The Top Four Reasons Your Home Won't Sell

Our area is currently going through the hottest seller's market we've ever seen, so why is it you're still seeing some homes that seem to linger on the market for days, weeks, and even months longer than average? These are the homes that are OUT of the market. So when all of your friends and neighbors homes seem to be selling like hotcakes, and yours seems to be stuck - it's easy question why.

Not to fear my friends - when homes don't sell, especially in a market like our current one, there's typically a pretty short list of reasons why:

You're over-estimating your home's value

If your home has been sitting on the market for significantly longer than the average listing, the market is telling you something. It's telling you that, compared to your competition, your home is priced too high or is in sub-par condition for the price you're asking. In the simplest terms we can break it down to this:

If you're on the market, but are getting no showings - you are simply priced too high. If you're on the market, and are getting showings, but no offers - you're in what we call No Man's Land, which is dangerous because more often than not, something about your home whether it's condition or pricing is helping to sell the OTHER homes in the neighborhood. Only when your home is on the market, is getting showings, and is receiving offers will you know that you're priced IN the market.

Relationship of Price and Condition in Home Sales

Want to resolve this problem? It's simple really. You can either improve the condition of your home, you can wait until the market conditions change to support your higher price, or you can lower your ask. Those are the only three options. You see, it doesn't matter what you want or need from the sale of your home, it doesn't matter how much it cost you or what your friends think it's worth. The market (your buyers) are the only ones who can determine what your home will sell for.

Does the market know your home exists?

Buyers can only make offers on your home if they know it's for sale. If your agent's idea of a marketing plan is the 3P's (Place a sign in the yard, Put the listing in MLS, and Pray), your home has not been fully exposed to the market and you're not reaching all of your potential buyers. Selling homes for top dollar in an efficient manner requires a concentrated effort to meet buyers where THEY hang out - and yard signs and MLS listings don't catch them all.

So take a look at what's being done to market your home - are your photos inviting, accurate and straight? Do your descriptions catch the attention of your readers? Are the terms for viewing your home difficult? All of these things can deter potential buyers before they even pull up to your home.

Does something need fixing?

Often times when we see homes that just sit, we discover that these home have 'big ticket' issues that the current homeowners either can't afford to repair or simply refuse to admit exist. Almost ALWAYS these homes will linger until the owners fix the problem, offer a credit to offset the repair expense, or drastically reduce the price to where buyers will overlook the problem. Maybe the homeowner can't afford to repair a cracked foundation. Perhaps the home backs to a freeway that presents road noise. Many times, price reductions are the only way around the problem.

But then there are the little issues. Poor paint choices. Neglected yards. Dark and/or smelly homes. Cluttered houses. All of these small issues will turn buyers away from an otherwise perfectly pleasant home. This should be your mantra when selling your home: Bright - Open - Clean - Fresh. Take down all the dark curtains, let in as much light as possible while your home is on the market. Get a storage facility and move any and all items including furniture, fixtures, toys and clothing that you don't absolutely need to live while the house is being shown. Clean the house from top to bottom - floors, walls, baseboards, windowsills, closet shelves, windows, appliances - EVERYTHING. Considering having it professionally done. And lastly, consider installing Scentsy* burners with fresh baked goods scents while showing your home.

We all have small little repairs in our homes that we've put off, and when we finally decide to sell we just decide that we'll leave them for the new owners. Just don't do it. Spend a little money and a little time and fix all the little things that you know need addressing. Your potential buyers will turn them into much bigger issues than they area during repair negotiations, so save yourself the hassle. Consider what you would want resolved if it was YOU buying the home.

You're Just Not Ready

If none of these suggestions for improvements seem realistic to you and you just can't come to terms with price decreases, perhaps you're really just not ready to sell your home. It's not uncommon at all for homeowners to put their homes on the market only to figure out down the road that they really are just not ready to move on. And as most agents will tell you - most of the time they're not that difficult to spot. Reluctant sellers often times are unrealistic about the values of their homes, refuse to do any make-ready of their homes, and once on the market will make showings extremely difficult or flat our refuse them. If this sounds like you, perhaps you need to give some serious consideration to the idea that you really don't want to sell your home.

* As a matter of disclosure, this link forwards to my wife's Scentsy website. I would recommend Scentsy burners even if my wife did not sell them.