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Home Not Selling? Common Issues and How to Overcome Them

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Associates RS - 0019092

You never think it will happen to you, but sometimes you have a listing or a home that just won’t sell. Or, your seller keeps asking, “Why is my house not selling?” and you want to share the reasons. Don’t worry. It happens to the best agents and great homes! The good thing is that there are many reasons why a house isn’t selling, and it isn’t always just an issue of price. So before you panic and massively reduce the price, read on to learn about some other challenges you may be facing with some easy fixes.

1. Home Features
According to studies, about 60% of US owner-occupied homes were constructed prior to 1980. In certain states the average age of homes is even higher. Many of these older homes have features—like small bedrooms, no main bathroom, low ceilings, and one-car garages (that aren't very wide)—that are very different from what today's buyers want. These elements may make potential buyers decide not to visit a listing at all. Newer homes built with subpar materials can occasionally be more difficult to sell than older homes with distinctive features. 

Easy Fixes

If your listing isn't selling, consider the house from the perspective of a potential buyer today. Which aspects of the house don't meet modern standards? Sometimes sellers can make these items right with a few fast updates or renovations. Your agent can provide innovative solutions, such as a price adjustment or buyer credit, to make up for a particular issue if the homeowners are unable or unwilling to modify certain problematic features.



Selling a House in Poor Condition? What You Need to Know



2. Home Condition

Many buyers steer clear of a potential home if it appears to need work. Little upkeep jobs like peeling paint, a lifeless lawn, or worn-out carpets add up. Larger, more obvious problems, such as odd features on the property or outdated electrical and plumbing systems, can be very challenging to sell. In severe circumstances, these problems may even make the property unable to obtain certain financing.

Easy Fixes

The best way to begin the process is for a homeowner and a real estate agent to have an open discussion about the problems and required repairs and updates. The realtor should offer suggestions for renovations, repairs, and home staging in addition to outlining precisely how certain problems can keep a house from selling.

3. Over (or Under) Pricing

One of the most frequent explanations for a house not selling is a financial one. Overpricing a property can drive away potential purchasers and result in an unseen listing that remains on the market. However, there are instances when agents and sellers fail to factor in extra costs such as homeowners or condominium association (HOA or COA) dues, closing costs, and interest when determining the asking price for a property. These elements influence a buyer's purchasing power and, in the end, the desirability of the house.

Easy Fixes

Given that the majority of purchasers give careful consideration to their monthly home payments, think about ways to lower the asking price or provide alternatives that will lower the payments. Offer an option to pay the first year's fees if your listing has high taxes and HOA/COA dues. 

4. Local Market Conditions

The condition of the real estate market ought to be one of your first priorities if your house isn't selling. A home's sale may be impacted by a number of market factors, including seasonal variations, economic downturns, and an oversaturated (buyer's) market. Additionally, certain properties may become less desirable due to local market factors, such as inconvenient access to school districts, shifts in the local economy, or even ongoing construction projects.

Easy Fixes

Regretfully, neither real estate agents nor home sellers have any influence over the state of the market. What you can do is become more adaptable and gain a deeper comprehension of the state of the market. You might not be able to fully compensate for a difficult real estate market. However, you can increase your chances by modifying your listing description, staging the house, or changing your pricing plan.

Simple Tips For Clear Communication | Ellevate

5. Communication Problems Between Seller and Agent

One of the most common, yet easiest, reasons a house doesn't sell is poor communication. It is the duty of the listing agent and the home seller to have regular and open communication regarding the property, as well as their expectations, worries, and inquiries. The property may be marketed incorrectly and receive few showings or offers if significant details or questions remain unanswered or unspoken.

Easy Fixes

The listing presentation that prepares the property and partnership for success is ideally where the real estate agent should begin the process of selling a house. A comparative market analysis (CMA), staging advice, a summary of the market, and an explanation of the marketing strategy are all included in this presentation. It should also involve an honest discussion about the state of the house, any obstacles that might arise, and how to evaluate the feedback from buyer agents, showings, and marketing responses.

6. Marketing Issues

"Why isn't my house selling?", is a question that homeowners are more likely to ask when there are no evident problems with the property or the real estate market. If a house isn't drawing any interest, its marketing is probably not reaching its full potential. Remember that this can happen to even the best and most seasoned agents before you go into a tailspin and start believing that you or your listing agent doesn't know what they're doing. Furthermore, it's frequently a minor detail that can be changed or updated to make a big impact.

Easy Fixes

Try  searching for a comparable house if you have any suspicions about the property's marketing. MLS and major listing portal searches should be your first steps. Does the search even include your listing?

If the listing seems accurate, think about updating the description, pictures or video or attempting some different approaches to drive traffic to it. Try, for instance, emailing people about the property, making a short video for TikTok or Instagram Reels, or including some descriptive real estate language in the listing description. 



Blurred Home Interior Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock



7. Photo & Video Issues

Real estate photography is a significant factor in why a house does not sell, so even though it falls under marketing, it merits its own category. The main way that prospective buyers interact with the property is through the listing photos, and poor listing photos can frequently cause serious buyers to remove the property from their consideration. High-resolution images should be taken at the proper angles, in an abundance of light. A home appears tidy, new, and prepared for occupancy when this expert display is placed in it.

Easy Fixes

It is worthwhile to use virtual staging software or hire a professional photographer to reshoot the listing if the photos you end up with don't turn out well. Examine every photo carefully before putting it on social media or the MLS. Include no pictures of small or poorly maintained yards, crowded rooms, busy streets, power lines, or anything else that might make a buyer decide not to include the house on their home tour.



8. Below Average Appearance

It may be time to concentrate on cosmetics if your home isn't selling for any of the most apparent reasons (price, market, or home quality). Statistics show that a staged home raises the amount of money offered for the property, according to the National Association of Realtors. Adding furniture and pulling weeds may not increase the true value of the house, but they can have a big impact on how appealing it is and even how much it sells for.

Easy Fixes

Enhancing a home's interior staging and curb appeal can be done in a variety of ways. The best results can be achieved by hiring a professional home stager, but this can be an expense outside the seller's budget. Using tried-and-true home staging advice, such as adding mirrors and decluttering, can have a significant impact. In a similar vein, modest adjustments like pruning bushes and adding potted plants can significantly increase curb appeal.

Posted by


Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Great info!

May 22, 2024 04:45 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Great information. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week!

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

May 22, 2024 05:06 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Wow these 8 things can really tank your chance of selling your home ! ……………………

May 22, 2024 06:28 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Christopher,

Good list of common issues when you have your home on the market and it's not selling. Good ways to combat these issues.

May 22, 2024 06:52 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Christopher, As always another great blog that you are sharing with us today in the Rain.  Can I reblog this soon?  Make it a great day!

May 22, 2024 10:08 AM
Christopher Pataki

but of course....................chris 

May 22, 2024 11:14 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

With a market this hot, some sellers believe they can put trash on the market and get a very desperate buyer That is not the way it works.

May 22, 2024 07:18 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Chris- I like how you listed reasons why a home might not be selling but also gave Easy Fixes!  

May 24, 2024 07:34 PM
Christopher Pataki

as you know we are Realtors, not home inspectors.  we SOLVE problems, not just find them..................chris 

May 25, 2024 02:36 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Good list of sales issues and potential resolutions!

Carol Williams - a suggestion for Second Chance Saturday!

May 25, 2024 05:07 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

May 25, 2024 06:54 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

It is most often an issue of bad pricing that prevents a house from selling. After all, everything will sell for the RIGHT price. So, is it a good idea to get it priced right and get it sold or make value improving fixes to move the value up to the desired price? If making fixes, make sure that the ROI on the money spent is good or else just lower the price.

May 31, 2024 11:32 AM