The DC metro area real estate market has been very active this year. Properties are going under contract quickly and sometimes above list price. But, sometimes a property is still on the market despite the fact that it was listed many weeks ago. The usual questions are: Why is that? What is wrong?

Here are 7 reasons why a property is still for sale.

  1. Overpriced. Your house is lovely. The interior has been upgraded. The exterior has lovely curb appeal. Your house is also the most expensive home in the neighborhood. You are getting no showings. The house might be overpriced. Or, your house may need lots of work and does not support the sales price.

  2. No Curb Appeal. Is your home a “drive by?” First impressions are lasting impressions. Make sure your property looks lovely and inviting from the outside. Lawn should be mowed. Clutter should be removed from the front and back of the house. Trim bushes. Pull weeds. The front door should be freshly stained and/or painted. Your home should scream, “Welcome! Please come in.”

  3. House Does Not Show Well. There are many reasons a house does not show well. A house could be large and spacious but no once can see this because the house is too cluttered. Remove excess furniture, personal knick-knacks, books, and magazines. Make sure the kitchen and bath counters are clean and cleared of any appliances and products. Clean out closets so prospective purchasers can see them.

  4. The House is Dirty. Make sure the house is deep cleaned. Bathroom tiles, showers and tubs should be clean and shiny. Floors should be vacuumed and washed. Make sure the kitchen is clean. Clean the refrigerator. Clean the oven. Are the walls dirty? When did you last paint? A fresh coat of paint makes a house look renewed. When was the last time the windows were washed? Sparkling windows make a home look much cleaner and brighter.

  5. Your House Stinks. Own pets? Make sure that the pet beds are freshly laundered. Vacuum and wash pet areas. Cooking odors? Make sure stove and oven are clean as well as sink and counters. Wash kitchen floors. Cigarette smoke odors? Make sure that all smoking is done outdoors. Wash all floors. Clean carpets, drapes, and upholstered furniture. Wash walls and repaint if smell will not go away. Place small bowls of white vinegar in rooms that have the strongest smell.

  6. No Photos, Poor Photos, Not Enough Photos. Today, most property searches begin on the Internet. If a property for sale has no photos or poor photos, chances are good the home will not even be considered.

  7. Property Not Getting Enough Internet Exposure or Can Not Find On Line.
    Your home might be the most wonderful property but if it cannot be found on the Internet, then no one will know it. A home for sale needs to have proper exposure on the Multi-Listing Service, popular real estate websites, word of mouth and showings from realtors.

  8. Sellers Following Prospective Purchasers Around When Viewing. Prospective purchasers do not feel comfortable if the sellers are on top of them while viewing the property. Prospective buyers need to be able to view a home objectively without being followed around by someone who is emotionally attached to the property.

  9. Not Using a Real Estate Agent or For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties. Studies have shown that a property sold without a Realtor takes longer to sell and usually sells for less. Why is that? The average FSBO does not have the experience needed to sell properties. Selling a home takes planning and time. Time that many FSBO do not have. A real estate agent’s job is to sell homes. Realtors have the experience and time. They know what it takes to get a property ready to sell and how to market a property. Please read the article attached to read more about the potential hazards of trying to sell a property on your own.

If you have questions about why your particular home is not selling, please contact Michelle Buckman.; (202) 251-8400; I will gladly look at your property and tell you things you can do to increase your chances for selling your home quickly.