why is my house not selling?

Asked by Christine, Deer Park, NY Mon Jul 28, 2008

my house has been up for sale since nov '07 I have dropped the price more than 30,000 I have had offers for 340,000 and 350,000 everyone that sees the house says its beautiful the agents say its priced right and its a very good price compared to others in my area. Why arent I gettin any offers?? Im so upset that I think I will never sell. what do you think is the problem?

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Don Tepper’s answer
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Jul 28, 2008
Wait a moment. You say you've had offers for $340,000 and $350,000. Then you say "Why aren't I gettin any offers??" Well, you are.

You didn't say what your house is listed for...what price you began at...or where you are now.

Did you counter the offers? (Always, always counter.)

If you can clarify the issues (original price, current price, comps from the Realtor's CMA, whether you countered), we may be able to help you more. You might even post the MLS number. Sometimes nearby Realtors will give you pricing feedback. And others will give you some feedback on how your listing looks--what it says, the pictures that are posted, and so on.

Hope that helps.
4 votes
Jan Lowery, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Thu Jul 31, 2008
I have been in Real Estate over 25 years, seen the good, bad & now the ugly. All but one of my listings have sold & closed and here are a few tips. Since you indicated that it is priced right for the area and is "beautiful" - lets look at other factors.
1. Preview the competition, not just your neighborhood, but in the price range. You will "see" what the buyer's are seeing and be able to compete. Adjust your price just below the competiition, so yours will get seen every time a buyer in that price range comes up. (Is your lot as good, is the location as desirable ei: on a main road, near busy or commercial areas etc.)
2. Next, look at the terms: incentives to Buyer first, then to the Agents showing: Closing Costs, most buyers are looking for up to 3% of sales price towards closing costs. Agents will push a listing into the first showing group when it has a bonus. We are seeing from $1000-$20,000 in bonuses. Instead of reducing the price (if it is competitive) add closing costs of $10,000, Ameridream program allows for a seller to offer a grant for the down payment up to $10,000 and a bonus to the selling agent of $5000, instead of more reductions (or some variation depending on the price you come up with).
3. Once you have established the right price, consider relisting (if it is listed) at the new price and terms. A fresh listing makes all the difference in the world. Be sure there are lots of pictures in the internet, a slide show is great. Good Luck. Jan Lowery/Broker Associate, Virginia Beach, Va. 757-434-7174, Email: Realestateangels@aol.com, http://www.janlowery.com (If you need an aggressive agent for your area let me know)
Web Reference:  http://www.janlowery.com
2 votes
Cori Kaplan, , Huntington, NY
Mon Jul 28, 2008
Hi Christine,

When did you have those offers? Did you counter them?
It probably seems as though everytime you made a price change the market also was adjusting downwards. You are chasing a falling market.

If your agent is doing a full marketing job and you are getting offers within a certain range that is what your home is worth. 2 offers within 10,000 dollars of each other is certainly telling you something.

3 votes
Celina Gleas…, , Manning, SC
Mon Jul 28, 2008
Great question. Are you using a Realtor? This market is ridiculously slow and sellers in the active market are at a terrible disadvantage. My advice to my sellers is always this, "Most always, your first offer is your best offer." I don't know what your house is listed at, but you may want to ask your Realtor (assuming you have one) to approach those previous offers and see if they are still in the market to buy. Maybe you can revive one of those previous offers. I'm sure your agent is doing everything possible to make it happen, so please try to refrain from pulling the listing unless you know for sure that they are not doing their job. It simply causes you to lose precious time. Maybe you should consider offering to pay closing costs on behalf of the buyer. I have had several sales recently where that one worked like a charm. We offered a few thousand dollars closing costs on behalf of the buyer but adjusted the sales price to help buffer that.

Make sure that your Realtor (again, I'm assuming you have one) is using every possible avenue of advertising such as Craigslist.com, Zillow, ActiveRain.com; and other websites they can post your listing on for free.

My heart goes out to you along with my other sellers who are desperately trying to sell right now. Good luck!
2 votes
Bay Area Pro…, , Santa Clara County, CA
Tue Jul 29, 2008
Christine the problem could be many things. Here is a list of items which may cause your home not to sell in a timely manner:

1. Price (too high)
2. Location (busy street, by a bus station, at an intersection)
3. Condition of your property (maybe it doesn't show well and you might need to have it staged)
4. Smell (cigarette, dust, animals)
5. Poor curb appeal
6. Not enough exposure to the public
7. Do you have restricted hours or no lock box?
8. Not paying the buyers agent enough commission
9. Not paying the listing agent enough commission to advertise
10. High crime area

It's easy to be very discouraged in this market. I had a listing for 1 year before it finally sold. The home needed too many repairs and anyone who wanted to live there couldn't afford to get a loan. Good luck.
1 vote
Peter Andres…, , Medford, NY
Tue Jul 29, 2008
The questions my fellow agents asked are all valid and necessary. I will make the assumption that you are selling on your own and explain why. Price, statistically, is by far responsible for a house not selling. Pricing your house with the assistance of a Realtor INCLUDES the commission. Buyers when they see a for sale by owner, figure they can offer a lot lower than they normally would because they know you are not paying a commission to an agent. When buyers see a For Sale By Owner, most of the time, expect to be low-balled. No or low house exposure to the marketplace is the second reason most houses don't sell. An ad in the newspaper whether once a week, or once a month does almost nothing. Having it listed by an agent on the MLS really brings better opportunity for a seller. Almost every agent has a company website and most have a web page. Agents know that networking within the real estate community helps expose their listings and will add your listing to the site and it will get exposed in the websites that most buyers research before going out house hunting. I only addressed the two most widely known candidates for why a house doesn't sell and you should see why working with a Realtor is your best option. If you would like to know the other reasons, contact me.
1 vote
Ush Ush, , San Francisco, CA
Tue Jul 29, 2008
The market has spoken to you - $340-$350k *WAS* the vlaue of your home to buyers.

I say *WAS* as that was the past - If you want to sell today, I would go lower than that.
If you home has been on the market for 8 months already, look in the mirror and ask youself
"Am I a serious seller?" - because your past record says that you are looking for a certain price.

If that is the case, take the sign down, and try again in a fre years when the market rebounds.
1 vote
Jaishree..Ja…, Agent, Woodbury, NY
Mon Jul 28, 2008
Are you working with a Realtor now or selling on your own? How are you marketing? Where are you adveritsing, is it listed on differen websites, how are the pictures? Is the house easily shown? When you receive those offers, did you give counter offer? Who is ngotiating the offers? Have you looked into Current Area Sales? It's good idea to put yourself in buyer's hat...so many to choose from..
I will be glad to help you, please call 631-889-2997 or email me jzilpelwar@yahoo.com..Good Luck..
1 vote
Joel Javan, , Santa Clarita, CA
Mon Jul 28, 2008
It's hard to answer your question without getting more information. When you say "the agents say it's priced right..." Who are these agents you're referring to? Are these buyer's agents who are showing your property to their buyers because you're willing to cooperate with them (assumption here is that it's a For Sale By Owner) or are you working with a listing agent (and it's plural because he or she has a partner)?

If you are not listed with an agent, I will SERIOUSLY consider doing so, fast! If you're already listed with an agent, I would review the plan of action on a regular basis with your agent and instead of reducing the price some more, you might want to consider other options (email me if you want to know what other options I have in mind).

I agree with Celina about the first offers being the best, but I disagree with her when she said "ridiculously slow market." It's all in the perception. I know Realtors who take at least 20 listings a month and sell 90-95% of them before the listing expires. Yes, I'm learning as much as I can from them on a regular basis.

I want to be like them when I grow up.


Also, how much is your listed price? How much lower were the 340K and 350K offers? Did you counter-offer? On counter-offers, remember that there could be more to just the price. You can counter-offer keeping your listed price, and offer the potential buyers something else other than a price reduction (Again, email me if you want to know some ideas).
1 vote
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Mon Jul 28, 2008
First of all, put on your buyer's hat, go on the internet and see what the "perception" of the buyers is when they see other potential homes on line. Not only must you be aggressively priced, and meticulously stated, you must be properly marketed.

How do the photos look? How nice is the virtual tour? How many websites is your property listed on?
Web Reference:  http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote
Phil Svendsen, , Huntington, NY
Mon Jul 28, 2008
Hang in there. You are selling in an extremely difficult housing environment in every way; as you know. Be persistant, get those open houses going and work on advertising the house and you'll get it done. You are not alone, there are zillions out there trying to sell, but things will improve. Most important-bug the heck out of your agent and stay with it.
1 vote
George Fitzp…, Agent, Syosset, NY
Tue Oct 12, 2010
If your offers are coming in in the $340 to $350,000 range you've found the price that the market will pay at this time.
0 votes
Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Thu Jul 31, 2008
Christine, are you still around? Have you read the responses - lots of good input. I am still wondering - do you have a professional real estate agent marketing the property or are you selling on your own?
0 votes
Lawrence&She…, Agent, Plainview, NY
Thu Jul 31, 2008
Hi Christine, We believe there are 5 factors that your house may not be selling...
1)Location: There are prositive and negative factors in almost every location
2)Price: It must be priced right at the on-set
3)Time: Sometimes agens don't invest enough time & energy into marketing a house, some even disappear after they get your listing!
4)Condition: You only have 1 chance to make a good impression, remember little things can make a big difference to a buyer
5)The Right Agent: Selecting the right agent and the right company can make the difference!!
If you are listed with another agent, we are not soliciting your property, but if you are selling on your own and would like more advice, you can email us at longislandrealtors@gmail.com.Good Luck...
0 votes
Claude Simos, , 11725
Wed Jul 30, 2008
Unfortunately you (or your agent) may have overpriced your listing from the beginning creating an even longer marketing time for your property. If you have received recent bona fide offers in the price range that you have mentioned then it's very likely that's what it's worth. Have your agent show you the competition, active listings of similar homes in your immediate area to validate the claim that your house is competitively priced. Good luck.
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Jul 29, 2008
I am sorry for your frustration. Do you really need to sell?

If so, then let's look at some facts that may help you:
1. The buyer that first sees the home they buy sees it with a Realtor 90% of the time (CAR Survey). So if a home is not being shown, that does not mean the Realtors are on vacation. They are showing the homes that have the most value. If you look at the link below there ARE homes that are selling. Many homes have sold in the last year. Just not yours.

2. When you bought this home you used a Realtor, right? 90% of buyers do, so by NOT listing it with a Realtor you are excluding 90% of the market. The NAR seller survey shows that owners selling without professional representation sell to someone they know 5% of the time, someone they don't know 5% of the time, and list it with a Realtor 86% of the time.

When a buyer is looking for a home, they do not care what you paid, how much you owe, nor how much you need to net. They want the best value. So in any market, homes that sell in the first 30 days sell closest to asking price. Homes that sit on the market, like yours, simply lose value.

Have you every seen a home on the market a long time, and wondered what is wrong with it? That's your home. So the longer a property sits, the lower the offers that come in.

My recommendation is that you call me at 1-+888-284-2056 and I will arrange to have a top Realtor in your area speak with you about how to get your home sold. Last month I helped a client who had been trying to sell his home for six months, and we sold it in 30 days.
0 votes
Thomas McGiv…, Agent, Farmingville, NY
Mon Jul 28, 2008
Are you listed with a real estate agent?
0 votes
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