Heard about how homes are selling like hotcakes right now? Did you list your home in this market, only to realize that it's been sitting on the market for a few months now? Wondering if your Realtor spun you a great marketing yarn? Don't fret if your home seems to be the only one not selling, because there's multiple reasons that a home just won't sell. Sometimes, it's out of your control. Most of the time, however, there are changes you can make which will change your standing among the home buying crowd. Today, we're going to go over the top ten most common reasons that a home just won't sell, and what you can do to improve your chances of selling:

An image of a modern couch and coffee table against a contemporary grey wall.

10) Timing

An image of a clock on a kitchen wall. A house plant sits in the foreground of the photo.

For the last year, we've seen a healthy market for sellers. Inventory has been low for buyers, but when a new listing hits the market, it usually receives offers right away. Competition is high! Any time this past year and last year has been an incredible time to sell. Typically though, Spring is the time when most sellers list their home on the market. The reason is simple - we live in Saskatchewan. A Spring sell makes the most sense. It provides the opportunity to have a June or July possession on the house you're selling, and the one you're buying. For families with children, this won't interrupt the school year. It also means there's still a bit of summer vacation you can enjoy. For buyers, a Spring move is ideal because moving will take place when there's no snow or ice. For this reason, this is number ten on our list.

9) Marketing

An image of a lady using a megaphone.

Is your home being properly marketed? If your Realtor has listed your home on the MLS system, and left the online marketing at that, you may want to seek out a different Realtor. There is more than one avenue to marketing when it comes to online advertising. Experienced Realtors know that buyers come from all walks of life, and therefore have different levels of access to the online and offline world. Some buyers prefer third party sites to view homes, others prefer looking at homes through a local brokerage's site. Some trust what they see in the local newspaper, while others are content with coming across listings on social media. Finally, some buyers like to get down to brass tax and just search for specific listings using a search engine. Whatever the case may be, your Realtor should go over a marketing strategy with you. Some homes are better marketed towards older couples, which means you may see your home advertised in more print mediums. Some homes are better marketed to a younger crowd, in which case your home will be available for viewing on social media sites, targeted ads through Google search results, and listed on multiple home search sites. 

Open houses are still a key component to selling homes. It may require public, and/or it may require real estate professionals only. Virtual open houses can take place before, during, or after the in-person event - effectively reaching a larger amount of eyes!

8) Curb Appeal

An image of the exterior front of a home. Landscaped greenery within a manicured path lend to the visual appeal of this home.

Let's face it. We judge books by covers. We're visual creatures. If potential buyers pull up to a house and it looks unkempt, their mindset drops immediately to negative. If and when they go inside, all of the flaws present will jump out at them immediately - making them more likely to dismiss the positives. To boost your curb appeal and keep buyers in an open frame of mind, make sure to: cut the grass, pick the weeds, and clear the clutter. For homes that need more TLC, you may need to look at painting the exterior and/or front door, planting flowers, repairing eaves and downspouts, and replacing missing or damaged shingles.

7) Location

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If your home is located in a less-than-ideal place (like near train tracks, or on a busy street like Broadway) you're going to have a tougher time selling it. Unfortunately, this is out of your control. What you can do though, is make an addition or repairs to make the place alluring for buyers. For example, if your home is near train tracks, you could install sound proofing boards or walls in the living room. It's a small renovation that adds relevant and specific value. Another option is to lower the asking price. Affordability often trumps desire for buyers. Keep that in mind.

6) Out of Date

An image of a typical living room from the 1970s.

Not all buyers can afford move-in ready, contemporary designed homes. So, your older home is okay. However, if yours is sporting wall to wall shag carpet in every room, along with wicker furniture that should be outside, you probably will need to update. This doesn't have to cost you an arm or leg. Talk with your Realtor about renovations that return the most on investment. Typically, kitchen and bathroom renovations net you the most, since these are the most used and most important rooms in a household. An even simpler option is to just de-clutter and have your home professionally staged. This way, a buyer can better visualize what your home would look like with their things. 

5) De-Personalize 

An image of a neutral hallway, sporting a neutral colour scheme to put focus on the space of the room.

A home filled with personal items is what makes it a home. However, when you're trying to sell your home, these personal items do more harm than good. Buyers are trying to get a sense of what their lives would be like if they purchased your property. A clean space does wonders for directing and emphasizing focus on the room itself - this is what buyers are really looking for. Taking that step to help them get a clearer picture of how your home can work for them can land you that offer! Store the family pics, kids' awards and art projects away. Barren is not necessarily a bad thing, but enough personal items translate to clutter.

4) Clutter

A cluttered and messy kitchen

Speaking of clutter, let's talk about it! Less is better. Again, buyers are visualizing themselves in your home. Clutter is like a train wreck - you just can't look away from it. This can be devastating when trying to sell. It's an easy fix though, just clean! Take half of what's inside your closets and cabinets, and store it away. This is a simple staging trick that shows buyers that there is lots of space to store their things. Minimize the furniture in each room; this will make it look bigger. Paired with clean floors and walls, your rooms will look spacious and bright. Other ways to make the room appear bigger - minimize appliances, dishes and knick knacks on counters, shelves and window sills. 

Another reason for clearing clutter is to showcase the purpose of each room. You may be using a bedroom for storage, but the next family to move in may not. Showing the purpose of the room lends to the overall lifestyle of the home. If you can sell the lifestyle, the home will sell!

3) Repairs 

An image of a leaking faucet.

This point can hit a sensitive spot for sellers, and we understand. However, as best as you can, think about this area objectively. A leaking faucet may not be a blip on your radar (because you've lived with it everyday), but for people new to your home, it may be a glaring issue. Have your Realtor go through your home with you to note any repairs. They may be small things to fix (sticking windows, drawers and doors, leaky taps, missing handles, scuff marks, holes in walls), or may be larger issues. You don't have to worry about major issues unless they're necessary. For example, if the shingles need to be replaced 2+ years down the road, don't worry about that upgrade. If the shingles should have been replaced already, you will need to get that done. Buyers will have a tough time seeing why your home is priced at its current level if the shingles need to be done. This can definitely be the reason your home isn't selling.

2) Dirty

An image of a dusty table with one clean swipe through it.

Dirt is a huge turn off, whether we're talking relationships or home selling. Everyday dirt is not an issue; we're talking about the dirt in homes that have been neglected for months or more. A deep clean takes time, but it is SO worth the effort. A couple of ideas to get you started - cleaning windows (inside and out), fridge, oven, microwave, and grout in between tiles, shampooing carpets and furniture. We'll include odours here, since this goes hand in hand with dirt. Overwhelming pleasant smells are off putting too, so stick to natural smells if you want your home to have a pleasant scent. Cinnamon, baking and citrus scents are universally liked in light amounts. If you don't have the time, power or desire to do a deep clean yourself, you can always hire a professional cleaner. Remember, the house should stay clean until the buyers take possession.

1)  Price

An image of a house figurine. Stacks of coins sit in front of it.

Any home will sell if the price is right! The more desirable it is and the better condition it is in, the more money you will receive. Would price be anywhere other than number one? It's the most important factor for buyers when considering affordability, it therefore stands to reason that it would be the most important factor for sellers when selling. Your Realtor is there to help you understand what's happening in the current market, what's happened with comparable homes that have sold, and how your home stacks up. This gives you the accurate value of your home, providing you the opportunity to list your home at fair market value for buyers - a tempting deal.

Overall, if you're unsure why your home doesn't seem to be selling as quickly as you thought it would, ask your Realtor. You may need to adjust your frame of mind, or you may need to make some adjustments on your home. We hope this helps you!

Posted by Admin Staff on


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