There are a number of reasons a property isn't selling. Maybe it was just priced wrong, way too high for the current market. Or, there might be issues with the house itself. Or, the area is going through a down turn, schools aren't being taken care of and the local government just doesn't have the money to fix up parks, roads and the schools in the area.
If a property has been on the real estate market for a long period of time, the owner might now just be desperate to get out of the situation.
Real estate agents can gather this information for you – let you know how long the property has been on the market and if there have been fluctuations in the price being offered. While there's a lot of information online, at sites like Zillow or Trulia, many times this info isn't accurate, so it's best to contact a real estate agent or go look at the property and talk to neighbors near the house.
Again, these days, a lot of this information can be found online, but sometimes the info is old or no longer accurate - prices may have changed or the owner has taken the property off the market only to bring it back in a hopes for buyers to take a fresh look at the property.
What You Can't See
There are a number of variables though, perhaps there’s something wrong with the land or you might see something that others don’t—structural problems or the neighborhood is becoming run down.
Is there a mold or some sort of insect problem in the house? Perhaps in the attic or parts of the house you can't see. Maybe there's a leak or water build up in the basement that's creating a mold problem. These are big issues that become very expensive to fix, to it's crucial you investigate the property thoroughly before you buy it.
If the property has just been on the market a long period of time because of market trends, and the neighborhoods has a positive outlook, maybe you can scoop up the property for a lower price – doesn’t hurt to ask. However, you usually get what you pay for and the property will at least need some remodeling and upgrades.
On the other hand, the property might just be on the market because and there’s a fairly cheap solution—a new roof or simply landscaping. Or maybe you have an idea that will increase the value of the property and not require much capital. Gauge the owner—is this person from out of town, is this person going to retire, what are they looking for by selling the property? Maybe they're just ready to move on and don't want to manage the property anymore.
Selling in Season
If you’re selling a property, the price might not be the only factor that dictates how many people are viewing the property. There are seasonal ebbs and flows in real estate, especially if your area is hit hard with a storm, the weather and road conditions can dictate some level of interest. Consider when you’re going to put your property on sale – try to avoid the worst of the weather. As for the buyer, this might be the best time to buy a home when the weather’s not so sunny, you’ll have less competition.
Of course the biggest selling season is usually the spring, towards the end of the school year when families are able to move once school is over.
Also, now, via the Internet and your real estate agent, you can put a slide show and virtual tour of your property on the real estate agents site. Gone are the days when property was purely listed in the classified sections of the local paper.