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Why isn't my house selling? Common reasons why a property might not sell

Published: 12th September 2018

Why isn't my house selling? Common reasons why a property might not sell

“I can’t sell my house!” A common worry for some sellers who may be new to the market or have yet to address certain issues with their property.

If you’ve put your home on the market but haven’t had any interest, then it’s time to ask yourself why buyers are ignoring you. Here are our reasons for why your property isn't selling.

Firstly, how long does it take to sell a property?

Typically, you might expect a property sale, from the first day to completion to take around 18 weeks. Depending on the performance of the property market; if there’s more or less demand, then you can expect this time to differ.

Certain factors will of the house buying and selling process can ultimately affect this. Your buyers might be in a chain, which will lengthen the time of completion.

You might have your house on for sale during a time of year where there is less demand or even your solicitors or estate agents could be holding up the completion process.

Consider what could be impacting the Housing Market

Demand within the property market can be impacted by what’s going on in the world and so it’s no surprise that the property market has been fluctuating due to the pandemic and Brexit.

Your property may have all the bells and whistles but may simply be struggling due to buyers in your area having been affected by these wider issues.

Our advice is to keep going, improving small areas of your home that you may have previously put to one side.

If you’re not inundated with viewings, there are other factors you can still consider for why your property isn’t selling.

Your property listing is lacking in quality or is on the wrong portals

The big question to ask yourself is where are your properties listed? If your property isn’t listed on some of the most popular property portals such as Zoopla, RightMove or Prime Location, your house is pretty much invisible.

If you are listed on all main property portals, how does your listing look? Are your photographs clear and of high quality or do your rooms look dark and small?

Although you can use your own photographs, the chances of your property being sold become much higher when you have professional photographs and many of them at that!

Does your listing mention all the key features of your property? Your estate agent should be including every possible detail about your property so not to miss anything that a potential buyer might be interested in.

The location of your house might be impacting a buyers decision

Although this is something you have little control over, it might be that you live close by or directly on a main, busy road. For certain buyers, those who have children or animals may see this as a negative.

For a young couple or single homeowner, the location of the house might not be such an issue, but the noise might be.

If you don’t already, perhaps consider investing in new windows to stop noise pollution into the house. This will at least allow for buyers to escape the noises of busy roads and traffic within the home.

You’ve put your property on the market at the wrong time of year

Winter is known as the slowest time of year for selling property and summer is only slightly better. Spring is the best time for home sales, followed by autumn.

If you’re in a particular hurry to sell during either winter or summer then you may have to adopt a more assertive attitude towards chasing a sale, such as by compromising on price.

Learn more about the best time to sell your property.

Your asking price is too high

It’s a sad fact of life that some estate agents will deliberately overstate the value of a property in order to receive the instruction to sell it.

They do this knowing that once the seller is locked into a long-term contract with them, they may have little choice but to go along with the estate agent’s advice to revise the asking price, especially if they are in a hurry to sell.

If you went with the estate agent who gave you the highest valuation, then there is a distinct possibility this is the issue, particularly if their valuation was significantly higher than the others.

You need to improve the presentation of your property - Inside out Out

It may sound harsh, but from the moment you put your house on the market, you need to stop thinking about it as your home and simply think of it as your property.

It has ceased to be the centre of your family life and has just become an asset for which you wish to achieve the best price. You need to depersonalise it in your mind and you need to depersonalise your property.

There are still plenty of ways you can still enjoy living in your property but make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Instead of thinking about how to add character to it to make it your own, take your cue from luxury hotels, which are always immaculately-maintained, inside and out, and typically use high-quality neutral decor so that nobody’s taste is likely to be offended.

They may have art pieces or other ornaments on display, but there will be no clutter and certainly no smell. That’s the sort of look for which you need to aim.

If the inside of your home is spic-and-span you might still be wondering why your property can’t sell but perhaps the exterior of your house is leaving viewers swiping left.

The outside of your house is all about first impressions. From your front-door to your driveway and if you have one, the front garden.

Creating an entrance to your house that is inviting can do wonders for viewers whose first experience of your property is the exterior.

Even a small lick of paint on the front door and windowpanes can help to freshen up the exterior and breath new life in to your property. If you have budget and time, consider planting evergreen and flowering plants to add colour and life to your driveway and entrance.

Your estate agent isn’t marketing the property effectively

Your home’s presentation may be immaculate, but unless that is reflected in the marketing, the chances are, buyers will ignore it. Look at your property’s listings on the major portals and see your house as others see it.

Be aware that if the thumbnail image on the listing looks anything less than perfection, there’s a very good chance that viewers are just going to keep scrolling.

If they do click on the link, then in all likelihood, they’ll browse the photos quickly before deciding whether it’s worth their time to look at the floor plan and description, so your images need to sell your home and there need to be plenty of them.

Modern buyers are used to being able to see just about every part of a home in a property listing so if your home only has a few images then, no matter how good they are, you’re at high risk of having the browser move on elsewhere.

The floorplan and description are generally the last two breadcrumbs on the path towards an initial viewing, so again, if they’re below par then you could still lose your potential viewer.

You’re too slow to respond to requests for a viewing

Generally speaking, when people contact an estate agent to arrange to view a property, they want to see it as quickly as possible.

Even if you’re having an estate agent conduct viewings for you, they will usually have to confirm times with you (unless you’ve already vacated the property and advised them they can take clients there at any time).

If you’re unable to accommodate these viewing requests at short notice then there’s a very high risk that the potential buyers will simply go and look at somewhere else which is available.

If you’re delaying viewings because you’re having problems keeping your house in the sort of condition it needs to be to have its best chance of selling (see our comments on presentation above), then you need to take a step back, identify what the exact issue is and deal with it.

For example, if you’re trying to balance keeping children in their normal routine, with keeping a house pristine for potential buyers, then you could try investing in some attractive closed-storage pieces into which children’s toys can simply be dumped, out of sight and out of mind, at a moment’s notice.

If you found this article useful and you are considering selling your Manchester property then please contact our local area experts at Indlu who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, why not use our free online valuation tool to see how much your property is worth!

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