Why Hasn’t that Home Sold?
Clients sometimes ask me about one of “those” homes on the MLS. It looks fine, nothing weird in the description… How come it has so many days on the market and every other home sells much more quickly? Why is it still here?
The home is nearly always overpriced. Here’s a real estate truth; just about every problem can be fixed by adjusting the price. Problems can be overcome through price point.
But are there situations where dropping the price doesn’t matter? Yes, many—though all of these severe problems are rare. Here’s my Ugly 13 Problems that can make a property not worth buying at any price.
- Problems that preclude financing. There are some problems that send bank mortgage officers running for the hills. Unlucky sellers must find cash buyers, and some properties just don’t have available cash buyers.
- Unpaid liens or taxes which the owner can’t or won’t pay. Wisconsin law and Warranty Deed provisions ensure that nothing sells until the taxes are paid.
- Environmental contamination. Under current US law, former and current owners may be held responsible for the cost of cleaning toxic messes. Some properties are just so contaminated that they will never sell.
- Planned future removal. Why buy a property that will be condemned for road widening or other purposes?
- Stigmatized properties. Sometimes a murder or other notorious event that occurred on the property absolutely destroys resale value.
- Flood plain / water drainage issues. This one is self-explanatory.
- Truly problematic neighbors who may also be living in problem houses. Imagine whatever type of person you dislike the most living next door as your neighbor. Imagine that they are unfriendly. Now imagine them posting 100 political yard signs for the party or candidate you hate. Now make this person loud, obnoxious, and intoxicated. Let’s assume they don’t keep up their yard and house, have junk outside, criminally delinquent kids, and a rodent infestation. Yes, these people and properties exist. Even the tallest fences don’t help sellers dump their property when the neighbors are troublesome louts.
- Problem businesses, government entities, etc., in the area. Who wants to live next to a toxic waste dump, prison, or rendering plant?
- Neurotic sellers. There are times that the seller kills their own sale through absurd demands and unfair or unlawful sale tactics. (We agents always seem to meet at least one notorious seller in our career. Some of us even get the luxury of meeting multiple!)
- Lack of jobs/opportunity in the area. It’s one thing to have rural country living. It’s another thing to live in an area with absolutely no economic opportunity, shuttered factories, high crime rates, etc.
- A horrible school system when a much better school system is close with similarly priced homes. Why would anybody pay to live in a lesser school system when they can live with a better school system? Even those without children understand that a better school system means better property price appreciation and better resale value.
- High taxes when another area with lower taxes is close with similarly priced homes. As above, why would anybody choose to pay higher taxes when other properties offer the same home with lower taxes, and thus better appreciation?
- Strange HVAC. This could be having propane or oil in an area with natural gas. Buyers used to one type of HVAC system are scared by unfamiliar systems. They will pass over these properties in exchange for what they know and understand. Dedicated wood-only is a major problem, not just for buyers but also for mortgage lenders and insurance companies.
Of course, I once saw a listing that failed to sell because the agent was so sloppy that they inputted the wrong address! How could anybody find a house when it was advertised at an address that doesn’t exist?
Do you have a house that just won’t sell? Changes are that you don’t suffer from any of these issues! Let’s talk and see if we can make your sale a reality. My name is Michael (Mike) Kwiatkowski and I’m with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Brookfield, WI. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 414-207-2938.