What if my house doesn't sell?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kenna Real Estate ER40035749

What if my house doesn't sell?

You may have wondered. Oh it usually will, but the question is at what price? And the bigger question is - is that price acceptable to you?

What if my house doesn't sell for the price I am willing/able to accept?

Selling a house - at what priceToday many areas are seeing sluggish home sales. I am talking specifically about home sales here in Denver area. Some pockets are doing really well and houses are in demand and are selling quickly, for a great price. But then there are other areas that are not doing so good.

Once upon a time...
When your house is put on the market the price you started with seemed perfect. In fact, it was a good price. There were quite many showings and the feedback was good. Early on you received an offer for, well let's just say it was low and you didn't want to counter. Now, four, five months later - nothing.

You've lowered the price a few times, adjusting for the declining market, yet nothing. Oh, wait - there is another offer, BUT, it is even lower than the 1st one. The buyers are scared of your declining neighborhood market too.

More and more houses are coming on the market in your neighborhood .But your house is one of the lowest priced houses, it is always sparkling clean, shows extremely well. The only objection seems to be the price. At what price is my house going to sell?
The End.

Do you know what your bottom line is? Do you know what you will do if the buyers/the market is telling you their price is lower than your bottom line?
As a seller, what are your options when prices keep falling and you are (or your house is) reaching critical mass?

A few things that will need to be considered

  • do you HAVE to sell or do you just WANT to sell
  • do you have EQUITY or do you OWE MORE than the house is worth
  • if you have equity, how long will you be able to carry the mortgage
  • have you relocated or do you live in the house

These things should be considered even before putting the house on the market. This way a better course of action can be taken while the house is on the market.


  • profit something (even if it is lower than what you had hoped for)
  • break even
  • have to bring money to the table - Would you be able to do that?
  • loan modification - maybe you don't need to sell if loan gets modified (may or may not be able to get a mod - it can be tough)
  • short sale - would your circumstances get you approved for a short sale?

not selling your house - for rentIf you have to sell, you will have a pretty good idea what you would have to get for the house (by looking at the Sellers Net Calculation Sheet) in order for you NOT to have to bring money to the table at closing. At the end, if none of the above work, the house might be eventually foreclosed on.


  • profit something (even if it is lower than what you had hoped for)
  • break even
  • have to bring money to the table - Would you be able to do that, or would you want to do that?
  • take the house off the market and continue living in the home for now
  • rent the house out (maybe have somebody manage it for you -especially if you have relocated)
  • let is sit vacant and empty (on the market for a certain price or off the market)

If the value of your house has declined, or the market in your neighborhood is going down fast -  It may not be a good time to sell - IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO. It is something you need to consider and make a decision based on your situation.

You may think of a certain number as your bottom line, but it may change. If it came down to it - would you be willing to accept say $1000 less than your absolute bottom line? It could mean a difference of selling the house sooner, rather than 2-3 months down the road, or not selling. Just food for thought.

Kenna Real Estate - Denver Luxury HomesBrian and Rita Burke
303.955.4220 Office
303.710.2609 Brian Direct

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Disclaimer: Kenna and Co. Blog does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

Copyright 2009.© Kenna Real Estate. Rita Burke. Highlands Ranch Tree Real Estate. Highlands Ranch Real Estate Agents Brian Burke and Rita Burke. All Rights Reserved. Mar 18th 2009. " What if my house doesn't sell?"


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TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Rita, You are right! Gone for awhile are the days when you could stick a sign in the yard and get multiple offers. Today, we all need to be more creative and price homes right...

Your building consultant for life in Brentwood, TN

Mar 17, 2009 08:20 PM #1
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Rita, Very well written and it is food for thought. There were a few sellers who contacted me last year because they wanted to sell not because they needed to. I suggested they wait and they are glad. I think they feel like they dodged a bullet. Nice new picture BTW.

Mar 17, 2009 11:23 PM #2
Sandy Childs
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC
Realtor - Spartanburg, SC

As one fellow rainer put it, it's a price war and a beauty contest. Price it right or it won't sell.

Mar 18, 2009 12:33 AM #3
Mike Mitchell
Real Living Kee Realty - Saint Clair Shores, MI

Hi Rita, excellent read! Some very good points for sellers to consider.

Mar 18, 2009 01:08 AM #4
Zilkia Olmeda-Martins
RE/MAX North - San Antonio - San Antonio, TX
GRI, Realtor, San Antonio Texas Luxury Homes

Great post!  The last couple of listing appointments I have been to have been tough on the sellers.  In both instances, they would have to contribute money at closing in order to sell their home.  They were both shocked at the news and told me that other agents had not communicated this to them.  

Mar 18, 2009 01:56 AM #5
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Hello Rita, nicely put. Want versus sell, especially that part. :)

Mar 18, 2009 09:56 AM #6
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


Good common sense suggestions. Very nicely done job.

Mar 18, 2009 11:32 AM #7
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Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate
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