The Washington Post

Ask the real estate expert | What to do when your home won’t sell

We’re always getting questions here at The Washington Post Real Estate section about the Washington area housing market, and sometimes, we don’t have the answers. Fortunately for us, we know who to call.

Since many of you have the same questions, we thought it might be useful to pose a question from a reader to experts each week and print their response here. If you have a question you’d like answered, please e-mail us at

We start off with a question to Paul Valentino, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Greater Washington. He recently wrote a blog post for us, “Pricing your home to sell.”

Here is one of the questions we received about his blog post:

Paul Valentino’s Real Estate blog post listed three errors sellers make.  We have made all three. [Our] gorgeous, well located condo is still in the MLS and getting no attention. Reducing the price is an option we accept, but how [do we] get the attention of a newly listed place that Mr. Valentino says creates interest. I believe we cannot take the place off the market unless we remain off for 90 days? Can you advise? Thank you.

—  J.S .

Valentino responds:

If your property has been on the market for a while, here are four tips you can try:

●Have your agent check the MLS data and see how many comparable properties (the most like yours) sold since your property was listed for sale.  Buyers chose these properties over yours — you need to find out why.

●Ask your current listing agent to contact all the agents who sold those properties and ask them if they showed your property — if not why not.  If they did, ask what made their buyer(s) choose the one they did over yours.

●Review the sold prices for those properties which sold in the last 90 days and find out if the market has changed since putting your home on the market.  Adjust your price accordingly.  Hint: If it hasn’t sold already, your price is too high.

●Withdraw your property from the market and relist it the next day.  This will give your property a new MLS number and it will look like a new listing.  The Days on Market statistic will not change, however, you may be seen by a new group of buyers looking for the newest listings.


Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.


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