What's wrong with this house and why hasn't it sold?

Real Estate Agent with United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

When a home has been on the market for a long period of time, buyers wonder “Why hasn’t it sold? What’s wrong with it?”  I’ve heard that question many times from buyers while showing properties in and around Red Feather Lakes.


A man called the office last week and apparently had fallen in love with photos of one of our listings- he’s at least 1000 miles or more away, has never seen the property and wanted to know: “Why hasn’t it sold? What’s wrong with it?”

I have to tell you, first he asked for another agent, but since she wasn’t in, he thought maybe “I could help him”.  This happens quite frequently and is the subject of another post altogether.

Now, agents must disclose all known material facts, but I’m not the listing agent on the home he was calling about. I have no actual knowledge of what is or isn’t wrong with this home and I really don’t know why it hasn’t sold.

“Perhaps its just been waiting for you to come along and buy it”, I wanted to say it, but I didn’t.     Even though it's absolutely true- it just sounds so cheesy. 


Not everyone likes, wants or needs the same things.  Just look at the variety of choices that are available in almost everything we want to buy.  There are hundreds of different cars made by several different manufacturers, thousands of different shoe brands & styles and even 31 different flavors of ice cream to choose from in just in one store.

Can you believe that VANILLA tied with Chocolate as a favorite ice cream flavor?...




In our "non-vanilla" Red Feather Lakes real estate market, the average days on the market are still quite long, so if you see something you like and you’re wondering,  “What’s wrong with it?”  it could be there’s nothing wrong with it all.

That’s like wondering why your favorite Choco-BananaNut ice cream container is still full, (what’s wrong with it?) while the Vanilla is almost sold out.   When you finally find your uniquely tasty ice cream favorite, just order a triple scoop and enjoy it!   If this home is what you’ve been looking for, don’t hesitate- it could be there’s nothing wrong with it.  Maybe it’s just been waiting for you to come along and scoop it up!

And it’s weird, when you  do find your "Choco-BananaNut-like home",  the one that perfectly suits YOUR specific taste, even though it’s been sitting on the shelf for awhile, chances are another Choco BananaNut freak   someone else will come along and suddenly want it too, don’t ask me why- it just happens.


“A Day in the Mountains will always soothe your city soul”

Mary Douglas, your Mountain Broker-Associate and REALTOR®

United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, CO



I specialize in the Red Feather Lakes area, Fox Acres, Crystal Lakes and Glacier View Meadows Subdivisions, if you are interested in buying or selling your mountain home, please give me a call, I’m here to help you.

The information contained in Mary’s blog is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and the opinions and views expressed in these articles are solely those of the author.

I write about my area in Colorado; Law, Custom & Procedure vary from State to State and even within the State.

REAL ESTATE IS LOCAL.  Always consult with your LOCAL Real Estate Professional. 


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Website: www.marydouglas-redfeatherlakes.net


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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Kristen Wahl 10/20/2012 11:49 AM
  2. Lenn Harley 10/20/2012 12:04 PM
  3. Winston Heverly 02/17/2013 05:44 AM
Home Buying
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Show All Comments
Suzi Sandore
RealtyONEGroup - San Diego, CA
North County San Diego Homes

I like your analogies... shoes, cars, ice cream. You're right, the more unique a property, the less buyers there will be for that property. But they are out there, it just might take awhile longer to find them. 

Oct 19, 2012 10:24 AM #54
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

Hey I even wonder sometimes. Timing is part of it.

Oct 19, 2012 10:36 AM #55
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

I come from an area where houses aren't expected to sell within weeks - hopefully they'll sell within months. It all has to do with how many people are looking for homes in a given market and price range.

So first, buyers need to know what's "normal." Then they need to recognize that the majority prefer vanilla, so that Choco-BananaNut home just might be sitting there, waiting only for them to show up and love it..

Oct 19, 2012 11:33 AM #56
Edith Schreiber
Luxury Homes, Move Up Buyers, 1st Time Homebuyers, New Construction - Frisco, TX
Dallas Area Real Estate

Hmmmmm.....seems to me that what I've been told for a very long time holds true here.

At the end of the day, if a property sits on the market for an extended period of time (in relation to the comparable nearby sold properties) it is ultimately always the price (not reflective of condition, location, need for updating, smells really bad, etc., etc., etc....) :0)

Thanks for the post & congrats with the feature!

Oct 19, 2012 11:35 AM #57
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Great analogy!  In my rural market, finding the perfect match between buyer and property often has very little to do with price - its just that rural properties have distinct sets of attributes and rural buyers usually have eclectic wish lists.

Oct 19, 2012 05:48 PM #58
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Mary this is a question that is asked all the time.  So many reason why a house might not have sold, sometimes it's the market and the right buyer just isn't around yet :)

By the way the ice-cream eating puppy is so cute.

Oct 19, 2012 08:25 PM #59
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Jill, I think you're right on that one- human nature is a funny thing sometimes


Hi Evelyn, those 2 factors are definitely something to consider, but then sometimes those 2 seem OK, it's just the unique features that don't suit the majority


Hi Michael, I couldn't have had a sale on this one- it's not my listing and he was already working with another agent in our office...but a lot of buyers will just talk to anyone that answers the phone! :-]


Christine, isn't that strange?  I see it happen all the time so I'm glad you've noticed it too!


Hi Gita, maybe some would!


Debbie, I can't argue with that


Barbara, it's a common occurence, still for our markets...unfortunately


Brien- thanks, you got it!


Marjorie, I would love to see staging become more popular in our area, I'm sure it makes a difference


Amanda, we don't have any homes near the 2-3 million range, but even our 500K-800K homes wait quite awhile for the right buyer...


Hi Ric,  30 days on the market ?!  I'd love to see that here.  Our whole market must be out of whack compared to yours :-}


Lynn, I'm not surprised either and I think it removes any sense of urgency, too.


Thanks John, I'm glad you liked it.


Nan, 267 days, short sale or not, is about the ADOM here, if you can believe that!


Carol, our ADOM is high, too, in our markets -some of it has to be price and the other part is that ChocoBanana Nut thing


Hi Kimo, sure I would agree with that and on the flip side, if something sells quickly (here)  some will think it was  priced too low and the seller left money on the table...either way, it's a reflection on the listing agent


Sylvia, you're right.  I think most agents try their best to price it right from the start, then somewhere along the time line they have to decide if it's pricing or something else


Rob, you hit the nail on the head


Hi MaryBeth, you guessed it!  This particular house has a lot of character


Thank you David, why get up in the morning if we can't be optimistic? :-]


Elisa, one of the things you mentioned was an odd layout- that's huge, in our market more than price I really think there are just a limited number of buyers looking for a second home/cabin or full-time residents that don't mind the commute


Bob, - it is the bank's fault! what else can you say?


Oct 20, 2012 06:48 AM #60
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

What are ya gonna say? Nothing is selling and we have a horrible market which is why this home is still sitting there? I like your answer, Mary.

Oct 20, 2012 08:45 AM #61
Sharon Sanchez
Ace Home Realty - Carson, CA
Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate.

Most house stay on the market for long time because it's overpriced., but I like your answer.  It catches them off guard.

Oct 20, 2012 10:23 AM #62
Lehel Szucs
All Seasons Real Estate, Inc. - Covina, CA
REALTOR of choice

I like your line .... Perhaps its just been waiting for you to come along and buy it .... perfect answer .... hope yu got the appointment and showed to home and sold it

Oct 20, 2012 10:38 AM #63
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Thank you everyone--I had returned many  comments here---then clients came in the office- and oops! I closed out the screen without hitting submit.  I will get back here soon.

Elizabeth, the more I think about your comment the funnier it gets.

Oct 20, 2012 04:01 PM #64
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Well said Mary, Great Post Thank you for sharing!!

Oct 20, 2012 08:53 PM #65
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Thanks Frank, me too, when it’s really true it means we’ve found the right match!


Tigard, Wayne you’re right some just need more time and a bit of luck, too


Thanks Suzi, it can take more time for those unique properties, that’s for sure


Hi Lyn, you’ve brought up a great point about timing


Marte, your market sounds similar to ours and you stated my view very clearly! Thank you


Hi Edith, thanks for your thoughts on it, I appreciate that


Hi Jeanne, I think our rural market is probably the same


Jennifer, I could not resist that little ice cream eating puppy…and I agree, there could be many reasons – each house may have a different one


Elizabeth, your comment made me chuckle several times yesterday


Thanks Sharon, I’m glad you stopped by


Lehel, I would have asked for the appointment, but this caller was already working with another agent…


Emilia, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.

Oct 21, 2012 06:19 AM #66
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton

Dear Mary,

Ain't that the truth! Made an appointment for a rental last week that had been sitting for months. We looked at it only hours later, but by the time I turned in the application yet another couple of hours after that, the home was rented. Whoa, if you like it, better get a move on.

Oct 21, 2012 12:16 PM #67
Cyndi Carver
Northwest Real Estate - Bellevue, WA
Issaquah & Bellevue Specialist

Why hasn't it sold? That is really a loaded question. Hm...

I would have been very tempted to say "the right buyer hasn't come along". Why is it always something wrong with the house? Especially when it had an owner at one time. Somebody liked it and bought it!

Oct 22, 2012 07:34 AM #68
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Mary - Yeah, I usually just say that the right buyer hasn't come along yet for this "unique" property, unless there's a know material deffect that has kept it from selling.

Oct 22, 2012 08:31 AM #69
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Mary,

Good post. Our market is like your's home here are sitting on the market for an average of 90-120 days with nothing wrong with them. It is a buyers market right now.

Oct 24, 2012 09:52 AM #70
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Dorte, it is strange unwritten law of the Universe, I think!  I'm sorry about your people didn't get that rental, hopefully they found something else.


Hi Cyndi, I like your thoughts on it- I agree!


Brad, it's a good answer! thanks

Oct 24, 2012 09:54 AM #71
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Thank you Steve, yes it's a buyer's market here too ....(patient sellers required)  :-]

Oct 24, 2012 10:00 AM #72
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Hi Mary!  What a wonderful explanation and only you could explain why a house is sitting on the market to our choices in ice cream!  Congratulations on this WELL DESERVED feature!

Nov 20, 2012 03:17 AM #73
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