10 Reasons Your House Is Not Selling

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Check Realty

10 Reasons Your House Is Not Selling.  A few days ago I wrote about how price and condition will determine whether your house sells or not. Here is a follow up that focuses on many other ways home owners sabotage the process of selling their home.

Sell My Prescott AZ House

 1. Price is still the most important factor for buyers. Just because you paid $400,000 in 2006 and put in another $100,000 into the house, does not mean you have a  $500,000 house. In today's market $400,000 plus $100,000 may equal $350,000. Its all about price and condition in relation to the other similar homes on the  market.

2. Poor photos. Today we know that 90% of the buyers begin the search online. So I am amazed when I see listings of half-million dollar homes which use "snap shots" the agent took during a 5 minute visit.  I use a professional photographer on all of my home listings because I know if the photos don't grab the buyer in the first 10 seconds, that buyer is lost. Clutter Keeps Your House From Selling

3. Clutter, nick-nacks, personal, and political stuff.  Yes I know you have been collecting these things for 30 years and you are very proud of your stuff. But the buyer does not care about your collection and in fact it makes your house look smaller than it really is. We are talking about one of  your largest financial transactions, get a storage unit during the listing. It will pay for itself many times over. Also personal things such as family photos, children's drawings , political posters don't help you. The buyer needs to see themselves in the house, make it easy for them.

4. You stay home during the showing. There are only two outcomes to this. The first is you make the buyer uncomfortable looking in your closets and cabinets and distract them. The second is you say something that is to your disadvantage. I have attended countless showings where the seller is home and mentions something that either reduces the value of the home in the buyer's mind or totally removes it from the list of possible homes. If you must be home, go wait in the backyard and read a book.

5. Pets and Smells.  While your dog is barking at the potential buyers and their agent they are having trouble focusing on seeing themselves living in your house. Your cat's litter-box in the laundry room is adding a scent and its not money. Your ferret is attempting to burrow through the wall and the cigar smoke in the curtains is not helping your either.

Deer Bell

6. You have unusual paint or wallpaper. Sellers with children often have paint colors picked out by the children. While lime green, black and magenta are great colors for your kids, they are not so great for buyers. Additionally the wallpaper picked out by Aunt Ethel in 1964 is sending the buyers this message: This House Needs Lots of Work!  I really like colors other than white for walls, but they need do need to complement each other.

7. Your house is rented.  Imagine the buyer's agent is scheduling 7 showings for tomorrow morning. The vacant houses are effortless, the houses that are owner occupied are mostly happy to schedule the showing at a time the works best for the buyers. Then we get to the rental. In Arizona, the renters can require up to 48 notice before a showing, but often 24 hours will work. However most buyer's agents schedule showings either the day before or the day of the showings. Either way many rentals will not get shown. Also consider that many tenants are not enthusiastic about having to move. It is common for tenants to leave the house a mess for showings.

8. Your house is dysfunctional. Examples: Master bedroom upstairs, one floor has only a half bath, small closets, no garage, access to a bedroom is through another bedroom, driveway is steep, has many stairs to front door, no laundry room, out laundry in garage. Functional issues are very hard to fix so adjusting the price is often the only option here. Why your house isn't selling.

9. Poor Location / Access. If the location could be changed I would have put this as number 2. If you have to drive through a subdivision of mobile homes to get to your $750,000 custom home we are going to have a challenge selling it. If your house adjoins commercial properties that will be an issue. If you always need 4-wheel drive to get there, it's going to be an issue. And as gas prices go up the distance from shopping, schools, and hospitals is going to become more and more important. Right now in the Prescott AZ market, some of the hardest hit areas are very expensive gated communities located 20 miles from town. Again, we cannot change location, but we can adjust the price.

10. Poor Maintenance. Buyers have plenty of options to choose from right now. Most buyers start with the neighborhood and price range they like, then quickly eliminate all properties except those priced most aggressively and in the best condition. If your house has visible maintenance issues like broken windows, old paint, damaged rain gutters or roofing, the buyers will quickly eliminate it unless you have adjusted the price accordingly.


This list could easily be the top 100 reasons your house is not selling, but I think these are some of the most common. It is so important for the sellers to let go of any emotional attachment to the house and step into the shoes of the buyer. And don't forget that the market price is set by the buyer, not the seller. If your house has been on the market for a month without showings please refer to this list. Also if your house is on the market and is getting showings but no offers after 10 showings, please refer to this list. Please give me a call or drop me an email to learn what else I do differently than most REALTORS to help you meet your goals.


Dave Conners enjoys teaching his clients new techniques to reach their goals.




Comments (49)

Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Dave, we have found that location is so important in our area. With the supply of houses, a home that has a poor location has a much more difficult time selling.

Jan 18, 2011 03:14 PM
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Hi Dave - Terrific list here.  I wrote a similar post a couple of years ago here on AR.  You covered pretty much every area.  Nicely done.

Jan 18, 2011 03:33 PM
Brandon & Grace Yee
Chase International - South Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe Real Estate

Hi Dave,

Those are all things to consider when you're a seller.  Love the photos!!

Cheers from Lake Tahoe,

~Grace Yee

Jan 18, 2011 04:10 PM
Marie Haydock
Evergreen Global Homes & Land | RSVP Real Estate - Redmond, WA
Simplifying Real Estate

Great article, with relevant advice and some attention grabbing photos!  Good job, Dave.

Jan 18, 2011 04:28 PM
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Thanks Dave. Great post with good points and photos to make us laugh.

Jan 18, 2011 04:49 PM
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Poor photos, or in the case of lazy foreclosure agents, one photo taken leaning out the car window, of the front of the house. If you can't do the job justice, don't take the listing.

Jan 18, 2011 04:58 PM
Jose Dias
Home Sellers Help in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale - Scottsdale, AZ
Sell Your Home in Scottsdale-Phoenix-Peoria-Glendale-Goodyear

Dave... loved the photos... And great advice... Thank you.

Jan 18, 2011 05:01 PM
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

What an excellent post.  I love the top ten thing!  I've written on a couple of these items separately like home smells and staying for showing.  But you wrapped things up very nicely and succinctly.  Congrats on the feature!

Jan 18, 2011 05:02 PM
Reno, NV

Lost my comment by not entering the graphic....dam! Hate that!  It's late, but I'm coming back to re-comment.. nite, nite....

Jan 18, 2011 05:25 PM
Nyssa Smith
Keller Williams Advantage Realty - State College, PA
REALTOR, State College Area Real Estate

These are all GREAT points.  All so true.  And congrats on the featured post!

Jan 18, 2011 05:53 PM
Toronto, ON

Dave - Your article is a must read for many people who may not understand why their house is not selling.

Jan 18, 2011 11:05 PM
Jacquie Cliff
Champions Real Estate Services - Lynnwood, WA - Lynnwood, WA
- Real Estate and Short Sale Expert

Love the photos with this article!  You definitely got it right with all your points as well. 

Jan 19, 2011 12:31 AM
Dave Conners
Keller Williams Check Realty - Prescott, AZ
Are You Ready For Awesome?

Thank you all for your kind words. I am so greatful to be part of such a wonderful community of agents and affiliates who really enjoy sharing and helping each other.

Jan 19, 2011 07:41 AM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Good list, I have to say. Smells and tenants are really sale killers and would make my top 10 as well. 

Jan 19, 2011 03:17 PM
Emily Medvec
eXp Realty LLC - Santa Fe, NM
Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Dave, your post is so on the mark with text and over the top images, I am reblogging it in New Mexico!

Jan 23, 2011 09:52 AM
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

Dave, This is a great list... and very TRUE.  I hope a lot of sellers read this blog... and take the hints.

Jan 23, 2011 11:21 AM
Gloria Todor
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Newtown Square, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Dave, This is a great post and you highlighted it nicely with your very interesting photos.  Gosh that door bell would probably stop a lot of people in their tracks.

Re-blogging. Thank you!


Jan 26, 2011 09:01 AM
Melinda Pearson
Prudential Serls Prime Properties - La Grange, NY

I can't believe the photos, great information on your post and photos to boot!  Where did you find the one of the deer??

Jan 26, 2011 10:38 AM
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

Dave - LOVE this! I just saw this on a re-blog and just had a conversation about ALL of the points you covered with a seller last week.  You so clearly give examples-pictures are priceless and it doesn't matter where in the country somebody is - all of these points are so true!  Thanks again -

Feb 16, 2013 11:41 PM
Dave Conners
Keller Williams Check Realty - Prescott, AZ
Are You Ready For Awesome?

Thanks Susan and Valerie. I'm surprised and delighted that two years after I wrote this blog, people still find it today:)

Mar 19, 2013 02:51 AM