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6 Reasons Why a House Doesn't Sell

06By: Alan May, Realtor

1. Your photos are unimpressive.
The vast majority of home buyers start their search for a home on the Internet, your house had better look great in print. Not just nice... downright fabulous. Today we are considering internet views as a 'virtual showing'... if your house gets past that, then they might (just might) make an appointment to see it in person... We consider that your SECOND showing. Today's buyers are expecting good quality photos (and lots of them... just 1 shot from the street won't cut it!), a virtual tour, maybe even a floor plan, if applicable.

2. It's overpriced.
You've got to view your own property as objectively as possible. Look at the home like a "buyer"... if necessary, go out with your Realtor and view other homes that are priced comparably to yours. Be objective. Given the other options on the market (and yes, you DO have to include short sales and foreclosures on your list... your potential buyers are!), would YOU buy your home, over the others on the market? If no, then you either have to "update" your home to meet or beat the competition... or lower your price to adjust for it. If you can't afford to sell for the price, that you KNOW it sell for, you may want to consider just removing it from the market.

3. It shows poorly.
This could mean almost anything ... from the barky, barky dog, to the smell of the diaper pail. Maybe the carpeting is a bit worn, or the woodwork shows a lot of wear. All things that don't show up on the internet, but whoa.... once you get inside the house... they show up, like a cat-urine-smell on a 95 degree day in New Orleans!

4. You're invisible.
Today's buyer comes from the internet, almost exclusively. Have you (or your agent) simply plopped the property on the MLS, and started praying? Are you on all the websites...(Trulia, Zillow, Craig's List, Google Base, etc...) all the places that buyers are searching? If not, you want to be.

5. Your listing is tired and stale on the market.
Okay... yes, you overpriced your home initially when you first came on the market 2 years ago. But since then you have reduced your price almost monthly...constantly chasing the market down.... Now, finally you're truly priced where you should be... but your listing is tired and stale. Everyone looking for your type of property (ie: 3br/1.1 bath) in your area has already seen it, sometimes twice... and they remember that there was "something" about it that they didn't like... but what they don't remember is... what they didn't like.... was the price. Time to take the listing off market. Let it cool off (3-6 months), and bring it back on fresh in the Spring. Yeah, you'll have 6 months worth of holding-costs... but you'll more than make up for it in your purchase price.

BTW... Avoid the temptation to bring the house back on at a higher price, than when you left the market. Just "don't do it"!

6. Your house won't appraise.
The house looks great... you've finally gotten someone to bring you a bid on your slightly over-priced, but beautiful pied-a-terre. But the bank appraiser says it's worth $20,000less than what they've agreed to pay. Heavy sigh... bite the bullet.... negotiate with them. If you have to drop the price $20,000 to make it work.... "make it work "... chances are, anybody else trying to buy your house will run into the same problem.