Why Is My House Not Selling?
Your house has been on the market for months, and showings have dwindled to a trickle. You need to sell, but nothing’s happening.
What should you do? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are ways to figure out what the problem is and fix it.
While it takes time to find the right buyer, nobody wants a house to sit on the market for months with no sale in sight. You still have to take care of the property and pay the bills, and potential buyers may get suspicious because no one else has bought it.
A 2012 study at MIT Sloan School of Management found a house that spends too many days on the market sends a negative message to buyers. As a result, the realtor may pull it off the market and immediately relist, or the seller may list with a different real estate company when the contract expires.
If you’re willing to take the advice of the professionals, you can turn the situation around. Being informed can save you time and money.
Before you make a fresh start with a new listing, check out our list of reasons houses don’t sell. The odds are good that one or more applies to your property.
10 Reasons You Can’t Sell Your House
1. The price is too high.
Listing a house for more than its worth is the leading reason homes don’t sell. An experienced realtor is usually your best bet for getting the right price right the first time.
Regardless of how charming it is or how elaborate the renovation was, a house won’t sell if it’s priced too high. The good news is that price reductions can stir up new attention and bring in new lookers.
2. Your forgot to hire a home stager.
Whether you have a cabin in the mountains or a mansion by the sea, don’t expect to sell a house that’s dirty and filled with junk. You need to make it look good to bring buyers to your door.
If you have a flair for design, you can do the job yourself. If not, ask your realtor for a referral to a professional stager.
You can improve your home’s appeal just by doing the following:
- Organize the closets
- Get rid of musty odors
- Pare down the furnishing for an airy, spacious look
You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you’ll usually get a good return on your investment.
3. Your curb appeal is lacking.
If a house doesn’t look good from the street, most buyers won’t make it to the front door. It’s time to view the property from the street.
Here’s a few thing you can do to improve your home’s curb appeal:
- Seed or mow the lawn
- Trim dead limbs, and add color to flower beds
- Make sure the siding and driveway are clean
- Spruce up the front door with fresh paint and an attractive planter
4. You need professional photos.
Now that you’ve cleaned up the yard and staged the interior, it’s time to hire a professional photographer.
Good photos, like good curb appeal, are necessary to attract buyers to your home. You need someone who takes high-quality photographs, but it’s also important to have good shots, or even a video, of the entire house.
5. You make it hard to show.
It’s a pain keeping a house ready for potential buyers all the time, but there’s always competition. Unless you have a rare property or low price, shoppers will move on to someone available for a showing.
Don’t put too much emphasis on open houses. They’re more likely to bring in new clients for your real estate agent than offers for you.
6. It’s a buyer’s market.
Good timing is crucial for cashing in on real estate, and a slow market hampers sales and lowers your profits.
If you have a choice, list your house during the best season for home sales in your geographical area. Find a realtor who knows the local market and has a network to promote your listing.
7. You have a quirky house.
Maybe you have a contemporary house in a subdivision filled with bungalows or a “front” door that opens on the side of the house. You might even have an awkward nook or a refrigerator that’s in a less-than-ideal location.
Every situation is unique, and there’s a buyer for every home. Play up the positives, add bits of affordable charm, and make the rest of your house look so good the quirkiness is an afterthought.
8. There’s something you need to repair.
You’re not selling a new house, and nobody expects everything to be in perfect condition. If you’re hearing the same comments from the realtor about the red paint in the bathroom or the cracked window in the garage, it might be time to get it fixed.
Feedback is valuable information. It’s never too late to tweak your home to make it show better and sell faster.
9. You need a new realtor.
Working with a realtor is a two-way relationship, and some combinations are a better fit than others. Don’t have unrealistic expectations, but make changes if the agent you hired isn’t getting the job done.
Get referrals, look for names of realtors with multiple listings, and go with your gut. Not all realtors are equally dedicated and competent.
10. You haven’t looked at your options.
If you’re desperate, there are other ways to get rid of your house:
- Talk to the bank about a short sale. With a lender’s approval, you can sell for less than you owe on the mortgage. This might be a good option if prices have fallen and the loan is more than the value of the home.
- You can default on your loan and live in the house until the bank proceeds with foreclosure, but you might end up owing taxes and destroying your credit record.
- You could give the bank ownership in return for release from the debt. If you don’t want a foreclosure and the bank doesn’t agree to a short sale, a “deed in lieu” might be a viable option.
- Most people don’t have homes to give away. If you’ve inherited a house you can’t sell, consider giving it to another family member or to a charity.
If you have a house you can’t sell, you have options. Not all choices are appropriate for all situations, and only you can decide what’s best for you.
If you can’t pay your mortgage or you need to move immediately, you can’t afford to wait for a buyer. If you’re not in a hurry, you can wait for a better time of the year or for a better economy.
Sometimes, you need to make a few changes to the marketing plan or the property. At other times, you have fewer choices.
If you don’t understand your situation and know how to deal with it, you could end up with a bad credit rating, great inconvenience, and financial loss.
Another alternative is selling your house to a company that buys homes for cash. You can find a business in your community or online.
If you have a house in Dallas/Forth, Houston or San Antonio, contact us to request an offer. No repairs are necessary. If you accept, you’ll get your cash in as little as seven days. Our offer is free of obligation, and we’re happy to tell you how it works.