Why Your House Is Not Selling
In every area around the country, there are homes that sit for sale longer than most of the competition. For a homeowner, this can be frustrating but in some cases even expensive if the home prices are on an upward climb or the interest rates are changing. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do as an owner to convince home buyers to take a second look at your home and hopefully put in an offer. Learn 11 ideas of why your home is not selling, plus your options!
Your Home is Much Larger Than the Other Homes in Your Area
Most real estate agents will caution their clients AGAINST buying the best home in the neighborhood. It normally takes longer to sell. Even though home prices are generally based on location and square footage, it logically makes sense that the biggest home would be the costliest. However, when emotion gets involved and people see that a home on the same street, with only one less bedroom, is much cheaper, their heart usually convinces them to pick the lesser price.
You will need to sit down with your agent and find homes that may be in a neighborhood next to your home, or down the road, that are very similar to your home and priced the same or even higher. This will be good information to give prospects when they ask, “why is your home more expensive than your neighbor’s?”
Home Pictures Don’t Reflect the Current Season
A real estate agent will do the best they can when taking a picture of the exterior of your home, but if the sun was shining and the skies were blue when the pic was taken, it is hard to imagine how that home looks with 6 inches of snow on the ground. And the same holds true in reverse. If the home was photographed in the coldest part of January, the home likely looks very different when compared to the early part of March or April.
Thankfully, this issue is easy to correct. Either take some updated photos yourself or ask your agent or someone that is good with a camera, to make some recent images for you.
Too Many Vehicles in the Driveway
It is always a good idea to remove as much clutter as possible from all parts of the home, and this includes the yard and driveway. If the home has a 2-car garage but there are one or two vehicles parked outside the garage it gives the impression that the home is too small, thus the need to store items in the garage.
If the garage is full, move stuff out and to another part of the home or rent a self-storage unit until the home sells. If that isn’t an option, park the vehicles in the backyard.
Listed on the Market for a Very Long Time
Potential buyers often ask how long a property has been listed for sale. This information is compared to the listing times of other nearby properties. A home that sits for a long time throws up a red flag to prospects.
It is at this time that you should have a serious conversation with your real estate agent. If the agent hasn’t been able to sell the home, it is definitely time for a change in marketing strategy and could even be a motivation to change agents.
The Yard Looks Unruly
It is important to keep the yard looking fresh and clean at all times. People will make a split-second decision about the home from the appearance of the yard. Overgrown bushes, grass that needs to be mowed, and leaves that haven’t been raked in weeks give off the feeling that the owner may have neglected other things like plumbing maintenance, regular check-ups on the heating/air conditioning, and other general items.
Get out in the yard and make it look brand new. Curb appeal is a MUST as the sale of the home could literally hinge on this single detail.
The “For Sale” Sign is Causing Problems
There are 2 ways a For Sale sign in the front yard can turn away buyers.
First, a worn and ratty-looking sign screams “this place has been for sale forever!!!” Fix this issue by getting a new sign or asking your agent to replace the old sign with a new one.
Secondly, the real estate sign may have way too many details. It is wise to put the number of bedrooms and baths on the sign since that is basic information. Much more than that will clutter the sign and people won’t read it. The goal of the sign is to get people to contact you or your agent and schedule a viewing.
The Home has Bad Odors
People develop an impression of the home when they enter and get their first sights and smells of the property. Bad odors will do as much to turn away some buyers as much as a bad appearance.
Many people often think of cigarette smoke when bad odors come to mind, and that is a turnoff for some buyers. But there are so many other things to consider such as
- Pet hair and pet bedding odors
- Strong or spicy food odors
- Old carpet
- Old wall paneling
- Old furniture
All of these items have an uncanny ability to trap in smells and hold them for a long time. Thankfully, most of these items can be easily cleaned with a little bit of work and some common knowledge found via the internet.
Storage Areas are Cluttered
As previously mentioned, a cluttered home can make potential buyers feel like the property is too small. Even though the place may have more than enough square footage and storage locations, the presence of too much stuff can turn away people. Here are the areas to focus on and de-clutter
- Kitchen cabinets
- Kitchen countertops
- All closets
- Bathroom cabinets
Organizing these areas will create a neat and kept feel to the home that makes a buyer more likely to envision themselves in your home.
Missing House Number
If the home does’t have a house number either on the mailbox or the home, buyers may struggle to find the place. This struggle will create bad feelings and could push away buyers before they ever enter your property.
Make sure your house number is easily visible either from the mailbox or near the front door. If you have house numbers that look old and worn, replace them with new shiny numbers.
People in the Home During Showings
Most real estate agents will agree with this common truth; it is quite awkward to show a home to potential buyers when the current occupants are sitting in the living room or roaming up and down the halls.
Homeowners obviously want to make sure their home is safeguarded when there are strangers coming to look at the place. But it makes it difficult for the real estate agent to speak freely about the place.
No home is perfect. Each place has its positives and negatives. The agent’s job is to find the buyer that isn’t bothered by the negatives or has the ability to correct the negatives. This is a tough conversation to have with the homeowner sitting a few feet away.
Your Home is Priced Too Expensively
I bet you thought this would be the first item covered, right?
Although it may be hard to believe, the price isn’t always the problem. That’s why this point was made last. You should talk to your agent about the above items first. If your property is suffering from any of those issues, address them immediately.
But if you have addressed all those issues, and the home isn’t selling, it may be time to talk to your agent about lowering the price. A change in price will give the agent new ammunition to use in their marketing efforts and can likely attract the right buyer. It may also be time to find a new real estate agent. This time, you will want to be sure NOT to make these mistakes when choosing a real estate agent.
Summing Up Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling
If you are in a position where you must sell a home, it can be really irritating for the home to sit on the market with no offers. Now is the time to take a step back and look at all aspects of the home, top to bottom, inside and out. This is the only true way to discover any of the items that may be stopping someone from buying and you may find that it is a simple task to get everything in great shape and lure in the next homeowner.
Additional Home Seller Resources:
The Highest Offer Isn’t Always The Best Offer by Conor MacEvilly
How To Handle Multiple Offers by Kevin Vitali
Get Your Home Ready To Sell via RealtyBizNews