The time has come, someone must tell you the truth about why your house isn’t selling, so I guess it has fallen to me. I know you did your homework, talked with several realtors and made your choice of the realtor who will do the best to sell your home.  So now what?  Your home has been on the market for a while and not one looker.  It’s funny, your house is nicer than all the other homes in your neighborhood and it definitely should sell for more than the other homes; why can’t the other realtors see that?  The flyer box is constantly being replenished, but yet your home hasn’t been shown once.  You have lowered the price several times and still, not one showing. Why can’t I sell my house? 

Let me break it down for you; do you know what sells a home?  The price is what sells your home.  I know your realtor took a number of photographs and has your home on their web site which is blasted out to other national web sites and therein lays the problem. 

1. Where does your home stand among the short sales and foreclosures in your neighborhood or nearby?  Have you toured other homes in your neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods to see how your home compares, or looked at new homes for price comparison?

2. Pictures tell a story, and if your home is twenty-five years old, it may be too outdated for the buyers of today.  Over fifty percent of the homes being sold in our market are first time home buyers.  They are between 25 and 34 years old and they want energy efficiency, new appliances, smaller yards with limited landscaping and minimum maintenance.  What do the photos of your home show?

3. Take a look at other similar priced homes, see if they are updated. Compare what a new home sells for and start subtracting the remodeling cost for your home.  The following estimates are based on a typical 1600 square foot, heated and cooled area (prices are estimated and could be higher or lower depending on quality of product and workmanship).

  • Typically, older roofs may appear sound but only have a total lifespan, in Florida, of 15-20 years.  To replace a roof on a median size home is $6500.
  • Kitchen cabinets tend to fade and wear out.  Contractor grade appliances typically are not energy efficient and don’t have a very long lifespan.  Even without installing granite counter tops, you can expect to pay $15,000-$20,000 for a kitchen upgrade with appliances.
  • Bathrooms are a key selling point and if it has not been upgraded and has green or gold fixtures, it’s time to upgrade.  You can expect to pay around $5000 to change fixtures, upgrade plumbing valves, change tile, lighting, and install a good ventilation fan to code.
  • Carpet and flooring has a life expectancy of five years and if your home has ceramic tile over 15 years; it’s probably out of date and worn.  A minimum cost to take up the flooring and install new vinyl and carpet, $4000.
  • If you have different color paint schemes, you can figure the home will need to be repainted inside and out, (nobody buys pink, purple, red or blue houses).  A painting bid of $4500 would be reasonable for interior and exterior painting.
  • If the HVAC system is original, it is not energy efficient and to replace the unit with a minimum 13 SEER unit, $3900.
  • Electrical upgrades with hard-wired smoke detectors, GFCI’s, arc-fault outlets for the bedrooms, and new lighting fixtures, $3300.
  • Energy efficient windows and doors can save a homeowner hundreds of dollars a year and to change the single-pane aluminum windows, sliding glass doors, and install a good insulated fiberglass exterior doors, $4800.
  • Insulation code 25 years ago was R-19 and an energy efficient attic should have an R-30, to blow in additional insulation is about $800.

4. How available is your home for showing?  If someone has to make an appointment to see your home, there are many other homes for which appointments aren’t necessary, so you may be missing out.

5. Do you have pets?  Many people don’t want to see homes with pets or walk in a yard where there are pets.  You may not notice, but others will notice a pet odor, regardless of how clean you are.

6. Is your home nicely cluttered?  Do you have a lot of furniture and are the walls covered with pictures and displays?  Clear it out; neutralize your home so people can envision their stuff.

7. If you happen to have a realtor make an appointment to see your home, leave.  Don’t shadow the realtor or prospective buyers, you can almost guarantee they won’t make an offer.

8. Do you have heavy blinds, curtains, or both?  Open them up and let the light come in so a prospective buyer can see what’s there. People looking as they drive by will see a closed up house and are often reluctant to inquire about the home.

9. What does the yard look like?  Are the bushes trimmed and did the kids leave their toys and bikes scattered about?  If the yard looks cluttered, chances are the interior looks the same.

10. Can you afford to sell the home out right or do you need a short sale?  You may not have a choice, depending on when you bought the home, you may be upside down in value.  Don’t expect people to settle on what you settled on when you bought the home.  Times have changed, buyers are changing, and believe me financing has changed.  Take a serious look, make an honest comparison and decide what the true real-market value of your home is.  Always remember, there are solutions…



Debra Martin-Back


Exit Realty Producers

Gainesville, Fl