That is a question that many home sellers and Realtors are asking in this market.
Price is often the answer given, but that is simplistic and often does not get to the real reason for the non-sale.
First, if you are using a Realtor they should have given you the absorption rate for the neighborhood or subdivision you are in. They should also give you the absorption rate for the entire city or a portion of it. The absorption rate is the number of homes that have sold in a certain period. I generally look at 3 - 6 months depending on the size of the market. I then look at how many homes are for sale in that market right now. Put the number of sales into the number for sale and we can determine approximately how many months worth of inventory there is. There can be a big difference between one subdivison and another. The more inventory the harder and longer it will take to sell.
Next, have your Realtor show you the MLS listings for all the homes that compete with yours. First, see how many compete with yours in the particular subdivison. For example, if your home is 2,500 square feet, then look at the listings that are between 2,200 and 2,800 square feet. Then have the Realtor pull the listings of similar local subdivisions or neighborhoods. Look especially carefully at homes with the same floor plan or very similar. This is important as lets say that your home has been on the market for a while. If you look and see there are three others on the market for a lower price, then those homes will likely be looked first. Also drive by these homes and see what their curb appeal is compared to yours, and be honest. If you need to do a little fixing up, go ahead and do it. Ask your Realtor for ideas.
Have your Realtor show you all comparable recently sold listings and see how they compare with yours.
Also have your Realtor send you daily or weekly all new comparable listings that come on the market, that go under contract, or that sell and close. You can also get the ones that expire or are withdrawn. These are the ones that price, condition or marketing has prevented from selling.
There are two items that are under your control. They are price and the condition of the home. Make sure the price is not higher than the comparables, and then make sure the home is in showing condition versus living condition. The way most of us live daily is living condition. Then look at a model home and that is showing condition. Everything should shine, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. The clutter should be gone and that includes in the closets, on counters, and in the garage. Too much furniture can also make rooms look small. Consider putting stuff into storage. Depersonlize by taking down family photos and knick-knacks. With family photos a couple are fine, but too many and the buyer sees your family living there. You want them to see themselves living there.
Are you making the home easy to show? Does it have a lock box? Are you allowing showings with little notice? When you call your Realtor do they answer or call right back? If they don't are you losing showings because they don't answer the phone with the showing agents, or don't call them back in a timely fashion.
The last item is marketing and this is controlled by your Realtor and in some cases also by the real estate company.
There are vast differences in the amount of marketing each Realtor does. Many put up a sign, place an ad, put the listing on the local multiple listing service and a standard listing on Realtor.com. This is what some term a basic listing. This was enough in a seller market like 2005, but may not be enough in a buyers market such as we are in now.
There are many additional marketing methods that Realtors can use to market your home. These include the following and many more.
Showcase enhanced listings on Realtor.com
Company websites (not all real estate companies have a website)
Agents personal websites (not all have them)
Google pay per click
Print media advertising
Listing uploaded to various other websites such as Trulia, Craigslist, Oodle, Zillow, Point2Homes and many more.
Through IDX services the listings can also be fed to virtually every real estate companies and agent websites as shared listings. All agents and companies do not share their listings.
I estimated that my listings make it to over 40,000 websites
Some companies do not even put the listings on the MLS or Realtor.com. They only market on their website and in the newspaper. This gives the least exposure.
In closing, even though this is a buyers market and there is too much inventory, the homes that are priced right, in great condition and have a great marketing plan that is executed well, will sell relatively quickly at a good price.
When a home has not sold for a long time you really need to sit down with your Realtor to find out the reasons. Do it in a non-threatening environment as it should not be a blame game on either part.