comparing to others and it’s those renovations that make yours land on their short lists of potential purchase options. Price it too high and you will soon be riding the market in a downward spiral ending up with a sale price far less than it should have been. Buyers see a stale listing and assume no one else has shown any interest. This is especially true in a strong buyer’s market with ample inventory when pricing is ever so important!
2.) Your Listing is Showcased of Poor Quality.
If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any professional images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high-quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your property. Don’t forget to highlight unique features and a new trend is showing the lifestyle noted when owning the property. This is done by both photography and video telling the consumer a story of what it would be like to live in the property and area. Case-in-point: If I have a buyer looking to spend $1.5M in Brickell or Downtown Miami and have 100+ condos to go through, I begin with general criteria meeting their needs to then narrow them down further by flipping through the property images. I then go through the MLS remarks looking for renovations and unique features to determine the very best properties and begin scheduling. Further elaborating, if there are 5 to 7 properties in the same tier or neighborhood each within similar price points, the 2 to 3 with the best photography will get shown first.
3.) You’re Always Present at Showings.
Let your broker handle your showings and no offense, but do get out! I cannot tell you how many times an over-zealous seller tries to hold us captive by over-selling the potential buyer and it’s truly a turn-off. Buyers don’t want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, and especially during an open house when potential buyers (& other agents) have the opportunity to be open about their likes and dislikes. When you the homeowner are present, this puts unwanted pressure on the buyer and your representative, which will make them uncomfortable. TMI too soon and you will likely chase them away.
4.) You’re Too Attached.
If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there’s a good chance that you’ve become emotionally attached to your property and rightfully so. When the time is right for you to sell, the emotions must leave the property along with sentimental items boxed and ready for the new chapter. Moving forward in selling, let the decisions be business minded if you truly want to sell. If a part of you doesn’t want to sell it, or you think your home or condo is the best property in the world, odds are you’re going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with potential buyers and the broker working to meet your end goal in selling. I cannot tell you how many times the first offer was indeed the best offer and when additional months pass by with no other offers presented, the “would have, should have” mentality comes into play. We never like to push the sale through when you aren’t 100% certain but when so much time passes, additional money off your net proceeds does not make for a sound business decision.
5.) You Haven’t Had Your Home Professionally Cleaned.
A dirty property is going to leave a bad impression on buyers and if it has an odd smell, you will lose buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your property (especially windows) before you begin showings. Kudos to the unique scents and at a minimum, buy air fresheners to have your property remembered when the buyer shortlist is being determined. This simple tip has added so much value to sold property listings.
6.) You Haven’t Staged Your Home.
If you’ve already moved out, then don’t show an empty house – this makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. Virtual staging has come a long way but it can also be quite misleading. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are looking through the images online and/or taking the property tour. In some cases, I have had empty properties sell best as the buyer has the ability to visualize where their furniture will go and this is where the very best virtual staging plays a great role. Speak to your broker or agent on a case by case example so your property may implement the strategy to shine above the rest.
7.) You Kept All of Your Personal Décor.
Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits and sentimental items up. Take down your personal décor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there without wondering who is in the pictures throughout. It’s none of their business and when it’s time to sell, box up those sentimental items so they aren’t up and out for surprise negotiations or detracting from the property. ie) photographs, collectibles, & Misc. sentimental items.
8.) Your Home Improvements are Too Personalized.
You might think that the flamingo mural you painted for your outdoor entertainment area is absolutely incredible, but that doesn’t mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don’t want to pay for odd features they don’t want. If the walls are bold colors, it is in most cases wise to go neutral or white so the buyer has a clean canvas to imagine as their own.
9.) Your Home is Too Cluttered.
Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue – let’s say you simply have too much furniture crowding the living spaces. This can make the house feel smaller than it is and so, less is more. There are moving companies that will move and store these extra items for you until you have the ability to transition to the new chapter in your life.
10.) Your Home is in Need of Too Many Repairs.
The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your property. Many buyers simply don’t want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it’s just simple and small repairs, such as replacing the GFCI outlets, replacing broken lighting, or touching up old water damage by replacing drywall and repainting. On the flipside, many homeowners do the work just before selling rather than having their home in top shape for their own personal enjoyment so at the end of the day, to each his own.
11.) You Chose the Wrong Real Estate Broker.
In my opinion, choosing the right real estate representative is simply the most important decision you make in selling your property. A good broker makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time through effective marketing channels, community & network, and using their level of experience, and mastery of the business to make a world of difference in yours. With thousands of showings, it’s both awesome and painful to hear a listing agent give away so much of a properties value when looking after their interests rather than the homeowners. Even if they feel it is in the owner’s best interest, it’s quite often I hear an agent giving me inside information of the seller willing to accept $100,000 (and more) off of the list price as they encourage offers and express high motivation. Lastly, a property representative who won’t keep quiet but talks way too much as an over-zealous homeowner thinking they need to tell it all upfront. Try talking 15% of the time and remember you have two ears, and one mouth to listen twice as much as you talk.
The good news is all of these things can be fixed once you realize your mistakes, however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at a reasonable listing price. Residential markets shift in favor of buyers and sellers and this is especially true in resort destinations such as Miami. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a residential specialist who can take the time and tasks of selling to assist your end goal with precision. Results will then be seen simply by pricing your property correctly and following these simple guidelines. Pricing correctly is an art that comes from knowing the comparable properties, the current market cycle & trends, and having the experience to bring it all together from the onset of marketing. Market values are determined through supply and demand and in a strong buyer’s market as we see today, these tips are crucial. What could be a 3% to 5% discount off of the list price can eventually turn into 15% to 20% discounted years later.
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I’m connected with the world’s best luxury real estate brand and a vast global network of friends & colleagues who offer a bespoke experience wherever you are in the world. Locally, I offer the very best in real estate knowledge and client services as a master broker-associate with the leading firm, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty. Why Sotheby’s? Because of the brand heritage, prestige, their propensity for perfection, and quite simply, the immense global reach in curating luxury goods and real estate. Since 2002, I’ve been active in the South Florida residential market with knowledge, experience, and white-glove service that consistently exceeds expectations.
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