Factors Why Your Home Is Not Selling

The factors below will help determine the reasons for your home not selling.  If your home has been listed longer than 4 months (or longer than average DOM / days on market for the area),  Buyers already perceive your home as a stale listing.    Right now is the time to do some damage control!

Take the Home Off The Market – The Benefits Are Threefold

First, It stops the (DOM) days of market from increasing.  Second, re-listing on the MLS, after a certain period of time, resets your DOM and will generate new interest to the next set of Buyers. Third, it allows you time to re-evaluate and correct the factors that resulted in Buyers choosing other homes over yours. Oftentimes any feedback from Buyers agents is limited and not very useful.

LOCATION – Less Desirable Locations Include

  • Facing or backing to busy street, commercial property or grave yard
  • Trashy neighbors
  • Lacking privacy in the backyard or pool area (backs to a 2 story home)
  • Located near a water tower
  • Located next to a school

CONDITION – Avoid  Sensory Turn Offs 

Presenting a clutter-free home makes the home feel brighter, cleaner, more spacious and seemingly to require less work? A bit of elbow grease can make the home more appealing and eliminate anything perceived as negative. By de-personalizing the home, the buyer is more likely to project themselves living in your home and not distracted by collectables or family photos, etc. Increase the probability of selling the second time around by avoiding these sensory turn-offs for all buyers.

  • Poor curb appeal: overgrown lawn, hedges or trees,  unappealing entrance
  • A cluttered house and/or messy house, dirty floors, a dirty kitchen, dirty bathrooms
  • Eliminate odors from smoking, strong cooking spice’s and pet urine by painting with Kilz paint on ceilings, walls and woodwork
  • Eliminate odors from smoking, strong cooking spice’s and pet urine by replacing all carpet padding and carpets with wood surface floors
  • Steam clean or remove fabric draperies and fabric furniture (cleaning may not eliminate all odors)
  • It is best to eliminate traces of having a pet, including bowls and litter boxes, during showings.  Remember you are trying to appeal to the vast majority of buyers, even those who do not care for pets or those with pet allergies
  • Besides the above, one of the best and cheapest improvements a seller can do is paint. Painting with a neutral color will make the entire home seem cared for, updated and smell fresh as new.  The effort put into preparing and maintaining the home while it’s on the market increases the chance for it selling in less time and for more money!

PRICE – Is Affected By Location and Condition

Arriving at a correct listing price and an estimated sales price is crucial for any seller. It’s not rocket science but does require an agent to access the MLS information and be diligent in the research and analysis, and accurate adjusting for all differences between your home, the competition and the sold homes.  Any house will sell if it’s priced right for the market.

6 Crucial Steps In Re-Establishing List Price

  1. Research and choose 3-6 of the most comparable homes, to yours, currently on the market in the neighborhood
  2. Research and choose 3-6 most comparable homes, to yours, sold in the neighborhood within the past 6 months
  3. Compare each home to yours and adjust for all differences in sf, lot value and year built on each home
  4. Then, compare each home to yours and further adjust for any negatives to location, differences in school ratings on each home (can be 5K-10K or more)
  5. Finally, compare each home to yours and further adjust for each difference in upgrades, outdated items, condition and backyard pool/spa
  6. The adjusted high and low, of both the active and sold properties, establishes an overall average for the suggested list price / estimated sales price and the DOM.  The overall DOM average can give you an estimated sales time frame, but can change due to the seasonal market and how aggressive you are setting the initial list price.

SELLERS Harm Themselves

The DO’s

  • eliminate anything with smoke or pet odors (carpet, draperies, upholstered furniture)
  • tidy up, make all beds and keep kitchen and bath countertops decluttered every day
  • set thermostat for a comfortable temperature between 9 am and 8 pm daily
  • prepare your home and lawn for the photographer, the day before, and be present during the shoot for any last minute adjustments for the best photos possible
  • verify the online listing information and map links are correct and monitor the advertising

The DO NOT’s

  • overprice your home or test the market. buyers are savvy, it can backfire again
  • be present for showings or turn down showings requests
  • leave your dog(s) loose in the house
  • smoke in the house
  • take the easy way out by offering a carpet or paint allowance, etc. (buyers don’t want to do it either, they want it move in ready)
  • select an agent based on a higher list price, if other agents arrive a lower price.
  • expect dollar for dollar return on upgrades or expect more than what the true market value reflects

It is especially important during the first 3 week window of opportunity, when interest will be at its highest, that your home be neat, available for all showings and preferably at the time requested by the buyers’ agents.

AGENT Dis-Service to the Seller If:

The agent did not utilize the MLS agent information and diligently research, analyze and accurately adjust for all differences between your home, the competition and  sold homes to arrive at the correct suggested list price and anticipated sales price

  • 1 out of 3 agents told you much higher evaluation than the other agents. It’s called ’Buying the Listing’ (telling a Seller what they want to hear, not what they need to hear) just to get the listing.
  • Anyone besides a professional photographer took marketing photos
  • Less than 25 professional photos were used for in-home graphics and  online marketing
  • There were inaccurate: property information, incorrect map link or a property description of your home that did not ‘romance’ the buyers’ into viewing the property, during the marketing period.


One or more of the five factors above is the reason a home is not selling.
Be savvy and obtain a free comparative market analysis (CMA) from at least 2 or 3 highly experienced agents. During the interview process, agents can critique the prior listing and also offer other professional suggestions after seeing your home. Together you’ll develop and implement a plan to sell your home the second time around.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.