Reasons Homes Don’t Sell HOME SELLER: Episode 00016


Some Reasons Homes Don’t Sell

Why do some houses sell and others don’t?

There’s no ultimate answer to this question, but Tribune Media Services columnist Ilyce Glink has a theory.

Here are her top reasons properties linger on the market:

  • Lousy pictures on the Web.
  • Priced too high for the neighborhood.
  • Blah interior; ho-hum landscaping.
  • Little online marketing and hard-to-find MLS listings.
  • Low commissions. Practitioners make sure their customers see properties that offer a payoff.
  • Miserable maintenance, including ceiling stains, leaky faucets, and ancient furnaces.

 Young buyers like a pretty house, so when a house won’t sell, Mark Nash, author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home, urges home sellers to make these simple cosmetic updates. 

Expose hardwood floors and buff them until they shine. Nash, who sells homes in the Chicago area, says an increasing number of younger buyers dislike homes with wall-to-wall carpeting. “It’s amazing how often I hear from young clients who won’t even look at a place unless it has hardwood floors,” he says.

Remove antiquated furnishings. Many young buyers have eclectic tastes. Get rid of matched sets of look-alike furniture from the ’70s and ’80s then rearrange what’s left to make the house feel more contemporary.

Take down your old draperies and light fixtures, including old-style track lightings. Nash says outdated lighting and heavy, elaborate draperies (the kind with swags and valances) are a turn-off to young buyers.

Remove wallpaper. Young buyers are unwilling to purchase any home that needs wallpaper removal—it’s just too daunting.

Repaint your walls. Nash encourages home sellers to stick with neutrals or calm earth tones, like a light sage green. Using bold tones can be very tricky, he cautions. “I call these ‘commitment colors.’ Chances are good that your buyers won’t like them as much as you do,” he says.



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