5 Ways to Make Sure Your Home Won't Sell

Sure, most of this seems like a no-brainer, but you'll find it happen over and over again. A seller will list their home with an agent and then either take steps to make it unmarketable. The seller will then wonder why they have little interest or no offers.

Here's a list of common offending activities:

  1. Overpricing – If you hit the market overpriced buyers and their agents can dismiss your property from future consideration. Even if you lower it later their sub-conscience may have written you off. Your agent has access to the comparables sold and has often been to many of them while they were for sale. Go over the numbers and together with input from your agent set a price that creates interest.

  2. Curb appeal – Once a buyer has found your property either through their agent, online, or some advertisement they'll often drive by or have a showing. If the home isn't appealing when they drive up due to items in the yard, including too many cars, or landscaping that has been neglected their first observation is that the property is neglected. It takes minimal effort to dress your home like it is ready for a date... which is what its doing.

  3. Showing – Selling a home while you're still living there is invasive and disruptive. People running through your private space is annoying at best. However, making buyers and agents organize to your schedule can cause them to not see your home at all. This means less buyers and an extended time on market, further extending the time you'll have to keep your house in clean and ready. Make it as easy as humanly possible for your home to be shown. This way it will actually be shown.

  4. Personal Items – Once inside your home a buyer makes a very quick assessment of how things will work for them. This is going to be their home. While it is good to have a welcoming environment that is warm and uncluttered, however your personal items can cover a buyer's ability to seeing it as their home. Remove or put away things such as family pictures, knick-knacks, and religious items. This will help the buyer envision themselves and their items being in the home.

  5. Smells – These don't even have to be commonly offensive smells such as comes from cooking fish or the teenager's dirty socks. Smells you might find pleasant aren't necessarily appealing to potential buyers and can also be seen as a cover up. Scented candles or incense should be carefully considered. Try to keep your smells at a minimum so people who are sensitive to some things don't go running.