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Are Bigger Houses Harder to Sell?

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Are Bigger Houses Harder to Sell?
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Are you looking to sell a large property shortly? If so, it is natural to have a few questions. The experience of selling your house can vary depending on where you are, which estate agency you use, and how big your property is.

So, is it true that bigger houses are more complex to sell? And if so, what causes this to be the case? In the blog below, we have outlined a clear answer to both of these questions. Keep reading for all the answers you need about this subject.

What is classified as a ‘big house’?

In the property market, a house is usually described as ‘big’ if it is detached and has a square footage above 1,500 square feet. These properties usually sell for a much higher price due to their ability to house a greater number of people and because they usually come with a private garden, among other benefits.

A ‘big house’ description may vary depending on your location. In Central London, for example, where space is minimal, even a terraced townhouse might be considered significant compared to other properties in the area.

A ‘big house’ price will also vary significantly, depending on where you are in the United Kingdom. In the affluent suburbs of London, you would expect a property like this to sell for at least £1.3 million, and often more. Meanwhile, if you go further north, in and around Glasgow, current Rightmove data suggests that you would be looking to pay at least £500,000.

Is it harder to sell a bigger house?

Yes, bigger houses usually take longer to sell than smaller properties such as flats or terraced houses. Larger homes are usually comparatively more expensive and, therefore, out of the price range of the vast majority of people. Meanwhile, flats are more affordable to more people, and more people are in the market for this type of property.

What makes bigger houses harder to sell?

Several factors make bigger houses harder to sell. The purchase represents a more significant investment for the buyer, meaning that they will usually take longer to make the decision and won’t be as impulsive. 

Broader factors unrelated to the house will likely be more critical to the buyers, such as crime rate, nearby schools, or how house prices in the area have increased in recent years.

As of 2024, the UK’s difficult market conditions (e.g., mortgages becoming more expensive due to higher interest rates) mean that most people are looking to downsize, not upsize. Therefore, fewer people may be in the market for a bigger property, meaning that it takes longer to sell.

With a larger property, not just the mortgage but also the maintenance and bills will be higher. The buyers will need to factor in higher furnishing costs, cleaning fees, electricity and gas bills, homeowner’s insurance, and repair and maintenance costs. Therefore, it’s not just their deposit that becomes important but their disposable income, too.

Advantages of moving to a bigger house

Moving to a bigger house has advantages and disadvantages, but some upsides make it worthwhile if you have the money. 

More Space

Bigger houses have larger square footage, which means that they can accommodate a greater number of people. There may be more bedrooms for people to sleep in, and it will be easier for each member of the house to have their own privacy—especially if the property is fitted with features such as en-suite bathrooms.

Outdoor Areas

Bigger houses usually come with a private garden, which can be ideal all year round. Not only will you see plants and animals in your garden, but you can use it however you choose—perhaps for an outdoor working space or to play games on the grass.

Storage

A large house typically has more storage and can accommodate a growing family. Therefore, if the number of people in your family is set to increase, a larger property can accommodate this.

If your family has several cars, a bigger house will usually be able to accommodate this, too. A garage and a driveway can store cars, and there may also be off-street parking.

Disadvantages of moving to a bigger house

While there are advantages to moving to a bigger house, you should also consider some of the disadvantages.

Maintenance Costs

Larger properties are not only more expensive up front (a larger mortgage and deposit are therefore needed) but will also be more costly to maintain. If you bring in a cleaner, there will be more rooms to look after, and your electricity, gas, and water bills will usually be higher.

You should also remember that just because a house is ‘bigger’ does not mean that all of this space is usable. For example, the property may have small alcoves, large spaces underneath stairs, or rooms with irregular shapes.

Investment Risks

It’s important to remember that just because a property is bigger does not necessarily mean that it is a better investment. However, if well-maintained and in a desirable location, larger properties can hold their value well and even appreciate over time. This can provide potential buyers with a sense of security and confidence in their investment.

How long does it take to sell a bigger house?

The time it takes you to sell your property will vary based on several factors, including location, market conditions, and whether the price you initially listed it for is reasonable.

In major UK cities, detached properties tend to have the longest selling time, averaging around 166 days in Glasgow. This is significantly longer than smaller property types like flats, terraced, and semi-detached houses, which have average selling times of 98, 89, and 77 days, respectively.

This trend can also be seen in many areas, especially during the current cost-of-living crisis. That being said, there is usually a smaller supply of larger properties compared to smaller houses such as flats, which can sometimes balance out the average selling times.

Should I buy a bigger house?

When you are moving, it is important to be realistic about what you can afford and factor in the additional maintenance costs for your house. After all, just because you can afford the mortgage/deposit does not necessarily mean that you can afford to live there.

You should consider not only your current living circumstances but also how things are likely to be in the future. Is there going to be a new baby born into the family? Is it at all possible that you could be made redundant in the near future? Do you feel confident that the house you are buying will increase in value in the years to come?

Keeping one eye on the present and the future is crucial when deciding whether to buy a more extensive property.

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