When Is It Time To Take Your House Off The Market
If you’ve listed your home for sale in Columbus, Ohio, but it’s just not selling what should you do? Is it wise to take your home off the market?
Delisting your home may seem counter-intuitive, but it can actually be a smart move. Here’s a few examples of when you should take your house off the market in Columbus.
1. Your Situation Has Changed
Some life events can force you to wait to sell a home, or even decide not to sell.
For instance, if you are laid off, you may not qualify for a mortgage to purchase another home.
Even if you only had a reduction in hours, you may not qualify. Your debt-to-income ratio is a factor in your loan approval. If your income goes down, it can be a problem when trying to get a new mortgage
Even a major expense such as your car breaking down or a serious illness can be a reason to hold off on your home sale. If you have money saved up for a down payment, but a major expense eats into that money, you may have to wait and build up your savings again.
2. You’re Not Getting Many Showings
If you’re not getting many home showings and your open houses don’t have a good turnout. Price may be the issue.
Hopefully, you hired a great agent and you listened to their pricing advice. When a home is priced correctly, buyers will show interest. Even if buyers came to see your house and ultimately decided that it wasn't the one for them, they at least felt that your home was a contender and wanted to come and see it in person.
An overpriced home will generate very little showing interest. Furthermore, if a home is significantly overpriced, buyers won’t even consider it. They will think the seller isn’t serious about selling the home and won't want to waste their time seeing a home that is priced way too high.
If you didn’t listen to your agent’s pricing advice and buyers aren’t showing interest in your home, taking it off the market is an option. This allows you to relist at the correct price. New listings get the most attention, which is why it is paramount that a home be listed at the correct price to begin with.
Even if you reduced the price several times, a stale listing makes buyers wonder what’s wrong with the home. After you’ve dropped the price multiple times, you may start getting low-ball offers. That’s another sign that it might be time to take your listing down and try again but with the correct price.
3. You Need To Fix A Problem
Let’s say you got a buyer, accepted an offer, and went into contract. One thing that can derail the deal is a serious issue found during inspection.
The home inspector(s) will evaluate everything in your home including the foundation, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.
The purchase agreement will likely have a home inspection contingency. This gives the buyers the chance to walk away from the deal should a major issue be found.
If this happens, it makes sense to take your house off the market to address the issue(s).
4. You Need To Make An Improvement
It is possible that a home doesn’t sell because it can’t compete with other homes on the market nearby, especially if you're selling in a buyer's market. For instance, let’s say there are multiple homes for sale in your neighborhood, all of which have beautifully updated kitchens. If your home is priced the same, buyers are more likely to choose a home with a new kitchen.
Buyers want a home that is move-in ready. They have difficulty seeing past old carpeting or a dated kitchen. Even doing an allowance (giving the buyer money to update something like the carpet) may not be enough.
If there are a lot of homes for sale in your neighborhood, it might be best to have your agent withdraw your listing so you can make improvements.
However, before you start gutting your kitchen or tearing down walls, make sure you are doing smart updates and improvements. After all, you want to get the most money for your home while spending as little as possible. Not all renovations will have a positive ROI when you sell the house. New paint, flooring, and smart kitchen and bath updates may be all you need. This is another reason it's so important to work with an experienced agent who can help you determine what needs to be done to prepare your home for sale.
5. It’s A Buyer’s Market
Not surprisingly, the speed of your home sale depends a lot on the law of supply and demand.
Too many homes for sale and not enough buyers create a Buyer’s Market. Low housing inventory and high buyer demand create a Seller’s Market.
What many people outside of the real estate industry don’t know, is that market conditions can vary widely even from one neighborhood to another and across price points.
For instance, when there is a high demand for lower-priced homes but too few homes for sale, it’s a sellers' market. At the same exact time, there can be low demand and more inventory for higher-priced homes, which creates a buyers' market. This is a market mismatch.
At the neighborhood level, local market conditions can cause a town or community to have different market conditions than the state or national market. If many homeowners decide to sell in a neighborhood, it can create a buyers' market pocket.
Depending on the reason that you find yourself selling in a buyers' market, it may make sense to take your home off the market and wait for conditions to change. This can be risky though, as it might take a long time for the market to change. Talk with an experienced local agent to see if it’s better to relist later, or make changes to the home or the price to make the home more appealing given the market.
It may make sense to rent out your home while you wait for the market to shift.
6. 'Tis The Season
Sometimes home sellers choose to take their homes off the market during the Holiday Season. This is certainly understandable, especially if you will have lots of family staying with you. It would be difficult to deal with keeping your home show-ready and dealing with showings while having a house full of guests or cooking big holiday meals.
If you listed your home during the fall, and for one reason or another it’s still on the market as you approach the holiday season, you may want to take the home off the market and re-list around February or March when the spring market starts to heat up.
This isn’t right for everybody. For some home sellers, it makes sense to keep your home on the market during the holidays. There may be fewer buyers, but the ones that are house hunting during the holidays are serious, and there is less competition for you as the seller. Staging your home for the Holiday Season can go a long way to help sell your home if you choose to stay on the market.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Real estate agents vary considerably in how they sell a home. Some do the minimum: take a few blurry pics with their phone, stick a sign in the yard, put it on the MLS, and wait.
A great agent will ALWAYS use best practices and have proven strategies to give your home maximum exposure. This includes helping you price your home correctly, helping you prepare and stage your home, hiring a professional real estate photographer to take high-quality listing photos, promoting your home on social media, and so much more.
Starting with a knowledgeable, experienced agent, and listening to their advice, will significantly increase your chances of selling your home. Not every home sale is going to go perfectly according to plan, even when you as the seller do everything right, but it helps to have a highly competent guide and advocate on your side throughout the process.
If you're thinking about selling your home in the Columbus area, get help from an expert. Call or text REALTOR Rita Boswell at 614-830-9767. Rita is a full-time, professional listing agent with time-tested proven strategies for selling homes fast for more with less stress. She's been in the business for well over a decade, so she has experience in different market conditions.