Moving house is a stressful process at the best of times, but it becomes even more so if your current property won’t sell.
Struggling to sell a house can make it feel like your life has been put on hold. In some circumstances – such as if the seller is relocating for work – a protracted delay could cost them a significant amount of money. They could find themselves saddled with two lots of mortgage payments and utility bills for several months, which is far from ideal.
Is your property seemingly stuck on the market, with no end to the process in sight? Read on to find out why your home isn’t selling, and what to do about it.
Are you really struggling to sell, or worrying unnecessarily?
Everyone wants to be inundated with viewings and offers immediately after listing their home on the market. Just because that isn’t happening, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your home.
The average house in Britain sells in 102 days (almost three-and-a-half months), according to statistics from the Post Office Money Mortgages. However, this timespan varies widely from city to city. In Edinburgh, it takes just 39 days on average to sell a house, whereas in London the figure rises to 126 days.
Check out the average for your area. If you’re still within that window, there’s no reason to worry – after all, these things take time. For more information on how long properties typically take to sell, read our article: How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?
Four reasons your house hasn’t sold yet
If your house isn’t receiving the offers you’d hope, that doesn’t mean there’s something fundamentally wrong with it. Here are four common reasons why you might be struggling to sell your property:
It isn’t being marketed effectively
Even the most attractive, well-located, affordably priced property will stay on the market for longer than it should if it doesn’t receive the right promotion. How can you expect to receive offers if hardly anyone realises your house is for sale?
Here at Chancellors, we have two centuries of experience in selling houses. We’ve learned a thing or two in that time. Here are just some of the factors that set us apart from the competition when it comes to marketing a property:
- We have more than 70,000 active applicants on our books looking to buy a house.
- Our team makes more than 15,000 proactive calls every working day.
- As well as advertising houses on all four major portals, we promote them on more than 40 other websites.
- More than half of our buyers made an offer on a property we actively marketed to them, rather than one they found online.
Your property has niche appeal
Not every property can be expected to attract the same level of interest. Some simply have a more limited audience. Types of house that may have a more niche appeal include:
- Large houses with small gardens
- Small houses with large gardens
- Homes with more than three bedrooms
- Properties with shared access
- Substantial customisation (e.g. unusual landscaping or interior design choices)
None of these factors is necessarily a problem. In some ways, they could even prove to be an advantage, giving your property a clear USP.
You don’t need to attract dozens of interested house-hunters; just one or two who are in love with your home. But a lack of mass appeal is likely to mean your property spends longer on the market.
Your asking price is unrealistic
Obvious as it may sound, an unrealistic asking price is one of the biggest reasons why seemingly desirable houses struggle to sell. Yours isn’t the only property on the market; if buyers can find a similar home – in a similar location – for a lower price, why would they put in an offer for yours?
Buyers aren’t getting the best first impression
From the moment they first walk through the door, it takes the average buyer just 40 seconds to decide if they’ll make an offer. In other words, time isn’t on your side as a seller. If buyers aren’t are getting a good impression from the second they pull up outside, they’ll look elsewhere.
What to do if you’re struggling to sell
Few houses are truly unsellable. There’s almost always something more that you and your agent can be doing to encourage a sale. Consider the following:
Discuss a new marketing plan with your estate agent
Every house (and every buyer) is different. That’s why there’s more to marketing a home than simply listing it on some online portals and waiting for the offers to come flooding in.
While we have no desire to badmouth our industry, the fact remains that not all estate agents go to the same lengths to market your property. Some profit from demanding a fee whether or not your house sells, giving them little incentive to promote it effectively.
At Chancellors, we’d obviously love to be the first choice for selling your house. But we’re also adept at stepping in when another agent has failed. In 2018 alone, we instructed more than 3,000 properties that were listed but not sold or let with another agent previously.
To find out what we would do to sell your house, request your free Market Appraisal today.
Request new photography
Ever heard the old culinary cliche “the first bite is with the eye”? It’s just as true in the world of property sales. If the imagery of your home doesn’t stand out on an online property portal or in your estate agent’s window, don’t expect to get many viewings.
Not sure if your existing property photos are up to scratch? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Were the images taken with a professional-quality camera? Smartphone cameras may be convenient, but they’re unlikely to show your house in the best light.
- Were the pictures staged beforehand? At the very least, your house needs to look clean and free of clutter.
- Do the images look natural? Some photographers use fisheye lenses to capture more detail, but they cause rooms to look distorted.
- Do they show off your property’s most attractive features? It should be obvious to buyers that you’ve got a beautiful garden, spacious kitchen or stylish new bathroom.
Because we understand the importance of great imagery, we now offer elevated photography as standard with our full-service sales package.
Improve your home staging
Remember when we said that buyers waste little time in deciding whether or not to make an offer? Put your best foot forward by staging your home more effectively ahead of your next viewing.
Home staging is a growing trend, and plenty of professionals now charge good money for restyling your home to make it more appealing. But it needn’t be a costly or time-consuming endeavour. Read our in-depth guide to home staging to find out more.
Reduce the asking price and listen to lower offers
As a last resort, it may be time to consider lowering your asking price. While this is far from ideal, eventually you need to account for the opportunity cost of keeping your house on the market (particularly if you’ve already moved and are paying two lots of bills).
Of course, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. Slashing your asking price may even have the opposite effect – it could make you look desperate and lead buyers to question whether there’s something wrong with your home.
Likewise, you may still be in a position to get a slightly higher price from interested parties who’ve already made an offer. For tips on encouraging buyers to up their bid, read our guide: How to Negotiate a House Price When Selling.