11 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

Posted on Jun 1 2017 - 12:06pm by Housecall

House sold sign

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on June 1, 2017. Housecall continues to share this piece due to ongoing requests and reader interest.

By Charles Muotoh

When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you've put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn't panic if the house doesn't sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers. If this is the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.

  1. You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it's simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don't make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can't just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.
  1. Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don't forget to highlight unique features as well.
  1. You're always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don't want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.
  1. You're too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there's a good chance that you've become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn't want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you're going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.
  1. You haven't had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.
  1. You haven't staged your home. If you've already moved out, then don't show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.
  1. You kept up all of your personal décor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal décor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.
  1. Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child's room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn't mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don't want to pay for features they don't want.
  1. Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.
  1. Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don't want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it's just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.
  1. You chose the wrong real agent. In my opinion, choosing the right real estate is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home.  A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time.

All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent.

Charles Muotoh is the owner of dcrealestateguru.com, a full service real estate firm focused on leveraging digital marketing strategies to serve buyers and sellers of real estate in the Washington D.C. area.

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12 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Margaret Mardis June 9, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    Very good!

  2. Birmingham Builders June 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Hey Charles,

    As a builder myself, I can tell you one of the things that you could have mentioned. Like number 9 says, sometimes the home needs too much work done to it before it can match it’s valuation.

    But often times, a simple DIY touch-up to the exterior and interior makes a huge difference to perspective home owners. Even something as small as repaint on one of your walls makes your home go from looking dirty to good as new.

    Could not agree more with number 7 though. Huge mistake many make to make the property seem “homely”.

  3. hesther November 17, 2017 at 6:21 am - Reply

    I agree 👍#1

    #2-14 refer to #1……

  4. Angela Cooper-Elrod November 17, 2017 at 7:42 am - Reply

    #1 is correct.

  5. Daniel Hilts November 22, 2017 at 4:50 am - Reply

    Very good as well as the comments from others

  6. Fran March 22, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    You cannot be serious. I’m thrilled when a listing of mine sells! I wouldn’t think of holding back until I find my own buyer. That is highly unethical. I wouldn’t do it.

  7. Andy Esbenshade May 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    If a home is a dump, and priced as a dump, it will sell. If a home is over personalized and priced as an over personalized home it will sell. If a home needs too many repairs and is priced as a home that needs too many repair. It will sell. If a home is not cleaned, too cluttered or not staged and is priced appropriately. IT WILL SELL Not rocket science. It a a good agents job to make sure this is discussed and or addressed with sellers when listing. If someone wants to hire me and doesn’t want to take my professional advice , it a lot of circumstances I don’t take the listing. A lot of times I get it after it doesn’t sell.

  8. Denean Gable July 23, 2018 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Usually my senior clients have a hard time with too many personal items in the home. To ease their anxiety I explain that they’ll be moving soon so this will help with the packing, moving process if most items are already packed safely away.
    When I take a listing I have it professionally cleaned for the first open house, and I stage them as well. In the 16 years that I’ve been a Realtor I’ve always done this.
    Location location location also should be important in selling quickly and for top dollar.

  9. Sheree July 23, 2018 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Realtors are too often pushing to get a listing reduced possibly due to the fact that they might lose the commission if the property expires. I have found many times, that if the property is priced properly a reduction isn’t necessary. Not all lookers are a good fit for the property they are viewing. Sellers sometimes get overly anxious after several showings with no offers and insist that they want to reduce the price. But I’ve watched over the years and so often the price wouldn’t have changed a thing if it hadn’t been reduced because the right Buyer for the property finally came along and the element that made the Buyer want the property couldn’t be duplicated.

  10. Brandon Richards August 17, 2018 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Good read, thanks for sharing this post.

  11. Myers & Myers Real Estate October 3, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Great article and some great advice. I am surprised how some brokers will do so little to sell a home. Lousy pictures, poor descriptions, not filling out the MLS correctly, not properly coaching the sellers.

    Even with all these issues, every home will sell at the right price. Price will over come all other short comings.

    However, the broker may not be looking our for the best interest of his client.

    Thanks for the article

  12. Mary Tinker November 29, 2018 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Hi Charles! I encountered some issues last year when I was trying to sell my home. I thought the process will be smooth and fast, only to realize that the problem was with my agent. After a lot of troubles, I came across a licensed real estate investor named Central Valley House Buyer. They offered me a fair, ALL-CASH offer for my house. I took the chance and true enough; their process was easy and hassle-free. They were able to close escrow within a week or so.
    Thank you for this very informative post-Charles. These will be very helpful for homeowners who want to sell their houses fast and easy.

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