Why Won’t My Home Sell – 8 Possible Reasons

Brent Palmer
Published on February 2, 2017

Why Won’t My Home Sell – 8 Possible Reasons

It can be awfully difficult living in limbo, and that’s how you find yourself when your house is on the market. You’ve probably started planning for what you will do when it sells, and once you picture yourself in that future home it’s hard to be held back. So what can you do if you find yourself waiting, and waiting and waiting….


Here are some explanations why your home may not be selling.

1. Price
This no doubt will be one of the first things you consider. A home owner wants top dollar for their home (and they are entitled to do so!) however a buyer is always looking for the best deal possible. Supply and demand come into play in a seller’s market. When this is the case you can usually get a bit more for your home, but it can be a huge mistake to push it too far. Deciding on the asking price for a home is one of the most important facets, and if you price above the market value, you will miss out on prospective buyers and reduce the competition for your home, and it’s competition that drives a price up. This is where the experts come in – use your agent’s advice, get figures on comparable sales and market trends. It may not always be a matter of dropping the price though, but changing the sales tactic – look at offers over, price by negotiation, set date of sale, price on application marketing options with your agent.

2. It’s not appealing to a market
Like any kind of product, there is always a target audience. If you don’t have a target market (or two) in mind, then you will struggle to get buyers to view the property or make offers. Develop a picture of who would buy your home (families, retirees, young professionals) and present your house as ideal for them. Is there something you can do to increase that appeal – knock out a garden and provide off street parking, add an ensuite or extra toilet, provide a grassed lawn? Discuss this with a professional, to ensure any money spent is in the right place, or that you’re not overcapitalising.

3. First impressions
As with most things in life, you can never underestimate the power of a first impression. The value of ensuring the front of your property looks as good as possible, is priceless. Getting those positive feelings when they first arrive can make all the difference. Easy access, a tidy garden, a new fence, off street parking, a clean exterior, new doormat or front door, are all things to be considered.

You also need to be confident that your agent provides a good first impression, and follows up on that. You need to know what those who visited the home liked and disliked about the property, and what they perceived it to be worth.


4. Poor photos
Most potential buyers decide to view your home or not, based on a quick skim of your listing photos whether it be online or in a property magazine. If they are cluttered or poorly taken, buyers will move onto the next listing, or if there are too few of them buyers will assume the worst. So photos are absolutely key to getting buyers to view your home and putting offers on the table. There really is a true art to real estate photography, from choosing the right time of day (this can be different for different parts of the house), the best angles, focal points, understanding the target market. So it’s best to get your photos professionally taken – see my Photography – why use a Professional article.

5. It’s been on the market for quite a while
Buyers can find it unsettling if a property has been on the market for a long time. It makes them assume there is something wrong with it, or that the owners will be desperate and they can come in with a low offer. It’s a common psyche, to want what other people have, so if no one seems to want your house, then, unfortunately, it can put others off for no good reason. You may find it advantageous to take it off the market for a while, reduce your stress levels for a bit, refresh your approach and introduce it to the market again when there is a fresh set of buyers has cycled around.

6. You’ve got the wrong agent
It’s certainly not always the agent’s fault when a property hasn’t sold. But it is something to consider, as not all agents are created equal. Have they offered reasons why your house hasn’t sold, along with some practical solutions that could help? Do you believe a wide variety of buyers would feel comfortable dealing with them and feel welcome in an open home? Hire an agent you would want at a dinner party, they should be interesting and a pleasure to deal with.

7. The house smells bad
If you’ve lived in your house for a while your own nose may be immune to the smell of your own home. If you’ve had pets, there’s been a smoker, condensation or a water leak, it’s possible there’s a scent that goes with it. Find an honest objective friend, or ask your agent if there has been any feedback regarding smell. There is nothing quite like entering a home with a refreshing scent. It may just be some aromatherapy sticks, freshly baked bread or No odor spray you need. If you’re not living in the house, ensure it’s regularly aired. But if there is a reason for the smell, ensure you’ve addressed the issue itself (carpets cleaned, ceilings/walls washed, or mould fixed).

8. Your house needs some TLC
Some houses just aren’t in a condition for sale. If you have put off obvious maintenance issues or repairs, buyers will wonder what else hasn’t been done that they can’t see. Buyers don’t want to have a long list of work they’ll need to do before they can move in.

It can be difficult to bring yourself to spend money on maintenance for a home you’re about to sell. But if you want to achieve your full asking price, you need to present a home that warrants it. See my What to Renovate for Sale article. It’s wise to attend some open homes for houses of similar value and see how they are presented, and what buyers are getting for their money. This can be an eye-opening experience, as you need to be in touch with the market not just for buying but when you are selling too.


About the Author: The above article on Why Won’t My Home Sell – 8 Possible Reasons was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media.

You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921. He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City.

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