Welcome to the BeSmartee blog. Enjoy a wide selection of articles related to mortgages, the industry, and real estate.

5 Reasons Your Home Is Not Selling

By Laura Agadoni · Aug 3, 2016 · Real Estate

5 Reasons Your Home Is Not Selling

Image courtesy of Flickr, Bart Everson

Don't panic if your home is not selling. There are many reasons that could explain why your home isn't selling. We've listed five of them.

It can be surprising and frustrating when people aren't interested in buying your home that you've put up for sale. This is especially true if you're in a seller's market where homes are being snapped up almost as soon as they're listed. Some people think a seller's market means an automatic sale, but that isn't necessarily true. Don't panic if your home is not selling, no matter how upsetting this may be. Take the logical approach instead. There are many reasons that could explain why your home isn't selling. We've listed five of them.

1. Your Home Is Priced Too High

Even if you and your agent have done all the research and have priced your home based on comparable homes that have recently sold in the area, factoring in square footage, condition, and any improvements you might have made, buyers still might think the price is too high. ''Overpriced homes don't tend to do well on the market,'' says Michael Segarra, a York, Pennsylvania, agent. His suggestion? ''Consider listing your home below market value to attract buyers who then bid the price back up to or above market rate.''

Conversely, a home can be priced too low, and buyers will wonder why. ''It's hard to raise the price of a home that's already listed for sale,'' says Brian Davis, a real estate investor with Spark Rental. Davis suggests that sellers take a home that is priced too low off the market for a few months, make some upgrades or renovations, and then relist at a higher price. ''If the seller doesn't have the luxury of time, they should raise the listing price and then hire an auction house to auction off [the house,]'' he says.

2. Your Home Is Not Move-in Ready

It's difficult to justify spending money on a home that you're going to leave. But you might need to bite the bullet and make some improvements if you want to sell your home. If the comparable homes in the area are in better shape than yours is in, buyers might be reluctant to buy it. ''Be realistic,'' says Sissy Lappin, real estate agent and co-founder of ListingDoor. She says to ask yourself the following,'' What's the condition of the carpet, flooring, appliances, roof, and interior paint? Evaluate your home the way a picky buyer would and have realistic expectations.''

Buyers tend to nickname homes to remember them, such as ''The House Near the Gas Station,'' or ''The House with the Green Awning,'' says Lappin. You don't want your home to get a bad nickname, such as the one Lappin's friend named, ''The House that Landscaping Forgot.'' ''The house had many attractive features,'' says Lappin. But her friends remembered only the bad one. ''The front lawn ran right up to the front wall of the house, uninterrupted by bushes or flowers or anything,'' she said. ''For a few hundred dollars or less, the owners could have put in a few decorative bushes, edging rocks, and mulch so the potential buyers would remember it as 'The House with the Great Hardwood Floors' instead.''

You might not realize your house has a problem, which can be a problem itself. ''The buyer has an inspector, and they will find everything,'' says Elizabeth Perrins, an Upstate New York agent. ''It really is best to have the issues looked at before selling the house. Hire a home inspector to come out and tell you what a buyer is going to see.''

3. You Haven't Staged Your Home Properly

Many buyers can't envision all the possibilities of a home unless they get a little help. And that's what staging is for. Staging shows potential buyers the best way to use spaces throughout the home. With staging, you need to see the house the way potential buyers will see it. ''Prospective buyers want to envision themselves in the home,'' says Segarra. They don't want constant reminders that the home belonged to someone else. ''As harsh as this may sound, move your personal photos and memorabilia out of the house.''

When staging, try to get all the rooms as bright as possible. Segarra suggests that sellers paint the rooms neutral colors. ''Dark rooms always feel more small and cramped,'' he says. It's also good practice to remove drapes.

4. You've Underestimated Curb Appeal

If the exterior of your home doesn't look cared for, many buyers won't click on it when looking online or won't want to get out of the car to come in when they drive by. If your home doesn't look inviting, you'll probably have trouble selling it. Here are some tips from Segarra:

  • Keep you lawn and landscaping in good shape.
  • Throw ratty lawn furniture or other items that are cluttering your yard into the trash.
  • Power wash your siding, patio, deck, and walkway.
  • Hang simple house numbers that clearly identify your home.
  • Paint the exterior.
  • Install new fixtures.

5. Your Home Is Not Marketed Right

Maybe you listed your home during a traditionally slow period, such as wintertime in the Northeast, or during the Fourth of July weekend when people are out of town and aren't searching for homes. If that happens, your ''days on market'' statistic will rise, and that doesn't look good to potential buyers who will start wondering what's wrong with the house. ''Depending on local MLS rules, sellers may be able to relist their property after doing a small home condition change or price change,'' says Matt Parker, a Seattle, WA, agent. ''In this case, buyers will revisit the listing, still seeing the old listing but giving the home a second and better chance once it has been repackaged.''

Maybe you have a wonderful home, but if you don't have professional photos, your home probably doesn't look as good online as it could. ''Do you have one of those photos in your listing that shows your agent's reflection in a mirror... with their iPhone?'' asks Perrins. ''You deserve good photos. Buyers are going to the home that looks better online,'' she says.

If you've done everything by the book, and your home still isn't selling, you might wish to consider getting a new agent. If you signed a contract, ask to be let out, or see if there's another agent in the office you could work with. ''Talk to as many people as possible who have bought and sold real estate in your neighborhood, and find out who the best person in that area is,'' says Davis. ''Listing agents need to go far beyond just throwing the listing up on the MLS and calling it a day.''

Bottom Line

''Houses will always sell,'' says Perrins. It's just a matter of using the right strategy. If one or more of the issues we've discussed applies to you, you now know what to do.

Real Estate Commission: Explained, Revealed and Compared
By Arvin Sahakian · Aug 17, 2015 · Real Estate Data

Real estate agents receive commissions from home buyers and sellers, collectively earning over $50 Billion per year. Learn how commission amounts are set, who pays them, and how they work in this article. Read more.


California Property Tax: Complete List by County 2014-2015
By Tim Nguyen · Nov 26, 2014 · Real Estate Data

List of secured property tax rates for all counties of California fiscal year for 2014-2015. Read more.


California Proposition 60 and 90: Your Complete Guide
By Tim Nguyen · Nov 28, 2014 · Real Estate Data

If you live in California and are over the age of 55 you can effectively reduce your property taxes when buying a new home. Read more.


Houston vs. Dallas: Which One is Better to Live in?
By Amanda Curry · Oct 11, 2016 · Real Estate

Houston Vs. Dallas? If you are considering moving to either of these major metropolitan areas, we've created a resource to help you make the decision process a little easier. Read more.


What to Expect During the Home Loan Closing Process
By Arvin Sahakian · Feb 24, 2015 · Mortgage

You've heard the term used before, but what does loan closing mean? Find out all you need to know about the process. Read more.


5 Illegal Borrowing Activities: Things That Are Illegal When You Try to Get a Home Loan
By Laura Agadoni · Jan 22, 2016 · Mortgage

Whenever there is money to be made or money to be spent, some unscrupulous folks will take advantage, trying to game the system or commit all-out fraud. Read more.


The Surge in Foreign Real Estate Investment in the United States
By Laura Agadoni · Feb 24, 2016 · Real Estate

Foreign real estate investment in the United States, both commercial and residential, is a huge phenomenon that is only expected to accelerate, maybe even to skyrocket, in 2016. Read more.


Does Homeowners Insurance Pay Off your Mortgage if the House is Burned Down?
By Amanda Curry · Feb 8, 2017 · Mortgage

In this article, we explore how homeowners insurance works and what happens in the event of a house fire. Read more.


16 Ways to Improve Your Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio
By Veronica Nguyen · Nov 29, 2014 · Mortgage

Your DTI is used by mortgage lenders to determine whether you qualify for a loan, and if so, for how much. Improve your DTI with these 16 tips. Read more.


5 Tips on Getting a Mortgage Loan after Bankruptcy
By Veronica Nguyen · Apr 15, 2015 · Mortgage

A bankruptcy will make it very difficult to attain a home loan. These 5 tips will help you re-establish your credit quickly in order to qualify for a home loan. Read more.