Top 5 Reasons Your House Isn't Selling

Published: November 25, 2013

Frustrated with your house not selling?  That's normal! Don't give up!  Here are some reasons that it may not be moving as fast as you would like it to and some tips to help you possibly speed the process up a little.


  1. Price

    Listen to your agent.  They want to sell it for a high price just as much as you do.  They know what it could realistically go for and SHOULD be pricing it accordingly but you can do your own reasearch too! can be a great resource to see your area and what's been moving recently.  Go to other open houses and look at real estate listings online.

  2. Location, Location, Location

    Not the most desireble area?  Next to something odd or offensive?  Sit down and try to remember why you moved there to begin with.  It's ok to make a flyer about "things we like to do locally" to give to potential buyers at an open house but follow common sense and PC guidelines.  Avoid areas that might be exclusive of some buyers (like churches or members only clubs) and make sure to clear it with your agent BEFORE!

  3. No idea...great house...fair price...what am I doing wrong?

    Agents and sellers can BOTH love a property so much that they fail to see a major flaw.  A fresh set of eyes can be a HUGE help here.  ASk your agent to call in a favor with another agent to walk though, get feedback from people who have come through the house, or check web traffic hits.  Have a brutally honest friend?  Now might be the time to have them over for lunch.  But don't take anything personally here.  Take their advice and see what you can do with it.  You might be surprised!

  4. Pets

    Oh the dog...the lovable...smelly...shedding, drooling dog.  We love our pets but they are a seller's worst nightmare.  Consider restricting walkthrough hours to several sepecific days of the week.  Get a pet sitter (off site), drop them off at a doggy day care or daytime groomer (some will watch them for you for the day) or enlist the help of a friendly neighbor as needed.  Get them (and the evidence of them; litterboxes, toys, beds, etc) out of the house when you could be having potential buyers walk through.  Clean and deodorize and be AMAZED at how many more people will actually see your house instead of the toy poodle looking for a belly rub.  But be honest if asked about pets.  Never lie or work with an agent who will either.  You have pets.  Be upfront and be honest. And give that dog a belly rub will you?!? 

  5. That's a very interesting________...

    That neon green chandelier, the elephant stepping stones, the mural your son made at band camp... these are all very interesting objects.  No matter how much you love something, sometimes if it is very unique, it should be hidden or stored when we're trying to sell.  We want to appeal to the MOST amount of people who may or may not have your taste. It distracts them.  Keep them focused on making your home into THEIR home.

  6. Cleanliness is next to...

    Scrub, deodorize, sanitize, etc but make sure it looks it!  The perception of cleanliness is just as important as actual ckleanliness.  If it's stained?  Replace it, remove it, repaint it.  END-OF-STORY.  R-E-G-U-L-A-R-L-Y

  7. Guide the agent

    The agent showing your home to buyers may not be your agent and odds are they have probably never been into or seen pictures of your house.  Help them sell it.  Clean uncluttered (TYPED) signs pointing out interesting points in your house can go a long way.  For ideas?  Pella Windows:replaced 2009, Security System with cameras, old english roses in yard, etc.  Don't clutter the house with signs though... just make sure they see why they should fall in love with it too!  Remember be honest and clear it all with your agent!

  8. Clutter...Where to put it all?!!!?

    Not in a closet, under a bed, in the garage, attic or basement.  GET IT OUT OF THERE.  All clutter here is bad.  Minimize artwork on the walls, anything sitting on a horizontal serface, any types of collections, family photos, fridge magnents etc... They have to go get ready for the new house.  

  9. You have 70 purses?

    It just makes it look like a storage problem when buyers look in so many people's closets.  THIS IS A HUGE reason why people move... don't scare them off.  Downsize (for now or forver...either way!) and get that stuff out of the house

  10. Not addressing small concerns

    Broken switch plate?  They're $1.  Electrical outlet hasn't worked in a decade?  NOT THE NEW OWNER'S PROBLEM.  Fix the little stuff...THE RIGHT WAY.  Cheap fixes can scare a new homeowner off and add up quickly in their heads.  Just take care of them!  Now is the time to call in favors for all those times you've helped someone paint, weed, strip wallpaper, etc...

You can do it!  Don't give up. Take a balanced approach to selling your home and try to maintain your sanity.  Lean on your agent.  He or she knows exactly how stressful this process can be and is on your team.  If they're not and you really don't trust them?  Time to look at your contract and see when you might be able to get someone that will help you.  Just remember that this is a last resort.