Portland has long been touted as one the best cities to live in. For those looking to sell their home, this looks like great news. People want to live here, meaning demand is high and availability low. In theory, selling your home in Portland should be as easy as finding a great cup of coffee or local brewery.

So why then do many Portland-area homesellers go weeks (or even months) without receiving a competitive offer? How can some homes sit on the market for mere hours, and others go several showings without a contract? As all experienced Portland real estate professionals know, even in a sellers market some homes just don’t succeed.

In this blog post, we’ll outline the most common factors that turn away potential buyers. If your home has been sitting on the market, it may be suffering from one of these issues or a combination of many.

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Your Home Needs Some TLC

Most buyers won’t pay top dollar for a home that’s not in top condition. Some buyers won’t even look at a home that’s outdated or needs extensive repairs.

What constitutes as extensive repairs? While everyone has their own perception of what this means, these are the fatal four problems that frequently scare buyers away:

  • Foundation issues
  • Leaky or old roof
  • Electrical wiring problems
  • Old or broken windows

For some people, simple cosmetic issues like chipped paint or old shag carpet is enough to dissuade them. If your home is still living in the 70’s or has a serious issue, then you’re probably turning away potential buyers.

What can you do? You can try addressing the most serious issue, but that will likely cost a lot of time and money. Ultimately, if your house needs extensive repairs, making just one change may not be enough to get the offer you need.

Poor Curb Appeal

The term “curb appeal” refers to the way your home looks to someone standing on the street curb. When was the last time you painted your siding? Is your roof in good condition?

There’s also landscaping to keep in mind. If the outside of your home is in disarray and surrounded by weeds, overgrown grass and bushes, or broken fences and pavers, a buyer won’t stop and look further.

Take some time to spruce up your yard and consider a new exterior paint job to help attract buyers.

Undesirable Location

There’s not much you can do about where your home is located, yet it’s one of the most important factors a buyer considers. In terms of your location, there are some specific things to look at:

  • Convenience: Distance from public transportation, grocery stores, and other community amenities.
  • Noise: Are you surrounded by noisy neighbors, next to a train, business, or school?
  • Safety: Is your home located on a busy street? What is the crime rate in your area?
  • Cleanliness: How well-maintained is your neighborhood?

All these things could be contributing to your lack of offers.

Lenders Won’t Lend on the Home

There are certain standards your home has to meet in order to qualify for lending. The Federal Housing Agency is strict about what qualities a home has to meet before it will issue a mortgage. Other lenders may also have guidelines on the condition of a home before lending.

If a buyer plans on taking out a loan to purchase your home, then this is a very important issue. Most individual buyers won’t be able to make a cash offer, so the ability to get financing is critical.

The Home is Uninsurable

Though the state of Oregon doesn’t require that you have homeowners insurance, most mortgage companies do. Before you can take out a home insurance policy, your home typically must undergo an inspection. If your home is in rough condition, your chances of getting the policy is slim.

Even if you find a lender willing to insure your home, the deductible will likely be very large.
This cuts down the pool of buyers to those who can afford a large insurance payment, or who will pay cash and don’t need to take out a mortgage.

You’re Not Advertising Your Home Correctly

What if your home doesn’t have any of these glaring cosmetic or locale issues? Why are you still not receiving offers? There are other considerations to make beyond just the look and location. One of the most important is your marketing strategy.

It’s not enough to throw a sign in your front yard and be done with it. Today’s home buyer is looking online and wants to see high-quality photos, a professionally staged home, and maybe even a video of your space. According to some sources, professional images of your home generate 118% more online viewings and sell listing 50% faster.

Don’t forget about the marketing copy to accompany your listing. You need to describe your home in a way that’s accurate and also entices buyers to come to a showing and make an offer.

Your Home is Priced Too High

Pricing your home should never be a guess, rather an educated opinion. In addition to weighing all the factors listed above, you’ll also need to consider key differences and qualities compared to other properties in the area. You should also look at real estate trends and current market inventory.

Homes listed too high will suffer on the market, while an undervalued property will result in less money for you. However, don’t get so stuck on a price that you refuse to budge. Being flexible is a big part of getting an offer.

Home Just Won’t Sell? Sell It For Cash, Fast

Here in Portland, it’s not uncommon for homes to sit on the market for up to 6 months without an acceptable offer. During this time, you’re still responsible for property taxes, utilities, insurance, mortgage, and other home ownership costs. This can start to take a toll, especially if you’ve already purchased a new home or have a deadline for moving.

If you need to sell your home fast, for whatever reason, selling to an experienced real estate investor is something to consider.

Here at Columbia Redevelopment, we purchase homes in any condition and give you a cash offer fast. You’ll avoid the hassles, costs, and time of a traditional sale, and have the peace of mind knowing that the sale of your home was completed professionally and quickly.

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