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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

The Hardest Areas to Sell a Home in the United States

Written by Posted On Monday, 18 December 2017 14:28


The average timeframe for a home to sell in the state of California is 52 days. It’s the easiest state to sell a home in the country, which is one of the reasons there are so many real estate agents doing business there. But as you venture further away from the Golden State you will find that it gets harder to sell, with the process taking longer and the buyers just not biting.

I have some experience of selling in several different states (unfortunately, none of them were California) and have actually sold in one of these areas myself, which the stats say are the worst areas to be a real estate agent.

Most of Arkansas

Little Rock is a great place for real estate agents in Arkansas, but it is the exception to the rule and that rule is: it’s very difficult to sell in Arkansas. This is a cheap state where real estate is concerned, but the buyers don’t seem to care, which is why it is listed as the slowest state for house sales in the US.

On average, it takes over three times longer to sell a house here than in California. And that’s including Little Rock, because if you take that area out of the equation then that number drops significantly and you begin to understand just how difficult life is for us real estate agents in this state.

Portland, Oregon

This is a great city, a trendy city and a city that everyone wants to invest in, right? Maybe, but that trend is fading fast because the truth is hitting hard.

Portland is actually one of the worst cities in the US when it comes to real estate investment, increasing by one of the lowest percentages every year and looking incredibly poor when compared to other major cities.

The market is still there, as are the buyers, but the big real estate investors are taking their money elsewhere and if you run a firm that caters for the needs of people like this then you’re going to have a hard time of it in Portland.

Kankakee, Illinois

This region has had a very poor 2017, with one of the highest drops in real estate value. At a time when everyone is choosing to invest for the future, buyers are alarmed by his drop and are concerned for what the future holds.

Of course, for every buyer that wants to see how bad things get you have one who wants to take advantage of the reduced prices while they are live, but sellers are often reluctant to let go in a market that is rapidly declining, whether because they think it will stabilize or because they don’t want to dip into negative equity.

Springfield, Illinois

In the second quarter of 2017, this town saw a 9.3% decline in house prices and that rate wasn’t good before, nor has it been good afterwards. This could be a good time for buyers looking to get cheap homes, but it’s clearly not a time for confident selling and there is chaos in the markets right now.

Buyers want to pay even less than the value of the homes in anticipation of further market crashes; sellers want to wring every penny out of the sale as they can get. The real estate agents are in the middle trying to come to a mutual agreement while still earning a respectable cut. And with a median house price of less than $130,000, one of the lowest in the United States, there isn’t much to take a cut from.

Glen Falls, New York

New York is generally flourishing, as you would expect for such a prosperous state, and one that contains the financial capital of the world. However, there are pockets of real estate misery, and for whatever reason, Glen Falls is one. 2017 saw a big drop in the value of homes in this area, with the first half of the year seeing close to 10% being wiped off the value.


So, there you have it, the hardest areas to sell a home in the United States. There isn’t always a valid or obvious reason for why your job would be made so difficult. It’s not necessarily about roaming gangs of bikers who spend their days at stores like Bikers Basics and their nights tearing up the suburbs. It’s not just about gangs, delinquent kids or drug users. Sometimes you just have to accept it as fact, make light of it as best you can and fight against the tide.

On the plus side, you can take satisfaction from the knowledge that as hard as you have it, there is always someone who has it harder. You may be struggling to sell a nice home in a poor area, but somewhere in the US there is someone trying to sell a murder house, a house where a famous haunting took place, or a former drug squat that all the locals know about. Now that’s real estate at its toughest.

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