My Home Didn't Sell, Who's Fault Is It? List Home to Sell Not Expire!

Real Estate Agent with Rich Life Real Estate Team GA#242237

My Home Didn't Sell, Who's Fault Is It?


This home was very nice inside, but the powder Blue shutters and would have looked so modern and popped as black shutters.  Also, the door for $1,000 could be a carriage style door and would look great!  You don't even notice the new roof!

At the end of a listing period everyone is disappointed when the house doesn't sell.  The agent likely wouldn't have listed it for that length of the time with the plan to go home empty handed, and the seller certainly wouldn't have listed with theagent if the agent hadn't been recommended by friends and at least appeared to have many great ideas to market the house.  Yet at the end of six months and countless hours of cleaning, de-cluttering, getting ready for the showing that gave no notice, and a great deal of expense on the agents part to market the house with glossy flyers, internet ads, professional photographers, continual follow up on calls off of signs, real estate magazines, and follow up with agents who brought dozens of buyers through the home....NOTHING!  The agent isn't happy and neither is the seller, even if they still hopefully like each other!

No matter how nice the agent is, or how good the relationship is, and regardless of how good the communication was, we have to get down to WHY DIDN'T the HOME SELL!!?  

Who's Fault Is It?

It's very easy to blame the economy, and that's the first place an inexperienced agent will go.  Here is the problem with that, if they used comps and priced the property according to what was SELLING at the time they took the property, and if they priced it to sell as fast or faster than those properties did, that argument doesn't hold water!

If the Property Wasn't Priced Right then both the seller and agent share blame.  The agents job is to tell the owner the cold hard truth about where the property needs to sell during the listing period, and if the agent isn't a good enough professional to help the seller realize the obvious with the comparable sales right in front of them, shame on them.  If the seller wants to pay off all debts, secure a college education for their children, and buy a bigger dream home, they should be selling the lotter, not wasting the agents time, so if they aren't coachable on price it may be there fault.

The Home was in Poor Condition again is a joint responsibility.  If it's repairs, a good agent should have a rolodex of contractors that can do just about anything, and if they are giving them enough business, the prices should be much better than you could get on your own.  If the seller doesn't have the income to do repairs, that's nobody's fault, but the property should be priced accordingly.  


The agent needs to know how to Stage the Home, and should have resources that could make the home look outstanding, including the renting of designer furniture at a nominal charge. 

grandma lighting

It's ok if Grandma lives in the house, but the furniture from the set of Golden Girls could have been replaced with furniture from a stager that would have made the home feel much more modern.  Also the lighting could be updated for $125!


While this Wicker furniture may be fine while you live in the home, and would be great on my back deck, it's not great in a high end home that you are asking $300,000 or more for.  A home a few doors down sold in 4 days but was fabulously staged with high end furniture, but this one sat even though it was a very nice home.  Again, a stager could have helped here!

If the home is Dated there are many affordable options from paint, to stainless steel appliances (go used even) to granite remnants that can make a huge difference.


Stainless steel appliances, used if needed would go a long ways towards making this home much more modernized.  If your appliances look like they could die at any time (the fridge) people wonder what else in the house could be that old and could go out on them.

poor or dated paint

Just off the emerald green carpeted bedroom is the mustard yellow bath, and both colors may have been wonderful in the past, but you need neutral colors to appeal to as many people as possible.

The home wont sell because of Bad Location.  It is what it is, there isn't much you can do about this, other than to take it into consideration and expect a longer sales time.

Bad Neighbor  Not much  you can do here, check to see if neighborhood covenants can be enforced, but there isn't much you can do about a neighbor who has a really messy yard or big dogs, or the car up on blocks.  You make your money in real estate when you buy.  Try to offer cash incentive if you can and a plea to your plight in selling if they will cooperate in helping you.

The Agent Didn't Market the Home.  The Multiple Listing System in your area will do much of the work, but a great deal of the activity comes from your yard sign, and it's also important that the agent really advertise the property on the internet, where 90% of home buyers start their search.  Letting neighbors know through direct mail post cards is important too, because many neighbors may wish to move up to a larger home in the same neighborhood, or may have friends or family members who would like to live close by them.  

Close to this last agent sin is Agent Shot Bad Pictures  High definition pictures with a wide angle lens by a professional makes your home stand out and look so much better than the other hundreds of homes that you are competing with on the internet.  If they don't click on it they certainly don't come to walk thorough it!  Leaving old pictures from two seasons ago is a great way to make the property look stale.  It says, "Our house has been overpriced for a while and nobody else wants it."  Also, some agents will shoot 6 pictures on a $700,000 home, which is completely inadequate!

Bad Pictures

This picture is SO BAD, I don't know why the agent would even include it, "Welcome to my driveway!"  It creates concerns before anyone even gets there!  Don't include this just because your website accepts 37 pictures!  Especially on a great lake house like this one!

bad pictures

Don't you just feel so excited to buy this lake retreat?  Want to swim or boat?  This home was on the MARKET FOR 180 Days, HALF A YEAR, and the agent didn't re-shoot in Spring, Summer or Fall!  It says, "I'm stale and overpriced and that's why it's obvious in September that my house was listed last DECEMBER!

The Home Was Inaccessable, we have all seen MLS instructions that say, call three days in advance, the owner is a day sleeper, dogs have to be put away so please don't show until 3:00-5:00 window.  Look, if you want to sell your home the best way to eliminate potential showings (other than being overpriced, and having terrible pictures and no advertising) is to limit the showings.  People are usually looking at 5 other houses, not just yours, and seeing your home has to be convenient for them not you!  If you miss the one buyer that was looking just for what you have, because of this, that is the home sellers fault!

Dog's schedule

This was a very nice home, furnished well, priced not too far off where it should be, but clearly schedule was around dog's and showing was hard.


My home didn't sell, who's fault is it, if you want to list a home to sell, not expire, it's the job of the agent and the seller to avoid these mistakes and do things right!

Comments (9)

Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Very nice post. Hope you are having a great week. 

Sep 26, 2013 01:46 PM
Jared Garfield
Rich Life Real Estate Team - Buford, GA
Invest With The Best For The Highest Returns!

Alan, thank you for the great feedback, I'm still learning blogging, but hope I can provide value!


Sep 26, 2013 09:48 PM
Melissa Polce
ERA, Wilkinson Real Estate Charlotte - Huntersville, NC
Lake to Land, I've Got It Covered!

Yes Sir, I think the longer you are in the buz, the easier it is to give a seller a "honey do" list of suggestions, must have's and must do's...great article, thanks for putting it out there!

Sep 26, 2013 10:27 PM
Andrew Payne RealtorĀ® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~
Piedmont Real Estate - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRESĀ®, NAR Green

There are a lot of easy and inexpensive options to improve a home's appearance and help it sell.  You've put together a lot of great examples!

Sep 26, 2013 11:17 PM
Jennifer Shenbaum
Jennifer Buys Houses - Redondo Beach, CA

I agree with your post.  Great ideas for sellers!

Sep 27, 2013 01:01 AM
Andre Coltrin

I am sure this is a eye opener for many.

Sep 27, 2013 02:04 AM
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

I am now at the point where I take my sellers to open houses when available that are similar to their homes and to actual listings when not.  Only until they see what their competition is are they willing to go the extra mile.

Sep 27, 2013 05:56 AM
Jared Garfield
Rich Life Real Estate Team - Buford, GA
Invest With The Best For The Highest Returns!

Andre, I think you are right, and it's hard when you live in the house to spot the things that need to be done.  You dont' have the same vantage point to be able to see the home through the eyes of the buyer, because it's been good enough for you, right?

Marnie, getting your sellers to open houses is a great idea!  Thanks Jennifer for the positive comments!  Andrew, thanks to you too, and you are right, many of the fixes don't have to be expensive!  Melissa, I hope my wife doesn't read this blog and come up with a bunch of honey do's for me, and thanks for the comment!

Sep 27, 2013 12:31 PM
Kimberly Whitlock
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Realtors - Abbottstown, PA

Home Staging is so under-rated.  There are a ton of things that can be done to improve appearances.  Most without a huge investment! 

Oct 06, 2013 04:00 AM