Why Didn’t Your House Sell?


You made the decision to sell your home.  You de-cluttered, cleaned, painted, and pulled weeds for days on end to make your home appealing inside and out.  You signed a listing agreement with a real estate agent. You patiently waited, and waited, for your home to sell.

In spite of it all, your listing expired before a buyer came along!   What could be more frustrating?

So, why didn’t your house sell?

Of course, it’s impossible to speculate why your particular house didn’t sell.  Obviously, something went very wrong.  Was your home priced correctly?  Could you have made inexpensive upgrades to make your home more appealing to prospective buyers?  Your choice of real estate agent might have been part of the reason, or entirely the reason, that your house didn’t sell.

There are, however, a number of factors to consider when trying to sell any home:

  • Competition refers to houses similar to yours that are offered for sale, nearby, and in the same price range.  What makes your house more appealing than the others?  What made you fall in love with your home when you bought it?
  • Timing is important because local real estate markets are fickle and often unpredictable.  Spring is generally considered the best time of year to sell a home although it is not a hard fast rule.  Economic predictions can impact real estate markets by changing buying patterns.  For example, the promise of a hike in home mortgage rates will bring out buyers during any season.
  • Location means everything in the world of real estate.   In a broad sense, buyers have strong preferences about school districts, shopping, and access to interstates.  Buyers can also have very specific location preferences, like the east-west orientation of a house, meaning morning light or afternoon sun.
  • Condition is sometimes a difficult topic for sellers to deal with.  You need to be thick skinned and brutally honest with yourself when evaluating the condition of your home.  Could the walls use a fresh coat of paint?  Is the carpeting worn and in need of replacement?  It’s to your advantage to “freshen up” your home before putting it on the market.  Most buyers are looking for a move in ready home.  Try to view your home through the eyes of a potential buyer who is seeing it for the first time.  This is easier said than done.  
  • Pricing is the factor that connects the others and, most likely, determines whether or not your listing will sell.

While there are no guarantees in real estate, a realistically priced listing should sell when marketed by a professional.

What you should know as you move forward:

You can take no chances with the condition and appearance of your home when it’s shown in the future.  Your property is already “stigmatized” to some degree since it was listed with a real estate agent, but didn’t sell. Attention to details will make all the difference as your home is relisted and actively marketed.  Kitchens and bathrooms need to be clean, the lights turned on, blinds opened for the benefit of natural light, the lawn mowed, toys put away, etc.

The ultimate selling price of your home will be determined by the local market. The amount you paid isn’t a pricing factor, nor is the balance of your mortgage(s). The renovations and additions that you made to your home, as costly as they may have been, were for your own enjoyment.   The value added for resale purposes will, most likely, be less than their initial expense.  Think of the equity in your home as money in a checking account.  At any point in time, there’s only so much there.

Here’s a link for a free market analysis of  Your Home’s Value.  It is not an on-line, instant valuation which are often inaccurate.  After reaching out to you to ask specific questions about your home, I will research the market activity of properties similar to yours to determine a value.

Your house needs to be priced correctly at the time it’s introduced to the marketplace for sale.  You’re doing yourself a disservice by starting high with a plan to reduce the price of your home gradually.  A Realtor should make this point perfectly clear.  Homes that sit on the market tend not be be shown.  A listing that’s realistically priced will attract potential buyers and result in maximum proceeds to you.

You need to ask yourself if you are truly motivated, and able, to sell your home.  If you were unfortunate enough to purchase in an inflated market, you may be unable to sell at a break even price.  It’s a grim reality!  You may be too busy to keep your home looking like a showplace for viewing purposes.  You may lack the resources to make the property competitive and marketable. The key is to interview different Realtors and place your confidence in one you trust.  Then make decisions to move forward based on your agent’s professional advice even if it’s not what you want to hear and means staying where you are.

I am a local real estate agent with Integrity Real Estate specializing in Harford County Homes, Havre de Grace Homes, and Cecil County Homes.

Please feel free to reach out!

Ed Rybczynski


Related posts:

The Home Seller’s Ultimate Guide To Open Houses

4 Tips To Prepare Your House, And Yourself, Before Listing

How Much Is My Home Worth?