There are many stages that need to be completed before your house finally sells. Some naturally take longer than others and may be out of your control. However, if your property isn’t attracting interest after a couple of months on the market, it’s time to ask yourself why.
Ross Counsell, director at regulated property buyer Good Move, reveals the top five most common reasons why a house might not be selling and what you can do to speed up your move.
The most obvious reason for a house not selling is that you’ve valued it too highly. It’s natural to overestimate, with valuations often misled by an attachment to a property, but price is generally one of the main factors buyers consider so they can be instantly put off.
Look through other listings from your local area and see what they are selling for. If similar properties to your own are selling for less than you originally advertised, it might be wise to drop your asking price.
It’s also possible that you just haven’t marketed your house well enough. Making your property look attractive is crucial, both physically, when prospective buyers come round for viewings, and online, as images give browsers their all-important first impression. Ensure that your home is tidy, with no clutter and minimal furniture.
For your photographs, experiment with angles and lighting. Again, looking at other house listings can be good for inspiration. Copy what’s working for others and hopefully you’ll start to have some more success.
The housing market is incredibly unpredictable, with prices fluctuating in response to wider, uncontrollable factors. This means that it can quickly turn from a seller’s to a buyer’s market, and vice versa, with big consequences for those looking to move.
If there’s a low demand for houses, but there are a lot of properties for sale, it’s a buyer’s market, which means that there’s far more competition for those who have listed their home.
Consider delisting your property for a short while to see if the situation changes. Of course, you could be lucky - even in a buyer’s market, people are still looking for houses. But your chance of getting rid of a house drastically improves if there are fewer rival listings. Some buyers may also think badly of homes which have been on sale for a long time, so a fresh start could be a win-win.
Estate agent effort
Sellers place a lot of trust in estate agents to market their property and if they aren’t pushing it as enthusiastically as possible, buyers aren’t going to be interested. Actively ask for feedback from your estate agent after every viewing and see if there is anything you or they can do to increase the chances of a sale.
There’s also the old trick of getting a friend or family member to pretend to be a prospective buyer and see how your estate agent is performing. If they’re not impressed, consider switching to another company or selling your property in a different way.
Getting buyers through your front door is only half the battle. Once they arrive, it’s crucial that you don’t overwhelm them. A polite greeting and introduction can go down well, but make sure you allow viewers to explore your home at their own pace. Some buyers may even prefer to walk around an empty house, so consider making your property available for viewings when you’re not in.
What is crucial, however, is that you don’t place too many restrictions on when people can see your home. Like you, buyers will be fitting in the viewings around their life, so if your house isn’t available to look at when they are free, it’s instantly discounted.