Top 10 Reasons Homes Don’t Sell

Other than price

Listing Expired?  Tried to sell it on your own without success?  Want some ideas as to get your home sold?

Of course it could very well be the price, but we like to explore all your options before we suggest you lower it. 

Top 10 Reasons (Other Than Price) Homes Don’t Sell

Bad Pictures

Over the last few years the way buyers find homes has changed.  They used to venture down to their local real estate office and then tour dozens of homes.  Today, they rely on the internet to start their home search.  They can view hundred of homes in a short period of time scrolling through websites.  All they have to do is put in their search criteria and then view the pictures.

Homes with only a few pictures or badly shot ones are quickly discarded.  In essence, they want to preview homes before they take the time to drive out and look at it.

Bad Description

This goes hand-in-hand with bad pictures.  You need to put your home in the best possible light when describing it.  Poorly written descriptions can keep people from wanting to view your home.  Think in terms of why you bought it.  What made you love it enough that you said ‘yes.’ 

Here are a couple of tips.  The ideal description will be about 250 words.  Crafting something that short isn’t as easy as you would think.  Buyers want to quickly find out about your home. They don’t want to read a research paper. Mention the top reasons that people would want to live in your home or your neighborhood.

Another tip is to not oversell it.  Think in terms of online dating.  Nothing is worse than showing up and finding out that your date doesn’t match the description.  Disappointing potential buyers will actually drive them away.

Hard to show

There is a reason we suggest that you place an electronic lock-box on your home for showings.  It emails us the instant an agent opens it to get the key so we know who is in the home and when.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t want agents to call in advance so we can give you a heads up.  It simply means that if you’re not at home we can have it shown.  There are many homes on the market and if your home is hard to get into to show agent’s will decide to bypass yours. 
Three things will cause your home not to be shown.
  1. Restricting when a home can be shown.  Examples are ‘It is available to shown evenings and weekends’ or ’24 hour notice is required’. 
  2. Showing Services.  Agents hire third parties to set up their showings.  To be honest, I would rather go to the dentist than have to deal with these people to show a home.  I have better things to do than spend a half hour talking to them.
  3. Home owner or seller’s agent must accompany.  Now you have to schedule that also.
  4. Bonus one … keys are in the  office.  Must pick up to show.  Grrr.

Agent/Seller Never Answers the Phone

Ever tried to reach some agents?  They seem to be always showing homes.  My guess is they are on the golf course.

I jest but this is an all to common occurrence.  I own my business, so I understand that you might not get to every call.  What I don’t understand is why I don’t get a call back quickly.  Believe me, people will move on if they don’t get a timely response.


Difficult Agent

I’m sure you know people that when you see them your first thought is ‘Oh No!’  It’s the same way in real estate.  There are certain agents that will make other agents think before they agree to show their homes.  I know it’s not the politically correct thing to say, but we all know it’s true.

The job of a good real estate agent is to sell your home in the shortest amount of time, for the highest price and with the fewest hassles.  It is not their job to hinder the process in any way.

Difficult Seller

The number one piece of advice I would give any seller is to leave when your home is being shown.  I know you want to get your home sold.  That is actually the exact same goal the buyer’s agent has.  There is a reason people hire an agent.  They want someone in between them and the other party.  They don’t want the stress of having to face the seller at a showing.

One other piece of advise.  If you receive an offer and you feel it is too low, don’t get mad.  Always send back a counter offer, even if it is at full price.  Many times buyers are just seeing how flexible you are.


Acts of God

We have little things called hurricanes.  We’ve had some storm damage but nothing like the folks in Houston or New Orleans experienced.  There are homes in those areas that are hard to sell even after they’ve been fixed.



If possible, take your pets with you when your home is going to shown.  If that is not an option then they need to be secured.  I would suggest in a crate. 

Pictured is Duchess.  She is the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned but she will bark at strangers.  Of course she knows were all the good things are and would help you rob my house.  Sadly, not everyone is a dog or cat person.

The last issue are odors and allergies.  Some buyers have sensitive noses.


Home Condition

Work from the outside in to make sure your home is looking its best.  While some people are looking for a fixer, most aren’t. They can’t imagine what it could be with their personal touches.

At some point there is going to be a home inspection.  If you fix it before the home inspection you can do it yourself.  If you do it because of what the inspector found you might have to hire a professional.  Save yourself the money and take care of known problems up front.


Agent ran out of time

If an agent agrees to a 30-day listing when the average sales time in the area is 180-days … he or she is an idiot.  They’ve set unrealistic expectations and you should move on.  

Then again, there are times when they do everything right and a listing will expire.  The 180-days is an average.  Sometimes a home just needs more time to sell.  Before I relisted, I would want to know why they think it hasn’t sold yet.  If they have a solid plan I would give them a second chance.