With Seattle’s popularity and booming real estate market, selling a house in the area seems like it should be a piece of cake. But while some homes do sit for just hours on the market, others gather dust for weeks (and even months) before getting an acceptable offer.
As every experienced Seattle real estate professional knows, even in a seller’s market, some homes just don’t do well.
If your Seattle-area home has been sitting on the market for some time, keep reading to learn what the problem might be and what you can do to sell your home fast (and for the best price).
Why some homes sell slowly in Seattle
So what’s the problem? Why is it taking forever to get an offer on your Seattle home?
No matter the market, every home has a unique story. One or more of the following factors and characteristics could be making it difficult for you to find a buyer.
Extensive repairs are needed
Your average buyer won’t be interested in paying top dollar for a home that’s falling apart. Homes needing extensive repairs are often a huge red flag to buyers. These big issues typically include:
- Foundation issues
- Roof problems
- Poor electrical wiring
Some buyers won’t even consider a home that’s outdated or needs a significant repair (like a new roof or kitchen renovation).
For some buyers, cosmetic issues are also a turnoff — especially when they require a big investment to correct. This might include:
- Unattractive flooring (shag carpet, for example)
- Outdated kitchen
- Unfinished basement
- Old or broken windows
It’s difficult to know what to do when your house needs a lot of repairs. You could try to address the most serious problem, but that often takes a lot of time and money that you won’t recoup. The truth is, if your house needs a lot of TLC, making just one repair probably won’t make a huge difference.
Poor curb appeal
Similar to the last point, selling a home often comes down to winning a beauty contest (especially when seeking an aggressive price). Many buyers want a house that looks just as good on the outside as it does on the inside.
If you have zero landscaping or if your yard is overgrown, it may turn people away before they even look inside.
Bad location or neighborhood
You can’t change the location of your home, but it may give you some insight into why your house isn’t selling.
There are 4 big location factors that contribute to a hard-to-sell home:
- Convenience: Distance from public transportation, grocery stores, and amenities
- Noise: Things like noisy neighbors, nearby train tracks, highways, or schools
- Safety: Neighborhood crime rate is a big concern for many
- Cleanliness: Buyers often look for a neighborhood that’s well maintained
Lenders aren’t interested
Most individual buyers can’t make a cash offer, so if your buyer plans on taking out a loan to purchase your home, then the ability to get financing is critical.
However, for your house to qualify for lending, it has to meet certain standards and qualities set by the Federal Housing Agency. Other lenders may also have their own guidelines on the condition.
If your home is in such bad shape that it can’t meet these requirements, your chances of finding a buyer are low.
The home can’t be insured
Before lending, mortgage companies require the buyer to have homeowners insurance. To qualify for this insurance policy, the home will first undergo an inspection. If your home is in need of serious repairs, the chance of you qualifying for the policy are slim to none.
You’re pricing the home too high
Pricing a home correctly is an artform. It requires you to compare your house to others in the area, review real estate trends, and understand current market inventory. Plus, you’ll need to consider factors like age, condition, neighborhood, size, and so on.
Price the home too high and you’ll never get an offer. Too low, and you risk getting less money than you may have been hoping for. At the same time, you also need to be flexible enough to avoid missing out on an offer.
How to find a buyer for a hard-to-sell home in Seattle
So what should you do if your home just won’t sell? Start by reviewing all the factors listed above. Consider how many (if any) of them fit the description of your home and whether or not addressing them could help your chances of finding a buyer.
If your home has several issues, it may be helpful to talk to a professional about what specific factors they believe are hurting your home the most.
Beyond addressing these factors, there are a few other things you could try.
Hire a home stager
Homes that are professionally staged typically sell much faster and for a higher price. Some estimates report that 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less!
A home stager will decorate and arrange model furniture pieces and decorations to accentuate your home’s best features. Not only can this drastically improve the overall look and feel of your home, it also helps homebuyer envision what their life might be like in the space.
Get professional photos
Did you know that 89% of home buyers look at photos of a property online to help make a purchasing decision?
Often your home staging company will provide or offer photography, but if they don’t, avoid snapping photos on your own. Always hire a professional. Real estate photographers have the right equipment and are trained to put your home in the best light.
Upgrade your advertising tactics
Lastly, consider how you’re advertising your home. Make sure you’re not just listing the house on Craigslist. Research to find out where people in your area are looking and which listing sites will produce the most serious, qualified buyers. Some common sites in Seattle are…
Make sure your home appears on these and other professional online real estate sites and is represented well with your images, a well-written description, and possibly even a professional video as well.
Nothing working? Sell your home for cash, fast
As surprising as it may seem, it’s not uncommon for homes in and around Seattle to sit on the market for up to 6 months without an acceptable offer.
For some, this may not be an issue. But if you’re dealing with financial hardship, continuing to pay for property taxes, utilities, insurance, mortgage, and other home ownership costs for even one month longer than you planned for can take a toll. This is particularly true if you’ve already moved out of the house or have purchased a new home.
If you need to sell your home fast, selling to an experienced Seattle real estate investor is something to consider — and we’d love to help offer peace of mind.
At Sound Redevelopment, we help homeowners in tough selling situations all the time. We buy homes in any condition and can give you a cash offer within 24 hours of visiting your property.
We’ll help you avoid the cost, time, and hassle of a traditional sale.
If you’re interested in selling to a professional real estate investment company, you’ve come to the right place. Learn more about selling your home for cash and let us know if you have questions. We’re here to help.