9 Reasons Homes Don’t Sell on a Hot House Market

The silhouette of a man clutching his head in sadness by the window of a house.

We may be in a seller’s market in 2021, but as with all things, a shift is bound to come eventually. Even now, a “hot house market” doesn’t mean it’s hot for every seller/house out there. With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the most common reasons folks find themselves pulling out their hair while asking that fateful question, “Why won’t my house sell?!?” Here are nine potential answers — nine obstacles that could be getting in the way of your perfect buyer and those closing papers.

9 Reasons You’re Having Trouble Selling on a Hot House Market

A hot house market isn’t hot for everyone. As a general rule of thumb, if your home isn’t move-in ready, you may still have trouble selling. As we’ll see, only half or so of the topics on this list are renovation or repair issues. So buckle up for a few curveballs you might not have considered!

Location (…location, location)

We all know how important this is. That’s why we tend to say it three times. It’s also why it goes first on this list. Several of the other difficulties homeowners experience when trying to sell can be traced back to location in some way.

A small, baby blue house in the middle of a foggy field with snow-capped mountains in the distance.
Why can’t I sell my house? Well… where is it located?

Outdated Style

If there’s one thing that doesn’t ever seem to stick around, it’s the latest fashion. Just ask the spirits of shag carpeting and bell bottom jeans. The nature of ever-shifting trends can definitely haunt homeowners when it comes time to sell. It makes sense when you think about it though. what if (hopefully this is a hypothetical for you…) your walls were bright pink? It’s kind of a big ask for potential buyers to “just imagine” that the home is instead coated, perhaps, in a more on-trend shade of urbane bronze.

An outdated kitchen is another place where outdated style can be an issue. A real estate agent might insist you make upgrades here in order to be competitive in your listing. There are, however, ways around dealing with the requirements of real estate agents.

Damp Basements

A basement doesn’t have to be haunted by a boogeyman to scare off buyers. While your buyer may have no problem buying a home with an unfinished basement, a wet basement is definitely a reason homes don’t sell. So make sure that sump pump is in good working order!

School District

Securing access to a good educational system is obviously a priority for those with school-aged children and those who expect to start a family down the road. According to Matt Woods’ article in SOLD, if you have time to invest, a willingness to be reasonable about price, and you’re ready to work for it, you should be able to market your home for a successful sale. Granted, the concession on price may be a non-starter for many sellers.

A school bus on the road under a blue sky and some fluffy clouds.

Major Repairs

Foundation or roof problems in particular can be a nightmare. These will often require an expensive upfront investment from the seller in order to even list on the market.

Bad Neighbors

Ask a landlord how they feel about unruly tenants and you’ll either get a long sigh that says “Let’s not” or you’ll witness a human being quite literally short circuit in front of your very eyes.

Bad neighbors can cause problems for would-be sellers too. While it’s unlikely that Bill from down the street will scare off a would-be buyer through the power of his questionable personality, the inattention he pays to his property just might. No one wants to move in next to the home with the unicorn statue and trash strewn about the lawn.

Nearby Construction

This one can be extra frustrating because you never know when the city will decide you need a new traffic light system right at the entrance to your neighborhood. While there’s nothing you can do to stop construction on a project, if you’re able to ascertain the estimated timetable, you can at least offer that information to interested buyers to show that there is an end date in sight.

Seven construction workers standing on the roof of a building being built.

Home Surrounded by Commercial Property

Like several of the other reasons homes don’t sell above, there’s not a whole lot you can do if a strip mall or industrial park pops up in your backyard. Even in a hot house market, folks may be reluctant to buy if the area feels too noisy, crowded, or overrun.

Lack of Economic Opportunity

The rise of remote work may mitigate some of the geographic pressures of landing a job. But if there’s no decent economic potential in your home’s vicinity, that will still deter folks who work in most industries. Like we alluded to at the start, unsellable homes are often in bad locations.

So What If I Have an Unsellable Home?

While there are a variety of reasons homes don’t sell, few homes are truly unsellable. Even if you’re having trouble listing on a hot house market, you still have a few choices.

A tiny birdhouse hanging — proof that not everything sells in a hot house market.
Do you have a traditionally unsellable home?

I Can’t Sell My House, What Are My Options?

Some people opt to put in the time and renovate a home to sell it. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, this can be risky. Since hiring contractors isn’t always the best solution (either because it costs too much or the timeline is undesirable) folks with fixer-uppers may want to consider calling local renovators.

How to Sell a Fixer-Upper Home Fast

A reputable local buyer is often the fastest way to sell an “unsellable home.” For homeowners wondering “Why can’t I sell my house?” who look at this list and see that several of these nine causes apply to them, a local home buyer could be the next option you haven’t yet considered. Give us a call, connect with us on Facebook, or learn more about what we do for communities and homeowners in this video with Fox 28.