Why Your House is Not Selling in 2018: The Ugly Truth | Christine Cowern

| Selling

Nothing’s worse than going through the stress of getting your home on the market only to find it sits there like a wallflower at a high school dance. But why your house is not selling is down to a few problems that we have highlighted below. We advise that you take a long hard look at these horrible truths that are common causes of rejection AND use some of our solutions to help get your home sold.

Marketing? What Marketing?

Wondering why your house is not selling and nobody is seeing it? Maybe it’s your agents marketing plan. You know your marketing is failing when:

  • It seems no one is at all interested in viewing your home
  • Money wasn’t invested in getting killer professional photographs and video
  • Your MLS listing is an epic fail because it’s missing the info people need
  • Your marketing plan consisted of your agent throwing your listing up on Realtor.ca

The Fix: Discuss your marketing plan with your agent to see what they’re doing to sell the house. If they don’t have a marketing plan, insist they present one to you ASAP.  If the images aren’t professional, insist they hire a photographer to reshoot them. Read their MLS listing and make sure it’s got kick ass descriptions and details that’ll impress. If they can’t show you a plan, it’s probably time to move on and find a new agent! 

The Price, The Whole Price & Nothing but The Price

Nothing kills a house sale quicker than an overpriced house and this can be one of the biggest reasons why your house is not selling. You know your house is overpriced if:

  • People are excited to view the house, but never make an offer
  • The offers you do get are always below asking and pretty much all around the same amount
  • You’re still thinking you’ll get the same price your neighbours did last year before the price correction kicked in

The Fix: If you didn’t listen to your agent’s advice, it’s time to start. They’ll have the comps for the homes that’re selling in your area and be able to get your house priced right. If it was your agent who recommended the price, you’ve got an agent problem!

Houston, You’re the Problem!

If you’re doing any of these things, then you might be the problem:

  • You don’t care about anyone’s schedule but your own, so buyers can never get in to see the home
  • If buyers do manage to squeeze into your impossible schedule you’ve given them a ridiculously short amount of time to walk through your home once they’re inside
  • You demand an unreasonable notice period before you’ll allow anyone to make a viewing appointment (we’re talking eight hours or more!)
  • You’re always skulking about when people do come to see the home
  • You’ve let things go, so your house looks like hell

The Fix: Start accommodating viewings and make sure that house is spic ‘n span day in and day out so a showing can happen at the drop of a hat.

Must Love Dogs

If you’ve got pets and your wondering why your house is not selling it’s possible you could have potential pet issues like:

  • Your home wreaks of pet odours
  • Your dog barks insanely when they hear someone come in the door
  • Your cat hisses and claws at anyone who tries to look in the bedroom
  • Your tarantula is in the bathroom OR your boa constrictor is on display in your den OR your birds have their own bedroom (You see where we’re goin’ with this)

The Fix: Speak to your vet to get some ideas to help avoid your pet being traumatized during the selling process, after all it’s their home too! Remember your pets might feel unsafe with strangers tramping through your home, so it’s often in their best interest to set up a play date or have them stay with someone you trust so they experience as little stress as possible during viewings. Hire a pro carpet cleaner and get everything cleaned including your furniture to remove all signs and smells of your pet. Also, make sure your property hasn’t got any pet deposits!

The “My House Looks Fine!” Syndrome

Staging plays such a big role in making your home stand out and helping it sell. If you’ve got a poor staging job done it’s possible that it is another factor as to why your house is not selling.

You’ve got a major staging deficit if:

  • You don’t have clear definition of a typical house layout with a living room, dining room, den, etc
  • Your house is literally a disaster area with clutter and mess everywhere
  • You’ve got a massive wall with a mural of the rain forest
  • Your staircase is a tribute to 20 generations of family photos
  • Your rooms are over furnished making everything look small
  • Your walls are scuffed and stained
  • You’re not keeping the kitchen and bathrooms sparkling
  • Your breakfast dishes are always in the sink

The Fix: You’ve got to keep things looking bang on, outright gorgeous and impeccably clean until your house is sold. If you made little to no effort to make basic improvements, such as paint touch ups, decluttering and staging each room to show its purpose, buyers won’t get it and you won’t get offers.

The Undesirables

Location issues are always tough, including:

  • Main/busy streets
  • Train tracks
  • Poorly maintained neighbouring properties
  • Undesirable areas
  • Neighbourhood smells such as sewage plants

The Fix: This is a challenge, BUT if your house is in a less desirable area, you’re going to have to adjust that price to help overcome why your house is not selling. 

There’s Nothing Wrong with My House

This one’s just got one point: If the negative feedback about your house is consistently addressing the same issues you’ve got to fix it. If it’s not something you can fix, it all goes back to the price. You can sell any house if the price is right.

Time After Time

There’re a few things timing wise that could be messing up why your house is not selling including:

  • Competition on your street has heated up with lots of inventory available
  • It’s the wrong time of the year such as Christmas, full on summer, or winter in general
  • Bad news is on the rise about real estate, such as regulation changes, interest rate hikes, commentary that Toronto homes are overpriced, etc
  • Other homes on the market aren’t selling either

The Fix: If you’ve got a choice, consider putting your house on the market at another time when the housing market isn’t experiencing any extreme changes or threats. If you don’t have a choice, step up your game and make sure you remain competitive with an aggressive marketing plan, stand out open houses, stellar efforts in all areas of staging and most important of all, the right price.

What’s My Motivation?

If you’re just not that into selling your house you might have these symptoms:

  • You heard your friends sold their home $100k over asking so you thought you’d do the same
  • You’re only interested in selling for a specific price otherwise forget it
  • You’ll only be willing to move if you find a specific dream home so your kind of doing this half-assed

The Fix: If you lack motivation to sell you might want to ask yourself if now really is the time to sell. If the answer’s not YES! then wait for the right time. Also, it’s unfair to potential buyers — you could really break someone’s heart if you get some interest and then change your mind!

I’m Sure My Agent’s Got This!

These are signs you’ve got “agentitis”:

  • There’s literally no one around to take calls and book appointments for viewings
  • They’re MIA all the time
  • They keep telling you not to worry, someone will show up to see the house eventually
  • You’ve not heard anything about what’s going on in the neighbourhood
  • There’s no clear strategy to market your house, such as staging advice, marketing plans, pro photos, digital advertising, etc
  • You’ve had offers but your agent has failed to negotiate well enough to seal the deal
  • They haven’t already offered any of the solutions we’ve shown here!

The Fix: Sometimes it’s all about what your agent’s not doing that makes selling a challenge. If you think it’s your agent, you’ve got to have a sit own with them and hash things out. Remember, you’ve got the right to get out of using this particular agent, since your listing agreement is actually with your agent’s brokerage, not your agent. Call their broker of record and get a cancellation agreement signed so you can find an agent who’s got the right stuff to get your property sold.

Recognizing a Recurring Theme

If you haven’t already noticed, there’s a recurring theme as to why your house is not selling. It’s either the price, you or your agent. Selling your home requires a knowledgeable agent, the right price and some cooperation from you. Finding the right agent makes all the difference as they will walk you through the minefield and make sure you come out on the other side unscathed, and maybe even a little wiser! 

If you’re ready to sell your home in Toronto just give us a call at #416-291-7372 or email us at hello@christinecowern.com and let us help get your house sold!