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To find out what might be wrong and how to fix it, here’s a list of common reasons why a home isn’t selling:
1. Poor Staging
Okay, one of the first things to check when your home isn’t selling is how it’s staged. Staging a home to look its best has an effect on most buyers, according to 40% of buyers agents. And guess what else? More than half of all sellers agents said staging helps a home to sell faster!1 Why? Well, staging makes it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as their future “home sweet home.” So, take a look around. Did you spend time staging your living room and kitchen? How about the yard and landscaping? If you haven’t done much staging, ask your agent what you can do to make your home more attractive to buyers.
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2. Asking Price Is Too High
Alright, now let’s look at your home price. Pricing too high is a common mistake, since many people are emotionally attached to their homes and want to get top dollar for their most valuable asset. Did you base the price on stats and data or on what your buddy down the street advised? Setting an unrealistic asking price for your home is kind of like charging Disney World prices for a trip to Chuck E. Cheese—it makes a buyer’s head tilt. Here are some signs that could mean your home is priced too high:
- Your listing pages aren’t getting many views.
- Your price is higher than similar homes.
- Few buyers (if any) are requesting a home showing.
- Homes similar to yours are selling, but not yours.
If those sound familiar, call in a pro. A good real estate agent in your area will be able to do what’s known in the real estate biz as a “competitive market analysis” (CMA). A CMA is just a fancy way of comparing apples to apples—they’ll compare your home to similar homes that sold recently to suggest a fair price. If your home has fewer features than the comparable homes, it’s probably smart to lower your asking price.
3. Not Using a Good Real Estate Agent
If you’re not using a real estate agent to help sell your home, that may be why it isn’t selling. Selling an item worth hundreds of thousands of dollars needs the help of someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes real estate. Plus, with an agent, you can list your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)—a private online database that’s managed by real estate professionals so more serious buyers can see your home.
If you are using an agent and your home still isn’t selling, it might be a warning sign that you have a bad agent. If your agent hasn’t been selling homes for at least four years and can barely sell more than 35 homes per year in an average market, you might want to rethink who you’re cutting that commission check with. Not sure where to find a good replacement? Use our free Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) service to quickly see a list of the best agents near you.
4. Bad Listing Photos
Did a professional photographer take your listing photos? If not, keep in mind that nearly all buyers (93%) go online during their home search.2 If your listing photos look like they were snapped on a flip phone, that might be why potential buyers aren’t lining up to visit your home in person. So, make sure your listing photos show your home in its best light—literally. Dark photos or photos that don’t clearly show the entire room are useless to buyers. But no worries. Your agent can recommend an experienced real estate photographer to take brightly lit, hi-res photos of your home.
5. Dishonest Selling Points
No matter how desperate you are to attract buyers, don’t resort to lying about your home. If you bill that narrow nook at the end of the hallway as a home office or that cubbyhole under the stairs as a third bedroom, buyers will catch on when they actually view your home. Nothing will run off a potential buyer faster than a clearly dishonest seller. On the other hand, if you’re upfront about the not-so glamorous features of your home, potential buyers will see that you’re not trying to hide anything and will likely be more willing to work with you.
6. Distracted Home Showings
A home showing is meant to give potential buyers the opportunity to envision themselves living in your home. That’s difficult to do if you’re there lurking around corners or lolling around on the couch. While you may think it’s helpful to be there to point out your home’s best features, it usually just makes the buyers uncomfortable.
Get out of the way so the buyers feel free to poke around and discuss the pros and cons of your home. If you feel the need to communicate, leave a letter detailing your home’s best points and the reasons you’re selling. Your real estate agent can give you helpful advice on which features to highlight.
7. Pets Chasing Away Buyers
People will put up with a lot from their own pets, including everything from stains to smells. But when it comes to your pets, buyers would rather not know they even exist. That means when your home is for sale, do your best to erase all signs that you have any pets. That includes making arrangements for Fido or Fluffy to be out of the home when you have showings. In fact, one of the most common home improvements that 83% of agents recommend to sellers is to remove pets during showings.3 We know it won’t be easy. But it could mean the difference between selling your home in a few weeks or having it sit on the market for months.
Ready to Sell With Confidence?
Okay, now you know the most common things that get in the way of a home sale. If you’re still unsure why your home isn’t selling, follow the step-by-step plan in our Home Seller’s Guide—in case you haven’t already. This plan will walk you through the smartest way to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.
Remember, the best way to pinpoint why your home isn’t selling is by working with an experienced real estate agent in your market. To quickly find one who will help you correct issues and get your house sold, use our free Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We only recommend agents who are the top performers in your area.
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