The Age Old Question In Real Estate...Why Aren't We Getting Offers?

Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations

The age old question in real estate....

" Why aren't we getting offers? "

The answer usually involves price, condition and/or location.


Many times the answer is obvious with obvious action required.

If it's price, lower it.

If it's condition, improve it, or lower the price accordingly.

If it's wait for the right buyer or you lower the price accordingly.

All roads seem to lead to price reduction as the solution.


 I would like to suggest a premeditated solution...

the preventative strike against price reductions

is a Home Staging Consultation.



Home stagers use presentation, visual and emotional appeal, to increase perceived value...

preparing and presenting the product so it sells as fast and for as much as possible.


It's a rare home that doesn't need some amount of improvement prior to listing.

Without proper preparation how can you expect buyers to believe the house has been well maintained and worth the asking price?


Why aren't we getting offers? "


Several years ago I did a staging consult for a seller, and shortly after her house sold, she hired me for advice on her new home.

This past summer the same client and her husband hired me to help select paint colors and offer some advice on minor improvements they were considering.

This week Mrs. Seller contacted me once again.

They had decided to build a new home and three weeks ago put their house on the market.


After two well-attended open houses and five showings

they haven't received an offer.

She asked me to view the listing in hopes of figuring out why no offers.


I checked the listing and two small bedrooms had bold paint colors and crowded furniture. Other than that the pictures looked good to me.

It's a beautiful home. It shows well online.

They have received calls for showings, so price must be ok.

There hasn't been any feedback indicating any issues.

My thoughts: buyers are seeing something once they get inside.

I offered to stop by for a quick walk through. 


I thought the house showed well, but looking more closely...

There are cat doors installed in most of the interior doors. (Great for buyers with cats. Not so great if buyers don't have cats.)

The hardwood floor in the foyer is worn and scratched and should be refinished.

The carpet in several rooms and going up the stairs has stains.

Many of the doors are in need of fresh paint.

There is an obvious, poorly-done ceiling patch (previous water leak) in the bathroom.


Certainly any one of these things alone wouldn't keep buyers from making an offer on a house they otherwise love.


But, added all together, these things could represent extra work and money that buyers are not willing to invest.

Even worse, buyers may be under the impression that the house has not been well maintained... and assuming that other areas, like electrical and plumbing, have also been neglected.


As a professional, I wish they had consulted with me and made some improvements prior to listing. But who really offer could come this week without any changes being made.

We will never know what difference my suggestions prior to listing could have made.


 One thing is certain though...


Much like getting only one chance to make a great first impression,

You only get one chance to create value in the eyes of buyers.

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Rita Legan
eXp Realty - Strongsville, OH
ASP Staging Realtor CDPE

Great information for sellers. The way we live in our home is not the way we market our homes. Once on the market our house becomes a product compared to other products.

Mar 26, 2019 05:32 AM #18
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Sharon. As usual you are right on the money. Another set of eyes and professional ones are always are worth the cost and time.

Mar 26, 2019 05:43 AM #19
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Kathy Streib  I certainly can understand why they didn't. I've been to the home a couple of times giving advice...of course, it was dwelling advice and not selling advice. As I said, it really shows well online. Even when you walk through, the items I mentioned (other than the carpet) could easily be missed by sellers. 

Sally K. & David L. Hanson  I've heard it many times from other sellers, but didn't have the opportunity to have the discussion with these sellers so I don't know their thought process on condition.

I will say that the decision to sell was a sudden one, which may have something to do with the issue now.

James (Jim) Lawson, DBA  Thank you! Congratulatins on your pending sale!

Sham Reddy  Thank you! 

Mar 26, 2019 06:44 AM #20
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Peter Mark SEO Services  It certainly applies to a lot of sales. In this case, I have no idea whether the price is right or not. I don't do price...I leave that up to you professionals.

Roy Kelley  Thank you! I hope it's helpful to sellers and agents.

Scott Godzyk  I see it all the time. But this one confuses me...very well attended open houses and five showings...price certainly didn't keep buyers from showing up.

Rita Legan  These sellers did a good job preparing for sale...I will never know if things would be different if they replaced carpet and refinished floor...but it is the only answer I could provide for them.

Sheila Anderson  Certainly can save money in the long run and help avoid lots of aggravation too.

Mar 26, 2019 06:54 AM #21
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

It's funny, but it seems that the only people that ask that question are the ones that don't want to do what it takes to sell a home, whether it be price, condition, etc.

Mar 26, 2019 07:33 AM #22
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Sharon Tara, most sellers welcome the suggestions and take action immediately as they want their homes to get sold. This is an excellent blog post for all present and future home sellers.

Mar 26, 2019 07:42 AM #23
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Most excellent posting on a relevant subject matter thank you Sharon Tara 

Mar 26, 2019 07:56 AM #24
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

You would think an agent would also have warned them about these small things that certainly add up in the minds of buyers. And at least they did eventually ask for your advice. I hope they can take care of the problems quickly and get it sold. D 

Mar 26, 2019 08:11 AM #25
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Brian England  That is the case much of the time, but these sellers sincerely do want to do whatever needs to be done.  I really believe they thought they had done enough, and it has yet to be determined if they did or not.

Beth Atalay  Thank you and thank you for the Banana feature. Much appreciated.

Richie Alan Naggar  Thank you!

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD  I agree that an agent should have made recommendations, but not at all surprised it wasn't done.

Maybe I've been doing this too is hard to believe this house hasn't had an offer...even with the items I mentioned. I'm hoping I get word it's under contract soon.

Mar 26, 2019 08:59 AM #26
Foster Smith Summerville
Carolina One Real Estate - Summerville, SC
Summerville & Charleston Homes for Sale SC Realtor

I love your statement "Much like getting only one chance to make a great first impression, You only get one chance to create value in the eyes of the buyer." Getting your home in tip top condition before you list is key in helping it move quickly. The initial response when it hits the market is usually the strongest.

Mar 26, 2019 11:33 AM #27
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Sharon - your smartly written post begs for more discussion between the seller and the broker.  Proper expectations for starters as I see it. Let's go from there.  

Mar 26, 2019 05:09 PM #28
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

There could be several reasons for a lack of offers, as you point out.  Little things that aren't finished could add up to an assumption that the home wasn't well maintained..

Mar 27, 2019 03:12 AM #29
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

Informative & interesting post. Thanks!

Mar 27, 2019 05:08 AM #30
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Foster Smith Summerville   Thank you! Yes, those first couple of weeks on the market are the most important. You can't get them back, once they are gone.

Michael Jacobs  Thank you! Communication between seller and broker can make all the difference.

Kat Palmiotti  You really want to avoid the "lack of maintenance" impression.

Dave Rosenmarkle  Thank you!

Mar 27, 2019 06:22 AM #31
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Sharon - very informative for sellers and well written with examples.  A well deserved feature.

Mar 27, 2019 09:08 AM #32
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Grant Schneider  Thank you. I appreciate you stopping by!

Mar 27, 2019 10:35 AM #33
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post.  Very good and well written.  And yes there are some good reason which you point out and often minor updates and repairs that may not cost much can go a long way.

Mar 29, 2019 04:25 AM #34
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Robin Wells  Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment!

Mar 29, 2019 12:20 PM #35
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Sharon Tara - congratulations on your well deserved feature!  I couldn't agree more with you.  I am a big advocate of home stagers. You help people with a different outlook and perspective and can make a huge difference in selling a property. Keep up the great work. 

Mar 30, 2019 05:12 PM #36
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® Thank you so much for supporting the home staging industry...with all our progress, we still have a long way to go. 

Mar 31, 2019 07:39 AM #37
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Sharon Tara

New Hampshire Home Stager
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