Why Is My House Not Selling? 10 Reasons And Their Solutions
Morgan McBride9-minute read
UPDATED: May 31, 2023
The housing market is booming, but if your house has been on the market for a while, you’re probably sitting back wondering, “Why isn’t mine selling?” Every home is different, and some homes might just take a little longer to sell than others in the home selling process.
Whether you’re getting showings or not, if your house isn’t selling, there are plenty of potential reasons. Here are 10 reasons your house isn’t selling, practical solutions to help turn that around and additional tips.
Why Is A House Not Selling A Problem?
Once you have decided to sell your home, it’s problematic when it won’t sell. If a home won’t sell, there is the possibility of delaying a seller’s moving timeline, increasing the chances of selling for a lower asking price, and increasing the chances buyers will assume something is wrong with the house. In general, your best chance at getting a strong sales price for your home requires it to sell fairly quickly.
10 Reasons Why Your House Isn’t Selling And What To Do About It
Here are some of the top reasons why your home is not selling and what to do about it.
1. Your House Is Overpriced
Buyer interest in your home is highest when it first comes on the market. That’s why it’s so important to start with the right price on day one. You may love your house, and you may have spent a lot of time and money on renovations, but if no one is interested, it means you probably have it listed too high. If you overprice your house, buyers may just raise an eyebrow and move on to the next listing without even coming for a showing.
Your agent should prepare a thorough comparative market analysis (CMA) and take you through it to come up with the best asking price for your home. A CMA compares the price of your home to other, similar homes in the area, to determine a price. It can be easy to think your home is worth more but try not to let sentimental value color your judgment. Your home’s true value is whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it.
What To Do
It is best to price your home to sell from the beginning. Interest can always cause the price to go up if you price it a little lower. However, if your home is already listed, you might need to lower your listing price. Speak with your real estate agent to determine the best strategy for decreasing the price and the best price to lower it to.
2. You’re Using Low-Quality Photography
Professional real estate photography is a basic requirement for a house listing. Because most sellers use photographers, it has become an expectation and anything less will stand out as unprofessional.
Low-quality photos can easily lead to a house not selling. Your home’s first showing happens online. It is essential to have clear, bright, quality photos on your home’s listing.
What To Do
So how can you up your photo game and capture more buyer interest? Luckily, we’ve already covered that topic if you want to go the DIY route. Alternatively, consider hiring a pro – usually, it’s only a couple hundred bucks. Professional real estate photographers know how to capture your home in its best light and are well worth the investment.
3. You’re Not Marketing The House
Stick a sign on the lawn, and your home is as good as sold, right? Not so much. There are a lot of things a good listing agent can do to market your home to more potential buyers, like posting about it on social media or featuring it on their blog.
Additionally, agents who have a strong professional network will be familiar with buyer’s agents in your area. They can reach out to them proactively and see if they have any clients looking for homes like yours, instead of waiting for somebody to call the number on your sign.
It can even be beneficial to get recommendations from family members or coworkers who had a good experience with a particular real estate agent.
What To Do
If you think that your home is not being marketed well, that is a great discussion to have with your listing agent. It is possible that there is more that could be done to promote your listing.
If you are selling your home on your own, you could take steps to share your listing online including on local social media sales pages, as is allowed. The more eyeballs on your listing, the more likely it is to land in front of an interested buyer.
4. Your Home Is In Poor Condition
Unless your home is being marketed as an “as-is” fixer-upper, most buyers expect a home to be in decent to great condition. If your home appears to be in less than great condition, you are going to have to wait longer to find a buyer who is willing to make updates, or you can discount the price accordingly.
What To Do
Small changes can go a long way to make your home appear to be in better condition. Some sellers just need to reorganize and declutter to make theirs look more attractive to buyers. Focus on anything that looks very dated, dirty or in disrepair. Removing any eyesores can go a long way toward helping buyers envision themselves in the space.
If there are large issues with the condition of your home and major repairs or renovations are needed, that can get trickier. If making the repair isn’t an option for you, the best thing to do is just be realistic about your asking price and go into negotiations with the right mindset.
5. Your Agent Is Inexperienced
Sometimes, the problem might just be with your real estate agent. It doesn’t mean they aren’t trying their best to sell your home, but they might not have the knowledge or expertise required. Some agents might not be willing to have the tough conversations (with potential buyers or you) needed to make the sale.
According to REALTOR® Magazine, there are several reasons why you should hire an agent with a lot of experience to help you with your home. One such agent will most likely have strong negotiation tactics and will be able to inform potential buyers about the zoning regulations or the local school district.
What To Do
When you’re looking for a good agent to sell your home, try interviewing more than one to see how they compare. Also, make sure to ask for any past client testimonials or recommendations.
6. You’re In A Buyer’s Market
Real estate markets swing between sellers markets and buyers markets depending on the greater economy and local real estate conditions. A buyer’s market may not always be the best time to sell a house, since buyers tend to have more power in negotiation during these times.
What To Do
Ideally, you would wait until there was a strong seller’s market to sell your home. But sometimes you have to sell when you have to sell, regardless of the economic conditions.
In these cases, you have to expect that there will be less buyers, that they will move slowly and they expect to get a better deal. Price accordingly and be willing to negotiate.
7. You Didn’t Properly Stage Your House
Home staging is the process of editing your home’s decor to make it appeal to as many buyers as possible. Poor home staging can lead to a house not selling. This is usually when a home feels very cluttered, dirty or dated to potential buyers.
What To Do
You can pay a professional to stage your home for you, but there are also steps that you can take on your own, for free. The most important step is decluttering and removing excess decor whenever possible. The next step is doing a deep clean so your home looks cared for and inviting.
Finally, you could work to remove any furniture or decor that feels crowded, oversized, dark or dated. This will help to lighten and brighten up the space and help buyers to better picture themselves living in the home. And don’t forget to take down some of the most personal items so that potential buyers can see themselves in the home.
8. You Overimproved Or Over-Personalized
There are home improvements that add value and home improvements that reduce home value. If you have invested a ton of money into renovating your home and priced it accordingly, you might have overpriced the home. The truth is, not all renovations pay for themselves with a return on investment. A common example of this is swimming pools – they are expensive to install and don’t always increase the value of the home accordingly. Plus, lots of people will specifically rule out a house because it has a pool.
There are also home improvements that over-personalize a house and make it less attractive to potential buyers. This could involve converting rooms to have very niche-specific functions that might not appeal to other buyers. An example of this could be converting a bedroom into a walk-in closet. Great for your shoe collection – not great for the next buyer who has to work to convert it back to a bedroom for their child.
What To Do
Once a home is renovated, it’s probably not a great investment to rerenovate it or sink any more money into making big changes unless it could be updated quickly and for a low cost. The truth is that you might just need to be realistic about the sales price, even if you are not recouping your full cost on the renovation.
9. Your House Lacks Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is the first thing that buyers notice when they drive up to your home for a tour. A home that is lacking curb appeal can lead to a house not selling because some people simply will not want to walk inside.
What To Do
Take a look at other homes on your street and determine which ones look the best. See if there are small things that you can mimic – from cutting back bushes to painting the front door, small updates can refresh your curb appeal and make your home more attractive to buyers.
10. You’re Unwilling To Negotiate
In most markets, it is important to be willing to negotiate a home sale. Refusing to negotiate can lead to a house not selling. At a certain point you have to focus on what is most important to you and realize that you probably cannot have it all in the sale of your home.
What To Do
Negotiation is a time when it is super important to have a strong real estate agent who you trust. Your agent should be able to walk you through market expectations and what you should be prepared to negotiate on – before you ever even get an offer on the home.
What Else To Do About A House Not Selling
A few more things a homeowner can do about a house not selling include:
- Try relisting the home later on: If you need to make major repairs, taking the home off the market and relisting it in a new condition could be a great option.
- Set up an open house: Hosting an open house can be a great opportunity to get a lot of potential buyers in the door.
- Request feedback: Getting feedback from agents and buyers who have toured the house can give you specific ideas of things to change or fix to speed up the sale of your home.
Why Isn’t My House Selling? FAQs
Here are a few frequently asked questions about why a home isn’t selling.
When should I worry about a house not selling?
This varies greatly by market and location, but if your home has not received any offers in 30 days, it is likely priced too high. It is important to listen to any buyer feedback to see what house hunters who did see your home really think about it and to take that feedback seriously.
What makes a house harder to sell?
Homes that are priced too high for their condition are some of the hardest to sell. Generally, any home will sell in the end if it is priced low enough.
Is it common for home sales to fall through?
Home sales can fall through at any point during the process, especially after inspections and appraisals. While it isn’t super common for home sales to fall through, a lot of it comes down to how motivated the buyers and sellers are to make the sale happen.
The Bottom Line
Selling your home is a stressful time. It makes sense to want to sell it as quickly as possible. If your home is not selling, assess what might be causing the problem and try to adjust to help it sell quickly moving forward. When you are ready to list your home, sell your home using Rocket Homes℠.
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