A common question homeowners ask is 'Why didn't my home sell' when their home becomes an expired listing on the MLS. There are a number of reasons that come in to play when a home doesn't sell. You may have made a common seller mistake as so many have.
Why Didn't My Home Sell?
In this article we are going to dig in, and discover, the reasons your home didn’t sell. You're probably wondering why your home expired and what to do next.
The first thing you should do is not freak out. There’s many reasons why a home doesn't sell from price, to location, to condition, to absorption rates. Let’s examine potential reasons your home didn’t sell:
Questions to ask when your home becomes an expired listing
Was the home overpriced?
Is the home in a hard to sell location?
What is the condition of the home?
Was the Realtor® Actively selling the home?
What feedback did Realtors and buyers give you?
Did you receive any offers at all?
Tips and Tricks to take a home from expired to sold
Price your home correctly and it will sell
Find a Realtor® who specializes in hard to sell property
Make a few changes to the condition of the home
Hire a Top Local Realtor® to sell your home
Absorb feedback and apply it to your home
Understand where the market expects your home to sell
This article will use an example of an expired listing that we sold in Raleigh for full price (the same price it expired at) in less than three weeks. This home received 0 offers in 2014, and in the first three weeks we had two different written offers. This home is located on a main street in north Raleigh.
How do I know if my home is overpriced?
First question we ask homeowners in Raleigh is how did you come up with the list price for your home? - There are many risks when you price your home too high. There are also a number of potential reasons your home didn't sell.
Did you take advice from a professional real estate agent or did you come up with the price?
A lot of times homeowners will say that the price the Realtor® wanted to list their home at was too low. A common misconception for homeowners is that because a Realtor® wants to price their home, at a price that will cause the home to sell, it must be too low! Wrong. This is one of the many myths people have about Realtors®. A home does two things it either sells or it sits, and ultimately becomes an expired listing. An expired listing is a quick way to devalue your home, so it’s important the price is right.
This isn’t to say that Realtors® are always right because they are human and we all make mistakes. It’s their livelihood so the chances of them being wrong are significantly less, and a top local Realtor® will know the neighborhood well.
Karen Highland a top Realtor® in Frederick, Maryland writes ‘How to Determine your List Price.’ A great resource as you begin to consider what price to sell your home for.
Did you price your home like Zillow told you to?
If you went with the ‘Zestimate’ price than there’s a good chance you may be way off - Zillow home values are not accurate. Priced at $89,000 is a north Raleigh condo (MLS# 2014528), that has a Zetimate value of $185,000. It’s funny since a similar condo, in the same complex, is pending at a list price of $79,000. So who’s right? The Realtor® is pricing the home in the ball park for buyers while Zillow is suggesting the home be priced somewhere in the parking lot. If your home isn’t priced in the game, than it’s priced to sit and watch from the sidelines.
Advice for selling your expired listing:
There’s a good chance that if you didn’t price the home according to a professional you may have priced it incorrectly. Whether that means too low, or too high depends on the way the market responds to it. If your home didn’t sell, and you didn’t price your home with professional advice, there’s a likely chance that’s why it expired.
Some people may say your home is priced too low, some people may say your home is priced too high - block out these opinions they’re noise, instead take the advice of a local Realtor® who knows the neighborhood.
It only takes one ready, willing, and able buyer for you to sell your home. If you're still wondering why your home didn't sell, let's take a closer look at the location and condition of the property.
How to Sell a Home in a Hard to Sell Location
The most important thing about selling an expired listing that’s in a tough to sell location is understanding that it’s not for everyone. You have a specific audience you must target. Just as marketing luxury homes is different from new construction, so is a house in a hard to sell location. This is one of the potential reasons why your home didn't sell.
Earlier we gave you an example of a home we sold in the North Raleigh area that is located on a main street. So how did we sell it for full price in less than three weeks? Great marketing, we actively sold it, and created a pressure tank of buyers.
This is a story of success we had here at Raleigh Realty and you should feel free to take our strategies and use them to help you sell your homes if you find value in it!
Find Professionals to Help Market your Listings
First, we find professionals to help because we understand the importance of what an expert brings to the table. We use a professional photographer who uses all sorts of software programs to give the images warm and inviting effects. Since 95% of buyers first see a home online we make sure our homes are dressed well for the party!
Listing Descriptions Help Sell a Home
We hit on all the key pieces of writing an incredible listing description. What’s the most important factor in selling a home? It’s location! Wait, this home is on a main street though, that’s not a good location? Well the glass if half full my friends, while it’s on a main street it’s also in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Raleigh, in a top performing school district, a walk to the park or library… so it depends on how you look at it. Next, we hit on urgency. Nothing creates action like a sense of urgency. “Don’t miss your chance to own one of Raleigh’s prime pieces of real estate.” What does our home have that other homes in the neighborhood don’t? It has land, and a lot of other great updates. Then we hit on emotion and create a warm image. Buyers have to be able to visualize themselves living there ‘A living room perfect for spending quality time w/family.’ If you are anything like me, there’s no feeling better than spending quality time w/ your family.
Do other homes for sale have video marketing?
We go the extra steps by creating videos to market your home, with the pictures in an order that makes sense and gives you a virtual walk through with warm music. There may not be any one reason why your home sells however, there is a reason your home sells and when your Realtor® works hard to market and sell it, it will sell.
Reverse Prospecting our Listings to Potential Buyers Agents
One of the best ways to sell a home is to find the people who are already looking for a home like yours and market directly to them. Our email subject line is “Ryan, could your buyer be interested?” We attach a message that explains they are receiving the email because they have created a saved search within the MLS meaning they have a potentially interested buyer. We send photos, a video and encourage the agents to ‘click the forward’ button to let your clients know they’re the first to know about it!
How much easier can we make it for the buyers agents? All they have to do is click forward to their client and we have placed the home in front of a ready, willing, and able buyer who has SPECIFIC interests in a home we are selling.
If you have it priced correctly, and the location isn’t the reason your home won't sell, it could be the condition.
What Condition is your Home in Compared to others?
If you spend 15 minutes online searching for properties in your area you should have a good understanding of how your home compares. If there is an open house in your neighborhood you should go and gain information on your competition.
A local Realtor® should be an expert in the neighborhood before he lists your home for sale. Before a Real Estate Agent lists a home for sale on the MLS they will understand the competition. You should understand that your home will sell at ‘x’ price in it’s current condition or ‘y’ price if you make a few small improvements to the condition.
Here is a great article to read if you’re wondering what things you need to do before listing your home for sale. There are a number of small investments you can make that will help improve your home’s value.
If your home is in better condition than your neighbors and priced correctly, it’s time to ask:
Did you Hire a Strong Realtor® to Sell your Home?
At this point you're frustrated wondering 'Why didn't my home sell?'
Naturally you have to find a reason, so there's a good chance you place the blame on your Realtor®. Immediately thinking that because your home didn't sell it must be your Realtors® fault is not a good approach. You should examine all facts before jumping to any conclusion. A lot of the expired listings I talk to try to sell their home without a Realtor® before re-listing it again.
It's important to remember that statistics show you net more money when you use a Realtor®. Well how come my Realtor® didn't sell my home? It's a great question, and it could be time to find a new Realtor®. Similar to when The founder of forsalebyowner tried to sell his home before using a Real Estate Agent.
Choosing the right Realtor is important when selling your home. Hiring the wrong one might be the reason your home became an expired listing. Chances are you spent a lot of time building equity in your home, it’s a forced savings account for many, it's time to net the most profit from it. Finding a top local Real Estate Agent is crucial to helping your sale.
Do you want a Realtor® that says ‘yes’ to everything you say? No. There are post and pray Realtors® who will place your home on the MLS and pray that it sells.
Your goal should be to hire the best Realtor® to sell your home. Sometimes this means interviewing a lot of candidates, and it certainly means interviewing more than one Real Estate Agent. This person is going to be selling one of your most valuable assets, take the time to make sure you get it right.
Asking for testimonials from past clients statistics compared to other Realtors in the area are a couple of important pieces of information to gather in your decision making process.
If you’re home didn’t sell it doesn’t necessarily mean it is your Realtors® fault, however you should be able to tell where the sale went wrong and it might have been one of the reasons that contributed to it. Your Real Estate Agent should be marketing your home while it's listed.
Here’s a great guide to interviewing a Realtor® when selling your home. It’s important you don’t hire any Realtor® who will sell your home, or one that charges the least commission. You want to hire the Realtor® you believe will give you and your home the most value.
Why Didn't my Home Sell?
Did you receive any feedback on your expired listing? If so, what was it and be as detailed as possible. Often times people will have objections or reasons they chose not to buy your house that you need to validate. If there is a significant pattern or theme in your feedback you need to take that seriously and make changes to your home.
If there is consistent feedback that the kitchen isn’t updated, than it makes sense to evaluate what the cost would be to update the kitchen. For anyone who watches the show Million Dollar Listing, there are a number of things sellers can learn when selling their home. Selling million dollar luxury homes is the same as selling any home in a lot of ways.
Realtors® and Buyers gave you feedback only it’s something you can’t change, here’s what you do…
For instance, the feedback our seller received in our expired listing example is that it’s on a main road. Well we can’t change the main road or the location of the home so that leaves price, condition, and marketing strategies. We took on the challenge and listed the home at the same price it expired at ($229,000).
We made the reason the home didn’t sell, the selling point. So it’s on a main road, that doesn’t determine everything about it’s location. It’s in a desirable neighborhood, with top Raleigh schools and easy access to Raleigh’s best amenities.
We took the home’s insecurities and we showcased them as it’s best feature.
My Home Didn’t Receive Any Offers
So you couldn’t convince anyone your home was worth making an offer on, here’s what you need to do.
Relax, your home will sell. Do your homework and the reasons your home didn't sell will become clear.
First, determine what the main reasons are your home didn’t receive any offers. Start by looking at price, location, and condition. Chances are one of these three things is the reason your home didn't sell. Ask your Realtor® why the home isn’t receiving any offers, and gather feedback from your showings and people who know your home. Find the people who aren’t afraid to hurt your feelings to give you feedback. Society has been conditioned from an early age to ‘not say anything if you don’t have something nice to say.’ You want honest and critical feedback for why your home didn't sell.
Stay positive! Keeping a positive mindset is important. Once you determine the reasons your home didn't sell the first time, change what needs to be fixed and you'll walk away with a successful transaction! You'll be celebrating like Will and Carlton!
In our market here in Raleigh, it’s a strong seller's market, yet it’s not unheard for a home not to receive any offers. There is low inventory which is helping sellers in the Raleigh area receive top dollar. Combine the low inventory with the growth of Raleigh and we are seeing a perfect combination for sellers.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you're able to answer the question 'Why didn't my home sell?' If not, it could be because you didn't choose the best time to sell or one of these shocking reasons for why your home didn't sell. It's likely that you will begin to receive expired listing letters from Realtors offering their services to help.
If you’re selling your home and want to ask questions about why your home didn’t sell we will give you honest answers, you can reach out to us here or by dropping us a line in the comments section below.
Hi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for technology, sports, and people. Would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments section below and feel free to share this article socially!