10 Ten Reasons Your House isn't Selling

1. It isn't listed with a Realtor.

You may think you can put your house on for sale by owner (FSBO) on Zillow and you'll get a lot of calls. You're right. From agents. Buyers, if they have an agent, don't look on Zillow much, because that's their agent’s job. If they don't have an agent, its because they either know more than you do, (investor) or they're not qualified and aren't serious. Think about it this way, traditionally, the seller pays for the buyers’ agent commission, so from the buyers perspective, why wouldn't they have someone to protect them? It doesn't cost them anything and will save them a ton of money and risk.

2. It's overpriced.

Pricing a home can be tough. It takes practice and experience and an understanding of not only the area, but current market conditions, and listing conditions. If you think you're overpriced have a professional "for sale" (not refi) appraisal done. This will be a great tool to use down the road to counter low offers

3. Bad photos.

Homes need to be sold twice. Did you know that? You have to sell it once to the buyers’ agent, and then they sell it to the actual buyer. If the photos are bad, there is a good chance the buyers will never see it.

4. Not available to be shown.

I've seen listings where the home could only be shown on Saturdays from 1-4. or only with 48 hrs notice. or only with the seller present (or sellers agent). etc. Every barrier to showing reduces the number of people that will see your home. People who will "put the lockbox out" the morning of the showing are a big offender. I can't tell you the number of times a seller has forgotten and I show up with my buyers and can't show the house. Do you think we go back? Nope. Or here is a good one, they deadbolt the front door on a lock with no keyed access. They leave to go to work through the garage, and forget as an agent I don't have garage access. Grrr.

5. Bad smells.

Pets, kimchi, cigarettes, boys bathrooms, teen bedrooms, etc. You get the idea.

6. Clutter

The 150-piece Hummel set may be a show stopper for your home, but its visual clutter for buyers. Pack it up. 25 Crosses on the wall? I love Jesus too, but your potential buyer may not. Less is best. You're going to move anyway, this is a great time to start packing.

7. Dead Animals

Deer heads, stuffed foxes, chipmunks, bears, squirrels, birds. Also “rooms of death” that are loaded with guns, bows, knives and various other items used to kill animals. Please pack it up. I’d estimate 75% of my clients don’t hunt and don’t want to see the animals you’ve killed.

8. Dirty

We all get that having your home on the market is stressful and it can't always be perfect. Most people won't begrudge you for a few dirty dishes in the sink or an unmade bed in the kids’ room. However, when the doors have a black film around the handle, or the vents have crud, dust or rust on them, or the edge of the carpet is darker than the rest of the house, it makes the house feel dirty. Spend the time, money or both and clean your home before you list it. If you have a good, honest, agent they should be able to show you what you may have missed.

9. Dated

There are some markets and price points where out of date, simply doesn't sell well. Buyers coming into the market are looking at new construction with pretty EVERYTHING and then they see your home. While it might be bigger, with a larger lot, it's hard to get past faded linoleum, dirty paint and outdated appliances.

10. Hot button issues:

Politics. Religion. Sexual Orientation. Football teams. (yes football) If it can make someone's blood boil, don't display it in your home. Your home should be as neutral as possible. If after 10 minutes of being in your home, I know where you fall on any given issue of the current tension in our society, then it's a problem.

There are some circumstances that are outside your control. 9 times out of 10 price is the factor there. Steep driveway? Dog breeder next door? Confederate flags across the street? A good agent may have some suggestions to overcome these situations. If your home is listed with an agent and not selling, they should be able to provide feedback on what needs to change. You may not like the answer, but it's their job to find, understand and deliver that info to you. Don't take it personally, use it to adjust your strategy and move forward.

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