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For Sale Sign on Front Porch of Home

Why Is My House Not Selling?


Apr 07, 2020 by Liz Brumer

Selling a house can be a lot. You have to choose a Realtor, get it ready to show, and then work around any showings. So it can be exceptionally frustrating if you haven't received an offer, and it may lead you to wonder, Why is my house not selling?

Below are seven of the most common reasons a house may not be selling.

The property is priced too high

One of the most common reasons your home might not be selling is because the property is priced too high. If you're using a Realtor or real estate agent, they should provide you with a suggested list price that they derived from looking at comparable properties. Sometimes the suggested price from the Realtor and the price you want as the seller differ. Your listing price should be guided by comparables, not emotions. Just because you want $275,000 doesn't mean you're going to get it.

If you followed your listing agent's guidance for list price and the home still isn't selling, seek a second opinion from the agent's broker or possibly another real estate agent. There is a chance the agent overpriced your home hoping to get you more money than the real estate market in your area would warrant.

The property doesn't show well

An important part of selling a house quickly is getting it "show ready," or staged for sale. This includes the inside and outside of your home. Making sure the property has nice curb appeal and having the home staged to meet buyers' preferences is a key component in selling quickly.

If you're living in the property during the selling process, it can be especially difficult to stage the home so it will be appealing to buyers while still being comfortable and livable for you and your family for the time being.

Hiring a professional home stager may help improve how prospective buyers see your home. Oftentimes they can suggest small or big changes to help you improve how the home shows, such as changing out furniture or decorations, among other things.

The property has undesirable features

Some homeowners have a hard time recognizing faults in their property. While some can remain subjective, others don't understand why certain features of their home aren't as desirable to others as they are to them. While you may love having a small house because it's easy to clean, prospective buyers may want more square footage or a different floor plan. Some features can't be changed, but others can. Learn what a buyer wants in today's market, and try to improve any of your home's undesirable features.

The property needs work

Most homebuyers want a property that is move-in ready. The less money they have to spend on repairs the better. If you're having a hard time selling a home, it is possible that the property needs too much work. Bright paint colors, outdated decor, or poor condition will turn potential buyers away.

If your property needs work and you aren't interested in doing the repairs or renovations yourself, consider selling to a real estate investor. You may not get as much money, but in most cases the investor will buy it as-is and can close in a short timeline.

Poor photos

According to Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) (NASDAQ: ZG) 79% of homebuyers start their house search online, meaning having quality photos to showcase your home is more important than ever. Make sure you or your real estate agent uses a professional photographer to take high-quality photos of your home when it comes time to sell. It will make a huge difference.

Poor marketing

If you've decided to sell your house as for sale by owner (FSBO), you're in charge of marketing the property for sale. A FSBO sign in the yard may work, but it's a good idea to expand your reach to a wider audience, listing it for sale online or hosting open houses. If you're using a listing agent, they should be able to provide quality marketing materials including flyers, postcards, and professional photos, advertise it on the multiple listing service (MLS) and in their local network, and host multiple open houses.

A down market

Clearly every seller wants their home to be sold for top dollar and to sell as quickly as possible, but how much you can get for your home and how quickly it will sell really depends on the local housing market.

The real estate market is constantly changing. If there are too many houses on the market, and not enough buyers, home prices will go down and properties will sit on the market longer before selling.

If you ask any experienced Realtor, they can tell you where your local market stands in today's market and whether it's a balanced market, buyer's market, seller's market, or slowing market. The best time to sell a house is by far a seller's market, but you can definitely sell a home in a balanced or slowing market -- it just may take longer than hoped or expected.

If you are using a listing agent, consider their opinion. Their job is to help you get your house sold. If they are good at their job, they will be able to advise you on the likely cause of why your home is not selling and provide you with the assistance you may need to rectify the problem. Otherwise, you may want to seek help from an alternative and more experienced real estate agent.

Not being able to sell your house can be frustrating, but hopefully understanding the seven most common reasons a house doesn't sell can help you identify potential areas to improve and help you get your property sold.

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Liz Brumer-Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Zillow Group (A shares). The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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