8 Reasons Homes Sit Unsold

8 Reasons Homes Sit Unsold

I was just asked to write a magazine article for a national publication about why homes sit unsold on the market when they are priced fairly.

So I thought I’d share 8 of my 22 home selling strategies to make sure your home doesn’t linger on the market when you decide to sell.

Below are 8 proven ways to increase the likelihood your home will sell faster and at a better price. I call each of them “probability increasers.” No one strategy is magic, but cumulatively they can make a big difference.

What are the 8 reasons homes sit unsold?

There are many reasons home sit unsold, but I’m going to talk about the top 8.

  1. Too many photos
  2. Not enough upfront marketing
  3. Too many showings
  4. Lack of urgency
  5. No storytelling
  6. Lack of comps at showing
  7. Not advertising to Realtors
  8. Not pointing out unique home features

Now, let’s talk about the strategies and what you can do to get your home sold faster and for a higher price.


Realtors often use photos of every room and multiple shots of the yard in brochures and online listings. This is a mistake!

It’s better to use the absolute best photos of a home, the ones most likely to make buyers call. The purpose of photos (and ad copy) is to peek buyer interest and generate a call, not sell your home online or in an ad. Displaying too many photos could give buyers a reason not to call about your home, objections a good Realtor may overcome during a personal showing.


Time on the market is destructive to the sale price of your home. When homes sit unsold, buyers presume they are overpriced, even when they’re not. Realtors often string out their marketing over months. They hesitate to spend a lot of money upfront, hoping the home will sell by listing it in MLS. This is a mistake!  

Hope is not a strategy. Realtors should do massive marketing of their new listings upfront, immediately after each home is listed. The goal is to quickly flush out virtually every buyer currently in the market who might be a fit for the home.


Realtors often schedule home showings one at a time, with lots of time in between. This is a mistake!

It’s more effective to do whatever it takes to generate at least two showings, then schedule them at the same time so buyers see each other coming and going. This creates social proof that your home is desirable and a competitive environment to generate higher offers. I teach Realtors that when you have one showing, work like crazy to generate at least one more at the same time.


Realtors often begin showing homes as soon as they are listed. This is a mistake!

Apple computer is famous for generating lines in front of their stores when they launch a new iPhone. They did this by aggressively marketing the newest iPhone before it was available to buy.

This works with selling homes  too! When a home is first listed, it should be marketed aggressively with the first showing date 10-14 days away. This not only builds excitement, it enables Realtors to compress showings (see above), and get buyers excited to see your particular home instead of it being just one of many homes.


When prospective buyers arrive at the door, most Realtors begin walking them through a home immediately. This is a mistake!

Realtors should take a minute to tell buyers a little about you (the seller). Studies show that buyers who see sellers as “real people” are less likely to make low offers.


When Realtors take buyers through a home they often fail to mention other comparable homes for sale. This is a mistake!

Your listing Realtor should personally be at every showing and point out at least two comparative properties that position your home as a fantastic deal (even if it’s not).


Over 80% of homes sell to buyers who are working with their own Realtor, not your listing agent. Yet most Realtors don’t spend a lot of money marketing their homes to other Realtors. This is a mistake!

Listing agents should aggressively market their homes to the Realtor community, particularly those agents who commonly sell in the neighborhood. Sometimes listing agents advertise to find unrepresented buyers, hoping they can “double-dip,” and earn both sides of the commission. This doesn’t reach 80% of the buyers for your home.


When taking buyers through homes, Realtors often talk about the obvious features, things buyers can easily see as they walk into each room. This is a mistake!

It’s great to point out key features, but they should be supplemented with benefits of living in the community (like a dog walker next door and two great baby sitters across the street).

People don’t just buy homes, they buy community attributes. It takes time for Realtors to learn about the neighborhood benefits for each listed home, but it pays off by selling homes faster, at higher prices.  

In real estate, time and hope are not strategies. Selling technique matters.

The End of Real Estate

If you missed it, my last real estate blog post, “The End of Real Estate” was about a class-action lawsuit that could decimate the MLS and change the way Realtors across America sell homes. I received hundreds of comments and questions. You can read it here.

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