What To Do When Your House Won’t Sell

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From pricing your home incorrectly, to bad advice and excessive clutter, there are many reasons why your home can end up staying on the market too long. However, there are a few steps that you can take to get your home attracting buyer attention.

Key Points


You’re excited to sell your home and you’ve listed it on the market, but it’s been sitting stagnant for months and nobody has made an offer. You might start asking yourself, is the market slow? Have I priced it too high? What could I be doing differently? These are all very valid questions and may be part of the reason why your home isn’t selling.

Being stuck with a house that won’t sell can be draining, both emotionally and financially, as you begin to wonder how long this process could take. The longer your home sits on the market, the higher the chances are that it will sell below your listing price. Essentially, the longer your house sits on the market, the more money you could stand to lose. So, here are 8 bits of advice from us on what to do if your house won’t sell.  

Living room

1. The price is right… or is it?

One of the most common mistakes made by sellers is pricing their home too high. According to HomeLight’s Q4 2019 Top Agent Insights Report, almost half of all agents found that one of the biggest issues with sellers is the inclination to overprice their homes.

How do you know if your home is priced too high? If you have listed it yourself, you should consult a real estate agent to get their opinion. It’s also a good idea to browse your local listings and look at similar properties to get an idea of what their pricing is like.

A comparative analysis of other homes in the area is usually your best option to determine a reasonable house price. If you’re still unsure, pay attention to the feedback you’re getting from potential buyers who may have mentioned the price being an issue. If you have enough byers saying this, then pricing could very well be your problem.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2019, 40% of home sellers had to reduce the price of their home at least one time. So, this is not uncommon in the selling process and reducing your price at least once is a well-known tactic for making sure that your home doesn’t get stagnant on the market.

2. Judging a home by its cover

Appearance is everything when it comes to selling a home, and there are a few mistakes that sellers can make which will put potential buyers off. If your home has a lot of personalized items around, for example photos and sentimental items, this can make it difficult for buyers to visualize themselves living in the house.

A cluttered home can also drive buyers away, as they struggle to envision the potential of the home amongst all the current owner’s belongings. A cluttered home can simply feel overwhelming to a buyer and put them off instantly.

You’ll need to begin packing, for when it’s time to move into your new house, so it’s a good time to pack away your personalized items, declutter your home and leave the house as neutral as possible for buyers. Do your part to help them visualize how they could set up the home and enjoy living in it.

Another consideration is home staging. If you’ve already moved out, it’s advisable to get your home staged in a neutral way so that buyers can picture what it’s like to live there. However, bad staging or no staging at all can leave a home feeling cold or showing the home’s flaws. If your home was staged, have another look at this and see if this could be the reason why it’s not selling.

3. Have you got the right curb appeal?

Curb appeal

While we’re talking about judging a home by its appearance, the first place where buyers will be looking at your home is from the street. Which makes your home’s curb appeal crucial to a successful sale.

Curb appeal is pretty much part of the staging process because an ugly yard or broken fences could turn potential buyers away before they have even set foot in your house. Buyers often make their decisions based on their initial “gut” feeling and seeing your home from the outside is one of the first moments where this feeling can be influenced.

The old real estate saying about first impressions being the most important rings true when it comes to how your house looks, particularly from the outside. Drawing buyers in with a neat and tidy exterior will go a long way towards showing them the great aspects inside of your home.

Over 75% of the top real estate agents in the country say that homes with well-maintained exteriors and landscaping are often worth anywhere between 1% and 10% more than homes without landscaping. Investing in this particular aspect of your home could be make or break for your home sale.

4. Revisiting the listing

Making sure your listing is tip top is the best way to attract buyers from the outset. About 90% of buyers begin their property search online, before looking anywhere else, and then make their decision to come and view a home based on the photos they see.

Which means that your listing photos are one of the most important items in your real estate marketing toolbox. Make sure that your listing has professional photos with great lighting and if need be, re-do the photos to showcase your home in a different way. You can use different lighting, declutter your home even more, and make sure that it looks clean and neat in all photos.

Aside from photos, make sure that your listing description is enticing and accurate. Buyers should be able to skim through this and get a good idea of exactly what your home offers. This means a well written description that highlights the best aspects of the home.

To spruce it up even more, consider adding a video to your listing. A walkthrough or aerial drone video can be invaluable for letting buyers get a good overview of your home. Videos can be more effective than static photos and give buyers a better look at your home in its entirety.

5. Reach more people

Improve your marketing reach by posting your listing on social media platforms, not only your own, but look for groups where people are selling homes in your neighborhood. Ask your friends and family to help spread the word and make sure that your real estate agent has promoted it on social media as much as they can.

Advertising your home on all the major real estate websites is another step to take, to get your home out there. The more places you can feature it online, the more exposure you will get to potential buyers.

Whether you have a real estate agent or not, do a review of your marketing efforts to make sure that you’re getting your home in front of more eyes online, so that you can get more feet through the door.

Home interior

6. Listen to the feedback

When you’re showing your home, ask questions from potential buyers and get as much feedback as you can. There will be a reason your home isn’t selling, so getting information straight from the sources is the best way to determine any glaringly obvious issues that may be putting buyers off.

Perhaps there was something you missed when staging your home, or perhaps there is a feature in your home that simply isn’t working for buyers, which you haven’t noticed. Either way, feedback from those who have been put off your home will help you figure out why it’s not selling and how you can rectify this, or alternatively consider dropping your price.

7. Sweeten the deal

If your home has been on the market for a long period of time, this can be a deterrent for buyers. You can help sweeten the deal by throwing in a home warranty or an owner’s title insurance policy. This could make the deal more attractive to buyers who may be thrown off by why the house is taking longer to sell.

It’s not a guarantee, but it will certainly set your home apart from others, and help buyers feel a little more confident in the sale.

8. Is it the right time?

If you’re working with a real estate agent, they should know whether it is the right time to list your home or not. If it’s not selling, it’s possible that the timing is off in the property market for your particular area.

So, working with an agent who specializes in your area is one of the most important points to selling your home. If they aren’t, it may be time to choose a new agent. If they are, chat to them about the timing of your listing and what’s going on in the market.

Final thoughts

If your home has been on the market for a while, don’t worry, there are quite a few steps that you can take to make sure your home is upgraded and improved, to get your listing on track and to get more feet to your door with marketing efforts.

The worst-case scenario is that you may need to wait a few months and list again, or alternatively re-list your property as a new listing and start from scratch. However, whatever is happening in your local property market could be the deciding factor, so get up to date on that before you make your final decision.