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 mortgage
Even a major expense such as your car braking 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 turn out. 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 come to see your house and ultimately decide that it’s not 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 interest. Furthermore, if a home is significantly overpriced, buyers won’t even give it a small consideration. They will think the seller isn’t serious about selling the home.
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 gives you an opportunity 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 in 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, without losing their earnest money.
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. For instance, let’s say your neighbor lists their home for the same price, but he updated the kitchen before he put it on the market.
Buyers want a home that is move-in ready. They have difficulty seeing past dingy carpet or a dated kitchen. Even doing a allowance (giving the buyer money to update something like carpet) may not be enough.
If there’s a lot of competition 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. New paint, flooring, and smart kitchen and bath updates may be all you need.
5. It’s A Buyer’s Market
Not surprising, 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 creates a Buyer’s Market. Low housing inventory and high buyer demand creates 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 a different market 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. Special Case: The Holidays
Sometimes home sellers choose to take their home 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 spotless 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 market.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Real estate agents vary considerably in how they sell a home. Some do the minimum: take a few pics with their phone, put it on the MLS, and wait.
A great agent will ALWAYS use best practices 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 out 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.