There are many reasons that a house on the market is not selling, or even generating any offers from potential buyers. Those reasons may go beyond the obvious slow housing market or glut of houses for sale in your area.
The reasons may have to do with your home, its condition, the neighborhood, and its listing.
Here are the top reasons that you have not received any decent offers and what you can do to fix them.
#1 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling: “As Is”
There are two tiny words that can keep even the heartiest home buyers away in a slow housing market. They are “as is.” Chances are if you are selling your house “as is” there is at least one major and expensive problem with the home. When selling “as is” it also means that you have firmly set your line of what you are willing to do and not willing to do to sell your house. This inflexibility turns sellers off.
The solution to the “As is” problem is simple. Fix it or be willing to negotiate the cost into the price with the potential buyers.
#2 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling: It is Too Old
In certain parts of the Northeast, there are some homes that are one hundred or one hundred and fifty or more years old. Some of these houses have serious foundation, flooring and structural problems. For many of these houses, it does not take a certified building inspector to discern the problem. The average buyer does not want to have to buy a house that needs complete overhaul.
The solution to the old house problem: renovate the house to live in or to sell. Or, price the house reasonably based on the construction that needs to happen.
#3 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling: It is Overpriced
Be sure your home price is in line with current comparable homes in the neighborhood.
The solution to the “overpriced” problem: Lower the price to a more realistic amount. If you are not willing to do that, be willing to sit and wait for the market to upswing.
#4 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling: It is Too Small
A family can quickly outgrow a first-time home. Children and their belongings take up a lot of space. If the home is too small for your family, it will probably be too small for a similar sized or growing family.
The solution to the “too small” problem: The home needs to be marketed to a different type of home buyer. The real estate agent needs to list the home as a house for a couple, a single person, or to empty nesters or retirees.
#5 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling: The Listing is Almost a Lie
The listing describes a great home. Unfortunately, the listing does not tell the whole story.
The solution to the “lie” problem: Make your listing attractive but honest, by playing up the truly positive characteristics of the home. Do not count utility rooms as bedrooms. When major work needs to be done, do not call it “TLC.” Honesty goes a long way, and will save home sellers and buyers some time.
#6 Reason Why Your House is Not Selling: You’re Still Renovating
In comparing Massachusetts listings with Connecticut listings, there is a trend in Massachusetts that owners like to list homes for sale before the renovations are complete. Buyers do not want to know what “will” be done, or hear about other promises from the selling realtor. In real estate, for new home buyers, what you see is what you get, and buyers want to see the finished product.
The solution to the “renovating” problem: Do not list the house until it is complete. That means toilets are installed, fixtures, flooring, any everything else. Having potential buyers walk through a work-in-progress will not encourage them to come back and see it when it is done.
Within reason, home sellers in a slow market need to be realistic about their home selling expectations. In a slow market, home buyers will not be jumping at the chance to make an offer on someone else’s existing problem homes.