Every home has benefits and downsides to it. When trying to sell, getting the question of why your home isn’t selling answered requires an experienced eye. Here’s a guide to interpreting what buyers and their agents mean.
Getting feedback has its challenges
As a seller, you want feedback, especially when the market is not necessarily in your favor and you want to find out why your home isn’t selling. The challenge is, people aren’t always forthright about the actual reasons they don’t want to buy your home, often for the same reason they won’t tell you that you have spinach stuck in your teeth — it’s awkward. Generally, people are nice and, just as mom taught us, they “will say something nice, or say nothing at all”.
That’s all well and good, but it sure and can frustrating when you’re a seller just trying to find out why your home isn’t selling and what’s going on. If this is you, you’re not alone.
Why Your Home Isn’t Selling
There are two different forms of feedback. One type is when, at the end of a showing (that the listing agent also attends), they ask “So, what do you think of the home?” Buyers and their agents are on the spot, having to answer the agent face-to-face whom they know is going to be talking to the seller about it. They are not going to go into detail about why the don’t like the home while standing in the doorway waiting to leave. Fyi, they’re also not going to give the listing agent insight even if they do like the home.
The other form of feedback is after the showing when the listing agent is trying to solicit feedback from the agents who have shown their property. It can sometimes be more forthright since it is done over the phone or via email, but no agent is required to give feedback, so it’s often not received. If it is, it also may be fluffy and lacking details.
However the information is gathered, these answers constitute the vast majority of the responses. So, what do they say?
When feedback is requested in person by the listing agent, this is by far the most common reply. Why, you wonder? Because it’s non-confrontational and helps them get out and on to their next showing without having to say much else.
“Not quite what they’re looking for”
For the most part, this feedback means that it wasn’t what they’d hoped to see. Either the condition wasn’t as nice as they expected, the photos didn’t paint a reasonable picture or some other reason it was different than what they thought it would be. They are likely finding other homes that offer more for the same money.
“They’re still early in the process”
Perhaps the buyers are early in the process. Nonetheless, a buyer who sees something that they truly love will take action. The fact that they aren’t doing so speaks to the fact that your home didn’t hold enough appeal for them to do so.
“They’re going to keep looking”
Why are they going to keep looking? Because they haven’t found what they’re looking for — not with other homes, and also not with yours. Also, remember the old axiom: “When you’re on the market, you will always be helping a home sell — either yours, or someone else’s.”
It’s just a little too “__________”
Whatever “_________” is, it likely bothered the buyer more than they’re letting on. Here are a few examples:
- “A little too small” = You’re asking too much money for the home
- “A little too funky” = either the layout is awkward or it’s designed to the very specific tastes of the seller
- “A little too much work / TLC” = far more work than they want to do
There are a few other comments to watch out for:
- Unique = Definitely not complimentary, and no other words apply
- Cozy = Too small = They’re seeing others like yours at a lower price
- Out of the way = Undesirable location
- They liked your home but decided to buy another one = Other homes offer a better value
- They decided to buy new construction = The buyer is willing to pay more to get something brand new
If you’re toiling on the market, there is one overarching reason why your home isn’t selling. The bottom line that you can’t escape is — if it’s not selling, it’s not selling. Your goal is to get it sold for the most money in this market. Be sure to work with an agent who has their interests aligned with yours, is able to thoroughly explain what is going with the market and why, and is indeed able to get you the most the market will currently bear. If they don’t fit all three criteria, they’re not worth working with.