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Why Isn’t My House Selling?

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It’s a horrible situation to find yourself in. You want to move home, buy a new house and start afresh. The problem is, your house just isn’t interesting buyers. There are countless reasons why this may be the case. If you’re sat there asking yourself ‘why isn’t my house selling?’ we’ve got some advice, guidance and potential answers for you.

Has your house been over-valued?

In the majority of cases, the reason a house won’t sell is due to its value.

It’s probable that, if you’ve given the house a decent chance to sell, you need to consider reducing the asking price. Your expectations and those of the potential buyers just aren’t marrying up. The longer you leave it on the market to stagnate, the sadder it will look.

Quite simply, it could just be too much money, or the property needs some work doing to it. Either way, if it doesn’t compare well to other properties in the area, you aren’t going to sell.

If you’ve prepared fully for selling your house, given it time and the agent is confident the asking price is correct – value may not be the answer to your woes.

Ideally, you should be in a position where you can get honest feedback from the agent about the opinion of those viewing the house. Try to work out if there were any ‘serious’ buyers in the mix who would have bought your property but opted against it. If you can get to the crux of potential issues, you stand a better chance of resolving them.

Is the local area too noisy?

Road noise, plane noise, proximity to commercial premises or a proposed development in the area. These can completely put-off some buyers. It could mean others will only consider buying your house at a lower price.

Is your house being marketed well enough?

Ensure the property is marketed with high quality photographs which show its best features. The majority of buyers will start by researching online, if the photos of your property don’t do it justice, your home will be lost in the noise.

A floor plan is always beneficial, so ensure you include a high quality plan in one in your listing.

High quality photography and floor plans are vital for selling your home. Realistically, these should be key considerations you make when choosing which estate agent to use.

Is your estate agent working for you?

Is your chosen agent really the best option for you? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you had the proactive contact you want from the agent?
  • Do they give you honest feedback?
  • Do you feel like they have done everything possible to help sell your home?
  • Do they speak directly to their ‘hot buyers’ about your listing?
  • Are they thinking ‘outside of the box’ about letting people know your house is available?
  • Have they marketed your property effectively?
    • Have they delivered on their promises?
    • Have they made your house a ‘featured property’ on portals like Rightmove and Zoopla?

If you aren’t happy with your chosen estate agent, it might be time to have a discussion with one of the agents you didn’t instruct. Ask them for their thoughts on the market and see if they have any registered buyers who may be interested in your home.

At this point you may want to instruct a new estate agent. Ensure you check any exclusivity clauses in your existing agent’s contract before you make any final decisions. This is a vital step in a guide to selling a house.

Is there potential to add value?

Have you obtained planning permission to extend your home? Is there a chance to perform some DIY? Have other properties in the area had work done that significantly increased their sale price? If you (or your agent) don’t pass this information on to buyers, they may not realise the potential for adding value to the property.

Adding an extension or doing other work can add to the cost of selling a house – but it can be worth it.

Is it easy for people to view your house?

You need to make it easy for people to view your property. Try to be as flexible as you can, as this will benefit you.

You don’t want to be the ‘difficult’ seller for your estate agent. You want them on your side and as keen as you are to sell the house.

Do your best to be flexible and fit in viewings. Even if they’re requested at times that may be awkward or you consider antisocial. Remember, many people can only view houses after work or at the weekend.

If necessary, give the estate agent keys and let them show people around your property when you’re not there. The more people you get through the door, the higher the chance of receiving an offer. As agents will tell you, it’s often a numbers game!

Is the time you’re selling having an effect?

If you’re selling your home at a quiet time of year, you’d hope the estate agent would tell you. If they haven’t, be aware of the times of year when very little happens in the property market.

August is usually very quiet, school holidays generally seem to be pretty uneventful. Winter is also a quiet time. The peak times tend to be spring and September, once the kids are back at school.

Having said this, it shouldn’t stop you putting the property on the market especially if you’re after a quick sale. Buyers may be looking for a bargain during these times.

Is it personal?

This is a tough one but it could be you that’s preventing the sale of your property. Think about the following:

  • Are you always present during viewings?
  • Do you have large or smelly pets that could be putting people off?
  • Are you trying to be helpful but actually getting in the way?
  • Is the property clean?
  • Have you touched up any poor décor instead of hiring a painter & decorator?
  • Have you decluttered and made the space less ‘you’?

Try to give potential buyers space to look around your home and ask the agent to accompany them where possible (after all, it’s what you’re paying them for). It’s quite often best to leave the house and let potential buyers get on with the viewing alone. You want buyers relaxed and free to openly discuss any perceived issues without fear of offending you.

What are the first impressions like?

Are you making the right first impression? The first thing a buyer sees, hears and smells when entering your home is essentially make or break. It’s vital to ensure you’ve done everything you can to impress potential buyers as soon as they walk through the door. 

Selling your home can be tough! Use Phil Spencer’s Property Report to not only see how your property stacks up locally, but also use it as a tool to promote your property. For example if you’re within the catchment area of a good school, use the schools section of the report to promote the fact. Get your report here.

Last Updated: August 22nd, 2023