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What makes a house harder to sell?

If you're wondering what makes a house harder to sell, these are the most common issues:

  • Unreasonable price target: this is the number 1 reason homes sit on the market unsold -- pricing too high is a non-starter for many buyers who won't even take a closer look at the property
  • Non-cooperating tenants: it's really hard to schedule showings, inspections and appraisals when tenants are not willing to cooperate
  • Non-performing tenants: if you have tenants who are not current on rent and need to be evicted, the pool of prospective buyers will be limited and your offers will be less competitive because of the extra cost and risk assumed by the buyer
  • Major structural issues: if you have a significant structural issue (i.e. roof need to be replaced and conventional lenders are therefore unwilling to underwrite a loan), your pool of buyers will be limited to investors who will provide less competitive offers than primary residence buyers
  • Multiple sellers in disagreement: when more than one person is on the deed, there's a chance
  • Seller is under water: if the seller is under water, meaning they owe more than the home is worth, they will need to pay their lender at closing -- most people don't have a desire to do that, so they will hold out for an unreasonable offer that is unlikely to be received
  • Liens on the property: if there are liens on the property (i.e. unpaid taxes, unpaid water bills), then it will take time for the title company to sort through the payoffs required to close
  • Clouded title: irregularities or conflicting ownership claims may be discovered during the title search which will likely need to be resolved before a buyer is able and willing to accept ownership of the property
  • Contingencies: when a buyer's offer includes one or more contingencies (i.e. home sale, inspection, financing), it dramatically increases the probability of frustrating delays and contract cancellation

There are many other situations that make a house harder to sell and we will do our best to add more to this list so you can be as knowledgeable as possible.

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