Early in the week I got a call from a previous client. She asked me to come and take a look at her parents’ house as it was getting time to think about downsizing. Before she even mentioned the address, she started to put the house down. The house wiring was knob and tube. The décor was from another century. The best thing about the house was the lot. I listened for a while and then I told her what I would tell anyone else. Until I actually see the house, I have no idea what to make of the situation.
As a long time real estate broker, I’ve seen my share of awful homes. And, I know I will continue to see them in the future. The surprising thing to most people is that every one of the houses I’ve ever seen have eventually sold. There have been homes with dog feces and cat urine on the carpets, and houses with black mold. There are houses with stigmas like someone died in the home to a house that I viewed where the basement floor was shifting up and causing every part of the upstairs to be like a roller coaster. None of these issues stopped someone from eventually buying a home.
Price is going to matter most when selling your home. If your home is going to need repairs to get it to be in livable condition, expect for the asking price to be lower than homes that don’t need as many repairs. If you over improve your house for the neighborhood in, you may be able to ask for more, but you likely will not get what you put into the home.
Why do sellers worry about not being able to sell their house? I think there is some sort of stigma attached to the actual sale. For instance, if you tell your friends that you have your house on the market, and it has taken weeks for it to sell, in today’s market people might assume that your house is not something someone wants. I think people also equate failure to not being able to sell their home. I don’t think these are rational fears.
It is reasonable to worry that your home will not sell for a given price. That makes total sense. Let’s assume you need the house to sell for x to cover commissions, repairs, and current mortgage amount owed. That is definitely a reason to be concerned. As real estate agents, we don’t really set the home sales market. We watch what buyers are currently paying and what they are finding desirable and then set asking prices close to that number. At certain times, buyers are more likely to buy a home than others. And, this exactly what happened in 2007. Buyers just stopped paying the prices asked either because they were aware of the market conditions or they couldn’t actually afford to buy a home.
You might be surprised, but buyers really don’t make purchase decisions on things that would otherwise make perfect sense. For example, if your home has knob and tube wiring, you’d think that would affect the price negatively. Well, it would, unless the home was in a desirable location. Then it wouldn’t matter at all. The same thing is true about heating and air conditioning. You would think that an old unit would cause you to have to lower the asking price of your home. Not if the house is decorated well! Buyers could care less about the furnace or the air conditioner if the home fits them and their style.
In closing, don’t ever worry about your house not selling in South St. Louis or anywhere else. Your home is going to sell, and you only need to work with an agent who will help you with a good pricing strategy. We’re biased towards Deerwood Realty. Should you be looking to sell your home in South St. Louis anytime soon, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!