20 Reasons Why Your House is Not Selling
Once you decide to sell your home, it stands to reason that you’ll want to make an advantageous sale quickly so you can move onto the next chapter of your life. But, as many a seller has experienced, a house could sit on the market for a long time without garnering a single viable offer. What gives? It’s true that, sometimes, the real estate market can be a fickly thing, especially in certain local marketplaces. Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why a home isn’t selling, but, often, there are some definite reasons why a house isn’t selling.
If your home isn’t selling, you might want to consider the following commonplace reasons why houses fail to sell.
1. The Price Is Not Right
If you’ve priced your house too high, it could be preventing you from making a sale. Today’s buyers have many tools at their fingertips. They can quickly find out what other similar houses in your neighborhood have sold for. If you want to sell your house in a reasonable period of time, you, too, should take care to find out what the going rate is for homes like yours with similar features in your marketplace.
Of course, as a seller, you can always drop the price. However, according to U.S. News & World Report, “The danger of setting a price too high and then dropping it gradually is that when a home stays on the market too long, especially in a fast market, buyers assume there is something wrong with it and don’t even look at it.” So, it’s ideal to get the price right at the very beginning.
2. It’s a Buyer’s Market
The real estate market goes in cycles. Sometimes it’s a seller’s market and sellers can expect top-dollar and fast sales. At other times, it’s a buyer’s market. The real estate market could be saturated with houses that are similar to yours. Buyers will be looking to get as much as possible in terms of square footage and features for as little investment as possible. If you’re selling in a buyer’s market, you’ll need to develop a savvy marketing plan to sell your home and price it as fairly as possible.
3. The Kitchen Is Dated
A dated kitchen could be sabotaging the sale of your home. Typically, buyers place a lot of importance on kitchens when house hunting. If your appliances are old and not energy efficient or your cabinetry and flooring hasn’t been updated since the late eighties, you could probably benefit by making some updates. While you don’t necessarily have to invest in a complete overhaul, you should consider making some updates to enhance the kitchen’s look and functionality. For instance, what condition are the countertops in? Investing in granite countertops and having your dated cabinets professionally painted and installed with new hardware could have a dramatic impact on buyers’ impressions.
4. Needs a New Roof
A house that’s in dire need of a new roof could be a deal breaker when it comes to a sale. If your house needs a major repair like a new roof, you might find that many buyers are turned off, especially if the price doesn’t offset the likely cost for a new roof. Moreover, even at a discount, some buyers simply won’t want to endure the headache of replacing the roof as soon as they move in. Many buyers, especially in a buyer’s market, are looking for a turnkey-ready property. If you want to sell your house in spite of its need for a brand-new roof, consider dramatically altering its price to entice buyers.
5. Needs Lots of Repairs
If a house requires lots of repairs, even small repairs, it could be scaring off buyers. They may view this type of property as too risky, owing to its state of general disrepair and lack of maintenance. Many buyers do seek properties that are fixer uppers, but they’re also looking for a great deal on these properties, knowing that they’ll have to invest a considerable portion of the money-savings on repairs. If your house has lots of much-needed repairs, consider investing in a reliable contractor to make some of the most pertinent repairs.
6. Not Energy Efficient
Today’s buyers are increasingly hunting for houses that are energy efficient. If a home is decidedly not energy efficient, it could be putting some buyers off. An old HVAC system, for example, could be stopping them from making an offer. House hunters often realize that an old furnace and air conditioning unit could be guzzling up a lot of energy—and that means expensive energy bills. In addition, some buyers are looking for houses with solar energy features like a solar system.
7. Too Much Clutter
Homes that are loaded with clutter could turn off buyers. Clutter can make a house appear small. Potential buyers could get the impression that the home’s storage capacity is inadequate. Of course, too much clutter can make a house seem unkept too. Many buyers invest in storage spaces to store their non-essential belongings. Of course, this is an added expense and it can also be time-consuming to move these non-essential items. If your house appears cluttered, consider packing up items and stowing them in one room or any area of the home’s basement where they won’t be in a potential buyer’s way as they view the house.
7. Poor Curb Appeal
Is it hard for see your home because of the forest in front of it? Maybe you have large trees that are blocking the structure. Houses that have unhealthy lawns or have landscapes that are teeming with weeds might be struggling to attract buyers. Many sellers are loath to invest in curb appeal because it’s might seem like ‘window dressing’ to them. However, first impressions are important. If a front yard is unkempt, buyers might form the idea that the interior is also likely to be unkempt. Keeping the lawn mowed and the trees and shrubs trimmed could help boost the home’s curb appeal. Remember, too, that chipping paint, dated exterior fixtures, or a dirty front porch could also detract from a house’s curb appeal.
8. It’s a Bit Too Pet Friendly
It’s easy to become nose blind when we live with pets. However, a buyer who enters a house that smells like dogs, cats, or other critters could cross off a property after just one whiff. Many buyers suffer from allergies and will want to avoid purchasing a house where a dog or cat resided.
It can be difficult to remove many pet-related smells like urine from wood or carpeting. If your house is affected by your pets, consider hiring a professional cleaning company that specializes in removing stubborn odors from houses.
9. Needs New Windows
Like a roof, new windows are a substantial expense. House hunters know that old windows need replacing. Old windows suggest draughty winters and overworked furnaces. Moreover, windows that let in the damp could require repair to their frames if any rot or mold has set in. If you are struggling to sell your house, it might be because it needs new windows. If you don’t want to make this type of large investment, you might want to consider dropping the price of the house or selling to an investor instead.
10. Moisture Problems
Does your house smell musty? It could have a moisture or mold problem. Moisture and damp problems can prevent a home from selling. The problem is that it’s tough to mask this type of odor. Moreover, the moisture problem typically requires repair or it isn’t likely to be solved. Consider installing a dehumidifier to help alleviate the moisture in the house, it may not solve your issue, but it could help.
11. Major Leaks / Flooding
Sellers are required to disclose if their house has suffered from flooding. Cracks in the foundation can lead to serious seepage and flooding problems. If the house has flooded in the past, a buyer is likely to worry about flood damage like mold, mildew, and rot. Repairing flood damage may be costly, but could help secure a sale.
12. Lacks Natural Light
A house in a shady location with poor natural light could detract from a house’s appeal. Buyers often want to see lots of natural light streaming in through large, expansive windows. If your house has narrow windows and doesn’t get much interior light from the sun, it’s a good idea to install more interior lighting to brighten the space when showing the house. This might not do the trick, but it will help nonetheless.
13. Too Few Bathrooms
Buyers who are shopping for a house with their family in tow are invariably looking for a house that has some basic features like more than one full bathroom. Often, buyers expect to purchase a house that has a master bedroom suite that includes a full master bath. If your house only has a single bathroom, consider installing a powder room off the family room or even the laundry room. Some buyers simply won’t consider even viewing a house that doesn’t have more than one bathroom on the premises.
14. Non-Functioning Features
If a house has a non-functioning inground pool in the backyard, it’s going to be difficult to make a sale, especially if the pool’s foundation is beyond repair. An inground pool is a major expense to replace and maintain. Moreover, many house hunters don’t want the headache of having to demolish the unwanted features and to repair the landscape left behind.
15. Unflattering Photos
Many house sellers are turning to professional photographers to help them make an advantageous sale. Poor-quality photos could be dampening your house’s selling prospects. Poor lighting or blurry pictures can prevent potential buyers from seeing a home’s best features.
A professional photographer that specializes in architectural photography is an investment, but it could make a big difference by attracting more potential buyers to schedule a visit to see the house. Many buyers begin their house search online. If your home’s photos don’t attract them, they may never realize what a terrific property you are selling.
A house is likely to sit on the market if it has a pest problem. If inspections turn up pests like rodents or termites, buyers may up and run in another direction. While it is certainly possible to eradicate pests from a house, it takes time, patience, and a bit of money to hire professional pest control company.
Pests signal an unhealthy environment, so it’s one of those problems that truly does need to be dealt with in order to sell the house advantageously. If you’re struggling with DIY solutions for pest control, you could consult with a professional exterminator. You might find that they offer some affordable options for eradicating these unwelcome nuisances.
17. Poor Location
Sometimes a house’s location can be its undoing. This is unfortunate for sellers because they can’t simply up and move the house. Some property owners have suffered because a new construction has been put up since they purchased the house. Some house hunters don’t want to live near commercial properties or unsightly properties like city dumps. In many cases, the house isn’t the problem at all—it’s the surrounding area. One solution is to drop the price to entice potential buyers to overlook the unfortunate aspects of the neighborhood.
18. Your Agent Isn’t Working Out
Not all real estate agents are equally talented or equally dedicated to helping you sell your house advantageously. Perhaps your agent is devoting their time to larger and more lucrative property deals. Perhaps your agent lacks digital marketing skills. There are a number of reasons why a real estate agent could fail a client. Often, an agent is simply unfamiliar with your type of property or its location. If your house isn’t garnering much interest and you are uncomfortable with your agent’s performance, it might be time to consider ending the arrangement or finding new one once the contract expires.
19. Poor Marketing
While many real estate agencies take marketing seriously, some do not. Or, it could be that the agent you’ve engaged to sell your house simply isn’t inclined to develop a savvy marketing plan as some agents might. Before signing on with a new agency or agent, take time to find out about how they intend to market your house beyond the basic listing. You’ll want to ensure that they are comfortable scheduling and hosting open houses and that they are willing to invest in mailing flyers via snail mail to residents around the neighborhood. You’ll also want to find out if they have digital marketing capabilities that target house shoppers online.
20. Lenders Won’t Lend
One major reason why a home may not sell is because lenders won’t lend. In these cases, it becomes necessary to sell the house without financing—and not many buyers pay cash outright to purchase a house. Lenders will not lend money to buyers for a house that is in very poor condition. If the inspection turns up major problems like an electricity system that’s not up to code, a leaky roof, or a cracked foundation, lenders may find it impossible to finance transactions on such properties until repairs or updates are made.
Many lenders have strict rules about lending for mortgages. For instance, if there isn’t a working furnace, for example, the lender could deny the deal outright. In this case, selling to a cash home buyer might save you thousands in repairs.
21. Insurers Won’t Insure the House
Just as sometimes lenders won’t grant a mortgage on a home because it’s state of disrepair, insurers may also deny coverage. Insurance companies can simply refuse to insure a house that doesn’t pass its inspection requirements. Some states have more stringent requirements for insurers too. If insurance companies refuse to insure the house, it’s typically because major repairs are needed.
22. Few Showings
Sometimes a property won’t sell because the seller can’t make time to show the property. No matter how great the online photos are, potential buyers will want to view the property in person. If you can’t make time to show the house, you might want to allow your real estate agent or close family member to show it for you.
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