The Real Reason You Haven’t Sold Your House Yet

It’s a good time to sell a house. Most areas of the country are experiencing what’s known as a “seller’s market,” with homes often receiving multiple offers above asking price, sometimes in a matter of hours. There’s no need for pricey home staging or multiple open houses – when the market is good, potential buyers will focus on all your home’s positives and ignore any flaws.

However, not every house that goes up for sale gets sold right away. And if you’re someone struggling to sell, it can be frustrating to hear about everyone else in the neighborhood earning top dollar for their houses while yours just sits there. Ahead, check out all the reasons your home might not be selling.

1. The photos are terrible

home staging
Home staging | krblokhin/iStock/Getty Images

There’s no escaping it: we live in a digital age, and if the online photos of your home aren’t enticing, then potential buyers may not even bother scheduling a showing. Your realtor should be able to help you take high quality photos that show off your home’s best features. Selling on your own? Hiring a professional photographer is worth the cost.

Next: Don’t just assume this information is correct.

2. The listing is incorrect

real estate buying couple
Real estate | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Double check your listing and make sure everything is accurate. You’d be surprised how many times a four-bedroom house gets listed as a three bedroom or key features like garages and full basements aren’t mentioned at all. Many buyers filter search results based on these criteria, so verifying that the listing is correct could mean the difference between selling and not.

Next: This is one of the most common mistakes sellers make.

3. Your price is too high

Home for sale
Home for sale | Feverpitched/iStock/Getty Images

One of the most common reasons you’re not selling? You set your price too high.

Whether you have unrealistic expectations about how much profit you’ll clear or you need to make a certain amount to pay off your original loan, overpricing a house is a big mistake. Check similar listings in the area and compare against homes with similar features to your own. Take your ego out of it – you may love your house, but a buyer is almost always looking for a good deal.

Next: It’s not just about personality for this thing.

4. You chose the wrong realtor

Couple shakes hands with realator
Realtor | lewkmiller/iStock/Getty Images

Getting along with your realtor is only half the battle. You need to find an experienced real estate professional who will do your listing justice and who won’t lie to you about what needs to get done. The best way to find one? Word of mouth. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations when choosing the best person to sell your home.

Next: Spending a few hours on this could help you make a quick sale.

5. Too many unfinished projects

Home renovation project
Home renovation project | Kerkez/iStock/Getty Images

Sure, it only takes a couple minutes to hang a piece of trim. Now is the time to do it.

Unfinished projects are a huge red flag for potential buyers. People will think that you’re a careless homeowner and will automatically assume there are larger issues that have also been neglected. Take a weekend and finish all those little projects you’ve been putting off before you put your house on the market.

Next: Many sellers skip this crucial step.

6. It’s not clean

Woman doing houswork
Clean house | diego_cervo/iStock/Getty Images

Yes, buyers do notice fingerprints on the mirror and dust on the baseboards. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but cleanliness can be the difference between making a sale and letting one walk out the door.

Before you list, spend a few hundred dollars on a professional deep clean. It’ll hopefully save you money in the long run when you sell faster and for more money.

Next: Take time to remove this from your home before you list.

7. The décor is too personal

Ivy on top of cabinet
Green kitchen | tomap49/iStock/Getty Images

Your family photos may be beautiful, but they make it hard for people to picture themselves living in the home. Stage your home so it’s as neutral and impersonal as possible to ensure you make a faster sale. Sometimes that means packing up unique artwork and furniture along with photos. The focus should be on your house itself, not the accessories.

Next: You might need to rent a storage unit to deal with this problem.

8. There’s too much clutter

Messy, chaotic file rack on a desk in cluttered room
Clutter | AG-ChapelHill/iStock/Getty Images

Clutter kills a whole lot of home sales. When you’re staging to sell, remove most of your furniture and make sure there are plenty of blank spaces where buyers can envision their own items. Been using your dining room as a craft room? Change it back. Remember, you want to appeal to the broadest audience possible.

Next: Don’t hide this from photos.

9. Your photos are too good

White kitchen
White kitchen | hikesterson/Getty Images

Having high quality photos is important – but don’t neglect to show the bad stuff, either. Potential buyers may feel deceived when they arrive for a showing if you intentionally avoid showing a less-than-positive aspect of your home.

If your house has any issues, the price should reflect that. There’s no need to pretend it’s perfect.

Next: Expect this to aggravate you.

10. Showings are hard to schedule

real estate showing
Real estate showing | Gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty Images

When you list your home, you should expect to be inconvenienced for showings – a lot. Making unreasonable demands about when potential buyers can tour your home or insisting you or your agent accompany them to every showing may be the reason you can’t find a buyer.

Next: Still not selling? Check the date.

11. It’s the wrong time of year

For sale sign winter
Winter home sale | BackyardProduction/iStock/Getty Images

People buy and sell houses all year long, but the most popular time is in the early spring. If your listing is still stagnant at the end of summer, it could mean you’ll have to wait even longer to sell. Talk to your realtor about the possibility of taking the listing off the market for a while and doing a few upgrades before you list again.

Next: Don’t neglect this aspect of your home.

12. The outside isn’t pretty

overgrown garden weeds
Bad landscaping | whitemay/iStock/Getty Images

Curb appeal is so important. If a potential buyer drives by and isn’t enthralled by how your home looks on the outside, they might just keep on driving past and never return. Take the time to weed your front garden, mow the lawn, and add some flowers to the front porch. Simple changes can make a big difference.

Next: If your house isn’t selling, take a ride around the block.

13. There’s too much competition

Suburb development
Suburb | RoschetzyklstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Are there 10 houses for sale in your neighborhood? That’s a problem. Potential buyers will naturally start comparing your home to the others in the nearby area and might find features they like better in the competition. There’s nothing you can do if there’s a lot of houses for sale near you except set the price low and stage it better than anyone else.

Next: Be prepared to budge on this.

14. You won’t negotiate

Handshake | Kritchanut/iStock/Getty Images

Remember, the list price is just a jumping off point for negotiation, not the amount you’re likely to get at closing. Be willing to negotiate on the price of your house especially if it’s been on the market for months. It’s cheaper to sell for the offer you have than continue waiting for a buyer who may never materialize.

Next: Even if you sell, this could ruin everything.

15. It won’t appraise

Couple outside home
Home | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

It doesn’t matter how much you agree to sell your house for – if your buyer can’t get a loan for the amount, then you won’t be able to sell for that price. It’s important to check comps and stay realistic about your home’s value. Listen to your realtor when it’s comes to pricing — they’re the professionals!