John's Florida Real Estate Blog


Why Won't My Home Sell?

As many of you know, throughout most of the country we are in a "buyers market" at the present time. Yet some homes are still selling. Why is it that some properties sell and some do not? In a "buyers market" there are more homes for sale than there are buyers to purchase them. With more properties to choose from, buyers are more discriminating and the sellers face stronger competition. Not only from the homeowner sellers, but from the developers who find themselves with inventory homes that they are anxious to get off the market. I have seen some developers that are pricing their homes at nearly $100/sq ft. Something we have not seen in a couple of years.

So, there are more homes competing for fewer buyers. Then why does one home sell better than another? In my experience there are 3 major factors. The first factor is the price. If your home is priced above the competition it will probably not be attractive to the buyers. If it is way over the market value it will probably not even be toured, which means that you will not get any offers to negotiate. Your REALTOR uses the prices of homes that have recently sold in the area, along with his/her expertise, to set the highest reasonable price on your home. It is in the REALTOR's interest to get the highest price possible since his/her income is directly linked to the purchase price. A price that is too low will earn less commission for the agent, and a price that is too high will mean weeks or months of advertising costs and time with nothing to show for it except unhappy sellers. A home that is competitive with similar homes will get toured more and receive more offers that could turn into sales contracts. Please think long and hard before you price your home well above similar homes and the price your agent recommends.

The second factor that can affect the saleability of a home is its condition and staging. This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised by how many sellers feel that buyers will disregard cobwebs on the AC vents, stained carpets, yellowed paint, overgrown gardens, rotten wood, and cluttered rooms. When there were few homes for sale, buyers would sometimes overlook these negative items since there was nothing else out there to buy. With more homes on the market they no longer have to take whatever they are offered. They can "pick and choose". As an example, I recently toured a 3 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage home in a nice subdivision that had a price of nearly $250,000. The exterior walls badly needed pressure washing. The carpets smelled and were dirty. Corners had paint missing and there was dirt on the baseboards. Many rooms had too much furniture in them and looked small, even though they were actually large. This home looked rundown, yet the owners wanted top price. In the same neighborhood a developer was selling a brand new 4 bedroom/3 bath/3 car garage home with the same square footage. They were also tossing in $3,000 towards closing costs, plus all of brand new appliances (range, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, washer, and dryer! The developers asking price was $240,000! Any wonder why the first home did not get toured or receive offers! The moral of this story is that if you want to get top price and still be competitive your home's condition must be in tiptop shape. Often this only takes a little money and a little elbow grease. But the payoff can be substantial. For some tips concerning the preparation of your home for sale you may wish to click on the following sites that are presented by the National Association of REALTORS: How to Make Your Home More Saleable and Get the House Ready I would also be very happy to tour your home and give you advice concerning its staging and presentation.

The third factor that can help you sell your home is getting it maximum exposure to the home buying public. Gone are the days when a little handmade sign in the front yard would get you multiple offers. In the current market it is important that your home be presented in many different ways. With so many homes on the market, buyers will not come looking for yours. We have to take your home to them. As a REALTOR I of course put a sign in the front yard. However, I also use direct mailings to the other owners in the area. Often they know friends and family who want to live in the same neighborhood. In addition, I advertise in the The Real Estate Book, Pasco Shopper, The Laker, or the Tampa Tribune. New research shows that over 70% of home buyers begin their searches on the Internet. Because of this, I try to use this media to its utmost. My listings are placed on my personal webpage, on my enhanced REALTOR.COM pages, Google Base, Oodle, Lycos, Craig's List,,, and of course, the MidFlorida Regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS). With more information, multiple photos, and slideshows, these sites greatly increase the probability that interested buyers will see your home when they are conducting their online searches.

To sum things up:

  1. Make sure your home is priced correctly based on its comparative market value.
  2. Have your home looking its best, considering the price that you are asking for it.
  3. Be sure your agent is presenting your home in several venues so that potential buyers will have more opportunities to see it in print, in mailings, and most important of all, on the Internet.

Feel free to contact me at: It will be a pleasure to answer any questions you may have concerning this topic.

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 0 commentsJohn Elwell • June 05 2007 07:02PM


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