Why Is My House Not Selling in a Hot Market?

October 12, 2021

Why Is My House Not Selling in a Hot Market?
It’s a sellers’ market and houses are selling everywhere like crazy. You’ve had your home listed for a while now, so why is it not selling like all those other homes? There are lots of different reasons your home may not be selling even in a hot market, but the good news is many of them are fixable. Here are some of the most common reasons your home may not be selling, and what you can do about it.

The Price Is Wrong

The first thing you want to look at when your house isn’t selling is the listing price. Is the home priced too high? Sometimes it’s hard to objectively determine how much you should sell your home for. Take some time to find out what your home is worth, and see if your listing price matches the home’s value. Listing your home too high can waste valuable time on the market instead of pricing it right in the first place. 

You also don’t want to list too low. A buyer (or their agent) who knows the market may be skeptical of a house that’s priced too low, assuming there must be underlying problems with the home. Work with an experienced real estate agent in your area to come up with an ideal listing price from the start.

Bad Listing Photos or Description

According to the National Association of Realtors, 93% of prospective home buyers use an online website to search for their next home. Having a strong online listing is crucial in today’s housing market. Bright, professional looking photos that show off your home’s best features make buyers want to come see the home for themselves. You want to be sure you aren’t using dark, outdated photos. Many buyers start the home search on their own, searching through online databases before ever contacting a real estate agent.

Your home’s property description is another valuable opportunity to win over curious buyers. A great description will list your home’s unique features and highlight its best selling points. The best part is, your Realtor usually handles this. Make sure you’re working with a good Realtor who knows your area; they can point out things like how great your home’s location is.

Trying to Sell It on Your Own

If you’ve tried to sell your house on your own but it’s still not selling in a hot market, it’s probably time to hire a real estate agent.

There’s lots of information online about selling a home. It may be tempting to want to save money and skip working with a pro, but nothing compares to the expertise of an experienced real estate agent. Here are the top five reasons why you need a Realtor to sell your home.

Over three quarters of for sale by owner homes sell within the first two weeks, but it’s often because the seller knows the person they’re selling to. For sale by owner homes only accounted for 8% of home sales in 2020 (source). And it doesn’t always make the most sense financially. Statistically, FSBOs sell for a much lower price than agent-assisted home sales (the 2020 median sales price was $217,900 FSBO vs $242,300 agent-assisted). 

A good Realtor knows how to market your home to the right buyers. Take some time to find a Realtor you can trust, and let them help you get your home sold.

The House Isn’t Staged

Not staging is another reason your house may not be selling in a hot market. Staging may not seem all that necessary, but it’s important to think about the buyer’s experience. An interested buyer needs to be able to walk into your home and imagine themselves living there. This is much easier to do when a home is staged right.

The good news is you don’t have to spend a ton of money on staging your home. Some of the most important elements of staging include decluttering and cleaning, depersonalizing the walls and living space, and adding simple touches like setting the dining room table. For more DIY staging tips, visit Home Staging Before You Sell: What You Can and Can’t Do Yourself.

Of course, you can consider hiring a professional staging service, but that’s not always necessary. Start with the simple staging tips here, and talk with your Realtor to decide the best way to stage your home.

Curb Appeal Is Lacking

Just as important as staging is for the inside of your home, having attractive curb appeal is very important for the exterior of your home. When a potential buyer drives up to your house, what do you want them to think? How do you want them to feel? Your home’s curb appeal (or lack thereof) gives the buyer their very first impression of your property. Here are some simple things you can do to improve your home’s curb appeal:

  • Mow the yard and trim the shrubs
  • Hang some flowers from the porch
  • Paint or restain the front door
  • Clean and decorate the entryway 

The House Needs Updates or Improvements

Another reason your house may not be selling in a hot market is it needs some updates or improvements. When shopping for their dream home, most buyers look for a property that’s move-in ready. This doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of time and money on expensive renovations, though. You don’t want to invest more money on renovations than you can earn back when your home sells.

Take a good look around your home and observe areas that could use some updating. The kitchen and bathrooms are rooms that renovations make a big difference in. They can also lead to the priciest renovations. Some less expensive upgrades you might consider include painting the walls a neutral color, replacing worn out carpet, and swapping outdated light fixtures for newer, modern fixtures.

For more ideas, visit What to Renovate for the Best Return On Investment When Selling Your Home.

Working With the Wrong Real Estate Agent

Having the right real estate agent on your side when selling your home is one of the most important decisions you can make. Your Realtor is there to guide you through the entire selling process. Just like not working with a real estate agent at all, working with the wrong real estate agent may mean your house doesn’t sell as fast as you’d like or for as much money as you’d like. You want to work with someone you are comfortable with, and someone who will get you results.

If you are not comfortable with your real estate agent, it’s OK to consider looking for someone who’s a better fit. Maybe you tried working with a family member or friend and that’s not working out as well as you had hoped it would. Maybe you can never seem to reach your Realtor, or get any straight answers to your questions. Take some time to look for a Realtor who’s a better match for you. Ask for recommendations, search online, and meet with the ones who interest you the most until you find your perfect fit.


There are many possible reasons as to why your house isn’t selling in a hot market. The good news is many of them are things you can fix. It could take a simple shift like correcting your home’s listing price or updating the listing photos. The house may need some staging or a few renovations. Or maybe you just haven’t found the right Realtor yet.

If you’re selling a home in the greater Sacramento area and are in need of a great real estate agent, give us a call. Our team would love to get to know you and help get your home sold!

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