Home Selling March 23, 2023

My House Didn’t Sell. Now What?

When you decide to sell your home, there is a LOT of initial excitement, planning, and work that goes into getting ready for the market. So when a house doesn’t sell for whatever reason, there may also be a lot of disappointment. Let’s explore 12 reasons that your house may not have sold, and then we’ll go into detail on what to do next.

Let’s go into more detail on what to do now!
1. Pricing

Usually price is the first culprit as to why a home may not have sold, which is why it’s number one on this list. It could even be that the market shifted when you went on the market and you unintentionally were too high. However, home buyers in todays market are armed with tons of data and information, so you’ll know you were off the mark if you didn’t get a lot of showings, or worse, you had several showings but no offers.

What to do now:
Make sure that you are in the loop on the data, try to leave emotions out of it. Did someone in the next neighborhood over just go up for sale? Are you comparable to them? How’s their price vs. yours? You may need to adjust. As your agent I take my time to explain how to strategically price your home where I think it can sell based on your goals. Adjusting the price on your home can feel like a bad thing, but what it shows buyers is that you are truly ready to move and not just “testing the market” to see how it goes. Most homes that have to reduce their price only need one adjustment to get a contract.

2. Timing

You’ve probably heard this before but, real estate is cyclical. Meaning some times of the year are busier than others. This could mean higher prices, shorter days on market, more buyers looking, etc. This also likely means more competition too, so a lot of sellers try to “time” the market. But once you see the highest prices and quickest sales of the year it may be too late already since those houses likely prepped two months prior and hit the market a month before closing happened. Also we see dips if you go on the market close to any major holidays, or the end of summer so expect it to be slower for showings.

What to do now:
Hit the market when it makes sense for you! Most people don’t move for fun, they do so for a need. Maybe they need a different sized home, or are relocating for family or work. Don’t let timing the market hold you back, there are perks to selling at any time of year. If you are in one of those lower points in the cycle, it’s OK. We can do more creative marketing, and we’ll talk about what the data shows on average what that means for pricing and days on the market.

3. Unique

Nothing against those less traditional homes (I have one myself) but they don’t appeal to every buyer. This means you may have less buyers looking at the house and it may take more time to find the next owner.

What to do now:
Hire a stager to best utilize all the space the house has. Update what you can and clean everything! Getting that amazing first impression on a buyer can help them look past any of the quirks. Last, have a (slightly) lower price than the traditional homes have. This allows buyers more money to make your house fit their style better.

4. Targeting

You can do all of the preparations, and blast marketing all over facebook but if you’re not looking where buyers are coming from you may miss your target market.

What to do now:
I make sure to knock on your neighbors doors to let them know you’re going on the market. They likely know someone who wants to be in that area. For broader marketing my office has tools to search where your buyer is most likely to come from and we specifically target those areas with our marketing.

5. Staging

I’ve seen it a few times, you want to get your house on the market and think you can skip the prep work, but it’s important to your potential buyers. To help highlight all the features and space of your house, I may recommend staging. This can be done using your own items, bringing in items, or a mix of both. What’s functional is not always aesthetically pleasing, so for the time your on the market we want to appeal a larger circle.

What to do now:
Start by decluttering and cleaning, pack away anything you’re not using, take down personal photos or replace with generic art prints, clear off the fridge and the counters. If needed, we’ll call in the big guns and have a preofessional stager come out.

6. Marketing

You put a sign in the yard and nothing happened?!

What to do now:
It’s time to market! Knock on the neighbors doors ask if they know anyone looking to get into the neighborhood, post on all of your socials, look up where the buyers in your area are coming from and market to those places. Send out emails and postcards. Make sure you have lots of high quality photos and your marketing verbiage describes the house well. Just putting up a sign is not enough.

7. Photos

You may have had too few photos, or poor quality photos that don’t show off the house well. The photos are the first thing a buyer is going to look at, and dark, blurry or too few pictures are a major negative.

What to do now:
Hire a professional! They have the equipment and skills to take amazing photos of your house, they know what angles look best, and every photo will come back amazing.

8. Issues

You may have something that you figured the buyer wouldn’t notice or care about. But if all the feedback was about one specific thing in your house, you may need to address it.

What to do now:
Usually if you get the same feedback from buyers over and over, I reccomend you adjust that thing. Maybe it’s that the carpet is dirty or the house needs paint. Buyers are making a huge investment and sometimes don’t have the means or time to address these things post- closing. It usually costs you less to handle up front rather than negotiating with a buyer later.

9. Curb Appeal

When a buyer pulls up to view your house, the first thing they notice is your houses curb appeal. If your bushes are overgrown, the garbage cans are out, and all your flowers are dead, they may think you don’t take good care of your house.

What to do now:
Pressure washing can make a huge difference. Clean everything outside including the house, windows, sidewalks, deck and driveway. Freshly edge and mow your yard. Put down new mulch and flowers and trim back any bushes or tree limbs.

10. Bad Advice

You called your friend who sold their house four years ago in another state for advice and they said to list high and negotiate with buyers. Or to skip the prep work because it won’t make a difference.

What to do now:
Listen to the professionals in your area! I’ll repeat that last part… in your area! They know the market and the trends for your local market. They can guide you on what buyers want in todays market and back it up with data. After all, it’s what they do each and every day.

11. Description 

Does this soundl like your listing description? “Four bedroom, two and a half bath home. Great area. Updated inside. This one won’t last.”

What to do now:
You want to make a buyer WANT to keep reading. Use descriptive words and keep their attention by adding in details about what makes your home unique and comfortable. Talk about your favorite parts of the house and what drew you in initially. Likely that is what will appeal to the next owner too.

12. Preparation

You rushed to get your house on the market and didn’t take time to sit down and really get a good understanding of the process. Maybe you didn’t realize you’d be expected to leave the house for every showing, or you didn’t think about keeping the dog at boarding.

What to do now:
Slow it down. Make sure you have a plan for everything, a quick clean up plan, where will the pets go? Have a bin for all of the things you need to put away quickly before a showing. Plan to be out of the house a lot those first few days on the market. If you work from home and don’t leave during showings it’s uncomfortable for buyers. Don’t be afraid to ask your agents questions during this process!

If you tried and didn’t succeed to sell your house recently, try these tips and know that not every house appeals to every buyer, but there is at least one buyer for every house. We just need to get creative sometimes to find them.

Real estate can be difficult and it’s important you have someone you trust on your side to guide you. I would be honored to serve you with all of your real estate needs.