Home Selling in 32819>Question Details

Steve Tagg, Real Estate Pro in 49504

what are the top reasons why listings fail to sell?

Asked by Steve Tagg, 49504 Thu Jul 24, 2014

Help the community by answering this question:


poor photography! Showing only one or a few pics OR showing the corner of a room. pics too dark or small to see. I won't even consider them as if the realtor is that lazy I don't want to deal with them.
9 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2014
When I look at a house on line there are several questions I need answered in addition to looking at the pictures:
Number of bedrooms and bathrooms?
Flooring materials
Is there a home owners association or not?
If an HOA, how much is the monthly cost.
What are the real estate taxes?
What year was the house built?
What is he house size?
What is the property size.
What is the heating fuel?
Is High Speed internet and Cable available. (I work from home)

It amazes me that I have to look for the same house on several websites to answer these questions. I hate calling a realtor only to find out they don't know the answers either.
I detest surprises.
It also amazes to me that people show pictures of cluttered rooms, broken windows, etc..
7 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Bob, you'll love this. I live in NC where the realtors can barely read and trust me they can't sell. A realtor brought a young couple to see my fsbo house for the second time. The first time, I wasn't home but since they had narrowed their search from 14 houses down to 3, I wanted to hear feedback from them directly. I told them when they arrived that I would like to answer any questions they had since we are the original owners and it was custom built for us. They were very nice and had many questions. The realtor knew nothing, and I mean nothing. She tried to hurry them so I asked her if she told them about the flat screen tv sand surround sound system? She was perplexed. Oh yes, the TVs stay with the home because the speakers you see are hard wired behind the walls. Then I asked if she had discussed the video security system.. Yes again, deer in the headlights. This time I asked her what did she think those cameras were on every door. You get the drift here. Know what
Flag Sun Aug 17, 2014
The SFBay Area is a hot market right now with amazingly high buyers bids arriving just after the house is listed. Houses that were "upgraded" without the necessary permits seem to fall off of the market, however since our cities are quite aggressive in putting liens on the property until the building inspections have been completed and signed off. So...a word to sellers...PULL THOSE PERMITS and follow through to sign-off. IT PAYS OFF with a quick sale for a great price.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
The MLS does, but many of these real estate sites don't include all the MLS info.

I agree about the terrible pictures, or no pictures. What's the point of listing online if you can't show what you're buying?
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I have no idea what you are talking about. Most MLS list all of that info.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Good list--i have all same sentiments and concerns when looking at houses on line. I am not ready to deal with a realtor--just doing some preliminary research. Need same answers.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I have long wondered the same thing, Steve. But what has always baffled me even more is why home sellers tolerate their agent using bad photos. Why don't they hold their agent to a higher level of performance?
7 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
And make them take some in the first place! Nothing ticks me off worse than selecting a house form a search only to find one picture, taken from the car.
You want your commission? Get out of your car and do your job!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I agree. If your place looks good, then make sure good photos are used. Show the kitchen, the bathrooms, I look first at those, yet a lot don't of postings don't have photos of those. Then a couple of shots of the living room from different angles, and each room. Show me the big closet. The nice back yard, the street view. Photos are cheap. If you've got a good product, show it well online. If you don't have a good product, be ready for some low-ball offers.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
As a home buyer, I won't even go to a listing if there are not enough pictures online. I like to assess if it is what I'm looking for before I waste the gas going. The other thing I can't stand is overpriced, not being honest about property condition, saying there is a pond when it is actually a fake molded pond(we like to fish), houses that are on leased land(just sell both, don't put a low price for the house to make it come up in a lower range).
7 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
i've seen houses listed by real estate agents with NO as in ZERO pictures .. not even exterior shots .. the seller is a family member .. or they own it .. that's SOOOOO ridiculous!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Or the photos are blurry or not lighted well, huge turnoff in the buying process
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Yep, I keep scrolling when there are only 6-9 photos. I want to see what every room looks like before I invest the time to look.

And I HATE being misled. As prospects, our time is valuable; don't waste it. You're not going to sell us a place just because we went there. I'm also too old and tired to fix up a place that isn't presentable.

I lucked out: stumbled onto a fabulous Trulia agent who's smart, caring, and knows everybody in town I will ever need to know to keep my place looking great. There were a ton of photos. First reaction? It can't possibly by this great. News flash: It was even better. Everything I dreamed of and more. No compromises whatsoever.

The KEY is a qualified agent, who can also recommend bankers, inspectors, insurance agents, lawyers -- whatever you need for a smooth transaction. My loan application has just been "submitted to the board," and I'm in a state of bliss that I'm likely to soon be moving into the perfect home for me at this time in my life.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I'm going to offer one view that hasn't been noted here yet. Yes, I agree that the *primary* reason that a listing fails to get visits is that it's probably priced too high. That's one of the reasons why you'll see agents pricing homes at $299,900 rather than a straight $300,000...something about the psychology of saving $100.
But here's where I differ from the other responses. I think the *second* reason is that the seller is not sufficiently motivated to get the house sold. That lack of motivation displays itself in various ways, but those reasons include, in my experience: a) declining multiple opportunities for showings because "it wasn't convenient"; b) failing to maintain the home in tip-top showing condition (i.e., no dirty dishes in the sink and no make-up left strewn throughout the bathroom); c) refusing to acknowledge that pets often dissuade potential buyers. Barking dogs, pet hair and odors, and scary pets (including deer heads mounted on the walls) often "flip the switch" for some buyers -- who then just wants to depart that home quickly.
A listed home needs to be neutral enough that it invites the buyers to imagine themselves living there. Plain and simple.
7 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
I especially agree with this. Buyers can tell if you're not really invested in selling your house-- it's usually in the small details. Make sure everything is professionally cleaned and keep the paint and furniture neutral. It makes a big difference on how the buyers will feel about it. http://www.jaegaraustralia.com.au
Flag Tue Jun 2, 2015
Easy, you probably learned this in Real Estate 101.

1) Pricing
2) Location
3) Condition
4) Terms
5) Access to Showing
6) Agent failing to return calls
6 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2014
Price is certainly the main reason a property doesn't sell. To many homes are listed at prices closer to 06, 07 sometimes even higher. In FL besides for maybe Miami, it's ridiculous to think your home is worth more than at the height of the housing market. They usually end up sitting on the market for a very long time with either many price cuts before being sold or just sit on the market and eventually removed. Home sales have continued to decline and we are at that time of the year when majority of homes are sold, yet sales are down a great amount. That should tell you something about the market. The government has been printing so much money, it's unheard of. Even with this the housing markets performance is extremely poor considering the stimulus and rates kept at or near 0. With the amount of crisis going on around the world, lack of wage growth and a housing market that is failing I don't see prices increases. I actually believe prices will decline in the future and many economist believe their is a high chance for many area's to see prices drop over the next two years. Those that need to sell are taking a big gamble listing their properties well over their value and sitting on them for a year plus. Just looked at what happened to those who sat on them in 07 and lost 20 to 30 percent easily when they sold a few years later. Of course it's a gamble for a buyer as well as it's possible they could continue to go up but I'm doubtful they will but that's my personal experience based on economic statistics and world events
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 26, 2014
And wow, I don't know where they get these appellations, but I do NOT live in Austin (google me and you can tell that right away!) and I haven't been a renter there since I was in college in 1978!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Everything you are saying is linked to location and market (except the "printing money" myth, which is just that, a myth. Too much Fox News?). The San Antonio market, where I was recently a seller and hope to be a buyer soon, and the Coastal Bend market, where I am a recent owner, are heating up and going just fine. My husband and I made a tidy amount on our new-construction house that we had only owned for three years. Don't make generalizations based on your area alone. The economy is doing very well where we are, with a shortage of homes and a pricey rental market.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
The myth that the govt. is "printing too much money"'has been around for years. Rarely has a myth been so impervious to simple facts. Pundits have been talking nonstop about the avalanche of money without bothering to actually look it up and discover that it just isn’t happening. Houses are only worth what someone is willing to pay, so,if a house isn't selling the price has to be dropped
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
My main problem is photos... I don't want to see a photo of the street sign down on the corner.. I already know the address. I also saw a photo of the house # painted on the edge of the sidewalk gutter with all the gutters trappings. NO not interested. I want to see the inside of the house also. If they only take photos of the out side, that means something is wrong with the inside. I want to SEE what is wrong and what it will take for me to fix it or walk before I bother to go look. Also the view from the porch or window is not necessary but nice to see.... Thanks
5 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2014
Priced too high for the market. House has an odor such as pet urine, cigaret smoke, exotic cooking odors, mold, mildew, musty, wood rot. Areas of concern are not address,: failing outdated appliances, damaged countertops, old fixtures, major issues such as finance, roof water. / mold damage. Recognizing that poorly rated schools are not going to attract family buyers. Clutter & wild paint or wallpaper.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
It's usually price that causes a property to "sit on the market.". This was the first thing I learned when studying to be a Realtor. My instructor, a 60 year Veteran, asked this question to the class who had many answers(none right). When she gave the answer as "price" I disagreed with her, insisting it had to be condition, or location.
My Instructor said, "Its price, and I can prove it to you. Would you buy my house for a Dollar?" I said "Yes! Of course!".. and I had to laugh then. You can sell anything for the right price!
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
The instructor was right. It's true almost anyone can give away almost anything. I don't call that professional selling. In many years of coaching and training sales people, I've seen ability to understand and capture buyer needs, match those appropriately to the item/service being offered and properly translate value as key differentiators between true sales professionals and product-pitch or transactional people. And the true standouts understand how important real customer service is -- unfortunately, that seems to be a dying art in some industries/areas.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Most real estate agents are incompetent, which is why only a handful are successful.

When you were just a kid, did you or any of your friends ever say "When I grow up, I want to be a real estate agent?" That should tell you something about the losers who populate this field.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
And they want 6 "bleeping" percent to sell your house!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
There is a tendency for the best values to sell first. The best value is usually the most house for the money. So if your house does not sell, you are asking too much.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
T here are only TWO reasons a property does not sell:

1. It is priced above its market value (true for 99.9% of all unsold properties). Home condition, location, age, etc., etc., etc., have NOTHING to do with a house not selling. ALL of those factors and others must be reflected in the asking price which MUST be very near market value. Many sellers want to price their property high an "wait for an offer" which NEVER comes. Real estate agents will not show a house priced outside the market range except to use it as a "sell against," i.e., a property whose price is way too high and about which they can say "but look at the great price on this other home." EVERY SELLER, even real estate agents, think their property is worth more than it actually is, and it is very difficult to convince sellers of their home's actual value.
2. The home is difficult to show. Some sellers have the attitude of "I don't want just anybody touring my home; I have lots of valuable antiques or art or an elderly relative or a dog or, I have to be home during a tour and have 48 hours notice..... yadda, yadda, yadda. It is very difficult for people to realize that the moment they put their home up for sale it is no longer their home; it is a commodity that they are trying to sell with the aid of a real estate salesperson, and the owner's job is to HELP the agent any way they can. An agent can't do it all by themselves.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
In addition to the answers given I have one more reason. The HGTV factor. As a seller with a home on the market, a significant number of buyers are obsessed with "open concept" and the features they are seeing on TV make overs. The construction of some homes just doesn't permit taking out walls. So with everything else properly done with the real estate agent, proper staging, extensive preparation and cleaning...we wait for the right buyer.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
This.is true for most of the. Shows on HGTV, but check out Nicole Curtis on Rehab. addict. She renovates old homes and leaves walls in tact for the most part. I'd like to see more shows like that.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Lack of photos. If there isn't one at all, I don't even look. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then tell your story man! And I don't want to see 5 photos of the same bathroom from the same angle.

Pricing would be another.

Not looking at their property with a critical eye. Look at it as you would if you were going in to purchase a home. Then fix what is broken! No one wants to buy your mess.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
To diney2u -- regarding the seller's furniture -- if the seller is still living in the home, chances are, they're going to need furniture! If seller is still living there, they should de-clutter everything from shelves, etc. but it's not always practical to remove your furniture.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Or pictures that are of the seller's furniture...I'm not buying their furniture.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I agree. I look at properties all the time and I'm continually stunned the agent hasn't included key photos. No pictures of the view or back yard for instance.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
The top 2 are being overpriced and a lack of attention and marketing by the agent they chose. All agents are not created equal and nothing beats a good full time and local listing agent willing to assist you through each step of the listing process
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
Hello Steve!

Price: I think most realtors will agree pricing too high is the #1 reason a home doesn't sell.

Condition of the property: Before listing it, walk through each room and note what needs to be repaired, replaced, or refreshed. A (neutral color) coat of paint on walls, trims and baseboards will make a big difference in presentation. De-clutter. Now would be a good time to pack away all those knickknacks and set of encyclopedias! Replace light bulbs, fix leaks... and don't forget the outside. The term 'curb appeal' really counts. If a buyer likes the outside, they'll want to see the inside. If painting the exterior is not an option, consider power washing, apply fresh coat of paint to front door and trim. Prune bushes, mow the lawn, add some planters with colorful plantings. Do you need a new mailbox? Little improvements will go a long way.

Lack of or poor marketing: With 93% of buyers searching the Internet, it's important your property be listed on the MLS featuring beautiful photographs and descriptive remarks outlining why your property is unique. Most buyers will have searched numerous homes, multiple times, before actually calling to set up a showing. Ask your agent about print ads, direct mailings, brokers' tour, open houses. and social media.

Hope this was helpful :)
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
This is all SO true!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Rose, Excellent point with the marketing issue!
Flag Thu Jul 24, 2014
Hi Steve,

I think the three most common reasons a property doesn't sell are the following:

1- The price is too high
2- The home is in bad condition
3- The listing agent is inexperienced

Sincerely, Isabelle
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
My agent told me a home can not sell unless it meets the "Appraised Value", and no bank will loan on a higher amount other then the appraised value. There's always the cash buyers though.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
@ Maryann As a recent home buyer I really hated when the seller's agent was there. It drastically affected the order in which we saw houses, and made it uncomfortable. I felt like I had to follow them around versus focusing on what was most important to our family, and discuss features with my agent.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
All the above that Isabelle listed do factor in but there's one thing that we've had many agents tell us, make the outside welcoming and although you my not get a return on landscaping, it helps sell a home. The houses in our neighborhood that have had problems selling also had no landscaping, fencing, sprinklers, or upgrades. I know a lot of short term homeowners who are transferred every 2-4 years don't want to invest in something they're only going to have for the short term, but it makes a difference on your investment in the long run.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I'm not in RI now, I'm in PA. Don't know why it still says RI!?
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I agree with Isabelle!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
What is your thoughts on the listing agent NOT showing the house? In our area, our listing agent did not actually show the house. Said it would intimidate the buyer and their realtor? In New England where we lived, that would never happen. Our listing agent always showed the house. I don't know what we are paying a listing agent commission for if they aren't even going to show it!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Or, the listing agent cannot sell anything not traditional. We have found this when attempting to engage realtors to try to list our home. If it's not traditional and, oh my goodness a bit dirty, they don't know how to show the house, and they don't know how to price the house. We have also found that in our area, comps are not similarly sized houses and property lots, they're sales of the very same home through the years, which places the original owner who has lived in a home in a bad position because, again, the realtor claims no comps.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
"The number one reason why any home expires of course is that is was priced improperly. There are cases where the price was determined by either by an overzealous agent or by a seller that is living in fantasy land. Unfortunately, this is the biggest deterrent to having a successful Real Estate transaction."
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Don't forget unreasonable coop boards. Went into contact on a coop to ultimately being rejected because the price was not what the board wanted. Feel sorry for the sellers, place is still on the market. Going on two years now.
Flag Sat Aug 9, 2014
doing your homework on finding the right realtor. interview at least 4 or 5 . make a list of questions. once you have picked the right one, before you hire them, check their ref. find out if they have a back up realtor incase they are not able to be reached. (ie: if they are vacation in Africa for 4 weeks ).

get every single thing in writing. I mean it. talk is cheap !

your home is a huge investment. make sure that you treat it that way. not every realtor is the one you need to sell your home.

most importantly, do a lot of praying !
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Price and location! One you can change the other, not so much!

3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Over pricing and not properly prepared for viewing
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Top 10? How about just 1? But if you want 10, I will give you 10. Ready?

1. Price,
2. Price,
3. Price,
4. Price,
5. Price,
6. Price,
7. Price,
8. Price,
9. Price.
10. Did I mention, Price?

In all seriousness, though, if you reserve price for your own house is higher than any other buyer's out there, then you WON"T sell your house.

There are other considerations too, and the most important one is marketing. How is marketing related to price?

A. If you get reach 10% of the potential buyers, you will have to sell for lower price,

B. A house might sell for $100K to a non-investor, and $90K to an investor (because to an investor, it is worth less due to cash flow reasons). So if you market to investors, you won't get the price you want,

C. If you have marketing issues, e.g., carpet has stains and you are primarily marketing to first time home buyers. First time home buyers will be arguing about every little unimportant details.

D. Your house is only $100K, but you are marketing to people who want to spend $200K. Paradoxically, while the potential pool of buyers can easily afford your house, they don't want it.

There are many ways why you can lose potential buyers:

(I) Your agent is not responsive to inquiries,
(II) You have too many requirements (I can not show today, tomorrow, or any time this week),
(iii) Your house does not show well. E.g., you come in, and the place smells of urine,

In short, price and marketing.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Responding the person who responded, reedasimon, Home Owner. This has nothing to do with the English language. The person is telling the truth. Just read the information and try to learn something.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
My God. Your grasp of the English language is horrifying. Your utterances are virtually almost incoherent.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
The price is the number one reason. Almost everything else can be fixed with the right price.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Do you have pets? As a current potential home buyer who has been looking at homes for the last two months, and as a non-pet owner and someone who is severely allergic to pet dander, if I walk into a house that has pets (particularly cats that love to walk around on counter tops, which just grosses me out) I become immediately turned off. I can't help it! No matter how clean the house is, I just start thinking about all the places the pet may have peed and I become convinced that we'll need to replace all of the carpet just to be safe. And since our whole family has allergies I start thinking about the expense of getting the air ducts cleaned and the blinds wiped down, etc. By the time I finish touring the house, I have a whole list of expenses in my head that have now made the house too expensive for us. It just becomes a total distraction for me. So you might try and erase any evidence of pets and leave them at a neighbors when you show the house.

Further, if the house smells like cookies or any kind of air freshener, that is a huge red flag for me because it tells me you are trying to mask odors. If I see freshly baked cookies enhanced by a layer of vanilla air freshener, or candles burning, or Renuzits situated all over the house, I usually don't even finish the tour. I only want to smell a CLEAN house so just make sure your house is nice and clean with a fresh smell and nix the scents and air fresheners. (And if your realtor is telling you to use scents she may just be too uncomfortable telling you honestly that your house smells funky--ask her directly if this is the case!)

Finally, if your house has been on the market for a while, that can be what's preventing it from selling. If a seemingly nice house sits on the market for too long, buyers automatically start wondering "what's wrong with this house? Why hasn't a nice house like this sold yet? There must be SOMETHING wrong with it!" We are guilty of this very thing. There's a house we looked at a few months ago. It was gorgeous, in a top-rated school district and it was priced to sell. They accepted an offer before we could even discuss it. It has since fallen out of contract two separate times and even though we still love the house, we feel like it must have something seriously wrong with it if it keeps falling out of contract so we are not prepared to make an offer--even a low one. And now it just sits there for sale while all the other houses around it are flying off the market. So you may want to consider pulling it off the market for a month or two and let it fade from people's memory and then relist it again when a new crop of buyers with fresh eyes pops up.

Good luck!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Price, price, price. Price it right and it will sell.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
I am not a real estate agent but an investor for high end rentals and have bought and sold homes in 5 different states. Real estate is very local and what sells in one area doesn't translate in another. First, let me address some comments, 99.9% of the time a seller's agent has never shown me a property UNLESS they are hosting an open house or they are also representing me as a buyer. As a buyer you do not want a seller's agent showing you the property. In general open houses are in the interest of the seller's realtor where they can gain potential business from prospective buyers. That said, open houses are very effective in marketing properties in boutique and high demand neighborhoods where inventory is low.

The main reason why homes don't sell is, it is price too high!! At the end of the day, your home is only worth what someone (not you!) is willing to pay for it regardless of what the comps say. You cannot sell your home if you don't have people touring the house (it's a numbers game). How you live in a home is different from how you sell a home and most people can't get pass what is in front of them so it needs to be CLEAN and decluttered. As a buyer, the longer a house sits on the market or the number of times the seller has dropped the price, all factor into my offer price. Get yourself an experienced SELLING agent who you are comfortable with getting harsh feedback. As experienced as I am, I still debate with my realtor on setting a price point to drive traffic thru the property. As a buyer, remember I am looking at many homes (I have looked at 20 homes in a single day) so while your home may be nice, your home may not make the short list compared to your competition.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
We were fortunate to have a "stager" included as a service from our realtor. She had us remove nearly 50% of our furniture! The house looked totally different much better, and we closed escrow within 63 days. Incidentally, we felt the house was listed for less than we thought (naturally), but it brought it more prospects and offers, selling for $22,000 over the listed price.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
We relocated to another state about 5 months ago and have been looking for a new home in earnest. I have done targeted on-line searches, and do drive-bys prior to requesting a showing. Immediate turn-offs: listings that misrepresent the setting, i.e. a "mountain view" that neglects to mention the high-tension wires in front of that view...poorly-kept houses in close proximity...unpaved roads requiring a tank to access the home. I cannot tell you how many homes I've seen where there have been NO improvements or maintenance for the past 30+ years, that are still highly priced.

We have also looked at newer homes that have been trashed, with terrible paint jobs, holes in walls and shoddy repairs. I think that a potential buyer can overlook cosmetics and minor repairs if the place is at least clean.

We would love to find a realtor who will actually HELP us find a house or possibly build, and not just rely on us to cruise the on line listings
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
As a current potential buyer, searching on the net for houses, my biggest turn off is looking at a home that has clutter everywhere. I don't understand why a Realtor would take pictures of a kitchen with dishes in sink,cluttered counters, or toys scattered in living room and makeup all over bathroom counters. It tells me there is no storage and the house is not clean. It may be a home with a great yard or killer view, but if I see pictures like that, I move right on to another listing.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Kentucky, G&Z, Sue-- I've heard buyers say "oh, this carpeting is horrible, I'd never buy this!" Like they can't buy new carpeting? You have to realize that most people these days aren't handy enough to change their own light switches or ceiling lights, paint a room, swap out a toilet. Typical buyers have gotten as lazy & stupid as the brokers they're complaining about.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
You have to look past whether the current owners are slobs. If they were YOUR dishes in the sink, then you might be able to surmise there's not enough storage space. But you can't determine that based on someone else's habits. You also have to remember that realtors (I refuse to capitalize that word--they're NOT that important) have no clue how to take pictures to feature a room. How many pictures of the front of the house do you see with massive vehicles parked in the drive, blocking everything? Or the bedroom with the actual bed centered in the photo and taking up 95% of the view? If I were buying the pickup or the bed, that would be one thing. The agents I have met and dealt with over the last 10 years (in 4 different states) have gotten much lazier ("Every house will eventually sell") and not much brighter (these rotten pics support that point). My point is, look past the clutter just as you look past the awful paint colors or design choices, and look at the skeleton of the house.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Sounds like they are just messy people, and you could be overlooking something really good.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I agree!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
There are many reasons why one might have difficulty selling their property in a sellers market. Having recently sold a property of mine in 3 days after listing it, pricing it competively is certainly the answer. My wife and I had viewed many similar homes that were listed within the area of our property. Fortunately for us, there wasn't a mortgage on the property. Once we decided what the number should be, e consulted with our realtor friend and asked him what he felt the property should be priced at and guess what, the price he indicated was what we decided to list it for. "LISTEN TO YOUR REALTOR". assuming that he's reputable and not the type that just wants to sell your property the fastest way possible. Be Sure it's clean both inside and out. Fresh paint goes a long way. Make certain it has curb appeal and good luck,
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
I am not a Real Estate agent and do not play one on TV so as always, I reserve the right to be wrong in my assessment of this situation. However with this caveat in mind, I offer the following answer;

I believe a property will be difficult to sell if it lacks;

1. Curb appeal. A clean up of the property and some new plantings are a quick and inexpensive remedy for this. You don't need to invest thousands of dollars when a little sweat equity and hardware store plants will do the trick. And please don't forget the fresh mulch for a top dressing.

2. An open floor plan. De-clutter your closets, pantry and all living spaces. Potential buyers know you are living there but they don't need to see the family portraits or personal items. Work with the agent to properly "Stage" your house even if you have to rent commercial storage space.

3. A clean smell. If a house smells dirty, people presume it is dirty. Buyers do not want to smell commercial cleaners or bleach as they believe this is covering up odors. (think, Aunt Edna died in the basement 6 months ago and nobody noticed) Bring a fresh, but not artificial smell to the house like vanilla or fresh baked goods. The olfactory system has a large impact on the other senses.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Actually, our agent said the latest studies show "citrus" to be the most widely liked scent. I believe it . . . I've always associated the scent of lemon pledge with clean!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
If the agent is the buyer's agent, it is their duty and their job to their client- the buyer- to point out all things the buyer should consider when looking at a home, rather than letting the buyer make a decision based on the fact that they "love the kitchen" or something of that sort. There are many things a buyer needs to consider before choosing a home.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
my first agent would not have an open house, so after about 4 months I got a new realtor, and she had an open house on the 2nd, an 3rd weekend, and it sold.
so open house showings do help.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
I agree I have just taken my property off the market because there has been no traffic in the past two weeks. The people have like the house but they want updated kitchen and the house is not large. My agent had an open house only after I got annoyed that all the other homes on my block sold within a month. I will wait an re list later this year. OH the other houses had open houses.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I agree. I go to open houses more often than I follow a realtor around. I think it's a better way to really look at a house without any pressure or sales gimmick.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
No one has mentioned timing and the type of home you're trying to sell. A 1 bed 1 bath condo may have the same market all year long, but many families want to move during the summer to start the school year fresh. If you are selling a family home, make sure you enter the market at the right time of year or it may sit until the spring anyway.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Asking too much money. Tired inside presentation, and pushy awful ealtors who HUST want to dump the place.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
When standing on the porch of any home you would consider living in, ask your self these questions. What do I see around me? Do I like what I see?
What do I see at the rear of this property? Do I like what I see?
Do I smell anything?
What pets are living neat by?
Is this house maintained? Not just because it's for sale but because someone has lived here.
Do I see a maintained neighborhood? Rentals or owner occupied?
Do I plan on knocking on a neighbor's door for my first impression?

Your gut reaction to these questions means more that anything compared to what an agent tells you!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Great tips all.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
My personal experience as a buyer, renter and a photographer:

1) Priced to high for the area
2)Too many repairs needed
3) when pictures are taken, the person taking the picture, should think. "what would one want to see in the picture, that will call one's attention and prompt one to call. (you want to see clear, from various angles, wide shots)
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
You are so right! tired of those fish eye photos (making places look bigger then they really are. Or poor quality pics from a cell phone.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
I skip right over the homes that have stupid poor quality photos of just the furnishings. Sheesh. I'm not looking to buy the furnishings. The good photos of each room are so important. Being honest in the description is also a big one to me. Like someone already stated, saying a home has a beautiful pond, when it is only a poorly installed plastic molded piece, will only make me mad. Show us a photo of the mold on the wall, or the damage from a leaky roof. Be honest and don't waste the potential buyer's time. Thank you. I'm still looking.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Price & Location always the key factors!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2014
Incomplete information. There's one realtor in the area I'm looking at that posts one picture, # of beds/baths and price. I want to know sq of house, age of house, lot size, etc. I won't even look at his listings (and certainly won't list my house with him).
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2014
Professonal pictures on the Internet with wide lens and good lighting. The internet is where one usually gets their first look at a home and I know if the pictures are poor, I am uninterested in taking the next step of actually physically going to the see the property.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 25, 2014
wide angle lens are deceptive!
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
In my opinion.....number one reason is price, second location, third condition, fourth lack of pictures provided online, and the list go on :)
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
What if you have lowered you price from 34,900.00 since putting on the market. Lots of pictures, location is great (neighborhood/culdesac), replaced the paneling with sheetrock in basement. The house has been on the market since March. We have given the agent incentives to sale. Please give me your advise. 5540 Jonquil Lane Ooltewah TN
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Price, usually.

With that said, there was a lovely home last year in my neck of the woods that was on the water, gorgeous, and priced right where it should be, somebody told me that the agent was difficult, and that was the reason it didn't sell. I had no buyer for this property, however it eventually sold (under list price) by the listing agent. these scenarios are few and far between, but it could be one reason.....the Agent
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
I fully agree. There was a home on the market last year that was seriously overpriced, but I have no problem with submitting a much lower (but still fair) offer - and we might have done that, except that the listing agent flat-out told us that he believed the home to be worth the asking price, AND that the sellers were in no hurry to sell. Under those circumstances, we figured they simply wouldn't even consider a much lower offer, so we didn't bother. This year, they've seriously reduced the price (to a reasonable one) and have had open houses, now anxious to sell. But they might have sold it last year to us had it not been for their arrogant and obnoxious agent, who conveyed to us the attitude that if we weren't willing to pay full asking, we needn't bother them.
Flag Mon Jul 28, 2014
Potential buyers use Trulia for price guidance. Trulia undervalues your property because the algorithm they use cannot adjust the value for thousands of dollars in upgrades. in my case a commercial oven, an antique entranceway, an antique fire/stove, a commercial copper roof, a four stall horse barn, three stage water filtration pump room, acreage, etc.
Truelia refuses to list the property at the current value, not the "refinanced" amount!!!!!
This brings buyers will unrealistic expectations.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 29, 2014
Every one thinks that the house they own is worth more than the other ones that are the same as the one that they are selling. They don't stage the house or clean it. Pictures and personal items should be put away. Paint the in side of the house with light colors.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Some of the picture doesn't show all of the rooms in the house, or no pictures at all.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
A realtor that will do there job and insure they price the house correctly the first time. Instead of just trying to make a sale or get the listing.!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
price but also stuff like location and poor condition and stuff like yep got new carpet it is black. Hey it was on sale. House has security gates and shutters. Graffiti on the block wall check. Big dog next door out all day and night to entertain all that approach with howling and barking check, 2 blocks from transportation - train check- and lovely view of apartments from back yard check. Hence a pal of mine spent almost a half a year on the market until he lowered it 3 times. If the location sucks you best list low.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
Unrealistic pricing and poor condition.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
It usually is price but location , size and condition are almost as important. Clearly, with one of the most hostile business environments in decades and few if any new industry and concurrent hiring coming to your neighborhood anytime soon, there is little reason to expect home sales to increase. Price doesn't matter when there are no buyers.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
People are too emotional about their own home. They think they need to get a certain dollar amount out of the sale and they insist on setting the sale price too high.

With a custom home that they supervised building it is the best. Sellers don't realize that they need to spruce up the inside of a home. A home needs to have the beds made, towels folded, pet odor removed, windows washed and a little color in plants or shrubs outside, etc. It is very difficult to tell your seller that their house is a mess. You can suggest a stagger, but they don't want to pay for it.

Seller need to prepare for the sale, and listen to the Realtor when they make a suggestion of what will sell the property. Homeowners need to get busy and make their home bright, clean, and in good condition.

But, remember you don't always need to take the listing.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 28, 2014
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