Why do buyers look at my house but not make offers to buy?

April 5th, 2017 by Michael Oliver

"home for sale with pool and palm trees"

Even in today's sellers market some homes get a lot of activity but do not find a buyer willing to buy. Here is some help for those situations.

A question that I hear a lot of others agents in our office answering goes is something along the lines of:
“We have had a lot of buyers take a look at our home but no one is making an offer what is going on?” or “How many showings does it take to sell this house?”

Both questions are valid and hopefully, I can explain some of what is going on. Last year in Tucson inventory numbers went to all time lows simply put not enough homes are available for sale. When buyers are looking for a new home they are lucky to even have more than 3-5 homes that actually “fit” their criteria at any given time to view. These same buyers are broadening what they are willing to look at in an effort to find a fit that probably isn’t there. Simply put, the buyers are stretching their price range and area/ home types in an effort that looking at more may be the answer to finally finding their dream home. It is not uncommon for some sellers to have 30+ showings with no offer in hand in today’s market.

I know this is the case for two reasons:

1) We handle a lot of buyer clients and I can see they want to find more available homes for sale (to be able to make comparisons) but the lack of inventory limits their options. Ideally, as a buyer, you would want to have at least 5-6 ideal homes for sale so you can pick the absolute best for you and your family’s needs. That allows the buyers in the market to feel 100% confident the home they choose to buy was the best fit and they are 100% ready to complete the sale. (Some agents see a lot of cancellations due to the buyer’s settling for a home then realizing they do not want that home anymore so they cancel the sale.)

2) I remember in 2010-2011 (even before that really) when the exact opposite was true; the market was strong buyer’s market and every buyer had so many homes to pick from just seeing all of the homes available within their criteria was a challenge. Example; when you need a new home and have seen 10 options that are exactly what you want you then tend to stop looking at that point (or even before). If you were a seller and had more than 10-12 showings in 2008-20012 there was a high likely-hood you would have an offer in hand by that point. (Just getting the showings was the hard part.)

What is happening in this market when a seller gets a lot of activity but no sale?

Here is what we have been seeing and what is actually happening. If you as a seller are getting a lot of showings/activity but no offers, the honest truth is more than likely your home is losing out to the competition. Other homes are simply offering better values for buyers and those home buyers are buying those.

Here’s where it gets tricky; if your home is getting a lot of second and third time back showings (meaning the same buyers that came once to view the property are coming back again or even again)that is a good sign. What that means is your home is making the first cut (Buyers start with in my experience 10-15 homes on the first set of showings then pick the best 2-3 to take a second look at sometimes they pick the best 2 of that then decide which one to buy then.) then losing out in the second or third round to other homes. This is why it is important for your Realtor to monitor the traffic patterns of your home and recognize the difference between just a first time showing and someone that is going for a second look or even better (for you the seller) third viewing.

So what do you do to fix it?

As a seller in today’s market, there is a shortage of homes but that does not mean you don’t have to compete with other homes for sale. A reduction in price may be the right answer, new paint, cleaning, or landscaping may be also or independently correct also. Every home, neighborhood, and price range is different in what usually needs to be done. Lastly, if you want to hold firm on your asking price (it is a good selling market after all), consider making some home improvements; new appliances, carpeting, and/or a light bath or kitchen update can go a long ways to getting a home sold.

Hopefully, this helps you as a seller in today’s market who is seeing a lot of activity/ showings but no real offers to buy.


Let us know thanks again,


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Michael Oliver - Best Tucson Realtor