4 Reasons Your Listing Might Not Be Selling

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Do you have a home lingering on the market? MSN Real Estate recently polled real estate professionals to find some of the most common reasons why some properties won’t sell, besides trying to overcome a poor location.

Here are four common reasons listings don’t sell in a timely manner, according to the MSN survey:

  1. Unreasonable price: “It’s always price for condition or price for location,” says Kathy Opperman, a broker-owner with Century 21 Alliance in Philadelphia. “That’s one of the main reasons [homes] sit.” Some sellers are just unrealistic about what their house can truly fetch, or they may be underwater and just unable to lower their price tag. “In my market, the only reason a property would stay on the market for longer than three months would be that the price is too high,” Ron Redfern, a real estate professional from Greeley, Colo., told MSN Real Estate. “Price will overcome any objection.” 
  2. Bad decor: Loud patterns, bold colors, and dated decor styles can distract home buyers. For example, agents say that mirrored walls, cheap wood paneling, and 1970s kitchens can be turn-offs. To try to appeal to the widest buying pool, agents advise clients to stay neutral with their design, give buyers a “minimalist canvas” for them to project their own tastes on. 
  3. Awkward floor plan or missing necessities: Strange or dated floorplans may also make a home linger, such as older homes where you have to walk through a bedroom to get to a second bedroom, MSN Real Estate notes. One home in Catskill, N.Y., has lingered on the market for more than four years because it’s missing a driveway. 
  4. Awful photos: If your listing has yet to sell, you may want to revisit the photos you're using to present it on the MLS. For example, one Chicago listing showed dirty clothes and clutter in the photo, which may prompt buyers to question the hygiene of the rest of the home, as well as assume it has a lack of storage. Be choosy about the photos you upload to the MLS, and remember that less can be more, Opperman says. Have photos showcase the best rooms and features of the home. "If a buyer isn't excited about a home after seeing it online, they won't want to see it in person," Opperman says.

Source: “Listing Losers: 8 Reasons Your Home Isn’t Selling and What to do About It,” MSN Real Estate (March 13, 2013)