An unrealistic asking price is the obvious reason a home will linger on the market in South Florida...month after month. Here are nine more reasons that might be less obvious, but they nonetheless could be keeping your house from attracting offers.

1. The price was too high                                                                         6. No curb appeal

2. Condition of home                                                                                 7. Your home is difficult to show

3. Not enough photographs or badly shot photos                               8. Poor marketing and advertising strategy

4. Too much clutter                                                                                    9. Challenging market

5. Bad location                                                                                            10. Wrong listing agent

1) The Price Was Too High

Have you ever heard this quote before?: “You know what your home is worth? Whatever someone is willing to pay for it – no more, no less.”  

Overpricing a home is the WORST mistake a homeowner can make when selling their home. Research shows that initially overpricing a home and then dropping the price multiple times while on the market typically leads to selling it at a much lower price. Many times, lowering the price much later causes a loss in the momentum of the initial listing period. The longer a home sits on the market, buyers will assume there’s something wrong with the home Or that they can haggle a substantial discount off the list price. 

If your home is on the market and you suspect that it may be overpriced...the best strategy is to adjust the price within the first 14 days of listing. 

The Real Estate Agent who provides the best Comparative Market Analysis and explanation of how your home should be priced will be more likely to sell your home quicker and for a higher price than someone who tells you only what you want to hear.  

2) Condition of Home - Is it outdated or does it have defects?

No home seller wants to replace appliances, flooring countertops, or the entire roof. Why spend the money on items if you're leaving anyway?  

The big reason WHY YOU SHOULD is competition. It's a beauty contest out there! If there are similar homes for sale in your area that have upgrades – stainless steel, granite, new windows, laminate wood flooring and so on – and yours doesn’t, that could be a problem. In today's market we cannot expect buyers to rely on their "creativity"...let's face it, not everyone can see past floor to ceiling mirrors and pink carpets AND not all buyers have cash on hand to make a long list of cosmetic improvements (especially first time home buyers).

Buyers will accept a home with old kitchen cabinets and outdated bathrooms with blue toilets– if the price is significantly discounted. However, they won’t pay top dollar for a house that is not in what they view as "top condition".

Top Listing agents should be able to suggest cost effective home improvements, recommend affordable high quality local contractors or home stagers, handymen, etc. Painting baseboards and trim, touching up scuffs on the walls, and replacing outdated lighting and switch plates can freshen up a house without breaking the bank. 

3) Not Enough Photographs or Badly Shot Photos

A picture is not only worth a thousand words....It could be worth thousands of dollars.

Since most homebuyers use those photos to determine which homes to visit, the quality of photos can be crucial. People love looking at beautiful well-maintained homes and imagining themselves and their families living there (Yes, just like on HGTV!). Homes listed that have only one photo or dark and blurry photos are simply passed by. Homes with dozens of vivid and bright photographs showing the home in its best condition are going to get noticed and scheduled for showings.

Top agents typically invest in hiring professional photographers to capture images of their listing in order to effectively market the home. Professional photographers use special lenses, angles, and equipment to produce the best possible image quality. cell phones are advanced in today's world but that does not mean that the agent will take great pictures because they own an "iPhone". Don't be fooled by agents unwilling to invest in the correct resources to market your listing.

4) Too Much Clutter

Your Clutter could cost you...seriously. 

Before you can successfully show your house to anyone (or even take professional listing photos) you need to ensure you have a clean and well organized home. Clutter makes any home appear smaller and harsher on the eyes. Period. De-clutter as soon as you can! Take inventory of all your possessions and quickly decide if you should save it, store it, sell it, donate it, or simply throw it away.

As eager as you may be to sell, wait an extra few days to list your home until it's clean and decluttered. Extra furniture, scattered toys, pots and pans stored in the oven, laundry, your porcelain doll or taxidermy collection, all of these items can quickly turn off buyers. 

Our suggestion is for homeowners to spend one weekend depersonalizing and removing and/or rearranging personal items inside the home prior to listing - It will make a big impact.

5) Bad Location

Is your home located near a noisy, busy highway or in an area with a lot of congestion? How about next to a landfill, power plant, or airport? Prospective buyers may feel a particular home is in a bad location for various reasons and it could affect your home sale.   

You can’t change the location of the house, but you can make the home more appealing through staging, landscaping, minimal improvements, and focus on the best qualities of the home and immediate area. Maybe your home is located next to a water treatment plant but the schools are A rated in the area and you just installed a new roof - Your agent should be highlighting the schools and fact that your home has a brand new roof.

6) No Curb Appeal

If you can’t get potential buyers past the front yard, you’re not going to get them in the front door.  

If buyers don’t like the front picture of the house on the Internet or when driving by, they won’t look any further. Mulch the beds, paint the front door, clean the windows, look at your siding, and make sure all the gutters are attached and cleaned. And by all means maintain the lawn: No weeds!

7) Your Home is Difficult to Show

Without a doubt there are things about selling a home that can be difficult. You are expected to keep a clean house and be ready for a showing at the drop of a hat. You then have to pick up the kids, the dog and all their belongings. Of course the agent is asking for a showing at 7 p.m right in the middle of dinner. All of these things can be a real pain in the neck.  

Selling a home unfortunately is all about being ultra flexible. You need to think about the buyers schedule NOT yours. Every showing you turn down is someone that might have purchased the home.

In your listing, you can have your agent outline rules for showings, including limited hours or “by appointment only,” as long as you’re willing to accept that you might be missing out on a potential sale. Not surprisingly, home buyers want to look at houses during off-hours including nights and weekends because that’s when it’s convenient for them.  A significant home selling mistake is not allowing showings. 

8) Poor Marketing and Advertising Strategy

The best listing agents all use an aggressive marketing plan to market their listings.

If your listing agent isn’t making sure your home can be found easily on the internet, isn’t actively marketing his or her listings to other agents in the area, isn’t advertising  through social media, then it might be time to change agents. The best agents might even create special websites, 360 Virtual tours, and videos for their listings. 

If all your agent has done is put a sign in your front yard and add your home to the local MLS, then that agent isn’t coming close to doing all that can be done to effectively market your home.

9) Challenging Market

You’ll hear it described as a slow market, or a buyers market, or maybe a cold market. But it all means the same thing. That home sales in the local area, or market, are slow. That there are too many homes for sale and not enough active buyers. 

Today, the market is hyperlocal and can vary depending on home type, neighborhood, and even price range. For example, in South Florida, Golf and Country Clubs with mandatory membership fees OR condominiums with strict regulations may take longer to sell and for less money than single family home in a community with fewer restrictions. As a result, there are many of these listings on the market than buyers. There are several things you can do to combat a slow market. The most effective strategy is to sell at a lower price. Buyers are expecting to find bargains during a slow market. You can also help yourself by offering to pay some concessions to help a buyer that might not have a lot of cash. The ultimate way to beat a slow market is to simply wait it out. But that’s not always an option for many sellers.


10) Wrong Listing Agent

You want to work with an agent who is competent, experienced and honest.    

To find the best listing agent, don't base your decision solely on the suggested sales price or how much the agent charges you because there are other considerations. Discuss home pricing and commission negotiations last. First, find out the agent's strategic marketing plan.  

Many discount agents don't invest a lot of time and effort into marketing, especially if they are paid a salary. Experienced agents will be your best bet. You can trust experience. Search for experience in an agent not only by an agent who has been in the business for many years, but  an agent who has sold a lot of homes. There is a world of difference between an agent who sells 12 homes a year and an agent who sells 100.

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