When trying to sell your house, it can be really frustrating to go through the motions of constantly keeping it in a viewable condition, showing prospective buyers around and dealing with estate agents – only for your beloved property to sit on the market for months on end. So if your property isn’t attracting interest after a couple of months on the market, it’s time to ask yourself why. Fortunately, most of the reasons why a home isn’t selling are easily identifiable and rectifiable and fit into a shortlist. We look at some of the common reasons that home sales take longer than necessary and give some tips on how to resolve them.
IS THE ASKING PRICE UNREALISTIC?
Sometimes an estate agent will list your home at more than they think it’s truly worth, to set a high starting point for negotiations. However, this sometimes means that it isn’t being seen by the right buyers. And, if your home doesn’t compare well to others listed at the same price, you won’t get enough viewings. Do your own research by looking at the prices similar properties in your area have sold for recently. Be open with your estate agent about the price you want to list at.
IS THE LOCATION SEEN AS DESIRABLE?
Location is one of the biggest factors in a buyer’s decision-making process. They are typically looking for good transport links, good local schools, low noise, low crime rates and lots of amenities. If you don’t meet those requirements, you might have to drop your asking price, even if your property has other valuable features.
IS THE PHOTOGRAPHY GOOD ENOUGH?
Poor-quality images in your online listing can put off buyers before they’ve seen the details of the property. Your estate agent should know this and should have organised professional photography at a high standard. If you’re not happy with the photographs, speak to your agent and ask for more to be taken.
IS IT THE WRONG TIME TO SELL?
The property market moves in cycles, and so your home might take longer to sell during a low period. Sales typically move more quickly in spring and autumn and more slowly in summer and winter. If this is affecting your property sale and you have the time to wait, you might consider delisting your home and relisting at a more optimal time, to avoid dropping your asking price.
DOES THE PROPERTY REQUIRE A LOT OF WORK?
While it is possible to sell a property as a renovation project, it won’t appeal to all buyers, and the ones who are interested are typically looking for a bargain. They will often be trying to make a profit after buying the property and carrying out renovations. With that in mind, consider if it’s worth carrying out some of that work yourself so that you profit instead of the next buyer. A new kitchen or bathroom, for example, might add more value to your property than it costs to install (if you work to a tight budget).
HAVE YOU BEEN COMMITTED TO THE SALE?
Selling your home can require a lot of effort on your part. If you’ve been turning down viewings at times that don’t work for you, or if you’ve had interest in the property but have been unprepared to negotiate over small details, you haven’t been as committed as you could be. Try to be more available at times when potential buyers want to view the property. Take their feedback seriously and be prepared to make changes or negotiate on price.
ARE YOU USING THE WRONG ESTATE AGENT?
Perhaps you feel that your agent isn’t keeping you updated on interest in the property or isn’t actively promoting it enough. As a first step, try communicating your expectations to them clearly and asking for more regular updates. If this doesn’t work, it’s not unreasonable to move on to another estate agent.