Why Is My House Not Selling

You’ve made the big decision to sell your house. Yet after prepping and listing it, you find yourself waiting…and waiting. You might wonder, “why won’t my house sell?” Here are some common reasons, and what you can do about them.

Why isn’t my house selling?

It needs repairs

According to the American Housing Survey, U.S. homeowners spend $4,838 on average in home improvements yearly. But most homebuyers want a move-in-ready house. After making the biggest purchase of their lives, the last thing they want is costly repairs. As the seller, you also may not want to deal with expensive and time-consuming renovation work. One solution is to sell your house off-market: Sundae, for instance, will connect you to trusted, local investors looking to buy houses as-is, so you can sell your home in as little as 10 days.

It’s overpriced

If you’re asking “why is my house not selling?” it could be that the listing price is too high. Research comparable properties within a half-mile of your house, listed within the last three months. Objectively consider how these houses compare to yours. Price your house accordingly—and don’t be afraid to go lower if you’re not getting offers.

It lacks curb appeal

If potential homebuyers don’t like your home’s exterior, they won’t bother to look inside. Eyesores such as peeling paint, an unkempt lawn or a broken mailbox can keep buyers at bay. To boost curb appeal, power-wash the exterior, driveway and sidewalk. If a full paint job is beyond your budget, focus on smaller improvements, like new light fixtures, a flowerbed and a freshly painted front door. Plan up to four days to spruce up the exterior.

It needs updating

Even if everything is functional, your house may seem tired and outdated. Today’s buyers are used to seeing top-of-the-line kitchens and bathrooms on television and social media. If your house elicits more of “meh” than “wow,” determine if the cost of updating is worth the investment. Minor upgrades such as a new kitchen sink or new cabinets might do the trick. But if you’re facing costlier renovations—like a completely remodeled kitchen— consider selling your house as-is off market with Sundae.

The neighborhood has drawbacks

49% of homebuyers cite neighborhood quality—including the school district—as most important in their buying decision. While you can’t relocate your house, you can make sure it shines with the most attractive exterior possible (see curb appeal tips above). Another option is selling to a cash buyer off market in the Sundae marketplace. Most cash buyers are investors, and less motivated by neighborhood details.

You need better photos

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 47% of potential homebuyers start their search online. If your listing has few photos or bad photos, those buyers might pass you by.

Photo tips:

  • Declutter and stage your house
  • Keep photos current and in-season
  • Include drone shots for a bird’s-eye view
  • Hire a professional real estate photographer

Your listing needs updating

The house description must be well-written and include its best features. A listing that’s boring or hard to read won’t entice buyers.

Listing tips:

  • Focus the headline on one or two of the house’s best assets.
  • Highlight distinctive features.
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short.
  • Describe the neighborhood and amenities.

If you choose to sell off-market to a cash buyer, you can avoid the MLS description and photos altogether. Sundae will prepare your listing for auction with photos and a 3D tour.

It’s too cluttered.

A home full of personal belongings can be distracting to buyers. Remove at least 50 percent of personal items to make the house appear more spacious and neutral: Clear off countertops, clean out closets, cabinets and drawers, leaving only what’s necessary. Tidy outside, as well.

Market conditions have worsened

Perhaps a year ago your neighbors sold their house in days, above asking price. Now you’re wondering, “Why isn’t my house selling as quickly?” If your house is comparable, you may have missed the market’s peak. Research your market in real time, viewing similar properties. Make sure your asking price is in line with current, similar listings.

The home is too personalized

When potential buyers are surrounded by family photos or keepsakes, it’s hard for them to see themselves in the space. Replace photos and collections with neutral art pieces. Put away anything potentially controversial—such as political signs.

Homebuyers can’t see your house’s potential

If your house is empty or needs renovations, it’s hard for buyers to visualize living there. Fix this with traditional staging—adding furniture and décor— or try virtual staging: Download one of many staging apps to show what your house would look like after renovations and interior design.

There’s an undefined problem with your house

If you’ve addressed the reasons above and still have no buyer, you may need outside advice. You might be too emotionally attached to see the drawbacks. If there are showings of your house, ask your agent to collect feedback about why an offer wasn’t made. Use this constructive criticism to fix the problems.

Why your house isn’t selling and what to do about it

Reason Scenario Solution Time to Fix
It needs repairs. House isn’t move-in ready. Sell to a cash buyer off-market. Sundae can sell your house in as little as 10 days.
It’s overpriced. Prospective buyers are looking elsewhere because it’s priced too high for the market. Research comparable, recent listings , and price accordingly. Lower the price if offers don’t come. You may know within a few days if the house is overpriced.
It lacks curb appeal. An unkempt yard or exterior is turning off potential buyers. Power-wash the house and pavement, paint the front door and improve landscaping. Up to four days
It needs updating. The kitchens and bathrooms are outdated. Invest in remodeling or sell as-is, off-market. Sundae can sell your house in as little as 10 days.
The neighborhood has drawbacks. Concerns about neighborhood put off buyers. Up your house’s curb appeal. Or sell to a cash buyer off-market. Up to four days to increase curb appeal.
You need better photos. Your online photos are poor quality or dated. Hire a professional photographer. Less than two hours
Your listing needs updating. Your online listing is boring or hard to read. Write a concise, descriptive listing, focusing on the house’s best assets. A few hours
It’s cluttered. Personal belongings distract buyers. Reduce personal items by half. Weeks or months
Market conditions have worsened. Your house isn’t moving like your neighbors’ did a year ago. Research your market in real time. Two to three days
It’s too personalized. Buyers can’t see themselves in your home. Pack away photos and mementos. Less than a week
Homebuyers can’t see your home’s potential. Your house is empty or needs renovations. Stage—or use virtual staging— to show the possibilities. Less than a day
There’s an undefined problem. You’re not attracting offers and can’t figure out why. Solicit feedback from buyers who tour. Weeks or months

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Composed by a team of experienced content, marketing, and real estate professionals, the Sundae Blog is a go-to authority for tips, instructions, and data-driven insights aimed at helping homeowners maintain, renovate, sell, and buy homes, while navigating a complex real estate market.

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