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5 reasons why your house might not be selling

Last updated on December 11, 2023

A house has been on the market for several weeks but has gotten little or no interest, while a nearby property sold in just a few days. How is that possible?

Here are 5 reasons why a home may not be selling and what can be done to fix the problem.


The 5 most common reasons

1. The asking price is too high

Many sellers inflate the asking price to be sure they get the amount they really want after negotiations. This isn’t necessarily the best strategy. It is preferable to have a thinner margin but set a realistic price.

Here’s why. If a homeowner is asking $450,000 in the hope of getting $400,000, the desired price could discourage buyers who are interested in the property but who cannot pay more than $400,000. They will look elsewhere for a property that is within their budget.

It is important to remember that the property is competing with all the others for sale in the neighbourhood. If a property worth $275,000 is listed for $325,000, it will be competing directly with homes for sale at a fair price that are more interesting or have better features. Doing an analysis of the comparable remains the best way to set a fair asking price.

2. The house is not visually appealing

As with the asking price, a home’s appearance is something the seller has power over to facilitate the sale.

The real estate market offers new builds as well as older homes. According to the competition principle, a new or better-maintained property can be more attractive to a buyer.

For this reason, sellers should not hesitate to invest a little to improve their home’s appearance before the sale. Fixing holes in walls, removing a few bulky pieces of furniture or giving outdated rooms or the front of the house a fresh coat of paint are some simple, inexpensive ways to make improvements.

3. The neighbourhood is not in demand

A property’s location can drive up its asking price or cause it to drop considerably. For example, a home’s proximity to a school, a park or stores can make it more attractive to buyers.

Unfortunately, you can’t change your property’s location. If it doesn’t appeal to buyers, there’s little you can do but be patient or consider lowering the asking price.

One story house in the winter

4. Market conditions are not favourable

The real estate market has different cycles. A period of economic recession can considerably increase the selling time, while an overheated market can net homeowners more than they were hoping for.

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When the market benefits sellers, demand is very high and supply is quite limited. As a result, property prices tend to go up. If a home is attractive and well situated, it has a good chance of selling quickly and at a high price.

On the other hand, when the market benefits buyers, more properties are available and future homeowners are spoilt for choice. This makes homes more difficult to sell and you have to be prepared to get less than you expected.

Depending on the market conditions and how quickly you need to sell, you may have to adjust your price. You can also wait until the economic situation is more favourable.

5. The house is not being marketed in an optimal manner

Houses are unique, each with their own features and flaws, advantages and disadvantages. So, you must find a way to sell your home, remembering that you have to show it in its best light to attract the future owners.

Putting the À vendre sign on your front lawn, listing the property on DuProprio.com and sharing your listing on social media are all effective ways to get more visibility.

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People who are looking for a home will do anything to find that rare gem. Such an important step is never taken lightly. You have to make sure your property is seen by the largest pool of potential buyers and is looking its best.

5 frequent reasons why a property is not selling

Lots of visits, but few offers: Why?

Lots of visits, but no sale. This can be discouraging for homeowners who are doing everything they can to sell. However, it’s not all bad. This means the property is clearly attractive enough to get people to visit.

Also, not getting an offer may be due to the buyers not qualifying for a mortgage loan. That’s why it’s important to ask the right initial questions to screen potential buyers.

A home people like, but that isn’t selling

It’s important to identify the element(s) that are causing potential buyers to lose interest during the visit. It’s probably not the look of the interior or the exterior, as they will have seen those in the photos. You may be able to figure out what the problem is by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do the rooms look smaller in person?
  • Is there a smell of mildew?
  • Is there a potential irritant around the property or in the neighbourhood, such as an abandoned building or factory?
  • Are there any aspects (not mentioned in the Declaration of the Seller) that might make buyers doubt the quality of the construction?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should fix the issue, or consider lowering the asking price if that is not possible.

When should you start to worry?

If the situation persists after making the suggested changes, try not to get discouraged. You did work inside and outside to show the property in its best light and you lowered the price, but still no sale? It’s normal to feel worried, but now is not the time to give up. After a few months of inaction, consider taking a more drastic approach, by thinking outside the box.

The recipe for success in selling a home starts with setting a fair asking price and then advertising well. The real estate coaches on the DuProprio team are experts at sales strategy. Thanks to their experience, they can give homeowners helpful tips on how to sell with confidence.  

Scaffoldings on a house

What to do with a hard-to-sell house

Make sure you’ve tried these strategies for a quick sale before taking the next step:

  1. Put away all personal belongings and home decor that are not neutral.
  2. Thoroughly clean and tidy all the rooms.
  3. Remove bulky furniture and curtains or blinds that block natural light.
  4. Repair obvious defects, such as holes in walls, creaking doors, leaking faucets, etc.
  5. Paint inside and out.
  6. Improve the landscaping and presentation of the yard or garden.
  7. Use home staging tricks for the furniture and lighting.
  8. Drop the price slightly.

Getting quotes for work that would improve the property’s negative aspects can give potential buyers a good idea of the amount they will have to invest. This will help them decide if the work is within their budget and might just put the home back on their list of potential properties in spite of the irritant.

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The most drastic solution, to be used as a last resort, is to invest to have the work done before the sale. Whether you improve the home’s energy efficiency, create a more open space, remove the stucco on the ceilings or other, it’s a way to start fresh and change people’s perception of the property.

Visitors who were interested but didn’t make an offer could change their minds. People interested in the house will also have fewer arguments when trying to negotiate a lower price since the biggest obstacles to buying will have been removed.

Do you know who is best-placed to sell your property? It’s you! With our support and visibility services, having confidence in yourself pays off. Find out more by scheduling a call with one of our team members or watching our short webinars.

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