64 reasons your house may not be selling

by Nick Molnar on March 20, 2013

64 Reasons Your Home May Not Be Selling

  1. It smells like cat
  2. It smells like dog
  3. It’s overpriced
  4. It isn’t in the MLS
  5. You have no photos
  6. You have only one exterior photo
  7. Your photos is from another season – a snowy photo in June advertising
  8. Your exterior front photo shows one big tree with a hint of house behind it
  9. Your bathroom photo shows a corner of sink and the toilet
  10. Your bathroom photo has the toilet seat up
  11. Your photos are pixelated
  12. The basement is dank
  13. The house is dirty
  14. Your agent doesn’t respond to showing requests
  15. You don’t accommodate showings
  16. You don’t clean or prepare for showings
  17. You stay at the house during showings
  18. You leave an aggressive pet in the house during showings
  19. The house is overfull of furniture, toys, clothes, and “stuff” and potential buyers can’t see the house
  20. Bad luck
  21. Your school district has low test scores
  22. You don’t have central air
  23. You don’t have a dishwasher
  24. Your kitchen is closed off from the living space
  25. You’re selling a condo in a failed and half-built project
  26. You’re selling a spec house in a failed and mostly-empty subdivision
  27. Your house lacks curb appeal
  28. You’re at a price point that excludes most potential buyers in your city
  29. It was a meth house
  30. It’s falling down
  31. The neighbor’s house is falling down
  32. The neighbor’s yard has junked cars and trash everywhere
  33. The neighbor has frightening dogs
  34. The taxes and HOA/condo fees are high
  35. It smells like smoke
  36. You’re a day-sleeper and have painted all the windows black
  37. Frequent gunshots are heard during showings
  38. It has a “spooky dungeon-like” basement
  39. Obvious fire damage
  40. Mushrooms growing in basement
  41. Crazy neighbors harass potential buyers
  42. Your homemade indoor shooting range isn’t to code
  43. Your collection of 300 decorative Elvis plates distracts buyers from home’s best features
  44. No for sale sign
  45. 2×4 appears to be propping up joists in basement
  46. Built-in microwave in bathroom puzzles buyers
  47. Your house costs twice what anything similar has sold for recently
  48. Your valuing your $30k sunroom at your cost
  49. Wallpaper
  50. The fusebox is the most recent update in the house
  51. Fleas
  52. Your floors bounce
  53. Your floors slope
  54. Raccoons in the attic
  55. Carpet in the bathrooms
  56. You don’t negotiate
  57. Newer development is pulling away your buyers
  58. No yard
  59. Ugly yard
  60. Backs to industrial lot
  61. Next to Wal Mart
  62. Errors in property info – “0” square feet, incorrect bedroom count, etc.
  63. Your agent has a reputation that makes other agents prefer to not work with her
  64. Road noise

That’s a long list, and that’s off the top of my head. But if you categorized them, you’d quickly find there are really just a few groups:

  • Price: self explanatory
  • Presentation: Can buyer’s find the house is for sale and does it look great online?
  • Preparation: Is the house clean, de-cluttered and free of the “ick factor?” Does it smell good? Does it appear to be taken care and give a good impression when you walk up to and into the house?

The most effective way to sell a house is to

  • get a whole house inspection and fix the problems it uncovers
  • hire a stager and act on their advice
  • obtain an appraisal and price it at or below the appraised value
  • hire a real estate agent who sells in your area
  • use a professional photographer

Those five people will help you avoid ending up unsold and on a list like this. But it many cases it’s not practical or possible. In those cases, be sure you’re addressing the same concepts of price, preparation and presentation. If you have to pick just one professional to help you, go with a real estate agent, but only if it’s one who you are confident can reasonably stand in for the others.

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