Why Isn’t My House Selling?
I never like when anyone asks, “Why isn’t my house selling”? Markets change and there are always exceptions and unique situations, however, there are some things that you should look at first. If you are guilty of any of these or think you might be, you may have your answer.
- Your house is overpriced. This is the #1 reason houses don’t sell. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “We have the best house in the neighborhood,” I’d have a lot of dollars! Most of us think our house is great, which is why we bought it in the first place, however, we need to take a step back and be realistic. We need to see our house through the eyes of a buyer. Many Sellers will think that if they price it high, Buyers will just offer what they think it is worth and that it will give more room for negotiation, so what does it hurt? It can hurt more than you know. Buyers will look at the data and if your house is priced way above the market, many won’t even look at it because they think you are unrealistic and that you will be hard to deal with. Some Buyers will look at it, and even like it, but not make an offer for the same reason. They will decide to wait to see if you come down in price and in the meantime, they will find another house that is priced within the market and will be moving into it while you are asking why yours isn’t selling.
- The condition is poor. Again, you must see your house through the eyes of a Buyer. Have your real estate agent or a friend walk through and be honest about what they see. We live in our home every day and get used to what we see. We can often overlook things that others see immediately. If a Buyer sees that your house is in need of general maintenance, they may wonder what else is going on that can’t be seen. Your house needs to be in tip-top shape to get it sold for the most amount of money. Most Buyers don’t want to buy a house only to have to do a bunch of work to it. They want to move in and put their own touch on it with colors and decorations, not hammers and caulk.
- You have too much stuff! Do you have big furniture in small spaces? Do you have knick-knacks on every surface? Do you have your kitchen counter tops full of appliances and utensils? Do you have toys blocking attic storage doors? Do you have yearly pictures of each of the kids on the wall – and now they’re in college? Does your porch look like a green house? Do you have to be careful when you open closets to make sure nothing falls out? If you are guilty of having too much stuff, you MUST simplify. You don’t necessarily have to get rid of it, just get it out of the house until it sells. You are moving anyway, go ahead and pack it up and it will help your stress level when it comes time to move.
- Your house needs a spit shine. Even if you don’t have too much stuff, if your house is dirty, it will not show well. Just like an un-maintained house, Buyers are turned off by an unkempt house. And because everyone’s idea of “clean” can be different, hire a professional. It’s worth the little amount of money to have someone do it that has all the right tools and will clean it to a certain standard. Many real estate agents have individuals or companies that clean houses specifically for real estate purposes and know how to make it look its best.
- The pictures are not doing it justice. If the photos that are being used to market your house are blurry, are low quality, have the dog in them, or if you can see the photographer (or camera) in the mirror, you need new photos. Today’s Buyers start their search online. If there are no photos or very few, they will pass it up. If the photos are bad, they will pass it up. If the photos don’t show off the best features, they will pass it up. Photos are so important. For most of my listings, the most marketing dollars are spent on photos and video. In my opinion, it is second in importance, behind price. And, that being said, you can’t have good photos if you have too much stuff, if the house is dirty, or is in poor condition.
So, as you can see, all of these are very important if you want to sell your house quickly for the most money. If you do all of these, you should have your house sold in no time.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.