Top 10 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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What Are The Most Common Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling?

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Home Isn't Selling

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

Once a homeowner decides that it’s the right time to sell their home, they want exactly that, to sell their home.  Every home sellers worst nightmare is that their home doesn’t sell and it becomes an expired real estate listing.

Before a home becomes an expired listing, the homeowner will ask themselves one of the most FAQs about home selling, “how come my home isn’t selling?”  There can be hundreds of reasons why a home isn’t selling, some more common than others.

In this article you’re going to discover the top 10 reasons why your home isn’t selling.  If your home isn’t selling, make sure one of the following 10 reasons isn’t holding you back.  Home sellers who’re aware of the top 10 reasons why a home doesn’t sell before listing a home give themselves a huge advantage over others because they can avoid making these mistakes.

1.) Priced Too High

Arguably the most important factor to whether a home sells or not is the price.  If you’re wondering why your home isn’t selling, the first thing you need to ask yourself is if your home is priced too high.

Overpricing a home can be the kiss of death when selling a home.  There are many mistakes made when pricing a home for sale to be aware of.  Overpricing a home can actually cost a seller money in the long run.

Before pricing your home, you should understand how the market value of a home is determined.  An experienced real estate professional doesn’t recommend a listing price by pulling a number out of a hat.

A top real estate professional will complete a detailed comparative market analysis, also known as a CMA, on your home to determine what the current market value is.  A real estate CMA will compare your home to similar homes that have sold in your neighborhood in the past 6-12 months, similar to what a bank appraiser will do for a home buyer.

Positive and negative value adjustments are made when comparing one home to another.  For example, if your home has a 2 car garage and one of the recent sales in your neighborhood has a 1 car garage, a positive value adjustment will be made for your home.

2.) Lack Of Marketing Exposure

The amount of exposure a home receives when it’s for sale can make a huge impact on whether it sells and also on how much it sells for.  If your home isn’t selling, it’s possible that it’s lacking marketing exposure.

There are many real estate marketing strategies that top agents utilize when marketing their listings.  With the majority of home buyers using the internet to shop for homes, it’s critical that your home is available everywhere online.

Not only is it critical it’s able to be found everywhere online, it needs to catch the attention of potential buyers and stand out from other homes for sale.  This means that the quality of listing photos and video must be top notch.

3.) Poor Condition

Poor Condition & Neglected Repairs Can Be A Reason Why Your Home Isn't Selling!

Poor Condition & Neglected Repairs Can Be A Reason Why Your Home Isn’t Selling!


The quickest way to scare away potential home buyers is to leave your home in poor condition.  If your home is in poor condition and there are clearly repairs that have been neglected, there is a good chance that is why your home isn’t selling.

What are some of the most obvious signs that a home is in poor condition?

Items such as water stains on ceilings, damaged or missing roof shingles, dry rot, uneven flooring, and cracks in the homes foundation are all common indicators of a home that is in poor condition.  These items are red flags to look for when buying a home and you better believe potential buyers will continue looking if your home has any of these issues.

If there is any question whether your home is in poor condition prior to listing your home, it’s highly recommended to consider a pre-listing home inspection.  Completing a pre-listing home inspection can help you address issues or problems before they potentially become the reason why your home isn’t selling.

4.) The Home Doesn’t Show Well

When selling a home, there is only one chance to make a great first impression on potential home buyers.  Another reason why your home isn’t selling is because it potentially isn’t showing well.

One of the biggest inconveniences of selling a home is preparing for showings.  It’s extremely important however that when you’re selling a home, that you know how to prepare a home for showings.  Neglecting to prepare for showings and leaving your house looking like a fraternity house is not going to bode well for the success of your home sale.

There are some obvious ways to prepare a home for showings such as picking up clothing, making the beds, and cleaning the floors, but there could be other reasons why your home isn’t showing well.

For example, if you’re selling a home during the summer, you should make sure that it doesn’t feel like an oven inside your home.  This may mean turning on the air conditioner (if you have it), opening windows, and switching on ceiling fans to help keep buyers comfortable while they tour your home.

5.) Foul Odors

Even a novice home buyer knows that as they walk through a home they should be giving it the “smell test.”  If there are foul odors in your home, it’s possibly the reason why your home isn’t selling.

There are several types of foul odors that buyers can pick up on.  A few of the most common odors that can have a buyer running away from a home include cigarette smoke odor, pet odor, food odor, and even odors resulting from moisture such as mold.

If you’re selling a home with pets, kids, or just yourself, it’s important before letting potential buyers into your home you ensure there are no foul odors.  A great way to put your home to the test is to have a few unbiased people give your home the “smell test.”  If there are unpleasant odors in your home, ensure they’re addressed before listing your home for sale.

6.) Location Is Tough To Work With

The location of a home is extremely important to the majority of buyers.  If your homes location is tough to work with, it could be the reason why your home isn’t selling.

Location, Location, Location...Homes With A Bad Location Can Be Difficult To Sell!

Location, Location, Location…Homes With A Bad Location Can Be Difficult To Sell!

What’s an example of a home in a difficult location?

Recently while selling a home in Rochester NY, the home was situated directly next to an apartment complex.  Many of the potential buyers who viewed the property loved the property, except they didn’t care for it’s location in proximity to the apartment complex.  The home had to be priced accordingly to reflect it’s location and also took a bit longer to find a home buyer who didn’t care that it was located near an apartment complex.

Other examples of tough locations of a home can include a homes located near railroad tracks, major highways, retail establishments, or on a primary road.  Homes with locations that’re tough to work with generally will take longer to sell and do not sell for as much as a similar home situated on a quiet neighborhood street.

7.) Not Being Flexible & Realistic

Not accommodating showing requests, nixing any repair requests from an inspection, and not being open to any offer less than asking price are all examples of not being flexible or realistic when selling a home.  If this sounds familiar, it’s likely the reason why your home isn’t selling!

Home sellers must be flexible and realistic when selling a home, bottom line.  If a home seller is not, there’s a strong chance their home will sit on the market.  Always keep in mind when selling your home that most buyers are going to have an inspection, not all buyers can view your home when it’s convenient for you, and that not every offer is going to be full asking price.

If you receive a low ball offer, read about how to respond to low ball offers.  If you receive repair requests from a home inspection, look at them with an open mind and if they’re safety issues, you should consider addressing the requests.

Being flexible and realistic during the sale of a home is an important tip for success!

8.) Poor Timing

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that homes are sold all year long.  With that being said, there are certainly better times of the year to sell a home, depending on where you live.

In the local Rochester NY real estate market, many sellers grapple whether they should sell a home during the fall or winter.  The spring and summer seasons are generally the best time of year to sell a home in the Northeast.  This may not be the case for homeowners in warm South Florida, where summertime may not be the most ideal to sell a home because of the extreme heat.

There are tons of reasons why real estate markets are different, even if they’re relatively close in proximity.  It’s possible that a reason why your home isn’t selling is because you’ve picked the wrong time to sell it.

It’s suggested that as you’re thinking about selling your home that you discuss timing with a top local real estate professional.  They’ll be able to give you advice on the best time to sell your home and a reputable agent looking out for your best interests will tell you if now is not the best time.

9.) Local Market Conditions Aren’t Ideal

Selecting the right time of year to sell a home is important but so is the current state of the real estate market.  If your home is located in a real estate market that is experiencing a buyers market where a lot of homes are for sale, it’s possible that’s why your home isn’t selling or taking an extended period of time to sell.

As your deciding when to sell your home, it’s not only important to consider not only the time of the year but also how the local market is performing currently.  A great numeric measure of the current real estate market conditions to ask your local real estate agent about is the market absorption rate.

The market absorption rate in real estate is a number that indicates the number of months it would take to sell the remaining homes for sale in a given area if no other homes were listed for sale.  The market absorption rate can tell you the current status of your local market.

If the absorption rate in your market is 10 months of inventory, it likely means that your market is in the midst of a buyers market.  If the absorption rate is 2 months of inventory, it likely means that the market is a sellers market.

An experienced real estate professional can provide the market absorption rate in your area and also help you understand what it means.  If the local market conditions aren’t ideal to be selling a home, it could be the reason why your home isn’t selling.

10.) Listed By The Wrong Real Estate Professional

Don't Hire The Wrong Agent To List Your Home!

Don’t Hire The Wrong Agent To List Your Home!

The 10th reason why your home isn’t selling, is because you hired the wrong real estate agent to sell your home.  Hiring a top real estate agent to sell a home is paramount to the success of a home sale.

Before selecting an agent, learning how to interview real estate agents when selling a home can greatly improve the chances you don’t hire a poor agent.  Many of the above reasons why your home isn’t selling can be avoided by hiring a top agent.  A top agent will not take an overpriced listing just to take a listing, they’ll make recommendations on how to prepare for showings, and also can ensure your home is getting tons of marketing exposure.

If you’ve hired an agent and are unsure if you’ve made a poor choice, be on the look out for some of the clear signs that you’ve hired the wrong Realtor®.  If you’ve called your agent, left them a message, and haven’t heard back from them in 2 days or they put a sign in your front lawn and they haven’t spoken with you in 2 weeks, you’ve likely hired the wrong agent.

Home sellers who take the importance of hiring a top agent for granted end up kicking themselves at one point or another.  The real estate agent that’s selling your home can be the reason why your home isn’t selling, so be sure to take the hiring process seriously.

Final Thoughts

The most frustrating thing for a home seller is their home not selling.  If your selling a home and it’s not selling, understanding why can be helpful so that things can be changed.

The above 10 reasons why your home isn’t selling are very common.  These 10 reasons can be corrected if the specific reason is able to be determined as the reason why a home isn’t selling.  If you’re having difficulty selling your home, there’s a good chance one of these reasons is the culprit!

Other Top Home Selling Resources

Are you having difficulty selling a home in Rochester NY?  If so, there’s a strong probability that one (or more) of the 10 above reasons is why your home isn’t selling.  If you’d like to discuss your home sale with a local Rochester NY real estate agent, contact me so we can discuss in detail.

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About the authors: The above article “Top 10 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling” was written by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  With over 35 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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