NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- It's one of the biggest fears for people who are looking to sell their homes: seeing their properties sit on the market for months at a time with no movement.

Right now, that fear is a reality for homeowners across the country, and the Hampton Roads real estate market is not immune to the problem.

According to real estate experts, the average time for a home to sell on the Southside in 2016 has been 68 days.

A search through the MLS database on November 16th showed that there are 8,545 single family houses on the market. Out of those, 1,367 have been on the market for over 6 months.

That means roughly 1 in every 6 homes in Hampton Roads takes over 180 days to sell.

“Time works against you, time is your enemy,” said Jim Bailey, whose Portsmouth home was listed for sale in August.

Bailey says the home saw very little action after he listed it, and eventually he decided to switch to a more aggressive realtor who recommended the home be fixed up.

“It has a few little quirks here and there, as you may expect, a bedroom may be painted an odd color, or something like that, so we really took a step back and look at the home to see how we can think we can modify it to see how it meet the largest audience,” Bailey explained.

Within a month of the fixes, Bailey’s home was under contract.

Yet, fixing your home up isn’t always enough to sell it. 13News Now found clusters of beach homes, both updated and in need of attention, that have been on the market for over 180 days.

"Beach homes are obviously more expensive, so you are going to have a higher priced audience,” said Nikki Reed, Real Estate Agent with @Coastal Realty.

Areas like East Beach, Chix, the Oceanfront and Sandbridge are all competing for a similar audience of buyers. The price point of the homes on the Hampton Roads shorelines, adding to the difficulty of selling them.
“Between 200 and 300 thousand dollars in Virginia beach let’s say, that’s where the sweet spot is, that’s what most people can afford, and then your margin of people is getting slimmer and slimmer and slimmer,” explained Reed.

So what can those homeowners do to ensure that their home sells fast and for top dollar?

“Really make sure the condition is top notch, so when they walk into the door, they feel like they are walking into an experience, you are not just selling a house, you are selling a lifestyle so really make sure the house fits the lifestyle you are trying to create,” explained Reed.

Hampton Roads real estate experts advise that you list your home for a realistic price, stage it correctly and update if needed.