What Keeps a Home from Selling?

There can be many things that keep a home from selling; however, they usually deal with these 4 critical areas. They are Price, Marketing, Condition and Availability. Let's look at each individually.


The real estate market is like every product or service and has a 'market price'. Ask too much and no one will buy, ask too little and a lot of people will wonder what's wrong with it.

To be sure you really have priced your home properly check these items:-

  • Who priced it, are they professionals, do they know the local real estate market?
  • Do they know what is currently on the market, what has recently gone under contract, what has sold and what was withdrawn from the market without selling?
  • When did they price it? Markets change over time, and prices change with them
  • Did they price it to reflect the competition - similar houses in a similar condition and in the same locale, because that's what your home is competing with
  • Did they add too much "dicker money" or add the cost of maintenance like new paint, a new HVAC, a replaced roof, etc? Some replacements and upgrades are worth money, but not always as much as many people think?


If the potential buyers don't know it's on the market, it won't sell. If they know, but don't like the look it won't sell. With today's technology, buyers have access to a lot of information, for example; video tours, HD photo gallery, detailed descriptions of the home, the neighborhood, the schools, parks, restaurants, etc. 

The "sale before the sale" is now more important than ever. Spending time on prepping your home before the house hits the market is imperitive. 

Realtors know the market, they keep their ears to the ground, they talk with each other, they 'pitch' their listings to each other at meetings. They know that Realtor A is working with Buyer B who might really like House C, so Realtor D tells Realtor A to go look at House C. It's a subliminal kind of marketing, that goes under the radar, and it works.


Buyers do not "look beyond" the untidiness or the chipped paint or the pet odor. To use an analogy, no one goes into an auto showroom and buys the grubby sedan. they expect all the vehicles, including the resales, to look good and to have that new car smell. It's the same with houses. Unless it looks great, it probably won't sell until all the others have sold.

Get the curb appeal right, polish the door knob, replace the old light bulbs in the kitchen, touch up the corners, clean the carpets, pressure wash the driveway. If the visitors don't go "Wow!" when they walk in, then it's just another house they're going to see today. And after they've seen six or seven they really don't remember the ordinary-looking ones.


If they can't get in to see it, it won't sell. Be show-ready all the time. Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to see it when they want to see it. Make the house comfortable so the potential buyers dont want to leave.  

Have a photo album of sunrises, sunsets, seasonal holidays, anything that helps them get a good feel for the home at different times of the day and year. Have utility bills, repair bills, maintenance contracts available for them to browse. The more they know about it the more they will like it. The longer they stay the better feel they will get.


"What keeps a home from selling?" the answer is if it's priced wrong, marketed poorly, bad condition, or unable to see the property, then it won't sell.

More helpful links to prepare your home for sale:





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