Updated: Mar 29, 2020
It's the situation no homeowner wants to find themselves in:
The dreaded house listing that isn't receiving any offers.
Have you recently listed your house, but haven't received any offers? Don't worry, although this is extremely frustrating, you're not alone.
In this article, we're going to explore some of the common reasons why you may not be receiving any offers on your property.
You Are Priced Too High
Pricing your house too high is your most likely culprit. Every property will sell at the right price, even if it needs to be torn down.
The most common reason we see homeowners list their house too high is that they feel it's worth more than it truly is.
Most of us put a higher value on something because of the sentimental value it has to us, and this, of course, is understandable.
However, when it comes to selling your house, it's essential to understand that market value and trends are what will set the price, not sentimental value.
Even though it may be tough, you have to make sure you price your home based on current market conditions, and not emotion.
Check comps in your local area to see what homes similar to yours are selling for. Then make sure you adjust your listing price accordingly.
You're In A Slow Market
Even when you price your property correctly, you might find yourself in a cold real estate market.
In a slow market, you can do everything right:
Price it correctly
Stage it beautifully
Have all the latest amenities
And it could still take you a while to get a good offer for your house since the velocity of home sales is low.
If you currently find yourself in a buyers market, be sure to read our article on how to get full price for your home even if you're in a buyer's market.
The Property Needs Too Much Work For Your Asking Price
When buyers and their agents walk into a house, they look at everything.
They will scrutinize every little detail of your property to make sure it fits there needs.
It's okay if your property needs a little TLC, but it's not okay if your property is listed at full market value, but it needs thousands of dollars worth of repairs.
Every buyer likes to get a bargain, and fixer-uppers present buyers on a budget with just that opportunity.
As long as you discount your price enough to reflect the work needed to make the property shine again, you will get offers from the right buyers.
How do you know how much of a discount to give?
That's the challenging part. You can start by figuring out a general estimate of how much it would cost to catch your house up to the full market value comps in the area.
Then subtract that number from what the full market value of your house would be if it was fully renovated.
The above is advice for if you're trying to sell your house as a FSBO. When listing with a real estate agent, they should be able to guide you on how to price your listing correctly.
It's Not Easy To Show
Making sure your house is effortless to show is imperative. Imagine this hypothetical scenario for a second.
The newest iPhone came out this morning, and you're dying to get it. You've looked at all the reviews, photos, and videos you can find.
You're confident you want to purchase it, and all that's left is going to take a look at it in person.
You hop in your car and drive to the nearest electronics store only to find out you have to book an appointment to view the phone 24 hours in advance.
What do you do?
Go to the next store down that sells iPhones and doesn't require appointments 24 hours in advance.
The store may have had a good reason for wanting you to book an appointment, but do you care?
No! You want to buy that phone right now.
The same holds true for buyers searching for the right house.
They don't care if you have to prepare the house.
They don't care if you have to get dressed to leave.
They don't care that you're in the middle of cooking dinner.
They want to see your house, and they want to see it now. So the more seamless you make it for potential buyers to swing by and look, the better.
You Have Poor Photos
Does your listing have incredible photos? If the answer is anything, but yes, you must go and take amazing photos.
Photos that are:
Will hurt your listing.
You can hire a professional photographer if you have the budget. They should not run you more than a few hundred dollars at most, and you can rest assured you'll get high-quality photos.
Should you prefer to go the DIY photography route, follow these simple steps to get great photos.
Step 1: Take photos during the day when each room has as much natural light as possible.
Step 2: Use a high-quality camera. A recent iPhone or Android model should be able to give you great shots.
Step 3: Use a tripod to make sure there's zero motion blur in your photos.
Step 4: Get photos of every room: The more details you can give buyers, the better. Zillow even mentions that listings with over a certain number of pictures get more views online.
Step 5: This is a bonus step, but if you can make a video walkthrough of your listing, you'll significantly increase the number of eyes on your listing.
Make sure you get glory shots of the most important rooms in the house — the kitchens and bathrooms. By glory shots, I mean outstanding photos that show off each room in their best light.
You Haven't Staged The Property
According to the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400.
Statistic from Forbes.com
That's a pretty sweet return on investment, isn't it? And do you know that staged homes sell much faster than non-staged homes?
As home prices continue to skyrocket, it's more important than ever you wow every potential buyer that walks into your house.
Go the extra mile and hire a professional home stager to make your house shine.
Staging allows potential buyers to walk in and imagine themselves living there better than a house that still has lots of personal items, or has been left vacant.
You Haven't Held An Open House
Open houses are an interesting part of listing your house. It's mostly agreed upon in the real estate world that open houses themselves don't typically lead directly to a sale, but they can still be a good idea.
Who do open houses attract?
Open houses are likely to attract curious neighbors and people who are just shopping around. Neighbors are not expected to offer on your property, and the same goes for the people who are doing some window shopping.
Adding an open house date does bring more eyes to your listing online though, which can lead to some serious buyers stopping by for a look.
We held an open house a few weeks back and got five interested parties to stop by.
Three of them were not interested.
One of them couldn't qualify for enough financing.
The last guy loved the house and is currently working with his bank to get qualified for a mortgage. UPDATE: He did not put in an offer.
We haven't closed the sale yet, but if the last guy who stopped in winds up buying it, we'll be able to say our open house led directly to a deal.
It's definitely worth the time to set one up. At the bare minimum, it won't hurt your chances of getting an offer. And if you're listing your house with an agent, they will be responsible for:
And running the open house
Afterwhich they will send you the results and any feedback they may have received.
It might be cliche, but bake some cookies or plugin a welcoming air freshener to make your house more inviting.
Any little thing you can do helps, and sometimes it's the small stuff that counts.
The Property Is A Big Mess
What's the first thing you see when you walk into your house?
Kids' toys scattered all over the place?
Dishes thrown in the sink?
Clutter everywhere you look?
Or a beautiful, well kept, comfortable home?
There's nothing wrong with having a bit of clutter and a few dishes, we're all human, but it's not okay when trying to sell your house for top dollar.
I can't implore you enough to, at the very least, clean up any clutter and pack away your personal items. Interested buyers want to come in and be able to picture themselves and their families living in the house, and you have to make it easy for them to do that.
Buyers might start making you low ball offers if you leave your house in shambles during showings. People will offer what they think the property is worth, and wouldn't you agree that a well-kept house comes off more valuable than one that's a mess?
Make sure all your furniture is kept tidy and presentable.
If you have not fully staged the house, do some light staging, at least. For example, towels in the bathroom, fruit bowls in the kitchen, and little accent pieces here and there to add color.
Put any food away. Yes, I'm talking about the cereal boxes we all leave on top of the fridge. Vacuum and mop so the floors are squeaky clean.
Wipe down windows, so there are no streaks.
Bathrooms are the worst rooms in the house to clean. Just suck it up and do it. The last thing you want is buyers walking into dirty bathrooms with weird odors.
At least strive to complete the above list, and your house will be in much better shape when interested buyers come looking.
You're Listing Description Is Boring
"House for sale. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms. 2,000 sqft on a large lot with new paint."
This is the worst description you can have when trying to sell your house. It's so boring and dull. There's nothing in the above description that makes you want to jump up and view it.
You're advertising your house, just like any other business promotes its products. Think of the last commercial for a restaurant you saw. What did they say and show you?
I bet they made the food look amazing and talked about how delicious and savory everything is.
Then the ad probably showed you an ice-cold glass of soda ready to be sipped.
Everything looks perfect, fresh, and jumps out of the screen, begging you to eat it.
Every word was carefully spoken to make you crave it.
Could you imagine how less interested you'd be in going to that restaurant if all they said was:
"1/2 pound burger on a bun with soda. You can get ketchup on the side if you want it."
You'd never go there!
The same principle holds true for your property. You have to write a killer listing description to entice buyers to schedule a viewing. Below is the exact listing description we used to sell our first house.
We had viewings getting scheduled left and right.
We had multiple offers.
And we sold relatively quickly.
"Ready To Upgrade to A Life of Luxury? Now You Can...
Welcome to 505 Burns Rd. Where modern luxury meets an unbeatable price. We welcome you to take your time as you enjoy those precious first steps into your new living room. Imagine what all you could do in this large and spacious living room. Relax by the fireplace, enjoy family and friends over for dinner. There is plenty of room to entertain.
Commute into work? Don't worry, you're now located just minutes off of I-40. No more sitting in lights waiting to get home after a long drive out of the city. With your reduced commute, you'll now have plenty of time to spend cooking up those delicious meals you love for yourself, friends, or family in your spectacular new kitchen.
When you're finished enjoying your brand new en-suite master bathroom, step into your walk-in closet to pick the perfect outfit. After which, go and enjoy some of the nearby wonders of Knoxville such as the Knoxville Zoo, the beautiful botanical garden, or enjoy dining, entertainment and shopping in Downtown Market Square.
When you return home, head downstairs into your new game room, family room, or home theater to kick back and unwind. The choice is yours!
Once you're finished drooling at the thought of your amazing new life at 505 Burns Rd, give us a call for your own private showing. If you're reading this, you've still got a chance! But hurry, incredible deals like this don't last long :)
Worried about qualifying for home financing? Not a problem with us. Ask about a lease-purchase option. CALL NOW to schedule your private viewing."
Your listing description has to compel buyers to view your house while providing all the benefits they'll receive after closing. Be sure to include a call to action, such as:
"Schedule your viewing today!"
A call to action will help buyers reach out to you to schedule a viewing.
You Don't Have Any Incentives
Having incentives are not as important as the items we discussed above, but they can certainly help sell your house.
What are some incentives you can try? If your house still hasn't sold, try offering up some of these perks in your listing.
Offer to pay a portion of the buyer's closing costs.
If you staged the home, you could offer to sell to them with the staging in place.
Offer them a few months of a professional cleaning service.
You can get creative with the incentives that you offer. The above are a few that I like.
Offering incentives is not a replacement for having a stellar listing description and photos, but they can certainly push a buyer to make an offer if they are already interested.
You can also offer incentives to the real estate agent.
Make sure you offer a fair commission to the buyer's agent.
Offer a flat fee if an agent gets you a signed contract by a specific date. I.e. "$500 agent bonus for a signed contract before April 10th."
Even if the incentive seems small, it will help get your listing noticed by buyers and agents alike.
Your Property is too Personalized
We've spoken about how you need to remove your personal items from your house once it's listed.
The harsh truth is buyers do not want to see all of your family photos up on the wall. They want to imagine what it would be like to have their family photos up.
Do you have arts and crafts projects from your kids scatted all over the house?
Macaroni art on the fridge?
Weird abstract curtains grandma gave you last Christmas?
It would be best to put these things away as they will throw buyers off.
You need to give buyers the best opportunity to envision themselves living in each space, and depersonalizing will help them do that.
You've Got Funky Paint Colors
Take a long look at your walls. What color are they?
Having crazy colors is a terrible idea. Buyers will most likely not like the neon red ceilings, so it's best to paint them a beautiful neutral color.
A light gray or off white are always great options and are currently on-trend as of the time of this writing.
The interior colors are one of the first things buyers will notice. It's impossible not too!
If the whole house is painted in some funky color, buyers may start to think of your property as a bit of a fixer-upper.
They think about how once they move in, they have to do a whole home paint job immediately. You may get some low ball offers if buyers start thinking this way.
It's best to bite the bullet and make sure your house flows with a fresh coat of neutral paint.
You Need A New Agent
Last but not least, you might need to find yourself a new real estate agent.
Agents are supposed to do everything in their power to sell your house, but sometimes you can get a dud.
If your agent has only put out a sign and listed on the MLS with a boring description, you're at a disadvantage.
Our agent is a rockstar. In addition to listing our houses with great descriptions, she also:
Plans and holds open houses.
Blasts emails about our listing to mortgage companies.
Heavily markets our listing to other agents.
Stays on top of the market to make sure we are always price competitive.
Your real estate agent can make or break your efforts to sell, so make sure you have a great one.
Ask for referrals from friends and family, or check online for agents with 5-star reviews and start making some phone calls.
You Can Sell Your House Directly To Contenza Properties
There are quite a few reasons you might not be getting an offer on your house, aren't there? Now that you know what might be getting in your way take action immediately.
Every house can sell when priced right and marketed correctly. However, going through all of these hassles to get a single offer can be a huge pain.
Did you know you can get an offer for your house directly from Contenza Properties?
We'll never ask you to:
Do any repairs
Or pay any fees
We buy houses in their as-is condition, so if you don't want to deal with any of the headaches of a traditional listing, but still want to get a great offer, submit your info below using our simple form.
We'll even give you $1,000 cash back at closing.
Selling a house has never been so simple.
About the Author
Jordan Reid founded Contenza Properties in April of 2018 to help homeowners solve their real estate problems quickly.
Since then, Jordan has helped multiple homeowners facing difficult situations such as divorce, property liens, and unwanted property inheritance.
Jordan believes in putting people first, and numbers second, which helps him reach the best possible solutions for the homeowners he works with.