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6 Reasons Why Your Home Did Not Sell

6 Reasons Why Your Home Did Not Sell

6 Reasons Why Your Home Did Not Sell

There are a number of common reasons that a home listed for sale ended up not getting any offers and therefore not selling.  For the home seller who truly wants to sell their home understanding and addressing these common reasons can help put them on the path to selling the home the next time it is listed for sale.  Qualified real estate agents will understand these reasons and be able to guide a home seller to avoid them, but the home seller should also understand the causes of a failed sale as well.


First and foremost, pricing is on the top of the list as a common reason why a home did not sell.  Homebuyers are looking to get the best value for their money when buying a home and go in fully informed with regards to home prices and features.  Regardless of how many upgrades or add-on features a home has if the price is not in line with other homes in the neighborhood it will not sell.

Many neighborhoods tend to have similar houses where the builder went with similar quality and design.  If one house in the neighborhood has been upgraded that does not necessarily mean the homeowner will be able to recover the price of the upgrades when selling the home.  Home buyers will be looking at similar houses within a similar price range.  While it may be nice to have an updated/upgraded home, buyers will not be willing to pay a premium for that option.  There is also the added concern that an appraiser may not find the value to be what the seller thinks it is, which would result in a lender not approving a mortgage for the home.

If the price of a home is above other homes in the neighborhood, buyers who can afford that higher price will prefer to buy a home where other homes have a similar price point since those homes will support each other’s value.  In the case of the highest priced home in a neighborhood there is little room for value appreciation since the home has already been priced above the average. 

Home buyers look at things like home location, bedroom/bathroom count, square footage, and amount of yard space.  Families with children may also consider school districts, proximity to parks, shopping and more.  Once buyers find minimum criteria for a home in their price range, homes with additional amenities might sway them more towards making an offer but only if those amenities do not represent a significant price premium that will not fit within their budget.

The best way to get a listing price for selling a home is through a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which compares recently sold homes that are similar in size, features and location to the home which will be listed for sale.  Other factors such as home condition, age of the mechanical systems, date of last updates should be considered when setting a listing price.  A home with a less than five-year-old heating and cooling system will obviously have a price advantage over a home that still has its original 25-year-old gas furnace and only window air conditioning units within reason.  Home sellers need to price their home properly according to home condition and the CMA.  Home sellers also need to be ready to adjust the price as buyer feedback comes in regarding the home’s condition and pricing.

Bill Gassett, owner of Maximum Real Estate Exposure provided me the following insights.

"Paul, there are many things that can stop a home from selling but the most common is an ill-advised asking price. As real estate agents we see numerous homes that have price reductions. The common denominator is either the seller or the listing agent didn't listen to the market.

Some sellers also fail to make a good agent selection. Pricing improperly and picking the wrong agent often go hand-in-hand.

Simply listing a home on the MLS is not enough. A targeted marketing plan designed to reach the right buyers is essential. This involves understanding the unique selling points of your property and leveraging various platforms to generate interest. Some agents don't do an adequate job of marketing.
The last common denominator is awful photography. In an era where online listings dominate home searches, professional-quality photos are crucial. Investing in professional photography, including drone footage and virtual tours, can greatly improve the visibility and appeal of your listing."


With pricing of a home being one of the major selling factors, if pricing was done correctly and a home did not sell then the home seller should consider whether the marketing was as effective as it could have been.  Over 90% of home buying begins online and all home marketing efforts must start here.  High quality photos and videos should be taken of the home in order to provide the best presentation online.  Prior to taking photos and/or videos the home must be decluttered, freshened up and neatly staged so that the pictures look great.  If high quality cameras are not being used to capture key rooms and features of the home, homebuyers will not be drawn in and definitely not want to visit the house in person.  Blurry, dark, unfocused pictures are eye marketing tipscatching for the wrong reasons and will hurt the marketing presentation of a home.

The act of putting a sign in the front yard of a home and listing some information on a few internet websites is also not a true marketing plan.  The idea for home marketing should be to get the home in front of as many homebuyers as possible so the right buyer wants to visit the home.  Blasting a home for sale around the world is also not helpful since a majority of buyers already live close by to the home or are looking in local search sites for a home if they are planning to move to the area.  Home sellers should understand the marketing plan their real estate agent is using or if selling for sale by owner they need to market the home accordingly.  

Open houses do not sell homes and having an open house is not a marketing plan for selling a home. With less than 5% of homes being sold through an open house, the open house is more of a strategy for real estate agents to find more buyer clients.  Proper home presentation both online and for the in-person visit are more effective at drawing in real buyers rather than random people at an open house who may or may not qualify to buy your home.


A show-ready home means the home is properly cleaned up and prepared so that when homebuyers come through they can see themselves living in the home.  If a home has custom collections, personal pictures, unique decorations or unique paint colors/wallpaper on the walls that usually will only serve to distract buyers.  Personal pictures, unique decorations and collections need to be taken down and put away so the home can be seen for what it is, a living space.  Non-traditional colors for walls should be repainted in neutral colors or if wallpaper is present the wallpaper should be removed and replaced with neutral colored paint.

While no home is expected to be perfect, plans should be made as to how to quickly clean up a home so that when buyers do come by the home looks good.  A home seller would be best to pack all clutter up and put it in storage or in their next home if that is possible.  Moving clutter from out in the open into jam packed closets won’t be helpful as buyers fully expect to see the inside of closets.  Minor repair issues in a home should be addressed before the home is put up for sale.  Odors/stains from pets and cooking should be taken care of as well to present a neutral smell.   

Exterior curb appeal also plays into the decision-making process for buyers.  Mowed lawn, leaves cleaned, fresh mulch, nice flowers go a long way towards saying the homeowner took care of their house both inside and outside.  The curb appeal will draw buyers in from the very first picture online and at the very first visit so landscape maintenance must be kept up at all times.


When a buyer is seeing 4-6 homes in a day, and they can’t get in to see a particular home because of scheduling issues that can result in a lost buyer.  A home seller who makes it difficult to view a home or requires too much lead time ends up reducing their own buyer pool. The inconvenience of having to clean a home up for a showing is far outweighed by the inconvenience of having a home on the market longer and for more showings because a potential buyer who would have made an offer never got to seeaccess granted the home.  The longer the home sits on the market with no offers the more necessary price reductions will be in order to get buyer attention.  

During showings all people and pets should leave the home.  While it is not always possible to take pets out of the house during showings, putting the pets in their rooms, crates or other areas out of the way of homebuyers can help.  If the home seller is able to getting rid of all signs of pet life in the home is ideal since not every buyer is a pet person and the seller should strive to attract an offer from any buyer.


Communication is critical in the home selling and buying process.  As a home seller
providing answers to questions from buyers as soon as possible helps pave the way for offers to come in.  By delaying answers buyers may talk themselves out of a great home that would work for their needs.  Sometimes the answer to those questions is the only thing preventing an offer from being submitted.

Some offers on homes can come with short time frames to respond.  By failing to respond to that offer within the given time the seller could lose out on a good offer.  Regardless of what is going on the home seller needs to be available to review and discuss offers with their real estate agent.


While this is the last area listed it can also be the number one source for a home not selling since if motivation is lacking the rest of the points above don’t really matter. What is the motivation to sell the home?  Are those motivations still valid?  The home seller needs to understand their motivations and commit to the goal of getting the home sold if that is the desire.  Half hearted attempts come through in terms of house staging, pricing, communication and more.

Final Thoughts

Selling a home involves quite a bit of planning and preparation in order to make sure buyers are ready to come in and view the home.  Home sellers can hurt their home sale chances by overpricing, not having the right marketing done, failing to communicate with the real estate agents and/or buyer and more.  By avoiding these pitfalls, the home seller can make sure they sell their home on the first listing try.

Additional Resources

  • What Are The Consequences of Overpricing a Home? - From wasting time to marketing to the wrong buyers getting the price wrong does no one any good in the end.  Learn about some of the issues with overpricing and how to avoid those issues.
  • Tips For Selling a Stale Listing - A stale listing or one that is sitting on the market unloved by buyers needs a good approach to get good traction.  Sometimes a fresh perspective can change the outlook.

About the author: The above article “Reasons Why Your Home DId Not Sell” was provided by Paul Sian. Paul can be reached at or by phone at 513-560-8002. If you’re thinking of selling or buying your investment or commercial business property I would love to share my marketing knowledge and expertise to help you.  Contact me today!

I service the following Greater Cincinnati, OH and Northern KY areas: Alexandria, Amberly, Amelia, Anderson Township, Cincinnati, Batavia, Blue Ash, Covington, Edgewood, Florence, Fort Mitchell, Fort Thomas, Hebron, Hyde ParkIndian Hill, Kenwood, Madeira, Mariemont, Milford, Montgomery, Mt. Washington, Newport, Newtown, Norwood, Taylor Mill, Terrace Park, Union Township, and Villa Hills.

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