Expired Home Listings: Why Do Home Listings Expire and Not Sell?

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Let’s face it, your well-kept and decently priced home was on the market and expired without a sale. What went wrong? Chances are, more than one factor is at play, but just because your home expired, does NOT mean you cannot sell it. In this article, we will look at home-selling mistakes that cost you, the worth of a good real estate agency, changes you can make to increase your chances of selling, and negotiating and closing the deal.

Most Common Reasons for Unsuccessful Listings

Let’s start my looking at the most common reasons for an unsuccessful listing:

  • Price
  • Condition
  • Presentation
  • Lack of Showings
  • Housing Market
  • Location
  • Marketing
  • Your Agent


While it may seem like an obvious key factor, but the price of your home is one of the key points that make-or-break a deal. If you list your home correctly and strategically, at the right price and at the right time, it works like a magnet attracting customers.

Contacting a real estate expert will help you understand the current market prices and how similar properties are selling in your area. If you’re not convinced, you can always contact another real estate expert for confirmation; second opinions never hurt. In any case, don’t just listen to and take the advice of one expert.

If you discover that home prices are higher than anticipated, but you’re in a hurry to sell, don’t set your price too low. While it may seem logical to set a lower price to win a quick sale, be cautious, as this can be a dangerous move, costing you in the end. By setting your price too low, you may have consequences like:

Incorrect evaluation of your house

A low-end price can be considered suspicious, leaving buyers suspecting that you are hiding a serious problem. As a result, buyers pay extra attention and become suspicious.

Negotiation of the final price

Suspicions on a low-priced home lead to lowball offers, and if you’re in a hurry to sell, you will lose a lot more money than you expected. Further, as soon as your home is listed, changing it to a higher price later might lead to no sales. So you’re either stuck with the low price or don’t get a buyer.


Condition mainly has to do with appearance. It is the first thing that catches the eye of a potential buyer. Maybe your home didn’t appear to be in good enough condition. Your house should be clean; don’t leave a mess or clutter in your home or in the yard.

Ensure that the air is fresh, and the lights show off the best features and unique qualities of your home. Outside, everything should be in order and arranged accordingly. Take care of any upgrades, repairs, modification, etc., before putting the house on the market.

It’s not necessary to make repairs or modifications yourself, unless you are an expert in DIY. Instead, call a professional and make sure everything is in good shape. It’s worth the small investment, as potential buyers will take you more seriously and more likely to offer you what your home is worth.

One room that is in your home that might be worth updating is your bathroom. Think of updates to the bathroom as an investment. You want people to see themselves using that room every day and not whatever unpleasantry is distracting to them. An outdated or unfinished or unclean bathroom might drive buyers away, even if they like the rest of your home. Be sure it’s in its best shape! Bathrooms, along with kitchens, can be deal breakers (or makers).


Did you skimp out on the presentation of your home? Presentation is about first impressions, and we all know that first impressions are critical and can make or break a sale. You want to attract buyers, and the biggest attraction is a well-presented property.

After all, your house isn’t the only one for sale, so you can’t act like it’s the only choice. You’ll be competing with numerous properties, all with different advantages and challenges.

You need people to see your home and think “Wow! This is where I need to live.”

Presentation is everything, as you’ll see in another chapter.

Lack of Showings

Have you seen other homes and properties on the the market that are comparable to yours, yet only after a short time on the market they are receiving asking price or higher, yet yours stayed on the market and expired?

Why didn’t people look for your house? Why did nobody seem interested?

A lack of showings could be an indication. You need actual people to come see your home (showings), in order to make the sale and seal the deal. Perhaps you didn’t use a professional real estate agency, while the successful home sellers did. Real estate agents worth their salt will get your home not only listed, but seen! This can make all the difference.

A professional might be just what you need. If they can get you what you need. If they can get you more showings and a higher price, you won’t even worry about their commission.

Today, people make purchases based on what they see online. They check ads, photos, prices, then compare, and only later decide to call for (or order) a few of them.

Professional agents have an established internet presence and access to networks and information that you likely don’t.

Online sales sometimes come with small loan calculators. Potential buyers will check the price, use the loan calculator, and consider whether the offer is feasible.

Housing Market

As it is with most economic systems, the housing market and home values are subject to change. The law of supply and demand, and your supply (your home), will only sell if there’s demand for it.

The market can change at anytime. It’s influenced by several factors, such as:

  • The national economy: If people are concerned about the future, they don’t spend money and the real estate prices drop lower and lower.
  • The local economy: If your location is in a good economic season, and it has some important universities, consistent job opportunities, good schools in multiple places, and a sound infrastructure, then it’s a great opportunity to command a higher selling price.

If the supply of homes is great, it means that buyers have more choices, and yours must appear to be a higher-quality property, at a better price. In that case, it’s difficult to sell for a good price in a short time, especially if you do it by yourself. However, if you call an agent to sell your property, your house will be advertised in the best possible locations, including many real estate sites.

If you’re selling an expensive homes, you can advertise in niche publications that target doctors, lawyers, and other well-paid professionals. Or, if you’re selling a single story ranch house, market it in publications servicing senior citizens appreciating the architecture.

Bonus Tip: To improve the presentation of a property, update rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, then create some “highlights,” such as an LCD TV and some furnishings.

Buyers are attracted to properties by seeing themselves living in that space. So, features like big screen TV’s and new comfy furniture are worthwhile investments. (And then you get to take those new items with you when you move!)

Another tip is to have your house available to open showings as much as possible, to any potential buyers. Then, you can arrange details with your agent.


Location may not be the first thing you consider when you first put your home on the market.

It’s ideal to be located near the city, or at least near public transportation. Location matters! Highlight all the potential positive aspects of your home’s current location. For example:

  • If you are located near a cute downtown area, then mention the holiday season, the small shops, music, lights, events, and people all creating a perfect Christmas atmosphere. If the buyers have children, they might consider this a great experience. Family-oriented activities foster a sense of community and happiness.
  • Is your home near an ocean or sea? Then that’s ideal during the summer and other warmer months. Play that up! You can explain how relaxing outdoors, walks, swimming, surfing, running, and outdoor sports are favorable in the hot season.
  • Does your view include mountains and forests nearby? Talk about it! Many people are drawn to locations with these types of landscapes and exceptional views.
  • Is your house close to several schools? Many parents will be interested in having their choice schools nearby.
  • Is it close to supermarkets, biking trails, stadiums, or downtown locations? All things to consider when you’re targeting a buyer.

You must discover and highlight the positive parts of your estate and use them to give value to your sale, attracting different buyers for different reasons.


Many people are afraid when they hear the term “marketing.” This can actually prevent them from selling their home. But marketing doesn’t have to be scary.

If you’re an expert marketer, you already know the tips and tricks to find buyers, to communicate with them, to use the right words, to advertise properly, and so on.

If you’re not an expert yourself, don’t pretend to be one. Just contact the real experts!

Your Agent

A real estate professional helps you sell your house without your involvement. In fact, you pay them because they operate only for your best interest. Some people choose to forgo hiring an agent completely in order to “save money,” when, in reality, it costs them in the long run.

The agent is, first, and expert professional marketer who knows and uses marketing tips and tricks. A good agent will do many things, including:

  • Hire a photographer to get some professional pictures of your estate.
  • Look for potential buyers and keep them engaged.
  • Network with many brokers and agents to increase the number of potential buyers.
  • Use the web and other tools to create a virtual tour for the purchasers.
  • Provide answers to buyers’ questions immediately and manage the visits of your house.

The agent will also become an expert on your property and ask you questions to know the best features of your home and to increase the probability of selling at a higher price.

Further, an agent is able to understand the character/nature of potential buyers after only a few phrases, and can use the best ways to communicate with them.

This is an important point, as all too often, if you use the wrong words, you lose potential buyers. Communication is very important. The agent also knows how to set up the visual aspect and presentation of the property. They know what to look for in a prospective sale, and they can approach buyers professionally.

Key Points to Remember

Homes sit on the market and expire for many reasons.

Price, condition, presentation, showings, the market, location, marketing, and the agent are all factors.

Learn what may have contributed to your home expiring and not selling, and what you can do differently.

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