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Top 5 Reasons Homes Don’t Sell and How to Avoid Those Mistakes

Rossy Guzman

One of my specialties is working with "First time sellers"...

One of my specialties is working with "First time sellers"...

Feb 8 11 minutes read

The Selling Hudson Group                                                      Get Your Home's Value 

As the residential real estate market begins to shift more towards a buyer’s market than a seller’s market, more and more homes for sale are coming off the market unsold. When a property is listed for sale and doesn't sell during the listing contract, it is known as an expired listing.

So how exactly is a buyer’s market or seller’s market determined? Without getting into too many details, a buyer's market has more than six months of inventory based on closed sales. 

A seller's market is also known as having less than three months of inventory based on closed sales, and a neutral (or balanced) market is defined as three to six months of inventory based on closed sales.

The bottom line is that it is going to get harder for sellers to sell their homes. Here are the top 5 reasons why homes don’t sell and also what to do to get your home sold.

Laura Ure, the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer has seen that the first impression is essential. If homebuyers aren’t sold on the images, they see online, chances are they will move on. It can also affect their perception of a home prior to seeing it. A good photograph will have a positive emotion associated with the home. 

In fact, emotion is the No. 1 trigger of the affluent buyer.  A good photo can speak not a thousand words, but a million words. As Laura says get creative: If the home is upwards of a certain amount, use models and shoot lifestyle photos in the home and around the home.

Did you know that listings with professional photos sell for more money? Not only that, but they sell quicker.

Did you know that 92 percent of homebuyers (according to use the Internet as part of their home search? That means that listing photos are a critical factor — it will determine the selling price of a home, how quickly it sells and whether it sells at all. 

This isn’t only about homes ranging above $1 million; this applies to all homes priced at $200,000 or more. That’s right. Studies have found that good photography helps to sell a home faster and for more money. Keep in mind that with so much research performed online, a good photo can help to get a homebuyer through the door. 

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There are two points here to mention. First,  we see frequently more sellers using Zillow as a platform to determine their price of their home. Did you know that Zillow is off by 40%? Even though they are working to have a better system that delivers more accurate values, doing a comparable market analysis cannot only be determined by the price a similar property to yours was sold. Having a real estate specialist will definitely bring you more clearance and accurate data to support the the reasons behind a particular sell. 

In fact, the CEO of Zillow Mr. Rascoff have said that sellers should ask to a real estate agent what the value of their home is. Amy Bank, a market watch reviewed this and stated that knowing the estimated value of a home was power—or at the very least, juicy gossip. That’s why it was so surprising that Rascoff sold a Seattle investment property earlier this year for $1.1 million—far less than its Zestimate of $1.7 million. This particular house, he said, was located on a major arterial street, a fact that wasn’t baked into the Zestimate.  According to the Real Deal, a Los Angeles real-estate news website, he also recently paid more than the Zestimate for a Los Angeles mansion. But Rascoff said it doesn’t really matter. Also, he added “It wasn’t top of mind. When we were trying to figure out the price for the house that we bought, we relied on the expertise of the real-estate agent to help us decide what to pay. The Zestimate, at that point, was less important. We call it a Zestimate and not a zeppraisal and not a zeprice. It’s meant to be a starting point. To determine a more accurate opinion of a home’s value you should hire a real-estate agent". 

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 The second point about pricing is well explained by Bernice Ross, CEO of, when stating that the rules of pricing properties are changing, yet most agents and FSBO continue to use the same pricing approaches that the industry did 50 years ago. 

To provide your buyers with the maximum amount of exposure, price your listings where they are straddling price points in multiples of $10,000 rather than using the antiquated approach of choosing list prices that end with $900, $95,000, $99,000 or the worst error of all, the one-dollar mistake of $99,999.

Given how many searches take place on mobile devices, if you price your property at $499,999, that one dollar difference can cost you 50 percent of your potential buyers. The reason is that those people who are searching for homes priced at $500,000 to $550,000 will never see your listing that is priced at $499,999.  

Remember that buyers that are not in auto notifications coming from their county MLS will relay on online search platforms like Zillow,, Redfin, and others.

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Most sellers think that their house is ready to be sold and that potential buyers should not care if there are more furniture that living space or the kitchen countertop has no room for even a glass. "Clutter is a killer," says David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, which owns estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains. As well as proving a distraction for buyers, having too much stuff around could give them the impression that there is a lack of adequate storage; to read more, click here

We are not saying to go minimalist, like Mrs. Lundin from has shared, but when it's time to sell your home, cutting down on the clutter will help make the sale. Potential buyers want to picture themselves living there, and they can't do that if your stuff is spilling out all over. Even if your house is clean, having clutter and things crammed in every nook is a visual turnoff.

Hiring a stager can help, but before you worry about making the place photo-shoot-ready, see how much cargo you can jettison. Make piles of things to save, to donate, and to throw away. Be ruthless. You can sell stuff online or hold a garage sale, but keep in mind that selling the house comes first and budget your time accordingly. You might be better off donating—some charities are even willing to pick up. For the things you're keeping, consider renting a storage space and temporarily clearing everything out to make the house neutral. 

Remember, a seller only has one chance to make a first impression to buyers that have many choices to select from. Plan accordingly.

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Since inventory is increasing quite a bit each month, Realtors and buyers have numerous choices to select when viewing homes. 

The average number of homes that buyers see before making an offer is between 10 and 14. This process takes most people about 10 weeks.

If an agent is scheduling four or five showings for his client and a home isn’t available to be seen with the others, the odds of that real estate agent to come back on another day just to see that home is highly unlikely.

Sellers should do what they can to make the house show ready at all times and have a plan that allows the home to be viewed with just a little notice. 

Thanks to technology and the development of apps, we are using to facilitate this process to sellers or occupants and to real estate agents.

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Looking at properties thru the eyes of a seller and NOT thru the eyes of a buyer is another common mistake. To anticipate the buyer's needs when listing a home, it only can achieve when the agent is knowledgeable and local in the area.

With so many home automated sites out there, many times sellers and agents will look at the site's estimates and average them out and get a list price for the home. That is just being lazy.

Other times they will look at previous sales and determine the price based on those things. 

The problem with these methods is that they are inconsistent. Sometimes Zillow’s (or similar sites) estimates are too high, sometimes too low, and sometimes just right. 

It is critical to look at what the current competition is for the subject property, what similar properties have recently sold, and what direction the market is heading. 

The most motivated buyers are looking at the market and inventory numerous times a day and know exactly what homes are selling for and all of the properties for sale.

Always keep in mind, sellers are competing with individuals that not only want to sell but also HAVE TO SELL. 

Finally, Interviewing agents and finding one that is aware of all of these things will help get the home sold in the quickest time frame. If you do not know what to ask, click here for some tips.

Read C K.'s review of Steve Salzer - Keller Williams on Yelp

For more client's testimonials, click below:

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