How Not to Sell Your House, a Case Study

There are plenty of ways how not to sell your house.  Recently though, I encountered what was a textbook perfect case of exactly how not to sell your house, even when given every opportunity.Jupiter homesLet me explain in detail and hopefully you won’t see yourself in any of the following situations.

The Perfect Storm


Let me set this up for you.  The sellers have a custom home they designed.  It’s a lovely and spotless home but with a very unusual style for this area.  And while spotlessly clean, it has a few outdated features.  They had the home on the market for nearly 2 years without selling priced near $1 million.

In those 2 years, close to 2,000 other homes in their town sold so you can imagine their frustration and bitterness.

Now, the rest of the story.

The Engineer and The Computer

Engineers get a bad rap.  I have a son who is an electrical engineer so I know.  The bad rap is their obsession with data, lots of data.  In fact, you can’t give them enough facts and figures.  The trouble is, there is never enough data.

But give them access to the Internet and you are really asking for trouble.  The owner of this home is an engineer. A frustrated engineer since the data and numbers are letting him down.

The Home is Special

The house is special because so much love went into designing and building it.  In fact, the view of the water from the second floor is outstanding, but buyers don’t care how special the house is to the owner, only to themselves.  Once a seller determines how special a house is, you can’t tell them otherwise.  A this is the kiss of death to the sale.

Never mind that the house didn’t sell for nearly two years.

Summary so far, you have a frustrated engineer who knows what the special house is worth regardless of the fact that it didn’t sell.  Here’s another important feature:  Women buy and men sell.

Women want to get emotionally involved with bringing their family into the house not the facts and figures behind every nail and board.  The engineer is trying to sell facts and figures to women who don’t really care.

“We Don’t Need to Sell”

This really means we are so frustrated we will turn a cold shoulder to the facts of the situation. You might as well say, “Well, we really didn’t want to sell anyway!”  It also hides embarrassment that such a special house has not sold.

The Photos

The photos of the house, while taken by a professional real estate photographer as I recommend, completely failed to capture the unusual nature of the house and it’s position on the lot.  They also failed to capture the beauty of the waterfront location.

The big problem is that there were no aerials or drone shots showing the waterfront location.  Aerial photos and videos are the future of real estate photography.

“We Just Need the Right Buyer”

I recently wrote about this in another post.  This really means we know more than the buyers about the value of this home and, if we had the right agent, they would find  us “the right buyer”.


Buyers are actively looking at homes and comparing them.  They know more than sellers about value.  Period!

The Listing Agent

I have known the listing agent for over 10 years.  He has sold many very large homes and was perfectly capable of getting this house sold.  Except that the engineer/owner knew better what the house was worth than a professional real estate salesperson.

In fact, the owner put a time and price limit on the agent because he (the owner) knew better than a experienced professional. When the house failed to sell, the owner fired the agent.  Kill the messenger, that will solve things.

Any Offers?

The seller had a cash offer of nearly 93% of the list price and rejected it.

Interviewing New Agents

So, now the process of finding the right agent with the silver bullet marketing plan began.  I was interviewed but quickly shown the door.  Why?

The seller said if I thought their special house was worth less than a million I wasn’t the agent for them.  What?

The house hasn’t sold for nearly 2 years, of course it is overpriced!  The 2 other agents who came before me that day told them to raise the price!

Oh, and I told them no secret marketing sauce would get their house sold.  Exit, stage left!

The Takeaway

I hope you did not see yourself in the above narrative.  This is the best case I have ever seen of exactly how not to sell your house.  However, if you would like to have a no-hassle conversation about getting your house sold quickly and smoothly, I’ve been doing it for 13 years and can help you too.   Pick up the phone and call 561.762.4073 and we will get you moving forward with your life plans.

Richard Sites, Realtor