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11 (brutally honest) Reasons Your Home Hasn't Sold

Your house is on the market. And it has been... for what seems like forever. Other homes are selling. In fact, you've seen many of them sell quickly. You've heard of bidding wars, multiple offers, and even cash offers in your area. But, not your house. There it sits, week after week. Month after Month. Are you wondering, "Why?"

Are you actually ready to hear the answer? Really think about that for a minute. If you do want the answer, it's here for you. But it might sting a bit. Maybe even a lot. So decision time. Would you rather:

  1. Preserve your price and NOT sell your house, or

  2. Prepare yourself to hear something or a few somethings, you don't want to hear but get your house sold ASAP?

Retrieved from an article written for Heathered Nest, a home decor and DIY website, here are 11 brutally honest reasons why your home is not selling.

Buyers aren't clairvoyant (well, most anyway). They can't see through all your things in order to realize the awesome potential that's hidden by your "stuff".

A clutter-free home looks cleaner, bigger & brighter. And it also looks more "move-in ready" in the buyers' eyes. I know decluttering can be a pain in the bum, but when you're able to get your home quickly under contract after some decluttering efforts, you'll believe in the process.

A home being outdated, on its own, is not usually cause for it not to sell. Homes, regardless of having had recent updates WILL sell. But the combo of a home priced TOO high when at the same time updates have not been made is not a recipe for a successful sale. If you want to sell your home for TOP DOLLAR, then you need to put in some upfront work and investment in order to update the things in your home that really need it.

If you'd rather not mess with a bunch of work, or worry about putting money in that you won't recoup, there's a solution for that as well, but it's one you may not love hearing. Let's go through both options:

Option a.) Consider making some improvements. Some of the best improvements you can make don't necessarily cost a fortune, like a fresh coat of interior paint, a good power washing and mulching your front walkway/planting beds.

Option b.) Consider lowering your sales price. Ouch. I know nobody wants to hear that as a potential option. But if you don't want to make any improvements, and your home has just been sitting on the market attracting nothing but dust bunnies, a lower price on an outdated home will always attract buyers.

Nose Blindness is a real thing. And that can be a blessing if you're a homeowner who loves all 13 of your cats. Or one who cooks fish morning, noon and night. We all develop immunity to smells generated in our homes. However, a stranger who walks through your front door for the first time is NOT noseblind to your fishy area. A buyer considering potentially the largest investment of their lives does NOT want their first impression to include your tunafish sandwich obsession, smoking habit, or the Eau Du Litterbox scent.

You love your pets. We get it. And I'm sure when you say that your cat is literally the best cat in the universe and your dog is an absolute angel, you are speaking the truth. But, brace yourself, I know it's hard to believe, but there ARE people out there who loathe cats and people who are scared out of their minds when they see a dog. Jerks, right? If there is ANY humanly way possible to get the pets OUT of the house, at least for showings, do yourself (and your pets) a favor and do just that.

I know the pet talk was a bit hard but prepare yourself because it's about to get even worse. Another big reason your home may be lingering on the market? YOU! I know you're saying "what the heck does that mean?" Have you ever had a walkthrough a model home? If you have, then you know how enticing it can be. (See Graphic Below). You know what they DON'T have in model homes? Gallery walls of family photos, magnetized pictures and artwork on the fridge, or a home office full of diplomas.

In short, model homes are completely DEPERSONALIZED. And there’s a really important reason for that. When our home is personalized with all of our things, it makes it very challenging for a potential buyer to walk through your home and picture themselves, and their families living there.

I, personally, LOVE color. The more the better. I love seeing people take risks by not being afraid of color within their homes. However, as lovely as they may be, all those colors will NOT help you sell your home. I know white and gray can sound exceedingly boring to someone like you & me. It probably pains you to think of covering up those fun, bright & happy colors with a "blah" white. But if you want your home to sell fast, and for as much money as possible, then you need to tone down the color. Light & bright whites & grays sell houses.

A house that’s not cosmetically updated is one thing. But a home that has cracks in the foundation, a roof with missing shingles, an HVAC system that’s in disrepair, shutters hanging off the windows, etc. that’s a totally different story. You can always tell the difference between a home that hasn’t been updated and a home that hasn’t been well cared for and maintained. You need to fix the things that are broken if you want your house to sell OR drop the asking price with the option of selling "as is".

Just like your kids and pets, I'm sure you are a wonderful person. Generally well-liked. Even adored. And adorable. But here's the thing. No matter how amazing you are, people do NOT want to meet you, talk to you, or any of the above if they are coming with their agent to tour your home.

So scram.

Seriously. Get out. ;)

If you really want to sell, you need to skedaddle.

This is much more likely to be an issue if you've decided to do a FSBO than if you've decided to hire a professional agent. THAT SAID, I've seen agents who take really, really atrocious photographs of properties as well. Have your home PHOTO-READY when you decide to put it on the market. That means, no laundry out. Everything is sparkling clean. Your balcony is free of appliance 'props'. A great photo will put you miles ahead of the competition in terms of getting people in to see your property, and that's half the battle!

"Be flexible." It's something we tell our kids all the time. Why? Because it's important when dealing with others.

Here’s the reality: having your home on the market is a serious pain in the bum. It’s a pain for you, your kids, your pets, everyone. But that said, the more flexible you are in helping showing agents get potential buyers into your property, THE QUICKER THE PAIN WILL BE OVER. And for the love…if you are requiring agents and/or showing services to contact you for pre-approval of each and every showing (which I really hope you are not), then PLEASE RESPOND to the requests ASAP. Time is of the essence in real estate! If a buyer can’t get in to see your home, they’ll move on to another. Don’t miss a potential opportunity for a sale because of being inflexible or non-responsive.

Last, but NOT least. Yup, saved the worst for last. If you've read this far, and can honestly say none of these are issues for your home, then you need to revisit your asking price. The reality is that ANY property will sell for the right price. And the truth is that a home is worth ONLY what someone else will pay for it. If your home has been sitting on the market for ages without any true "bites", then talking with your agent about a price reduction may be your next best option.

If you've been attempting to sell FSBO, and are in this situation, then it may also be time to re-evaluate that strategy. There are times when selling by owner can work great. But different situations call for different strategies.

I’m not saying that you need to have a fire sale and give your home away for virtually nothing. A home is a huge investment, and I know that you want to make as much of a return on that investment as possible. But the market won’t change just because we desperately want it to, or even need it to. So we have to do the best we can with the situation and constraints we are working within.

My hope is that this information will not make you sad, disheartened, angry or bring about a sense of helplessness. Instead, use this information to help you understand what pitfalls could be preventing you from reaching your goal of selling your home.

If you are able to make changes, even modest ones, based on this information, I hope that your home will sell faster and for as much $$ as humanly possible!


For solutions to all of the reasons above, as well as the full article, check out


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