Recently, the Puget Sound area has been experiencing one of the strongest housing markets in history. Prices are up (and up and up!). Market time is down. And multiple offers, where buyers compete for limited inventory, has been the norm in many markets. Yet, in spite all those factors, some houses don’t sell.

If you find yourself in this uncomfortable position – or if you’re thinking of selling and want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, read on!

Here are seven common reasons homes don’t sell:

Your home lacks character, charm, and curb appeal.
Although a small segment of the market is either aggressively looking for, or willing to accept, a “fixer-upper”, most buyers purchase emotionally. If your home lacks the “it” factor that drives emotions, you’re less likely to receive offers. Sometimes a home simply needs cleaning. Or de-cluttering. And sometimes professional staging is required.

Your home is not presented professionally.
Crummy listing photos are the death of a listing. Buyers today expect beautiful, full-color, high-resolution photography of homes at all price points. Professional photography is a must; you may want to consider professional videos as well.

It’s too hard to show the home.
Do you have restrictions on when the house can be shown to buyers? If you do, and particularly if these are especially demanding, buyers and their agents won’t even bother to visit your home.

Make it easy for your home to be shown, and always have it in show-ready condition.

It’s not clean.
Between clutter, children, and critters you may have a home that doesn’t look – or smell – clean. Dirt and odors are huge turnoffs for potential buyers.

Your agent has a sub-par reputation.
All other things being equal, it could be your agent’s reputation that’s costing you opportunities. Is he or she respected in the community … or considered difficult? Many listing agents have a reputation that keeps buyer’s agents away.

You’re not paying market commission rates.
The fact is that any agent should show any home on the market, regardless of their compensation. The reality is, some agents will avoid showing homes that are paying rates of compensation below the norm in their market. If you’ve hired a discount broker and are paying less commission as a result, this could be having an impact on your showings.

It really all comes down to price. If you set your price, rather than listening to your agent’s recommendations, you may find yourself wondering where all the buyers are. Many sellers set a price based on what they need for their next home, or for some other purchase. Just as you wouldn’t overpay for something based on what a seller needs, neither will buyers overpay for your home. There is a price at which every home WILL sell. If your home isn’t selling and you’re unwilling or unable to address other factors that could be contributing to a lack of offers, a price adjustment may be your only solution.

Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker