There are a few homes that tend to stay on the market a long time:
- Luxury homes
- Builders homes
- Homes in disrepair
- Owner-occupied (and unmotivated)
- Short sales
- Homes with title issues
Homes at higher price points have a smaller and pickier demographic to appeal to, and often are competing with custom home builders that can give the affluent exactly what they want in a home. “Higher point” homes in Fort Hood start pretty low, with the top 10% percentile in home prices beginning as low as $250,000. That is approximately where luxury homeowner can expect to hang around the market for longer than they would like.
Builder homes are often listed as soon as the foundation is poured. It might be several months before it is move-in-ready, and may have a harder time finding a buyer until it’s complete.
Fixer-upper homes are often catering to a very small pool of buyers who are willing to either spend time or money getting the home in shape. They don’t show well and scare away most buyers. Some homes successfully get under contract multiple times before the new buyer discovers some defect with the home and then walks away. There are homes that have had offers or been under contract more than three or four times, just to fall out while the clock keeps ticking.
It is hard to show a home with a tenant. The tenant has no stake whatsoever in keeping the place show ready or being flexible with showing times. I recommend not listing a home at all with a tenant. On average, the occasional time the home does successfully sell, it is for less than the full market value. Lastly, owners who are collecting rents tend not to be motivated.
Also called “Make Me Move”, some owner-occupants put their home for sale for a price that would motivate them, but isn’t necessarily tethered to reality. If it sells, great. If not, they are happy, too. These homes can sit a long time, are usually overpriced, and often do not sell. In most cases, a savvy agent will respectfully decline to list these homes altogether.
“There’s nothing short about a short sale” you will hear often. What is short is the amount the bank is getting back versus what they are owed, if they agree to sell at all. Offers are negotiated between the buyer and seller first, and then with the bank, leading to immense, bureaucratic delays. This adds a stigma to short sales which means they are shown less often and more difficult to sell, unfortunately leading to longer days on the market more often than not.
Sometimes you get a home under contract on time, but the closing takes forever because a title issue pops up. Title issues can often lead to long delays in the closing, and sometimes the contract falling out altogether.
The longest days on market for a home that successfully sold in 2017 was on the market for 966 days, having been listed July 7, 2014 and finally selling nearly three years later.