5 Reasons Your Home Isn't Selling & The Things Your Agent Might Be Too Scared To Tell You

(December 27, 2016 )

reasons homes do not sell / one kid yelling at the other on the floor

1) You Need to Come Down on the Price

In other words, this is a seller's market, and there are lots of interested buyers. The good news is that there are tangible reasons homes do not sell, and this article will explain those reasons, and help you get more money for your house.  However, your agent may be too afraid to be completely blunt with you on explaining the reasons.

reducing price of home / home on  a stack of dollars The number one reason that a house doesn't sell is the price. When selling your house, it is important to price it objectively. That is hard for many buyers, because they have an emotional attachment to their home (which is perfectly understandable), and they tend to price it too high.  Remember, there is no better time to sell your home than your first few days or weeks on the market.  If you price your home too high and you do not receive an offer, most sellers begin to reduce the price of their home until it sells.

As a seller, you must trust the experts and look at the comparable sold properties in an objective manner.  Buyers will.  I find that every year that goes by with the internet and the vast amount information and resources available to buyers, they become more and more educated about prices and home values in areas where they want to buy.  

Once you start reducing the price of your home, it invites low-ball offers because a buyer sees you as more "desperate" to get rid of your home.  If you price the home reasonably, you may end up with more money in your pocket in the end than you would with a price too high with subsequent price reductions.

2) Your House Needs Too Much Improvement

paint your house with a brush and color chartWhen people are selling their house, they are loath to put too much money into it, because they are selling it, and they feel like they will never see that money again. In some cases, that is true. If you renovate your kitchen before you sell, you may not get a full return on your investment. As a matter of fact, you will probably lose money. On the other hand, a fresh coat of paint in certain areas may allow you to see nice returns on your money. At the end of the day, there are fixers-uppers out there that sell, but the type of people searching for fixers-uppers love finding a great deal, and they may not be willing to pay what you are looking for. If you are looking to maximize your profit, it is better to target people who are looking for convenience and are willing to spend a little bit of extra money in order to obtain it.

As a general rule of thumb, buyers are lazy.  With over 40 years of experience in real estate, I can promise that buyers are generally beaten down by the end of a home transaction.  So, doing work on a home they purchase becomes less and less of a desirable option in their minds.  Buyers want "turn key," or as close to "turn key" as possible.  I would estimate that fewer than 10% of buyers really want to do much work on a new home.  

Speaking of a fresh coat of paint, I advise all my sellers to check out a few new construction open houses.  Take note as to the paint colors builders use in their homes.  Remember, builders sell to the masses so they use soft, neutral paint tones to attract the largest number of possible buyers to their projects.  They do this on purpose.  They don't choose paint colors at random.  Most builders actually use licensed, professional designers as consultants to their paint choices.  This is strictly a business to builders so they do mostly the right things to sell a home.  

Your home should mirror builder paint colors when it is time to sell.  Purple, green, pink, polka dotted, striped paint and old wall paper just yells "WORK" to potential buyers.  If you don't want to do the work to fix these issues, what makes you think potential buyers want to do the work?  They don't want the work and they simply will not do the work.  Buyers will simply move onto the next listing.

3) You Need to be a Little More Flexible

showing your homeIf a house is not being shown to prospects, then it will not get sold. This is one of the golden rules of real estate. If you are only showing your house by appointment or at designated times, then you may be damaging your potential to make a sale. Your house needs to be clean and ready for prospects at all times. No matter how you want to slice it, showing off your house frequently is priority number one.

Declining showings on your home leaves a bad taste in the mouth's of buyers.  Buyers are emotional and if you decline their showing, they take it personally.  They shouldn't, but they do.  I cannot tell you how many buyers I've had in the past who will not go back to a home if their original showing request is declined.

Another thing I tell all of my home seller clients, "Do not require me (the listing agent) to be at every showing."  Most homes are sold by another agent (besides the listing agent) bringing the buyer to the property.  When you require me to be at the showings, the buyers will feel pressured.  I make this analogy to my seller clients... when you walk onto a dealership lot to buy a car, do you want a salesperson rushing up to you immediately?  Most people answer "no."  That's exactly how buyers feel when they look at your home if your representative (me, the listing agent) is present.  

If you require your agent to be at every showing, the buyers will not talk freely with their agent, they will not stay at your home as long, and they will not like the pressured feeling they get just from the listing agent's presence. 

4) Your Home Is Not Advertised Properly

polaroid camera - not advertising your home rightThe power of words and photos are amazing. If you are not trained in copy writing, then you may not be utilizing words that will emotionally resonate with your prospects. If you are not trained in photography, the pictures of your home may not be displaying your house in the optimal way. This stuff matters. Large companies like Apple, spend millions of dollars on copy writing and photography, and for good reason. You would be remiss to ignore these elements.

I used to think I took good pictures of homes.  I have a very nice camera and tripod.  HOWEVER, professional photographers put my photos to shame.  I now use professional home and real estate photographers for every home I list.  I eat the cost as part of my listing package.  

Social media has become a fantastic way to advertise listings.  I actually build individual, advertising campaigns for my listings and they generally attract several thousand views per listing.  Using this method, most of my listings are sold within just a few weeks depending on the market. Everywhere you look today, you will see people's faces almost lodged into their cell phones.  Most of the people are checking out their social media and keeping up with friends.  According to Expandedramblings.com, 936,000,000 people per day log onto Facebook.  I have done this type of social media marketing for my listings for years and I can attest that the results are nothing short of amazing!
kid praying with a bible

5) Why your agent wouldn't be truthful with you

Agents do not want to lose listings and, moreover, commissions. Therefore, a lot of agents get stuck in the trap of trying to appease the seller to keep the listing, while knowing that there is a good chance the home will not sell with its current price, curb appeal, lack of marketing, etc.  These agents are what we call the "list and pray" agents.  This means they list the property and pray for a buyer to come along and make an offer that the seller is willing to accept.  

These listings have a very high percentage of failure.  If you want to be a successful seller, find an agent who presents you with a real plan to sell your home.  Address all of the issues above with your potential agent and listen to their answers.  Don't be too quick to dismiss the agent who is honest with you.  Don't be angry if an agent tells you that your home needs work or that the home needs to be listed for less than you think it is worth.  If the agent has hard evidence proving their point, they may just be right.  

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