We’ve all seen those houses with for sale signs that seem to have been on the market forever. It’s more commonplace now with short sales as part of the equation, but for the consumer it can be puzzling, if not disheartening should they be a potential seller. Here’s a look of some of what might be happening in the background.
The house is actually pending, but the agent for various reasons, has not put up a pending sign.
The house is actually sold, but the new buyers aren’t moving in for quite some time and no one called in an order to remove the sign.
The house is a short sale, and has fallen in and out of contract a number of times. Sometimes the problem is the buyer and their ability to qualify for a loan. But sometimes it’s the fault of the property – its condition makes it high risk for the lender.
The house is a victim of conflict. If the owners of the house are not in agreement about selling in general, or at what price, offers may come in, but may never get ratified.
The house may be a pawn in a game. Houses get caught up in divorce too. If one party wants out, and the other does not, the house may represent keeping the remnants of a relationship too. One party may be intentionally thwarting efforts to bring potential buyers into the fold.
The house isn’t available for showing. Some of the reasons are very valid, but create barriers to showings that slow down the selling process. This can include shut-in sellers, day-sleepers, restrictive showing times, pets to be secured on the premises and a host of other causes.
The house particulars haven’t been recorded correctly online. Sad to say this happens, and sometimes sellers wouldn’t even know. But if the property is a 3 bedroom/2 bath home with 1500 square feet, but nothing is entered in the square foot field, many people will never see this listing.
The house is tenant occupied. Sometimes sellers have to sell investment property, and occasionally tenants are less than cooperative about allowing showings. So the house languishes on the market, and no one gets inside to see it.
The house has issues. It may have structural problems that become more than a potential buyer wants to take on. It may have wacky room additions or workmanship that cause potential buyers to eliminate it entirely.
The house is overpriced. You will find countless articles and blogs on this topic, so I won’t belabor it here. I’ve heard a statement from so many authority figures in real estate – every house will sell, it’s a matter of when and for what price. That’s very true. You can overcome cosmetic, structural and location issues with price adjustments. But that’s another blog topic entirely.