Selling Your Home Part 4: Why Is My Home Not Selling?
Insights as to Why Your House is Not Selling and Tips for Selling Your Home Faster
It’s frustrating to have your house listed on the market for months and see minimal interest and movement. There are many reasons why this is the case, but most importantly, there are ways you can remedy this issue.
This guide will look at common reasons that could explain why your home isn’t selling along with various solutions to these problems.
For more advice on selling your home, be sure to check out these other tips for sellers.
Reasons Why It Isn’t Selling
Here are some of the most common reasons why houses don’t sell.
The Market Is Lacking
Does the current housing market favour buyers or sellers? Sometimes, real estate is hot. But when the market slows down, it can take longer to sell a house.
Talk to your real estate agent about the comparable homes in your area and their median days on the market. If the housing market is slow, then figure out how you can make your house stand out from the others—e.g., by making improvements with renovations. And take steps to improve your marketing strategies.
Your Listing Isn’t Enticing People
Your listing will influence a potential buyer’s decision to view the house. Simple factors like poor quality photos and décor can turn off buyers, as can problems with the title—the document of ownership.
Make sure to resolve any errors with the title as soon as possible. These problems include:
- A paid-off mortgage that is still showing up as a lien on the house;
- A mechanic’s lien—filed by a subcontractor for work done on the house;
- Conveyance without a recorded deed—may happen with transfers between family members.
It’s Not Showing Well
The effort you put into staging your house for showings can affect the time it takes to sell your house. If you don’t keep your home looking (and smelling) great, potential buyers might think you don’t take care of your house, and this could decrease the value of your property.
Your house might not be showing well if it is:
- Poorly decorated;
- In need of major repairs;
- Outdated—especially with outdated appliances, furniture, and décor;
- Too personalized—you’ve left plenty of photos, documents, and other personal items laying around, or you have stuck around during showings, reminding buyers that it’s your house instead of helping them envision the house as their own;
- Obviously a house with pets—if there are signs that you have a pet (food bowls, litter boxes, pet smells, or pets running around the house), potential buyers might be turned off especially if they have pet allergies.
It’s Not Priced Right
If your house is not selling, ask your realtor, “Should I lower the price?” If your asking price is too high, it will turn away potential buyers. So make sure your house is priced correctly to match its market value.
You’re better off lowering the price to match what buyers will actually pay so you can improve your chances of selling instead of having your house on the market for a very long time. The longer your house is on the market, the less buyers will be willing to pay.
There’s Too Much Work to Put Into the House
That list of home maintenance, upgrades, and repairs that you’ve been meaning to get around to will hurt the sale of your home if it is too extensive. This work can include cosmetic upgrades along with necessary maintenance upgrades.
Ideally, you will put in the work so you don’t have to compete with properties that are in better shape than your house. But if you’re not willing to make the necessary repairs before selling your house, then you should be willing to negotiate the price.
The more work you leave for the buyer, the lower the price they will expect since they will have to put in their own time and money for repairs. And many homebuyers aren’t interested in doing renovations or repairs, preferring to buy a house that is ready to move into without any extra work needed.
It Lacks Curb Appeal
What do buyers first see when they drive up to your house? If there are any eyesores on your property, then your home is lacking the curb appeal it needs to entice buyers.
If the garden is unkempt, the lawn is dying or cluttered with debris, there’s a giant oil stain on your driveway, or the front of your house needs upgrading, then your property doesn’t have the valuable curb appeal it needs to sell.
Your Realtor Isn’t the Right Fit
Sometimes, realtors may not be making the necessary efforts to sell properties. If your realtor has done any of the following, then it’s time to consider finding a new realtor to help you sell your home:
- Your listing is lacking quality photography, a virtual tour, and a captivating description;
- Your listing is missing room measurements or a proper floor plan;
- Your house is not being advertised well, such as on social media;
- Your realtor doesn’t show up to showings;
- You feel bullied;
- Your realtor hasn’t given you feedback from the showings;
- Your realtor hasn’t helped with staging and boosting your home’s curb appeal;
- Your realtor can’t effectively tell you what’s going on in the housing market, including providing a market update or comparable properties.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Odds
You have many options if your house is not selling. You can:
Make Improvements to Your Home
Any bit of work that can be done to improve your home will help to sell it.
- Tackle that list of renovations, upgrades, and maintenance issues you’ve been meaning to do;
- Add a fresh coat or two of neutral-coloured paint to refresh the look (and smell) of your home;
- Repaint the front of your house, especially the front door, if the paint is cracked, chipped, faded, or peeling off;
- Redecorate your house for an attractive, modern look that most buyers will appreciate;
- Update old appliances; and,
- Always make sure your house is ready to show—i.e., clean, decluttered, and smelling great without any signs of pets or too many personal items.
Strengthen the Listing
Consider hiring a professional photographer to shoot 15 to 20 appealing, high-quality photos of your house—such as wide-angle photos with plenty of light.
These photos should highlight your house’s top qualities, as should the written description. And you should include photos for multiple areas of your house, both exterior and interior—kitchen, living room, dining room, bathrooms, and all bedrooms.
Also, consider adding a virtual tour of your house to the listing.
Along with an intriguing description of the features of your house, also write about the perks of your location, neighbourhood, and nearby amenities.
While selling a home also takes work on your end, if your realtor isn’t making an effort to sell your home, then switching agents might help improve your chances of selling your home. So look for agents with good marketing strategies and who are involved with their clients throughout the selling process.
Adjusting the asking price to better reflect what your house is actually worth will help you sell your house. And if you’re in a hurry to sell, consider adjusting the price to below market value. It will be worth it to take a bit of a cut and actually sell your house than to have your house on the market for too long, collecting a bad reputation.
By taking the time to find a reputable realtor, prepare your home for showings, and market your house properly with a strong listing and a suitable price, you can improve your chances of selling your home sooner than later.
Selling a home can be stressful, but if done with the right tips in mind, it can go quickly and smoothly.