One of the major complaints in real estate is the length of time it can take for certain homes to sell. Even worse, sometimes the right offer never comes at all. Why is this?

There are many reasons, from pricing to making a property stand out from the rest. Let’s drill a little deeper into some key selling points.

Pricing Your Home Too High

Washington Metro home prices have been soaring in recent years, from the District itself to Alexandria, Arlington, Bethesda and other parts of the region. But sellers still have to recognize their specific neighborhood and the most recent value trends. One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make is falling into the trap of unreasonable expectations and pricing their property too high.

The first days on the market mark the period when the iron is hot—it’s now that you have the upper hand and the most exposure to hungry buyers. After all, “new to market” listings attract the most attention.

But an overinflated asking price can cause buyers to hesitate and turn to other listings. True, the interested party may bookmark your home and revisit the notion, especially if it’s an eye-catcher or in a great location. But as time passes, there comes the obvious question—why hasn’t somebody else bought it? Is there something wrong beside the price?

And so it becomes a deteriorating cycle. The higher the price, the longer it takes. And the longer it takes, the less likely it is that you’ll ever get an offer. On the other hand, pricing a home right in the first place can often lead to multiple bids and over-price offers.

Poor Condition of Your Home

Home sellers can come up with a million reasons to put off repairs or cosmetic preparations. After all, you have a busy life and you’re selling the place anyway, right? Why go through all that hassle if you don’t need to?

But this is a major mistake and it can definitely lead to the loss of a sale.

Just as you don’t want to spend time and money on repairs, neither do buyers. After all, they’re about to commit to what could be the biggest purchase of their lives. Who wants to hire a plumber, electrician or painter right after forking over all that green on a down payment?

You don’t have to be in this alone. If you’re working with a realtor, ask for help and advice. And remember, it’s not only the major problems that can be red flags, but minor cosmetic issues as well. Water stains, cracked tiles and dingy carpeting can really turn off a visitor to your home.

So fix those rain gutters, spruce up the yard, get rid of the clutter and give the interior a fresh coat of neutral paint.

Not Using Proper Marketing

There are a lot of ways to market your home, from DYI to costly paid advertising. But sometimes, the best method is to use an experienced professional without spending a dime. How is this possible?

Brokers often offer to market your property free of charge—it’s all part of getting your listing and collecting a commission when it sells. But sometimes, these marketing solutions are little more than planting a yard sign.

It makes sense, then, to look at all the different selling tools and make sure you hire a representative who will go the extra mile.

A good picture tells a thousand words. Find out if your realtor is the one taking those pics or if they’re using a professional. Creative real estate photography with eye-popping colors and great definitions will showcase your listing to discerning shoppers.

Also, make sure your agent provides professionally designed property brochures, postcards and internet media posts.

Is your agent affiliated with a company with a great support structure? Will he or she share your listing on major national websites? How about offering a custom-designed property website specific to your property?

Cutting-edge software, email blasts, social media, strategic tours, electronic fliers and more are all part of the new interactive age of real estate marketing.

Posted by Andre Perez on


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