Common Reasons Homes Don't Sell
Real Estate

Common Reasons Homes Don’t Sell

February 9, 2024

Trying to sell a home involves the right recipe of multiple factors including the willingness of buyers to purchase, the competitive position of the home in the market, the agent’s ability to market, the economy, the home’s offerings and how the seller is willing to adapt to offers made. As a result, a high number of homes don’t sell right away because at least one of these factors or others goes wrong and the mix is off. It’s a highly complex moment when everything works, and it does require a good amount of flexibility on the part of the buyer and seller too.

Fortunately, some of the reasons why my home isn’t selling tend to be common, and because of that, they can be identified and avoided if a seller is really motivated to move their home on the market. Here are a handful of the top reasons that affect the most sellers again and again.

Price Is Everything

When it comes to the first impression of a house for sale, the price literally filters out possible candidates for homes almost before anything else. Aside from location, price is the primary criterion most buyers first look at. If a home is beyond their budget or original expectation of cost, a listing simply falls out of consideration. The one exception to this rule tends to be when all the homes are listed high. At that point, buyers have no choice but to consider higher prices if they want to purchase. This typically happens in sellers’ markets, which are more and more common with tight supply. So, if a home is overpriced, it just won’t see much traffic, period.

The House Is Not Presentable

If you walk into a store to buy something new, it’s staged in such a way as to present the product in its best light. This increases the ability to sell the product and makes the customer feel they are gaining value. The same has to be done with a home for sale. It can’t be left just as-is. The place needs to be cleaned up, clutter removed, and in some cases additional nice furniture brought in to replace old pieces. The goal is to market the house. The better it is staged, the better it will sell.

The House Features Are Old

Various elements of a home can give it a dated look. Bathrooms and kitchens, due to styles and equipment, most frequently peg a home to a specific time period. As a result, updating a home can go a long way towards helping it sell. Other upgrades increase the inherent value of the home, such as repainting, reflooring, and redoing the house wiring. For example, a home from 50 years ago won’t be as valuable as a home from 10 years ago, especially if the wiring has to be replaced (usually something like $20,000-$30,000 of work). Upgrading a home can command top dollar and, if planned right, recoup the cost of the upgrade too.

Not Being Willing To Adapt

Seller inflexibility can take a home off the market even if the listing lasts for weeks. If a seller is locked into a target price point and refuses to budge, especially when the market is obviously offering a different price, then the home usually won’t sell. The seller simply has to look in the mirror to see the reason, but ego and a stubborn perspective of what the home should be worth can get in the way. In these cases, the seller isn’t really ready to sell the home, which ends up being a big waste of time for everyone.

If a seller is ready to sell a home, and the market seems right, he or she needs to be willing to be flexible in price, counter-offers, making changes to help the sale happen and similar. Sellers are far more flexible when they find common ground with buyers versus a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. This last factor will hinder a home in all types of markets, good or bad.

The Agent Might Not Be Right For The Job

A home sale is as much about what the home offers as the agent that sells it. A good agent is working the listing actively and finding ways to connect the property with interested buyers that fit the price point. Passive agents are doing nothing and letting the market decide arbitrarily if it’s interested in the home. If an agent isn’t producing results with offers, traffic and interest within a few weeks, it’s high time to consider a different representative.

Selling a home isn’t easy, but it is doable. The goal is to match the mix the market and buyers want.

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