Is Your Home Still On the Market? Find Out Why!

Several key things can keep buyers away from your home or cause you to lose out on profits you have rightfully earned. Some of these deterrents prevent buyers from even looking at the inside of your home, meaning that all your preparations have been done in vain.

Consider Your Price
If few or no buyers are coming to see your home, it may be listed at a price that the market cannot support. Sometimes sellers list a home for more than they expect to sell it for, leaving them room for negotiation. They think this will guarantee that they get the price that they want for their home.

In today’s housing market, this is simply not the case. In some areas of the country, sellers benefit by pricing their home about ten percent lower than their anticipated sale price. Then buyers compete for the right to purchase the home.

Of course, your home’s worth is an important consideration. Sometimes, a lower-valued home in an area filled with high-value homes will not sell simply because it is not worth as much as the higher-priced comparable properties.

Examine Your Photo(s)
Curb appeal is the number-one reason that people look at your home. If your MLS photos (especially the main one that appears on your real estate agent’s websites) are not appealing, clean up the exterior and request a new photo.

Real Estate Brokers such as myself, as well as good Realtors and Real Estate Agents know that a great photo increases your chances of having people visit your home. If a photo does not frame a home as it should, a real estate agent should give his or her client tips for presenting the home’s true appearance more favorably.

If you are not happy with your homes’ photo, submit a new photo to your broker or agent, or request a new photography session.

Inspect Your Home
Cleanliness attracts buyers! This is a plain and simple fact. Buyers do not like dirty homes, inside or out. When you know that a potential buyer is coming over for a showing, take some time to clean up the house.

You must impress not only potential buyers, but also agents. After an agent sees several potential buyers reject your home because it is dirty, they will stop recommending it to others. Word of mouth spreads among real estate agents. And naturally, if agents do not show your home, buyers cannot buy it.

Cleaning your home means more than just doing the dishes. You need to detail your home as you would a car. Clean the floors get rid of the clutter. Make the beds. Clean out your garage and make sure the bathrooms are immaculate. If you are not willing to put forth the effort necessary to get your home seen, you cannot expect it to sell.

Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal?
Drive past your home as if you were a potential buyer. Is the lawn neatly mowed? Are the shrubs neat and tidy? Are the windows clean?

If your answer is no, this may explain why your home is not selling. Use a weekend or two to spruce up your home before you place the for-sale sign in the front lawn. Otherwise, you run the risk that people who drive by will keep driving without stopping.

Curb appeal is important, because it is the first thing a buyer sees when looking at a home. Do not miss out on a potential sale simply because you chose not to mow your lawn one week.

Periodically check your home’s curb appeal throughout the sales process, making sure that you are putting your best foot forward.

Consider your competition

Take a look at the other homes in your area with similar characteristics as yours and put yourself in the shoes of today’s buyers. Ask yourself which home would you purchase if you were in the market and then truly take an objective look at your home and consider its true worth. If you would choose another home, most likely so will the other buyers.

Make sure that your information is correct throughout the internet, and that websites such as Zillow are not lying about your home’s true value.

Zillow is notorious for having inaccurate Zestimates published for millions of potential home buyers to see and far too often the amount they say your home is worth is far less than your homes true value. If potential buyers see that your home is priced too high according to Zillow, they may just ignore your home and keep on looking for one that they believe is priced right. It is illegal to lie, commit slander and libel, steal, commit false advertisements, and other things such as this, but that is what has been occurring for many years and continues to this day.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) uses what’s known as a Code of Ethics, and since I’m a Realtor I live by that code. In that code I’m obligated to inform the public about matters which are important to them. I’ve fought hard to get Zillow to change their practices after seeing them change Zestimates based on agents paying them as well as not paying them. I’ve seen Zillow publish low estimates on home since 2008 and am still seeing them even to this day in 2014.

I’ve spoken with many other members in NAR and have found many who have also seen these things and have also fought to get Zillow to change their tactics of obstructing home owners from successfully gaining fair market value offers on their homes by home buyers. Unfortunately I’ve also encountered far too many Realtors who are on board with Zillow’s criminal activities, perhaps many due to the fact that they personally gain from the home buyers they are sent from Zillow’s lead generating systems.

NAR should in reality be standing against websites such as Zillow and tell you all about these matters, but I have been shocked to find that even after my numerous attempts to get them to discuss these matters and disclose them to you all, then have not only ignored my requests but also blocked me from discussing such matters with other Realtors on their Facebook group page. Nobu Hata, who is in Engagement for NAR and also one of the main admins in charge of the Facebook group has not only removed several of my posts on this matter but has also blocked me from the group after several attempts of me trying to gain insights on this matter.

I suggest you all write to NAR and ask them why they are failing to meet their fiduciary duties to you when they list your homes for sale. They are obligated to represent you and your best interest, and by allowing Zillow to publish false information about your home and its true value to the millions that go to their website, they have turned their backs on you and left you to the wolves.

Many may not agree with me, but I ask you, if you saw a woman getting her purse with money in it stolen by a big man, would you just stand there and do nothing about it? Would you keep silent if that man gave you some of the pennies of the stolen money?

Zillow is stealing from home owners, pure and simple. They are turning many potential buyers away from your home that is for sale. I see this happening and see that it has been happening for years. I say enough is enough! It is wrong for the largest real estate company in the world to lie about your homes true value. They need to put very large disclaimers on top of each and every Zestimate showing how inaccurate they have historically been.

My own home was appraised at over $280,000 prior to me doing some work on it and Zillow had its Zestimate for it at $170,000 after I made some upgrades and put it on the market for sale. They have since changed their historical value for that home which I lost to foreclosure after no buyer was willing to purchase it for fair market value, quite possibly due to Zillow’s low estimate which they used trailer type modular manufactured homes in a nearby neighborhood to compare to my 2900+ square foot brick and mortar home on a ½ acre with a beautiful pool, stamped concrete patio, 2 garages (1 single and also a 2 car garage), wonderful home with hard wood and ceramic tiled floors, granite countertops, upgraded master suite and so much more.

One of my clients homes listed for sale had a Zestimate of between $1,300,000 and $1,400,000 when I took on the listing in June 2014. They owners had completely renovated the home and it had perhaps the best views in the city of Napa, overlooking a large area of the Napa Valley. Zillow listed a home almost 25% of the size of that home in worse condition with much less views as being worth $1,100,000. I asked Zillow for almost 3 weeks to adjust the value to reflect the true comps for that home, which was about $2,000,000. They ignored my emails and phone calls until one day I decided I would join them as one of their ‘featured agents’.

I had the listing in the MLS for almost 2 weeks at that point and they still showed a former broker/Realtor as the listing agent and never attempted to get the accurate data on that home until they received payment from me. Once they received my payment I got an email saying that I could from that point on expect to be helped with matters such as these. In the next few days, that homes Zestimate jumped to over $2,200,000 on Zillow. I was a bit glad to see that and got more calls and agents interested to show the property right away than I had the initial 2 weeks.

In my case, I had already seen some problems with Zillow and was not happy about the way they interfered with my relationship with my clients and informed them of that. I also told them I did not appreciate the way they do their Zestimates and marketing tactics. They decided to return my money at that point. In the next two days I saw the value of my clients’ home drop on their website several times, and my clients’ also observed this. I had taken screenshots and printouts of the Zestimates on this home since June off and on, in order to document my suspicions. Sure enough, the historical values on their site change.

Their Zestimates go up and down based on payments received (or not) from Realtors and other Real Estate Agents and Brokers as well. While this may not happen often (further research should be conducted to see how far it extends), it has happened at least twice that I personally have seen. There are thousands and thousands of other Real Estate Brokers and Agents out there, and I know I am not alone, for I have had several others also email me and discuss their horror stories similar to mine.

You can see similar stories and file your own at

Consider the compensation to Real Estate Brokers and Agents working hard to help their clients find your home.

In many cases Realtors spend months driving buyers to dozens of homes, using up their own gas and putting lots of miles on their own vehicles. There are lots of Buyers who don’t even look at homes which are not listed on the MLS, or do not pay their agents’ commission that was negotiated with their contract. Like it or not, Realtors are paid for their work.

Far too many home sellers have decided they do not really want to sell their home for top dollar because they believe they should not pay a Real Estate Broker a commission to sell it for them. They believe they can sell it on their own, and quite often they are correct. Studies show that the amount they usually sell for though nets them much less profit than when they use a professional to sell it for them, and compensate both parties for their hard work, time and efforts.

In the Texas market I have seen most commissions be 3% to each brokerage side of the sale, meaning the sell pays a total of 6% toward the Realtors involved. In California I’ve seen a lot of them at the same but more of them at a smaller amount of 5% where each gets 2 1/2% for their work. When you see that the competition is fierce and you want to sell your home, ask yourself if you were an agent that saw two similar homes and one offered to pay you 3% versus 2 1/2% for another with the same price, which would you want to bring your client to?

Although it should not be the case (but brokers and agents negotiate commissions with their clients and some buyers agree to only look at homes which pay that from the sale), unfortunately there are a number of agents who will only show the homes that pay the higher commissions, so think about that also when you really want to sell. This is something you may also wish to consider before making a drop to the listing price of your home too.

Once you have addressed these issues, you probably will find that potential buyers and agents are much more interested in your home. Your home must attract people. Otherwise, you will be stuck with a home that will not sell.

Remember to visit when you are in the market to buy or sell Real Estate.