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Why is your home sitting?

Today’s real estate market is very different from five years ago, when buyers were paying “over asking price” for a home. Today, the homes are sitting on the market much longer, and sellers are asking themselves, “Why isn’t my home selling?” and “what is wrong with my broker?”

Many factors should be taken into consideration when deciding on an asking price for your home: How many properties are currently on the market in your area? How long have they been on the market? And when they sell, what was their list price compared to their closed price?

When realtors suggest an asking price to sellers nowadays, it’s not uncommon to hear statements like “that price is too low” or “my neighbor’s home sold for more and it wasn’t as nice as mine.” What the sellers don’t know is that their realtors have closely examined the facts and figures for homes sold within a mile and within the last half year.

The same holds true for offers from buyers that that the sellers consider too low, but don’t despair. Offers of any sort demonstrate an interest in your property on the part of buyers. Sellers should review sold properties in their area with their realtor. In doing so, they’ll be in a better position to make a decision regarding their base acceptance price or possible counter offer. Your decision should be fueled by the facts, not motivated by pride.

After you’ve established a competitive asking price, being readily available for viewings, and making your home presentable, are keys to success.

Accommodating showings on evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, when most buyers are out looking, is essential. Granting as much access to your property as possible will entice more potential buyers. You and your realtor should discuss how your home should be displayed to buyers when you’re unavailable.

When you’re showing your home, be sure to make all beds, clean all bathrooms and kitchens, place dirty clothes in the hamper, and take out the trash. When potential buyers walk into a messy home, they tend to look at the mess instead of the home, and they often assume that your home isn’t big enough.

As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, completing home repairs is vital. Sellers are competing with foreclosures and distressed properties that have much lower prices due to their condition as well as the lenders’ desire to remove the properties from their inventory as quickly as possible. To compete, sellers of non-foreclosed homes need to make sure that their properties are in “move-in” condition, or require minimal repairs. Fix what’s broken and you’ll give your home a big advantage over the rest.

Always remember that there is a buyer for every property as long as the price is right!

About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as sergeant-at-arms for the village of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation’s 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.