The Longer A House Sits On The Market – The More Leverage The Buyer Has!

May 11, 2023

Today’s video is an overview on whether or not a buyer gains leverage in negotiating with a seller who has had their home on the market a longer than normal time! See it here!

In 2023, the real estate market has been crazy, crazy, crazy!  As a Realtor who has been doing this full time for over 27 years, I will say that I have never seen a market like the one we have been in recently!  Homes coming on the market and going under contract in a matter of days or even hours, many with multiple offers.  So it is not surprising to me when I hear some of my buyers say that if the house has been on the market longer than a couple of days, that this means that they will have a lot of negotiating power when they decide to make an offer!

This thought could be true – but it could also not be true!  Your Buyer Agent will be able to help you figure out why a house has been on the market longer than the average for that neighborhood, area, zip code, school district, etc!  But there are some good reasons why the house may be on the market a long time – and it doesn’t always mean that this opens up the door for a lower than asking price offer.  So here are some reasons why a house could be on the market for a long time!

Is The Seller Testing The Market?

If the seller isn’t truly serious about selling their home, they may decide to “test” the market!  They may put their home on the market and if they don’t get any buyers or good offers, they may decide that this is not the right time to sell their home!  If the home is listed with a Realtor, they may decide to just wait out the listing term and then take it off the market!

Is The Seller A Stubborn Seller?

There are some sellers who decide that this is the price they want to get for the house, not a penny less.  If a buyer does not come in with the price they want, the seller may stubbornly decide not to accept that offer!

Is The Property Overpriced?

Remember that every home will sell at the right price!  So if it is not selling, your Buyer Agent should be able to let you know whether or not the home is overpriced by showing you what other homes in the area have sold for and how they compared to the home that is active on the market!  A sure sign of a home being overpriced is if the seller took price reductions!

Is The Property Hard To Show?

Some sellers have a lot of restrictions on when the house can be shown.  Many times it is restrictions on showing times, but there could be other restrictions such as there are pets in the house, or the sellers want to be present during showings or the listing agent must be present!  Restrictions on showing availability will cause some buyers to not be able to see the house!

Does The Property Show Poorly Online?

Most buyers today are looking at online sites such as Zillow to decide which houses they want to see!  The pictures that are on Zillow come from the pictures that the listing agent has put into the MLS listing!  If the pictures that are online are crooked, poorly lit, have lots of clutter throughout the house – or there is only 1 picture of the front of the house – the buyers may decide this is not the house for them!  Staging and professional pictures go a long way to help sell the house and present the house in a way that will make buyers want to see it!

Is The Housing Market Bad?

I know that the market has been crazy hot in 2023, but there are still pockets throughout the Richmond area where homes are not selling in hours or days!  I did a search today for homes in zip code 23113, which is Midlothian – in the last 6 months there have been 94 homes sold (I did not include new construction).  These 94 homes sold in an average of 15 days; however, there were neighborhoods that did not sell quite that quickly!  Looking at the homes that sold – 12 of the homes were on the market over 30 days, and another 17 homes were on the market anywhere from 10 days to 30 days!  So when looking at the days on the market, it is best to see what the average time on the market is for the particular neighborhood that the house is in!

Is The Home In Bad Condition?

Sometimes sellers decide to offer a credit at closing in lieu of doing any repairs or updating.  They may decide that they really don’t want to replace the carpet or they may decide that they don’t want to repaint the house!  But unless the home is being sold as an “as is” sale, many buyers are not willing to do repairs and updating after closing, even with the credit at closing!

Is There Any Other Reason Why Buyers Are Staying Away From The Home?

There are a lot of other reasons why a home could be on the market a longer time – the back yard is highly sloped and very unuseable, the garage was converted to a rec room, the driveway is very steep, the house backs to a major interstate, etc!  There are lots of reasons why a house may be sitting on the market a longer time!

If you are concerned about why the house was on the market for what seems like a long time frame, the best thing to do is talk to your Buyer Agent!  They know what is happening in the market and in the area you are looking at!  They will be able to let you know why they think the house has been on the market so long and if that means you have room to negotiate!  

If you are thinking of buying a home, or you are thinking of selling a home, or you have friends and family who are thinking of buying or selling a home, feel free to let me know how I can help!  Have questions?  Feel free to contact me and I would be happy to answer them!  No obligation – no pressure!

Please note:  For every transaction I close in 2023, I will be donating $500 of my commission to a non profit that I feel very strongly about – The Compassion Animal Project.  You can read about this great organization here!  My pets are my family and this organization has a wonderful goal:  to help keep veterinarians and pet owners from having to make a terrible decision to euthanize their pets simply because they cannot afford the life saving treatments they may need, so that the pets can stay with their families and live a longer life!