Westchester Real Estate
People get attached to their homes. And why wouldn’t they? A house is a lot more than Brick & Mortar. Its the place “where your life happens”.
But circumstances change. People move jobs, relocate, families grow, kids graduate from the highly rated Westchester Public schools and move out, people retire, and finances improve. Whatever the reason, the decision to sell your home is never an easy one.
How Much is my Home Worth?
The hardest part of selling a home in Chappaqua or anywhere else in Westchester County is the initial conversation with my seller clients. Almost always, sellers of properties have an unrealistic view of the worth or value of their home. This is natural, and expected.
A listing agent worth his commission should be able to show his client a CMA and prove how much the house should sell for. But that agent should not lie to you….and they should charge a low enough commission that allows you to keep your hard-earned equity.
Why isn’t my home selling?
But what if the house still does not sell? What could the reason be? While every situation and every property is different, there are some very common reasons why a home would fail to sell.
Poor Marketing: Before the advent of the internet which brought about useful sites like Zillow (Except for the inaccurate Zestimate, which is useless), home buyers in Westchester County and elsewhere would open the New York Times and look for Chappaqua Homes for Sale or Scarsdale homes for sale or other properties that fit their tastes. They would then do a drive-by of those properties, and if they found something appealing, at the right price, with the right commute from Westchester to Manhattan, they would call a realtor and make an appointment to see the property. Those “drive-by’s” still happen today, but instead of physically driving by they take place on the internet on Zillow, Trulia or similar aggregator sites. That is where proper marketing comes in.
Zillow has pricing filters, so if a house is priced too high, or even slightly over a breakpoint, it could be easily missed in a home buyer’s search. Even more important is the feature photo that your listing agent uploads to the MLS. That photo….the “feature photo”…is used as the thumbnail photo on every aggregator site. If that photo is not perfect, professional and absolutely inviting, buyers won’t even click on your listing. At NestEdge Realty, we hire a professional photographer and sometimes even employ the use of a drone to get that perfect shot.
Poor Staging: When a buyer enters a home, the home must appear inviting and comfortable. Nothing is a bigger turn-off in a home than clutter. Clutter makes a house look unkempt and feel smaller and more cramped than it is. From a furnishings perspective when staging a home, less is more. Before putting your home on the market, it is critical to put away any items that are not used regularly. If you have stacks of papers visible, get rid of them. If you have large pieces of furniture that don’t really fit your space, its best to get rid of these as well. Home buyers need to feel like the space is open and airy.
Showing Times Aren’t Available: The schedule of home buyers is always unpredictable. Some buyers can only put aside time to look at properties during the week and others can shop for Westchester Real Estate only on weekends. I always tell my sellers that they must be flexible with the times they allow their homes to be shown. Turning down a showing because the time is inconvenient is never a good idea.
Your Listing Agent is Lazy: This one would never happen at NestEdge Realty. Most listing agents get a listing, prepare marketing materials, list the home on the MLS and then put a lockbox on the house.
A lockbox can’t speak. A lockbox can’t tell you where the school bus-stop is. A lockbox can’t tell you how amazing the neighbors are or that you used 50-year shingles on your homes new roof. A lockbox cannot point out the special features of your property.
In short, only a live agent can “actively” sell a home. At NestEdge, we strive to attend almost all showings and rely on a lockbox only im emergencies. If you are giving away a chunk of equity to a realtor to sell your home, shouldn’t they be onsite…at the property….in person….during a showing….selling the home? We think so…
Deferred Maintenance: Nothing turns off a prospective buyer more than feeling like the property they are about to buy has been ignored and not cared for. Overgrown landscaping, chipped paint, scratched floors, clogged gutters, broken windows and a host of other obvious and highly visible signs of wear and tear will all make a buyer wonder “If I’m seeing these issues, what are the issues that i’m not seeing?”.
It is extremely important for sellers to present their homes in a manner that says “I treated this home like it was my baby”. Money spent prior to listing your home on fresh paint, refinished flooring, clearing gutters, sprucing up the landscaping, power-washing or anything else cosmetic that will make your house shine, will be paid back to the seller in multiples.
The Property is Dated But Priced Like It’s Renovated: In recent times the market has seen a very noticeable shift. Some years back, we had a large population of new home buyers who would actively seek properties in great neighborhoods that were dated, ie needing new floors, new kitchens and new bathrooms, etc. That has changed.
The majority of our buyers recently are seeking mint condition, turn-key homes. Most of my buyers would prefer to close on the house (after paying closing costs in Westchester) unlock to the door and not have any work to do.
As such, properties that were recently renovated, are being sold for a hefty premium. Conversely, homes that are dated are seeing very deflated prices. Our advice: If you have the money to take on a renovation prior to selling, you may make your money back in multiples. A good realtor can provide comps of renovated vs dated properties and can help measure your return.
Finally, don’t get discouraged and don’t panic if your home doesn’t sell immediately. Every single home has a buyer, but sometimes it just takes time.
Sell for Low Commission
NestEdge Realty would love to help you sell your home in Westchester County. In addition to broker commission rebates for buyers, our firm offers very low commission rates for sellers who actively market your home.