Why is not my house sold?

29 Jan 2019
Why is not my house sold?

That is the question that many of us ask ourselves. Here we are going to leave some tips that I hope are useful.

There is always time to lower the price of the house. It is one of the many misguided ideas that owners manage and that ruin the sale.

Setting a price too high leads to exclusion, since most people who are interested in a house do so within the first 15 days of its sale. If the price is out of the market, the floor is burned, that is, the owner "is subject to having to reduce it excessively and close the sale for a lower price than it should", explains Jesús Duque, vice president of Alfa Inmobiliaria. In fact, the longer it takes to sell, the less value it will have.

Although it seems incredible, houses are sold. Some in hours. Almost always it is usually in the same context: investor and low price. A few days ago a man entered one of Alfa's offices and bought a flat in less than two hours. "Located in the Chamberí area, in Madrid, it had 50 meters and two bedrooms. He was a small investor with some savings - he paid cash. The offer price was 150,000 euros and it was sold for 145,000, "they say in this real estate.

Also an investor has been the buyer of a third without elevator that needs some reform in the neighborhood of Prosperidad (Madrid) for 130,000 euros. "The apartment came in wallet in the morning and sold in the afternoon," says one of Gilmar's agents.

Apart from these cases, "the average sale time is around 150 days, while in 2007 only a couple of weeks were needed", say Alfa, agency with a portfolio of 15,000 homes. The vice president points out that the ones with the best output are between 100,000 and 150,000 euros and, on the opposite extreme, those that exceed 450,000.

The fault of the break in sales was the real estate bubble, but not all. Many owners have been selling faded posters for months and years. They are still waiting for a call.

The agencies have proof of houses that went on sale in the first years of the crisis and that still remain without a buyer.

Something does not work "If a house takes more than two years, it may be because the price does not adjust to its condition and the valuation may be wrong," says Esteban Caso, Gilmar's quality director.

In 99% of cases it is not sold because it is not the price at which buyers want to buy, says Rafael Valderrábano, director of Basic Homes, a company specialized in selling bank and box flats. Your recipe: target price and listen to customers.

You have to be realistic when putting a price and fix it on real estate already placed and not on those that are for sale. "77% of the stock in Spain will not be sold in the next 12 months, so they are not a good reference," according to Alfredo Sosa, broker of Remax Lanzagorta, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

It helps to know the sales witnesses. And attention. "It is not at what price the neighbor in front of the house is advertising, but at the signing of the sale," says David Moya, CEO of Look & Find. Holding on to a value that the owner estimated years ago that would close the operation and that today does not conform to reality is swimming against the current. Also believe that our house is the best.

"An adequate valuation accounts for more than 75% of the sale's success", they indicate in Look & Find, with more than 14,500 homes for sale. According to its director, what sells best are used floors of 80 meters at prices between 145,000 and 170,000 euros.

If one is not very sure, one trick is to "check the price every two weeks, until you notice that the number of calls grows," advises Duque. It can be raised between 7% and 10% additional provided that the buyer will want to negotiate. In times of crisis, negotiations are aggressive. However, to lower more than 15% means that the property is badly valued or that it is being sold below the market price. And "if we are 20% or 30% above, we will not receive calls or offers," according to Sosa. It is not a good idea to discard the first offer by system, because it may be the most interesting one.

The next heresy is not preparing the property. Although it seems obvious, it is not. You have to clean and collect, remove junk, order, get good light, smell good ...

"Houses that were in the market for nine months have been cleaned, ordered, good photographs have been taken and sold in weeks at the same price as it was," says the Canarian broker.

Everything serves to sell. From word of mouth to social networks. However, the tools have changed in the last decade. "40% of the operations came from the poster in the house. Today they represent less than 20% of the calls and, above all, the operations that have their origin in real estate exchanges have grown, "they explain in Remax Lanzagorta.

However, experts believe that real estate portals and  the websites of the agencies continue to be the big showcases.

Of course, it is not enough to throw the ad. Homes with poor information are invisible, since they appear at the end of the search. It is necessary to detail with rigor the characteristics, services and advantages, aims Caso. And describe all the extras: parks, medical or commercial centers nearby, means of transport ...

A good photographic report can tip the balance. Much better if the ad includes high quality videos. "Today you do not visit a house without first seeing pictures and knowing the characteristics of the property," they say in Gilmar, which has 3,000 homes in its portfolio. Its average is 16 visits per sale. "There are clients who at first had not been interested in housing, but after capturing them and making a photographic report, they visited and bought it," says Sosa.

In the end you have to optimize the time and some experts believe that social networks today are not profitable. "They are a tool to relate to the market, so they know you. It is very possible that you have more clients and visits, but if the only objective is to sell, forget about social networks! "Says the director of Basic Homes.

Or if. A group of friends has created a website, an account on Twitter and Facebook and a blog to try to sell their homes abroad. It is called www.sevendemipiso.com and is translated into English, German and Italian. It's about taking the usual word of mouth to social networks and getting to reach friends, acquaintances and create a viral effect.

More advice: give facilities when visiting the property, check that all documents are up to date (IBI, energy certificate, property registration) and have prepared the down payment contract.

That the owner has the skills to sell is perhaps asking too much. In the absence of training, facilities: you can hook the customer with the option to buy with rent or with a check to make small reforms.

Maybe none of this works. Do not forget that there are houses in areas where there is practically no demand and that will not be sold in many years. When in doubt, it is best to put yourself in the hands of a professional with training and possibilities to obtain financing. They are trained to sell.