We’re currently in the middle of one of the most sustained periods of economic growth this country has experienced over the last century. Stocks are up, interest rates are low, unemployment is close to zero, wages are increasing, and houses are selling like hot cakes.
So if your house is listed for sale, but nobody is making any reasonable offers, you have to wonder what the problem is.
The 6 Most Common Reasons Why Houses Don’t Sell
If your house has been on the market for a few weeks or months without any serious traction, there’s almost certainly a justifiable reason. Here are some common culprits:
1. It’s Overpriced
There’s nothing wrong with pricing your home at a premium. However, if it’s too far above the real price, you’ll turn people away. Buyers simply won’t make an offer, even if they like the house. The obvious solution is to lower the price.
“When lowering the price, the key is to only do it once,” Green Residential advises. “Avoid creeping down and down over many months – taking off $500 here or $2,000 there. Bite the bullet and make a significant enough price change to pique the interest of buyers. This might look like lowering the price from $548,000 to $529,000 (even if it’s worth at least $535,000). Significant drops like this mean your property now fits the criteria of people who previously weren’t looking at your listing.”
2. It’s an Oddball
Quite frankly, your house might be a little weird.
There’s nothing wrong with having a quirky house with a unique style. (Obviously you liked it enough to build or buy the house.) However, it does limit your pool of potential buyers.
If your house has strange architecture or style, you can still find a buyer. You’ll simply have to be patient, or you’ll need to lower your asking price.
3. No Curb Appeal
Beautiful curb appeal can make a powerful first impression – even before buyers see the property for the first time. Likewise, unattractive curb appeal can intimidate prospective buyers and convince them to move on before scheduling a showing.
While you’re somewhat restricted by your home, the property, and the neighborhood, there are always little improvements you can make to beautify what’s already there. Professional landscaping, for example, goes a long way.
4. Too Many Problems
Does your house have a long to-do list of repairs and issues that need to be fixed? The average buyer wants something turnkey. Your lack of traction could be due to its condition. If your property has a long history of needing plumbing and heating service repairs, then that can majorly play a huge factor as to why you can’t seem to sell it easily.
“Not everyone wants to take on a project, so if your home is in poor condition and in obvious need of some repairs or a good cleaning, it’s not going to be attractive to buyers, even if the bones are good,” Moving.com explains. “The same goes for if your home is decorated boldly, in a style that says “niche” more than widespread appeal.”
5. Your Listing is Terrible
Very few buyers drive around looking for for-sale signs these days. Most showings are scheduled after a buyer or agent sees a property online. This is why your online listing is so critically important.
If you aren’t getting showings, consider switching up your listing to include more effective descriptions, better photography, and all pertinent details. This is basically an ad for your house – go all out!
6. No Promotional Strategy
Even if you have a great listing, it’s possible that nobody is seeing it. In order to schedule showings that eventually yield offers, you need a promotional strategy that pushes your listing out to as many people as possible. This includes online and via word of mouth.
On a related note, a poor or non-existent promotional strategy is likely a sign of a poor agent. If you don’t like the service you’re getting, you have every right to fire your agent and hire another one.
Set Yourself Up for Success
When selling a house, there are dozens of uncontrollable external factors in play. But there are also plenty of factors that you can control. The key is to understand your situation so that you can make educated choices that positively influence your ability to sell your home at maximum value.