It’s a seller’s market, and your home has been for sale for weeks now. Why is your house not selling in a hot market? There could be several reasons why your home isn’t selling as quickly as you’d like.
We will break down a few of the most common reasons why your home might not be selling and offer some tips on how to remedy the situation.
Seller’s market vs. buyer’s market.
Let’s start by setting the stage. To understand why your house isn’t selling, you have to first understand the market that you’re in. There are two types of markets for real estate: seller’s markets and buyer’s markets.
A seller’s market is when more buyers are searching for a home than there are homes available on the market. This means the seller has the advantage in the contract negotiations. Homes may be a little pricier, and sellers are willing to give less; you get the idea.
A buyer’s market is when more homes are available for sale than buyers are searching for a home. Unlike the seller’s market, this means buyers have the advantage. Typically, sellers have to cave to the demands, and homes go for less.
For this article, we will go with the current times and classify our hot market as a seller’s market. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ve probably noticed that home values are skyrocketing, indicative of a seller’s market.
Listing errors on the MLS.
In a hot seller’s market, homes don’t last long. They pop up on the MLS and only last a day or two before the seller has enough offers to choose from, then it goes off the market. During that period, the home has a constant rotation of potential buyers and their agents walking through the house to decide if they want to place an offer.
Why is this house packed and getting multiple offers? Because buyers can find it.
When a home is listed on the MLS, the listing agent must manually enter the home’s vital details. This includes everything from the address, to the school district, to the types of financing and much more. It’s a tedious, laborious job but necessary.
A small error when entering information can result in buyers not finding the home on the MLS. Sure, some buyers will still come across the house, but not as many as it could’ve been.
Think of this. If a buyer is looking in a specific city, their agent will search the MLS for homes in that city. However, if the listing agent forgets to enter the city (it happens all the time), the house will be listed in other. That’s right; I can’t make this up. I see homes listed in Other, TX, quite often. It is embarrassing for the listing agent, but we pay attention to the details.
Maybe your home doesn’t show well in photos.
Another reason your house is not selling in a hot market is the photos. Like with the MLS, potential buyers will browse through listings online, and if they don’t see anything that catches their attention, they’re going to move on to the following listing. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions. Your photos are the first thing a buyer sees, so make sure they’re good.
Your home could be stunning in person, but if the photos don’t reflect that, you’re not going to get any buyers interested. This is why it is so important to have a professional photographer take pictures of your home before it goes on the market.
It’s also essential to ensure that the photographer captures all of your home’s important details and features. That means taking photos highlighting things like the updated kitchen, open floor plan, or beautiful backyard.
If a buyer likes the photos (amongst other things), they’re going to “favorite” your home on their favorite site (i.e., Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.) and then ask their buyer’s agent to show them the house. If they’re not feeling it, they’ll move on.
A home can still be overpriced in a hot market.
When two parties come together for a deal, each side will try to get the better end of the deal. Sometimes, however, they go overboard. This is why you’ll see listed homes for excessive money, and then they sit there. No one wants to pay that much for a home, even in a hot market.
Sure, you did some upgrades to your home, and it looks super cute and, therefore, should be expensive. You might not understand that there are so many factors that go into the price of the home. What’s the school district like? Is the house in a high-crime neighborhood? These all play into the home’s value and what a buyer is willing to pay.
Now, let’s not forget about the appraisal. Unless your buyer is a cash buyer, a bank will have to finance the home, and they’ll require an appraisal. Just because you asked for a certain amount and the buyer is willing to pay that amount doesn’t mean the bank will agree to that. If the home is overpriced, then there is a chance buyers will steer clear as they won’t be able to land the financing.
You might need to do some repairs.
Most homes in any market need a few repairs. It’s prevalent, and it doesn’t often hold up a deal. However, if significant repairs are required, that could be a show-stopper for many buyers.
The most common repairs often required are things like a new roof, a new HVAC system, water damage, or foundation repairs. These can be expensive repairs, and if a buyer isn’t willing to take on those repairs, they will move on to the next home. Sure, you might find a buyer willing to take those on in a hot seller’s market, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Another consideration is the financing (again). Some types of financing require the home to be in a specific condition before the lender signs off on it. If your home is too rough of a shape, you might limit yourself to cash or conventional buyers only. That could leave the FHA and VA buyers out of the deal, severely limiting your pool of buyers.
It’s a unique home, and not everyone is into it.
If you’re looking at single-family homes, you know there are cookie-cutter homes, beautiful custom homes, and everything in between. There are also a few homes that don’t classify as anything. Sure, they’re cute, comfy, and have fantastic features, but they’re not for everyone. Even a strange house has trouble selling in a hot market.
I’m talking about the odd homes. The ones with a layout that doesn’t make sense, too many custom features that buyers might not like, or just an overall feeling that it’s not for them.
These types of homes will take a little longer to sell as there will be fewer buyers interested in them. It doesn’t mean they won’t sell; you might have to wait longer to find the right buyer.
There is not much you can do about this other than aggressive marketing tactics such as lowering the price and holding an open house. Even then, if a buyer doesn’t like the style of the home, they’re going to pass.
The listing agent (your Realtor) isn’t doing their job.
Even in a hot seller’s market, the listing agent still has responsibilities and a job to perform. Not all listing agents are created equal. Sure, in this market, the listing agent’s job is much easier, but there’s still some work to be done. They have to get the house listed and market it, but they also have to receive offers, sort them out for the seller, and present them. This is typically where I see mistakes made. Some real estate agents don’t answer their phones.
When buyers are looking for homes in a market like this, they’re looking at tons of homes. In a single day, they might look at a dozen. They might submit an offer on a few of those homes since rejection is so prevalent. If they get an offer accepted before your agent can show you the offer and allow you to accept it, you might miss out on that sale.
As a seller, you want an agent that is dedicated to you. If their workload is too full between various buyers and sellers, you might want to try someone else. And yes, you can fire a real estate agent. Let’s not forget they work for YOU, and their fiduciary responsibility lies with you.
It’s no secret that the current housing market is a seller’s market. Home prices are on the rise, and there are more buyers than sellers in many areas of the country. So, why is your house not selling in such a hot market? There could be several reasons why your home hasn’t sold yet, even in this market.
If you have questions about why your home isn’t selling, I’d love to help wherever I can. If you have a listing agreement with another agent, there is only so much I can do; however, if you’re a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO), I can help you through the process.