Reasons Why Houses Don’t Sell

 Obstacles that prevent homes from selling

When a home doesn’t sell it can be attributed to one or more factors.  Some homes sell in a matter of hours while others languish on the market for months or years and may never sell.  Obviously there is a reason why a house doesn’t sell which leads to speculation about what went wrong.  Is it because of the price, the exposure and marketing, the condition, staging or lack of, the time of the year, access to the property, reluctance to make repairs, etc?  The list seems endless.  What I’ve noticed after helping both buyers and sellers are common threads about why homes don’t sell. Here’s a few that I’ve observed….

Things that never bothered the sellers that shouldn’t bother buyersImage result for pics of power lines

This reason is characterized by a conversation I had with a seller in the east valley who thought that backing up to a major arterial road under a power line should not affect the price. Why? Because it hasn’t bother them!  They have learned to live with it so why would it be a problem for the next owner. This form of denial is turning a blind eye to what is common sense for the typical buyer.  It’s important to realize that buyers determine value by comparison shopping and will move onto the next house unless there is something to compensate for this bothersome feature. In this case the price must be adjusted accordingly.

⦁ The house is priced too high. 

Image result for pics of dollar signsThe sellers are waiting for that special cash buyer that will fall in love with their home and the enamored potential buyer will pay the above market asking price. (With the current Canadian exchange rate, it probably will not be a Canadian!)   Along this same line is “we can always come down” but only after the house has sat on the market for a while. There are  a couple of problems with pricing your home too high.  After buyers ask about the price, the very next question is “how long has it been on the market?”  As the days on the market accumulate, sellers begin to lose their negotiating power and buyers feels justified in offering a discounted price which is logical because it has not sold.  Pricing your home high will turn buyers away when buyer traffic is most important which is when it initially goes on the market. Then they will be reluctant to submit offers since the list price and true market value are so far apart.

⦁ The house is “too you”  Image result for pics of bold rooms

While you are extremely proud of your  bold pink room, look at it from the buyer’s view point even if you have to put your ego aside.  Not everyone is going to like what you like. When it comes to décor, less is best and simplier is better. Show the spaciousness of your home, not your collection of antique furniture. De-clutter and remember that how you live in your home is not the same as when you’re trying to sell  it.   It should be prepared to appeal to the largest percentage of buyers, regardless of the seller’s taste.  Buyers want to visualize themselves in the home, not to be overwhelmed by the family photos, extreme color schemes and seller’s personal preferences.

⦁ The “fix or upgrade” list keeps growing.   Image result for pics of handy man

As a buyer walks through a house they enter  the house with a mental ledger with two columns. One is  “wow, that’s impressive” while the other is the “I’ll need to fix or upgrade” column. They notice deferred maintenance and outdated features and automatically put this in the “to fix or upgrade” column at an inflated price.  As the second column grows the buyers feel justified in discounting the list price, or moving on to a house that requires fewer repairs and upgrades. The common justification that sellers give for this type of behavior is “the buyers will want to put in their own type of flooring, lighting, landscaping, updated appliances,” etc. or whatever the seller doesn’t want to fix. Remember buyers don’t have extra cash lying around to make these upgrades.  It may not be in the budget to do a complete remodel, but do realize the thought process of the buyer.

 The house creates no emotion.  Image result for pics of excited people

That’s the bottom line. When a buyer is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, they want to get emotional about the purchase. It’s been said that buyers purchase houses on emotion and justify it with logic. What is going to get buyers emotional about your house? Remember buyers are comparing your house with other houses on the market. What is going to make them choose your house over the competition?  Why do new home builders give interiors designers what seems to be a bottomless budget for model homes? To create the sizzle or emotion.   Does your house create emotion?
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