5 reasons your Knoxville, TN home is not selling.

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Shoreline New Hampshire & Maine

It’s been listed for 90 days now and not even one showing. What’s the problem?

The number 1 reason I see for homes not selling is most often the price (this could also be reasons 2,3,4 and 5).

It’s a tough new market out there folks; mortgages are tough to get these days, buyers are taking MUCH longer to make decisions about which house to even make an offer on, and the economy is in a shambles with high unemployment.

Even if the recent comparable sales and price points in your area and neighborhood support your asking price your house could still be overpriced relative to the market right now because that’s the market buyers are buying in.

Just because you refinanced last year or even 6 months ago, and got an appraisal equal to or higher than your current asking price, the market right now may be lower than those figures.

Generally the higher up you go on asking price the longer the time on the market becomes. Because of the credit crunch especially on jumbo or non conforming loans (in the Knoxville area that would be a loan over $417,000), large mortgages are even tougher to get than say an FHA loan on a median priced 3 bedroom house in the Knoxville area.

Knoxville, TN real estate sales rates for Knox County, Tennessee provided by knoxville area realtor jim lee

The above graph shows that if your home is listed for sale for over 1 million dollars there is currently a 42 month supply of those homes at the current sales rates. Listed between $100,000 to $150,000 there is a 9 month supply of homes in that price point.

So what’s the answer? Have your agent update your market analysis. Take a look at homes that have sold in your neighborhood, your zip code, and similar homes in other parts of town. What is their list price to sale price ratio? Did those sellers make any concessions to the buyer, i.e. pay some of their closing costs, install new carpet, and any other inducements to get them to buy that house.

If they did maybe that’s something you should consider to get yours sold too but most often it’s the price.

Reason number 2: CONDITION Does your home show like a model home? Has it been “staged” to show in the best possible light to new buyers? Decluttered with overstuffed closets leaned out, excess ’stuff’ packed up and out of the way? CLEAN, with everything including windows, front door, kitchen and bathrooms squeaky clean? Visit my website, www.KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com and click the “Selling” link to get my 40 Free or inexpensive tips can make your home show better, sell faster, and put more money in your pocket at closing.

The better your house shows the more buyers are willing to pay and the quicker it usually sells.

Reason number 3: LOCATION Ok, if this is your problem immediately call Acme House Movers and………of course I’m just joking here but one of the cold hard facts of life are that some locations are more desirable than others and others are less desirable.

If you’re in a location buyers seem to perceive as less desirable for whatever reason the only cure for that condition is to reduce your asking price.

You may enjoy living next to the railroad tracks and look forward to that 100 car coal train that comes by at 3:00 AM every morning but trust me, the average buyer won’t share your passion for railroading that up close and personal.

Reason number 4: ACCESSIBILITY You can’t sell it if buyers can see it. Showings are often requested on short, or sometimes no notice. As a serious seller you need to make your best effort to keep your home in showable condition at all times.  I’m continually amazed as I search through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) looking for homes for my buyer clients and find agent notes like: “24 hour notice to show, no exceptions”, “no lockbox, listing agent must be present for all showings” (so what if the listing agent is not available?, and this favorite, “DO NOT GO IN YARD, dogs will bite”

So if I have a buyer that wants to see your house in 2 hours you want them to wait until tomorrow, hope your agent can let us in, and run the risk of being attacked by your darling pit bulls? Guess what, that’s not happening, there are hundreds of other houses for sale that we can see on our schedule and buy today. Which of those options would be best for you Mr. Seller?

Reason number 5: YOUR AGENT Yep, this could be one of your problems.

Even though all Knoxville area Realtors pay the same amount of dues some of them are frankly just better at marketing homes than others. So the first thing you should do is review your agent’s written marketing plan of what they’re going to do to get your house sold. Oh, you asked for their written marketing plan and got that ‘deer in the headlights’ look. Ooops, that could be a problem.

National Association of Realtors statistics show that over 85% of current homebuyers started their home search on the Internet so how is your homes Internet marketing presence? Does it have a virtual tour? Is your home displayed on multiple websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo, GoogleBase, BirdView, Vast, Homes.com, YouTube (yep, videos), and other websites including your agent’s personal website? If not that could be a problem.

Does your MLS and advertising descriptions paint a pleasing visual picture in a buyer’s mind or does it just say something like: “3 BR, 2 BA, darling, hurry, won’t last long”? Have you ever seen your homes MLS listing? If not that could be a problem.

Does your listing have a minimum of 20, well made and current photos of your house including the interior. Amazingly there are still photos in the Knoxville MLS of homes for sale with snow on the ground. When was our last snow? Buyers like to see lots of photos and if you don’t have them…….that could be a problem.

So here’ s the 5 reasons roundup:

  1. Revisit your list price objectively and look at the most recent sales. If it’s not selling then adjust your price.
  2. Go outside and walk through your house pretending you’re a buyer. Do you like what you see? Showroom condition is key.
  3. Have a talk with your self about your homes location.
  4. Make sure potential buyers can get in to see your home and feel safe and welcome while they’re there.
  5. And finally, call your agent up and invite them over for a visit and review of what’s been done to market your house and what will be done in the future.

Visit KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com for lots of great selling tips, no charge, no obligation.

Please feel free to call, comment, or email any questions.

Posted by

Jim Lee , REALTOR®, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

http://JimLee.com  RE/MAX Shoreline

100 Market St., Suite #200, , Portsmouth, NH 03801 Phone: (603) 431-1111 x3801

Visit New Hampshire Maine Real Estate.com to search homes, get Seacoast area information, and find out how great living on the New Hampshire and southern Maine Seacoast really is.


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Syreeta Saunders
Keller Williams Realty Centre - Randallstown, MD
Keys, MBA - The Keys2Day Team

Jim - your number one reason is the same #1 reason here in Maryland.  Sellers have to understand - price it right or don't sell.

Oct 08, 2009 12:00 AM #1
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate


Those 5 reasons could just be applied to just about every market.  Funny how number one can fix 2 through 4.  As for number 5, well that's probably the reason you have an issue with number 1 in the first place. 

Oct 08, 2009 12:02 AM #2
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Jim~ It sounds like your market absorption rates are quite similar to ours!  It is just a fact of life, those more expensive homes just take longer to sell!

Oct 08, 2009 12:05 AM #3
Julia Odom
Select Realty Professionals - Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga Homes for Sale

I just ran the numbers for months worth of inventory for Chattanooga and ours are almost identical.

Oct 08, 2009 01:18 AM #4
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Great post and information the #1 reason homes are not selling is the same in Florida.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Oct 08, 2009 01:14 PM #5
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Jim Lee

Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH
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