What makes your property SELLABLE?
There are five factors that determine the "sell-ability" of ANY property, and YOU, when you are ready to put your home on the market, only have control over TWO of them- and those two must work together. It doesn't matter if you own property on Lake Greenwood, a home in the country or a residence in town.
1) Location. You had control over this when you purchased, but not now. Your location's appeal totally depends on a buyer's needs and comfort zones. Location not so great? PRICE CAN COMPENSATE FOR LOCATION.
2) Features. How many bedrooms, baths, floors or acres, parking, access to amenities, neighborhood restrictions or not, etc. are all features that may or may not be considered benefits to individual buyers. You don't have control over this. But let's face it- some amenities are more in demand than others. Got features that aren't so great, or in demand? PRICE CAN CURE ALL NEGATIVE FEATURES.
3) Demand. You WISH you had control. This is The Market—what people have paid and are willing to pay. Competitive properties on the market are the "supply" and their asking prices are a gauge to take into serious consideration, but lenders and their appraisers look at SOLD properties only.
4) Condition. You have control and condition is a huge deciding factor on what you can do with the 5th factor and still SELL. Take care of the obvious BEFORE you go on the market. Clean. De-clutter. Declutter some more. Paint. Repair. Work on your property's curb appeal. If you have condition issues- remember that PRICE CAN CURE ALL ISSUES. Be sure you want to take that hit- which may likely cost you more in the sale price than actually fixing the issue.
5) Terms. You have control. This is primarily your PRICE and it MUST take the prior 4 factors in consideration. And, since condition & price are the only two you can control, they must work together IF YOU WANT TO SELL. Your initial market position, or where your home is priced amongst all the similar available properties (similar in square footage, # of beds/baths, special features i.e. basement homes, lakefront etc), can make a huge difference.
Point blank: You want to be perceived as a better value than all or most of those UNSOLD properties. Buyers demand value. Terms may also include whether you're willing to offer owner financing for your buyer, or what financial allowances you are willing to make for shortfalls in condition. Will offering a 1-yr Home Warranty be a helpful hook on an older home? (You betchya.) FHA loans constitute a majority of today's loans & "allow" sellers to contribute to the Buyer's closing costs- think a buyer is going to ask you for it? (Of course, Be Prepared for it). Terms and condition are CRUCIAL to the sell-ability of your property. Give it the best odds you can. It is still a challenging market.
A good agent will advise you on what you need to do - not tell what you want to hear.