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What Causes a house to be on the Market for too Long?

By Melissa Glifford

When looking up information of a house and it’s shown that a house has been on the market for an inordinate amount of time, it’s too easy to jump to conclusions. Generally people who buy houses first think ‘if it hasn’t sold by now there must be something wrong with it.’ While that can be the case, there can also be a number of other reasons that the house hasn’t sold yet. Asking a few questions can reveal what reasons may crop up as you talk to different owners and tour from house to house.

Sometimes it can be as simple as something is wrong with some paperwork. Or it could be a case when the house was actually in the process of selling to someone but they could not arrange the financing for it. If the buyer doesn’t have the ability to secure financing then you have to go back to square one. The only thing that has happened is that it is now later in the year.

Sometimes it is not even a financial reason. If the buyer backs out for any reason at all, not only have you lost the buyer but you have lost time as well. This is even more common if the market has a lot of potential houses for sale because in this type of market they can sometimes find a house that is a better deal.

A homeowner can even continue to live in the house while they try to sell it or rent it out to other tenants. This doesn’t always stop you from selling the house but it can make it much more difficult to do all of the things that selling a house entails. Homes that are being rented out will not be staged properly so it can make it harder for you to attract a buyer to the house. And if the tenant has an animal it can make it even harder to show a house.

Another mistake that people make that can cause the house to be on the market longer is that they price their home too high. If you price your home too high then you are likely to scare away potential buyers, especially if your home is higher then a similar house just doors away.

Perhaps the home didn’t appraise at the contract price, which may have included a seller’s concession.

Sometimes it also just happens that the seller had a change of plans. It could be that a family member passed and they no longer have time to focus on selling the home, or they lost a job and can’t afford to move, or the home they were planning to buy sold already.

And then there is always the chance that there is something wrong with the house. Maybe it has structural issues, asbestos, foundation problems, or some type of insect infestation, but any other major issue.

You also have to think about what a long time really is and what is considered reasonable. If you are rushed to sell, a few months can seem like a very long time. If you typically deal with auction or HUD houses, these types of homes can be snatched up in no time, but on the average most houses sit on the market for about six months. The house buyer’s perception just might need to be realigned.

So, in summary, a house can sit on the market for a lot of different reasons. You should not ever assume that a house has problems just because it has been on the market for awhile unless you have done a formal inspection. In the best case when a house has been idle for awhile and other potential buyers are passing it by the seller might be more willing to negotiate to give you a good deal.

Finding good information on how to sell a house fast can be a difficult thing sometimes. If you need a fast house sale you have no time to waste.  We can help you get rid of your home and do it quickly without all the hassles.

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