WHY OUR LAS VEGAS HOME DIDN'T SELL
Nobody saw it
There are a few reasons why realtors didn't even show your home. The easy answer is PRICE, but that may not be the entire story. Let's deal with price and then we can move on to other reasons. Many sellers will interview a few agents before deciding to list their home. The prize usually goes to the realtor who promises to fetch the highest price. Sometimes price is the one and only stumbling block... usually it's not. But for the sake of argument let's explore market value.
In order to determine the value of your home, the listing agents, in preparation for the listing appointment, will have researched recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood. In Las Vegas, this is a pretty straight forward process since most homes are in communities that contain many similar models. So chances are that a few 1600 square foot homes, like yours, have sold recently. OK, I know that yours has the granite counter tops and the upgraded carpet, but bear with me.
As a buyer's agent, I go through the same process. In other words, when I see your listing on the MLS, I search for comparable sales (comps) and if your home seems over-priced, it doesn't get shown. After all, I will probably narrow down the list of eighteen possible homes to six or eight.
Location, Location, etc.
Does your home back onto a busy street or school playground. These are factors that can seriously affect the value. I always check on the Clark County website for aerial photos of the home. If it is located like the one outlined in red in the photo, I will probably move on to another listing. Chances are these folks bought that home on a Sunday, when traffic was slow, or a few years ago when those streets were horse paths. In any event, if your home is situated in this sort of location, you should consider adjusting the price accordingly.
Prices are booming
Zooming or booming, prices are certainly on the rise. The good news is that your home will fetch a higher price in this market than you would have six months ago. The real question is: how much higher. If a realtor is searching for a newer three bedroom 2 bath home in the 1000-1500 square foot range, they might find forty possibilities. After checking comps, they will find that over half of these are horribly over-priced. Let's assume that comps show that the home should sell for $250k because two identical homes just closed last week for $250k. In this market the home will probably sell for $265k (it's a booming market, remember?). Here's the problem... Most buyers are financing their purchase and the lender will not lend more money than the appraised price. This home will appraise at $250k. That means that the buyer will have to dig into his pocket for an additional $15k on top of his down payment and closing costs. Don't worry. Many buyers in this market are willing and able to do that. If they are willing to spend the $15k maybe they will pay $50k over appraisal, or even $100k. I think not. And yet many sellers and their agents have deluded themselves into thinking this is possible. A thorough examination of recently sold properties reveals that most homes are selling for list price (not below) or a little more. The others are just sitting on the market waiting for a miracle.
No lockbox, etc.
Many buyers are out-of-towners who are traveling to town to buy a home. They will be here for a couple of days and plan to leave with a contract in hand. Here are some items in a listing that will prevent their realtor from showing your home:
Congratulations, your listing has passed through my elimination screening. Now it's time to look for other reasons that the home didn't sell. Most professional agents will suggest that you "stage" your home. That means setting up your home to give that same impression one gets when visiting a builder's model home. If you haven't been to a model home recently, it's worth the visit.
Most folks, myself included, accumulate far too much "stuff". Pack up all the clutter and place it in storage... preferably not the garage. I know it's cozy, but most homes have too much furniture for their size and would appear larger and more spacious if some furniture items were put in storage as well.
Smoking can be detrimental to your pocketbook. Try smoking on the patio for a while and remove smoke odors and stains as much as possible. A little vanilla extract heated in the oven can smell like fresh cookies and help to mask tobacco odors.
A little soft MOR music playing softly in the background can be a nice touch.
Who's the salesperson here?
By the time clients visit your home their realtor has spent many hours corresponding with them and has a very good idea of their likes and dislikes. If you insist on explaining the virtue of your linen closets to the potential buyer (who is only interested in the garage) you may jeopardize the possible sale. Better yet, vacate your home during showings. When the seller is present, buyers feel obligated to make nice comments to the seller rather than voice their true feelings... those come later back in the car.