It’s an exciting time when you decide to sell your house, but as that excitement wears off and time starts to drag, you might start wondering: “Why can’t I sell my house?” Sometimes it’s the market. Sometimes you need to make some changes to get more interest and more offers. Below are some possible reasons why your house isn’t selling.
1. Poor Online Photos of your Home
Most homebuyers start their search online. The theory “less is more” does not apply to your online listing. Very few people are going to take the time to see a house that has an incomplete listing and few photos. In a buyer’s mind, if there are limited pictures, there is probably something the seller is trying to hide.
Spend the money to have your home staged and to have someone take professional photos. When you have a complete listing with plenty of pictures, you get people who are genuinely interested in seeing your home and aren’t surprised or caught off guard because of a lack of photos and information.
2. It smells bad
Most odors can be removed, but you don’t want a bad smell to cut a showing short or to deter a potential buyer. Sometimes you might not even realize your home smells a certain way, since you’re so used to it. Find someone you trust to tell you if your home has a smell. It might be a pet or cigarette smoke. The smell might not even be bad, such as candles or your air freshener, but some smells are overwhelming to other people.
Try to keep pets somewhere else while you are selling your home, and don’t smoke or use a lot of different fragrances in your home. Heavy scents might turn off a buyer, or it might lead them to believe it’s covering up a different smell like mold, animal smells, or something else unpleasant.
3. You've priced your property too high
It’s hard to price your own home, even when you think you have a good grasp of the market. Often, people price their home based on what they paid, their investments, and their emotional attachment to the home. The reality is that you need to price your home based on comparable homes in the market, and what your home is worth without all the emotions. If your home isn’t selling in a seller’s market, you might have overpriced it.
4. There are not enough tour times or open houses
Selling your home is tough, especially when you live in it, because you need to have it ready for buyers when they want to come through. Unfortunately, that means having your home accessible as often as possible. A home won’t sell as quickly if people don’t have the opportunity to tour it. If you restrict the time and days a real estate agent can show your home, you limit the opportunity for someone to come through and want to buy it. Homebuyers are busy too, and limited on time, so the more accessible you make your home, the greater the chance of selling it faster.
5. It’s too cluttered
Nothing makes your home look smaller than a lot of clutter in it. Before putting your home on the market, put everything personal and extra in storage for the entire process. All that extra furniture you have throughout your home — plus Christmas decorations, seasonal clothes, and everything else in the closets, rooms, and attic — should be stowed safely away in storage units. You want your home to be clutter-free and look as big as possible for potential buyers during this process, so don’t discount the importance of self-storage.
6. Your home appliances are aged
Even if your appliances work just fine, if they look dated, it’s a big turnoff for buyers. If they know just by looking at them that your appliances are older, that’s dollar signs in their minds of things they will have to replace. Upgrading your appliances typically offers a decent return on that investment and will be a selling point for buyers. Outdated kitchens and bathrooms can be big factors in why your house isn’t selling, so putting a little money into them before you sell will usually garner a decent return.
7. You need a new realty agent
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If you’ve made sure every other box is checked and you’re still not getting offers on your home, you need to reevaluate your agent. Your real estate agent typically handles most of the marketing and advertising for your home, and if they don’t care about selling your house, it will take longer. Before you even start the process, find someone with references that you trust. If that person isn’t living up to your expectations, don’t be afraid to replace them. At the very least, discuss your concerns with your agent to see if they step it up, or have them offer proof that they are working hard for you.
Hopefully you now understand some of the reasons that may have you wondering, “why isn’t my house selling?” Selling your home is rarely easy. Talk to friends and family and see if they have any suggestions, and make sure your house is always ready for potential buyers.