9 Factors That Could Keep Your Home From Selling


Selling your home can be emotionally charged at the best of times and in the best market, but it’s particularly emotional when it seems like your home just refuses to sell…. sitting on the market for weeks, with few showings and feedback that just screams “not interested”.

Well, here is the hard truth - there may be something wrong. Usually, it’s the list price. However, there are many other things that are keeping your house on the market or hurting how much people are willing to pay for your home.

You don’t set the price, we don’t set the price, and the other Agents you interview don’t either - the market will decide the value of your home.

If you’re thinking about selling or your home, consider whether one of these factors could be slowing things down for you.

1) The Pictures Are Bad

It’s hard to put the proper amount of emphasis on amazing photos, without looking like a crazy person. Buyers today begin their search online, and your listing photos are the first thing they see, and about the only thing buyers ACTUALLY spend a real amount of time looking at when looking at homes or sale.

You want crisp and clean images to showcase your home in it’s best light. If your photos are out of focus, pixelated, dimly lit, or just look bad - it just screams “we don’t care and we took these photos in 5 minutes with a cellphone”. If the photos of your home are bad, don’t be surprised when buyers pass on your home and show no interest. We live in a digital world, the photos of your home should be Instagram or Pinterest worthy.

2) Amazing Photos Of An Un-Amazing Home

Sometimes even with professional help and a professional camera, the house still doesn’t look its best in the listing photos.

Before a photographer starts snapping photos, make sure your home is in pristine condition and talk with your Agent about scheduling the photos at a time of day when there is a lot of natural light in the home.

With digital cameras it’s easy to snap a thousand photos and choose after. Getting the right angles, great lighting, and your home being clean and de-cluttered make the process of choosing the best images a million times easier.

3) Showings Aren’t Convenient For Buyers

One of the absolute worst parts of selling a home is dealing with the showing process. It’s a really big pain. You have to keep the house spotless all the time, leave your home at a moments notice, and let strangers and their Agents trudge through your home.

Although you deserve sympathy as a Seller, it’s not easy being a buyer either. Buyers are usually trying to see several places in a small timeframe, typically in the evenings or on the weekends. Buyers are trying to make a massive financial decision after spending less than 30 minutes in a home.

Ideally you should be as flexible as possible. If you’re dictating the times that only fit your schedule, and not allowing people to visit your home in the evenings, weekends, or on short-notice - don’t expect buyers to fit your home into their schedule.

If it’s inconvenient to show a home, many buyers will skip your home to make seeing other properties simpler, meaning qualified buyers who’d love your house won’t even come and see it.

4) Funky Smells & Annoying Noises

There are many things that turn buyers off, but few turn people away faster than funky odours or annoying noise. There are some things you just can’t do anything about - airplanes flying over the property or a nearby sewer plant - but anything you can do to freshen up and make your home serene should be done before any showings take place. As the homeowner you’re also a bad judge to figure out if your home is smelly or there is any noises.

If you have pets, they have left a smell in your home. Address this issue (and don’t sic Lassie on the messenger) and think about keeping the pets out of the home during the time your home is on the market. Consider replacing any carpet in the home as well, as this will help remove any pet related odours.

If you are a smoker, people will be off put by the lingering odour that exists in your home. Talk with a Contractor about your options and consider removing all your belongings from the home. Cigarette smoke gets into everything - flooring, on the walls, wood furniture and cabinets, your mattress, et cetera. Addressing the smell is critical to you getting market value. Refusing to address the odour could cost you 29% of your homes market value.

Tip: Take it easy on the plug-in air fresheners and spray! Instead of “scent bombing” your house, open the windows and doors and air out the home. A single candle isn’t an issue, but people with sensitivities to perfumes and chemicals will have a hard time objectively looking at your home if they have a hard time breathing in your home.

5) Zero curb appeal


You want buyers to ideally starting picturing your home as “theirs” as soon as they pull up to the home. If you have no curb appeal you shatter the fantasy for people.

Make sure you’ve addressed the basics. Is the grass alive? If so, has it been cut? Is the porch or steps clean and clutter free? Would a couple of planters or flowers in the flower beds make the home more inviting?

Thinking about painting the front door? Be careful with the colour you choose! If you are re-painting the front door consider going black. According to analysis from Zillow any shade of black could put an extra $6,271 in your pocket.

6) Upgrades & Fixes Were DIY’ed

Okay, if your job title is “home builder” or “contractor”, maybe you can skip this one and you get a pass here. Most people though who DIY things around the home will likely end up costing themselves money when it comes time to sell.

Even if your “fixes” look cosmetically okay, there is no telling what a home inspector will uncover - the last thing you want when selling is a home inspection report to kill a deal and have to re-list the home.

Before listing consider having a home inspection done. This way you know any issues upfront and can address them, that way the only thing you and a potential buyer will be negotiating is price.

7) Too Much Clutter


Okay, we’re not saying make your house look like you practice Japanese minimalism, but clutter and too much stuff draws the attention of a buyer away from the space.

De-clutter and de-personalize your home. How you decorated your home was to suit your taste, when selling your home you need to stage the home to appeal to the target buyer for your home. This staging has nothing to do with your tastes.

Donate, hold a garage sale, pack a storage locker to the rafters - just get the “extra” stuff out of the home… that includes the closest’s too! Buyers will open drawers and closets to assess storage space in the home.

A bonus of doing this before you list your home is that it will make packing when it does sell that much easier.

8) No Marketing Budget

Most people think selling a home is as easy as posting it on the local MLS and snapping a few photos. The reality is there is so much “real estate noise” online that buyers can easily miss your home on the MLS. Some buyers may not know about your neighbourhood, street, or building, so their search may not even lead them to your house online to begin with.

A little marketing can do wonders in getting people in the front door. When you’re interviewing real estate agents, ask them about how they market properties and if they have a marketing budget for their listings and where it’s spent. If they don’t have a plan or a paid marketing budget, it’s a sign you might want to try a different agent.

9) Social Media Ads Give Away Everything

Marketing professionals know that advertising is an art form. You want to give someone just enough to grab their interest and invite them to learn more.

Many times real estate advertising “throws the baby out with the bath water” - the price, all the photos, all the details are given to the buyer upfront. This may seem like a good thing, but it means a buyer has all the information and can make a quick (and potentially inaccurate) decision about your house. So remember, less is more - just a few of the best photos in a social media ad, a few key details, and a way for them to learn more about your home and book a showing.

Ask the Agents you are interviewing about how they market homes online.



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