A bunch of reasons why your place won't sell!

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

A bunch of reasons why your property won't sell

1. Your property won't sell because your photos are "less than impressive". And by "less than impressive", I probably mean bad. Everyone, and his uncle, these days begin their search by checking the digital superhighway that Al Gore built, so your property had better look fantastic online. Not just nice, it has to look downright fabulous.  Today an internet view is the same as your first showing .. if your house gets past that, then the viewer might (just might) make an appointment to see it in person. Today's online viewers are expecting great quality photos.  And "yes", that's a real MLS photo.  How happy do you suppose the seller was when they saw it?
2. Your property won't sell because it's priced too high. In my area, we are in a seller's market. But even in a seller's market, if you price it too high, people will stay away in droves.  Buyers are desperate for quality listings, but they're not stoopid.  Buyers still have other options on the market (and yes, they DO have to include short sales and foreclosures... your potential buyers are!), would YOU buy your home, over the others that are currently available on the market?

If the answer is "NO", (and try to be as honest as you can) well then you have your work cut out for you, don't you?  You either have to "update" your home to meet or beat the competition...(that might mean an updated bathroom or kitchen, or neutralizing some decorating... remove that old wallpaper that was there when you bought the house or lower your price to adjust for it.  if you can't afford to sell it for the price, that you KNOW it should sell for, this may not be the right market for you to sell.  Consider taking it off-market.
3. Your property won't sell because it shows badly. This could mean almost anything... from the 60 pound Rottweiler, barking and drooling at the potential buyers from behind the safety of the flimsiest child-gate, to the lingering smell of 30-years of smoking.  Maybe the carpeting shows the remants that the Rottweiler left behind, or your windows allow in slightly more than daylight.  All things that aren't visible from the internet, but whoa.... once you get inside the house... they show up, like a cat-urine-soaked-shag carpet on a 95 degree day in New Orleans!

4. Your property won't sell because you're invisible. Today's buyer comes from the internet, almost exclusively.  Have you (or your agent) simply plopped the property on the MLS, and started praying?  Are you on all the websites...(Trulia, Zillow, Craig's List, Google Base, etc...) all the places that buyers are searching?  If not, you need to be, now! Don't try to be a secret, in today's electronic world.  You want to be found, and the sooner the better.

5. Your property won't sell because your listing is tired and stale ond be, but your listing (not your house) has become tired and stale.  Everyone who is looking for your type of property (ie: 3br1.1 bath) in your area has already seen the listing online, or in person and they remember that there was "something" about it that they didn't like... but what they don't remember is... what they didn't like.... was the price.   Time to take the listing off market.  Let it cool off (3-6 months), and bring it back on fresh in the Spring.  Yeah, you'll have 6 mos. worth of holding-costs... but you'll more than make up for it in your purchase price.

btw... Resist the temptation to bring the house back on at a higher price, than when you left the market.  Just "don't do it"!

6. Your property won't sell because you won't make it available. You have a baby, and a 1-year old.  And they need their naps.  So you've told your Realtor in no-uncertain-terms, that you'll only allow showings between 9:00a.m - Noon, and then again from 2:30-5:30 p.m.  And no showings on Saturday or Sundays.  "After all", you've told him "we still live here.. it's our home!".  Well guess what?  They won't buy it, if they can't see it.  As good as your online photos are, they're no substitute for an in-person visit. "If they really want to see it, they'll reschedule", you're already answering as you read this.  Nonsense!  What they'll do, is they'll just move on to the next property in line (there are always more available) and maybe they'll buy that one instead.  Once you put your property on the market it stops being your "home", and has become your "product".  And you want your product to be seen by as large a buying audience as possible.

So, there you have it.  Stick around another year and half.  Who knows... maybe I'll update this one in another coupla years.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Nancy Milton Holtzscher 08/06/2018 01:46 PM
Real Estate Best Practices

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Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Hi Alan May , I really liked your blog and also the great illustrative pictures. Evetything is so true and clients in your Evanston, IL area should take your advice! Here is another example of a home that may have trouble selling, even with a good real estate description! 

Jul 25, 2018 11:00 AM #1
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Alan.

The last one is more common around my neck of the woods.  The sellers get mad at the agent because they have no offers.  

Jul 26, 2018 02:45 AM #2
John Wiley
Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

What a great list of reasons a property is not selling.

Sellers would great benefit from heed your advice.

Jul 26, 2018 01:49 PM #3
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Alan May, you've listed the top reasons why a home won't sell. Some will take your advice and make changes, some won't.

Jul 30, 2018 11:33 AM #5
Mary Ann Daniell Realtor
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Subsidiary of NRT LLC - Killeen, TX
Delivering Successful Results Since 1999

If only sellers could see themselves in this post, it would make their real estate life sooo much easier!  Every point you made is valid.  When sellers listen and do what an experienced agent suggests, the outcome is a GOOD sale for top dollar!

Jul 30, 2018 12:24 PM #6
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I see at least one of these every day and some days all of these Alan May 

Jul 30, 2018 02:08 PM #7
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Well done, Alan. I was rummaging through the MLS the other day and couldn't believe some of the photos that were there. Don't sellers look at their listings???

Jul 30, 2018 03:45 PM #8
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Alan May,

I'm so glad to see your post featured! You nailed this one..I'm appalled  at the photos I see in the MLS on listings!! I'm shocked sellers are not asking to see their home on the Internet!!

Jul 30, 2018 06:58 PM #9
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Very well said Alan! However, if it is priced right you can overcome a lot of other problems. My second favorite is not making the property available to be seen in a timely fashion. I always want to say “do you want to sell the damn house or not”. I never done that, but I have sure wanted to!!

Jul 30, 2018 08:39 PM #10
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

One of the things I think that makes my "listing presentation" stand apart is that I not only show them my marketing and my DOM compared to the rest of the MLS, but I let them know I'll be sending them links and asking for their feedback.

Jul 30, 2018 08:42 PM #11
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

I can get professional photos in this market for $180 to $300. Most will do drones for another $75 to $125. With this kind of pricing, why you not have great pics. 

Jul 30, 2018 08:43 PM #12
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Oh my goodness, what a fantastic post! I want to print it to share with a current client who is the very epitome of #6.

Jul 31, 2018 05:07 AM #13
marti garaughty
garaughty.com - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

Someone I know listed their condo approx. 6 months ago at what I estimate to be $40K to $50K above where it should be. No surprise, it's still on the market !

Jul 31, 2018 10:13 AM #14
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Selling a home for an owner is a total invasion of privacy they accept but for some reason they accept bad behavior by the agent who is not telling them the truth and not doing their job.

Jul 31, 2018 11:34 AM #15
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Alan, I love the "it's still OUR home" time limiting drama. Your descriptions of the carpet odor on the 95 degree day are also going to be hard to remove from my sense of smell. Well done!

Jul 31, 2018 01:27 PM #16
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I'm with Wendy, I like the "it's still OUR home" drama thing, too. No joke. We didn't realize that. We're purposely trying to make life hard for our sellers.

Jul 31, 2018 03:52 PM #17
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

LOVE this post!  Those awful photos in the MLS....most of the time, the seller has not taken the time to look at their home online.  After it expires, the next agent might show them though!  In our market right now, if it is on the market for more than a couple of weeks, it is condition or price.  And one of them needs to budge.  If you want the price, you need to do the work.  No room for testing the market.  Thank you for sharing!

Jul 31, 2018 05:43 PM #18
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

The worst scenario we have is when owners want to sell with a tenant in place.  We always want to wait until they move out. 

Aug 03, 2018 11:32 AM #19
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Alan May

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