Hey Berks County, April Crossley here with Berks County House Buyers.
I want to tell you about a house that we recently purchased in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where the seller was frustrated because the home wasn’t selling on the market with a real estate agent. A lot of times people in Berks County will ask us why isn’t my house in Berks County selling? Why isn’t my home selling? I feel like I’ve done all the right things. I got a real estate agent, I put the house on the market, and the house still isn’t selling. And this is something fairly common that we see. We’re in a really hot market right now so stuff is selling very quickly.
If something doesn’t sell quickly in this crazy market right now in Berks County, typically there’s one of two things wrong. It’s either condition of the home, price of the home in Berks County, or a combination of both.
Right now, buyers are a little particular. It’s kind of gotten worse as years have gone on. We’ve been renovating houses in Berks County, Pennsylvania for over 12 years now. Buyers are pickier than ever. They love houses that don’t need any repair, everything is done for them and the house is move in ready. They like things like granite countertops, tile back splash, tiled shower surrounds. So when they go into a house that’s dated your buyer pool gets smaller and smaller.
What I mean by buyer pool for a house in Berks County is just the number of buyers that are looking for a house that needs updating. So for example if we renovate a house and we renovate everything, make it look like it’s what we call magazine ready on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being magazine ready. And we list that house on the market with a real estate agent once it’s magazine ready. We are going to have a ton of buyers interested in that house. So our pool of buyers is really big.
If we renovate a house but we don’t renovate it magazine ready, so we renovate it but we don’t… It doesn’t pop, it’s not eye catching. It doesn’t have tile everything. It’s not over the top nice, but it’s nice, our buyer pool might go from this to this, okay?
Then if you are listing your home on the market and it’s dated, so say it has wallpaper and an old heater, or old flooring, old carpet, something like that, the buyer pool gets even smaller. So buyers over time have just become pickier. I feel like there was a time when more buyers were willing to fix up a house as they lived there, and now everyone is so busy with their lives they went homes that are cookie cutter and ready and look beautiful. So sometimes it’s the condition of the home.
Other times it’s price. Oftentimes the home is priced too high and people will say to us I hired a real estate agent in Berks County and the real estate agent told me to list my house at this price, which is why I did that. Sometimes real estate agents, not all of them, sometimes will list the house at whatever you want to list it at to test it on the market to see if it actually sells. Some real estate agents are very honest and will say based on the condition, and that it’s not up updated, here’s where I think we should list it, and if it doesn’t sell I think we should drop the price. Not every real estate agent in Berks County does this.
If you think about it, when you’re trying to sell your house in Berks County and you’re meeting with a real estate agent, are you looking for the person that’s giving you the highest number, what you can list it for on the market. Are you looking for the real estate agent that’s being realistic with you?
Even as an investor who buys houses cash in Berks County, when I am giving an offer to a seller and another investor gives an offer way higher than mine, it’s a red flag that typically that investor is just trying to get the property under contract. And then what they do is a week before closing they’ll renegotiate the purchase price with you because they know they’ve tied it up under contract so long that you’re frustrated and you just want to get rid of it. So you’re like, ah, whatever, that’s fine, I’ll just take less for it. I don’t think that’s a very good tactic to base your business off of, but from a seller’s point of view sometimes all you’re seeing is that highest number. You’re not working with the most trustworthy agent or reliable agent or realistic person to represent you, all you see is that number and it’s making you starry eyed. So typically if a house isn’t selling in Berks County it’s condition, price, or a combination of the two.
We recently purchased a house in Berks County. It was listed by a real estate agent, the homeowner was very frustrated the house was not selling. He needed this house to sell. He called us, we told him it’s listed on the market, we will not go around your real estate agent so if you want us to buy your home cash in Berks County it cannot be listed on the market, we only buy privately. He ended up canceling his contract with his real estate agent because he was so frustrated that this home wasn’t selling. We came in and purchased the house cash in less than two weeks. This was important to him because he’s moving out of state and he needed money for this home, he had to get out of the house.
When we went and looked at the house we said to him here is why your house isn’t selling. Your real estate agent should have had a price reduction conversation with you. Even if you just drop the price by a thousand, $2,000, rearrange some pictures, it makes your listing pop up as fresh or new on Zillow and the MLS, so a little price drop puts your listing in front of more people. But the agent never had the price drop conversation and now this homeowner is in a position where they have to sell to move and get out of the house. So they’re calling us to purchase the house quickly, which is what we do. We buy cash as is quickly.
We were very honest when we met with the homeowner, and told him your heater is old, it’s at the end of its life. It was so old it had crust on the outside, it’s in very poor condition. The house needs a lot of work. Someone that’s going to buy a home in this area of Berks County doesn’t want to put this much work into the home. Other houses in the area have sold for the price this homeowner was asking, but they were renovated, they were updated, they had a new heater, they had a new roof. This home needed a lot of work.
You can’t price a home that needs a lot of work the same as a home that’s updated and doesn’t need any work. Buyers are very picky, they’re too picky for that. They want a home where they don’t have to do everything, especially when it’s major stuff, heaters, windows, flooring, drywall repair. That’s a lot of work.
If you have a question about why your home is not selling in Berks County feel free to reach out to us. We do free, no obligation consultations. We’ll gather some information over the phone, come out and take a look at your home, and we promise to be upfront and honest with you about why we feel your home is not selling in Berks County in this market. Feel free to give us a call, (610) 816-6205, and check out our website berks610.com.