Are you struggling to sell your house? It’s frustrating when your home is on the market and instead of calls from eager buyers requesting to see your house, all you hear is crickets.
As sold signs go up on your neighbor’s properties and months of no shows turn into a trickle of unmotivated buyers, the entire sales process may seem futile.
Before you throw your hands up in defeat, read on and find out the top reasons why your home may not be selling and recommendations on how to fix them. By following our advice, you’ll greatly improve your chances to sell your house in a reasonable time and at a top price.
Not marketing correctly
It’s not enough to get exposure for your property. You need to market your property correctly. Target your property to your ideal buyer’s interests by using keywords in your marketing that will attract them. Highlight your home’s features and the benefits that your buyer will enjoy from owning your house.
For example, if you’re selling an older house that needs repairs you could include words such as “handyman special”, “fixer-upper” or “great opportunity for first-time buyer” and highlight its best-selling features such as large lot or great location. Finally, you could point out some unique benefits, such as great money making opportunities or remodel the home to your taste.
By speaking directly to your likely buyers and arousing their interest you’ll get requests for house showings and increase your chances for an offer.
Poorly taken photographs
Photographs are an integral part of marketing a home. The only way you can persuade a buyer to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment to see your house is with enticing and copy and alluring photographs.
To take a great photograph, you first need to properly set the stage. That doesn’t mean you need to hire an interior designer or spend thousands on redecorating your house. Cleaning, painting and decluttering can help go a long way to making your home’s pictures more attractive.
In addition to the above, make sure that your pictures have plenty of natural lighting and emphasize each room’s best feature.
Inflexible showing schedule
One sure way to discourage buyers from looking at your house is to insist on an unreasonable advance notice – anything over 24 hours- to schedule an appointment or to forbid showings on weekends or weeknights.
Given our busy and limited schedules, buyers don’t always have the luxury to request each house showing days in advance. So, if you make it difficult for a buyer to see your house, they’ll simply cross it off their list or leave it for another day.
Make it easy for buyers to schedule an appointment to see your house and be flexible with last-minute showings. It is common for buyers to block out an evening or weekend day to view several homes with their agent. If they see a house along the way that interests them, they may request to see the home at a moment’s notice.
Dirty and cluttered home
You may not consider your home cluttered nor dirty since your house is organized, bathrooms sparkle, beds are always made and your floor is vacuumed and polished.
In this section we are not talking about the general cleanliness nor the clutter of your family’s living area, we’re referring to specific areas of the home that sellers sometimes overlook. Starting from the exterior of your house, power wash the walkways, foundation and siding.
Look under porches, crawlspaces, behind your detached garage and sheds. These are areas we often use as a catchall for leftover building material, automotive parts and gardening supplies. Thoroughly clean out all these areas and discard any toxic materials appropriately.
Once you’ve completed the above, look up. Here we mean literally look up. Clean out your gutters, trim overhanging tree limbs and replace missing or torn roofing shingles.
Then move inside and clean and declutter your closets, basement, foyer, mud room and attic. Don’t forget to clean under the bathroom and kitchen sinks, near the kitchen exhaust fans and around HVAC vents.
Once you’ve finished inspecting the entire house one last time before kicking up your legs and checking off cleanliness and decluttering from your list. Inspect your house from the most demanding buyer’s perspective. Clean areas you may have overlooked and remove any furniture or personal items that may take up space or block the natural flow of one’s movement.
This is not a costly task to complete, yet is often one of the main reasons why your house might not sell. When preparing your home to sell, make sure you have considered all corners of your home.
Foul odors that make your buyers cringe
Bad odors produce an intense and automatic revulsion which stays in our olfactory memory for a very long time. In fact, just the memory of an offensive smell can conjure up adverse physical reactions.
Given this deep-seated defensive response to foul odors, there is no faster way to stop buyers dead in their tracks than a house that has an offensive pet or cigarette smell.
Unfortunately, when you live with pets or are a smoker, you become used to the smell and may not notice that there is something unpleasant with your house. If you are wondering why your house isn’t selling, this might be the reason. When a buyer walks into your home, first impressions count. An element of that first impression will be the smell of your home. It doesn’t have to be overpoweringly nice, but it should at least come across as clean.
Start by asking a friend or relative who does not live with you to give you an honest and objective opinion. If they confirm that your house indeed smells, then you’ve got quite a bit of work cut out for you.
Since unpleasant pet odors and smoke can penetrate carpets, drapes, furniture and even your walls you should replace carpeting, throw out drapes and smelly furniture and meticulously clean and paint ceilings and walls. Make sure you give your home a good clean, to eliminate any musty or damp smells.
Unattractive curb appeal
A reason why your house may not be selling, is the first impression a buyer gets when they arrive at the house viewing for the first time. The first few seconds are vital in forming their overall opinion of your property, and you want to get off on a good foot.
Make your buyers feel welcomed with a beautiful curb appeal. That includes well pointed and clean walkways and stairs. A bright freshly painted front door and a shiny and rust free hardware on your home’s main entrance.
Prune your hedges, replace old or overgrown bushes, add colorful flowers and neatly mow your lawn.
A pleasant curb appeal will draw buyers into the house and set the tone for what they will expect inside. Make sure you use that to your advantage.
Unrealistic asking price
We have saved the most important reason a home does not sell for last. Even if you correct all the six reasons we have discussed above, your home will not sell if it is overpriced.
In fact, pricing your home too high is the number one reason your home may not be selling.
If you have been overpricing your house so you can negotiate down to the market price, you’re using a failed strategy.
You’re failing in two ways. First, buyers that are interested in houses with your home’s characteristics such as age, location, size and condition will never see your house. Buyers normally set a top price limit to homes they are willing to look at. If homes that are comparable to your house are priced around $200,000 and you are asking $230,000 chances are that it will never make it to the list of homes they will consider purchasing.
Second, your house will fail compared to other homes that are on the market in the same price range as your asking price. In other words, all the correctly priced houses that fall at or near your asking price will be better than your house. Those buyers that look at your house will not be interested at all in what your house offers.
So if your house is priced too high, immediately lower it to the market price. If you’re not sure how to price your home correctly, make sure you consider what the Connecticut housing market is doing at the time, and enlist the help of a reputable real estate agent to help you on your journey.
If you have been wondering why your house isn’t selling, start with these top tips.