5 Reasons Your House Isn’t Selling

A family sits on a couch in their unsold house while a woman talks to them.

Every homeowner hopes to achieve a swift and stress-free sale of their property. However, selling a house can often be a lengthy and challenging process that involves arranging finances, searching for another house, tending to repairs while dealing with the inconvenience of keeping your home open to the viewing public.

According to NAR, on average it took 25 days for a house to sell in 2020. There are many reasons that can influence how long a property stays on the market. These can include the level of demand, interest rates, the time of year, the availability of lending, and the location and condition of your property.

If you are considering putting your house up for sale, like most homeowners you will be hoping to sell your house fast and at the best price. Instead, you might find yourself struggling to attract interest or are not receiving any offers after potential buyers come to view your house.

In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why your house may not be selling, helping you to make adjustments if need be.


The perfect property can be let down by its location. Although your home may be of interest to prospective buyers, upon viewing they may dismiss it due to factors such as its proximity to a main road or airport, the likelihood of flooding or other natural disasters or the lack of access to public transport.

Noise pollution can be particularly problematic when selling a house and acts as a deterrent for most buyers who would prefer their home environment to be more peaceful. Thankfully, living somewhere noisy doesn’t necessarily prevent you from making a sale and there are steps you can take to soundproof your property to cut down the noise pollution at home. This may also have the added advantage of making your house more energy-efficient which could serve as an incentive when selling.

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Where possible, make adjustments to your home or consider offering incentives such as contributing to the cost of any repairs or covering closing costs.

Lead Paint

If your property pre-dates 1978, it may contain lead paint. This toxic metal was banned by the federal government in 1978, but it is still present in millions of properties often beneath newer layers of paint. Estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development suggest that 35% of homes in the U.S. still contain lead-based paint.

Selling such a property can be challenging for homeowners especially if it is a family home. Lead is a highly poisonous metal which affects almost every organ of the body. It can cause behavioral problems, seizures and learning difficulties and is particularly harmful to young children.

Although this may be an impediment when selling a house, it does not necessarily prevent a property from being sold.  The risk of poisoning occurs when lead-based paint begins to deteriorate by chipping, peeling or cracking as this will release toxic lead dust into the air. However, such exposure can be minimized by treating the surface and repairing any damaged areas.

A certified lead abatement professional can seal the lead-based paint and prevent it from releasing any hazardous particles through a process known as ‘encapsulation.’ By taking such steps you can alleviate any concerns potential buyers may have and increase your chances of securing a sale.

As a homeowner, it is also good to know some companies are willing to buy a house irrespective of its condition. Whether you own a house with tax lien or one with lead paint you may still be able to sell it in its current condition for a cash offer.

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Lower Your Asking Price

You might be reluctant to lower your asking price fearing you may receive less than its market value. However, an under-priced house will usually sell at an average price due to market forces and competition between potential buyers pushing up the final price.

To determine whether your property is overpriced, carry out some research on similar properties in your area and their sale prices. When selling your house ask yourself questions such as how long it has been listed for, how many viewings it has received and how many offers have been made, if any. These indicators can help you discover whether the asking price should be lowered.

Generally, a 1% to 2% reduction in price is advised. This can also open up the possibility of attracting interest from people looking to renovate low-cost or run-down properties for investment purposes.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

There are savings to be made by selling your house without a realtor. However, if you are struggling to sell your property without one, it might be time to enlist their services. An experienced real estate agent will have insight on your local market, and they can help increase your exposure to prospective buyers, price your home correctly, and be a vital asset when it comes to negotiations and securing a deal.

One of the main advantages of using a real estate agent is their ability to list your home on the Multiple Listing System (MLS). This is a private database funded by real estate agents, which enables brokers to see listings of houses for sale and connect buyers with sellers. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the MLS is the number one source when listing a home, with 89% of homeowners using it to list their homes.  

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Prepare Your Home

A house that has been on the market for some time can be made more appealing to buyers by decluttering, deep-cleaning and tending to repairs.

Take an inventory of any areas which have been neglected or are in a state of disrepair such as broken door handles, faulty toilet flushes, cracked walls or lighting problems. Many of these tasks can be easily fixed by visiting your local hardware store and can mean the difference between selling a house and seeing it sit on the market for months on end.

When preparing your home for viewings, don’t forget the exterior, as this will be the first impression potential buyers will get of your home so it pays to make it look as presentable as possible. Mowing your lawn, sweeping your porch and updating your mailbox can all help to enhance the curb appeal of your property.

By introducing some of the suggestions made in this article, you can greatly improve your chances of selling your house.

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