"*" indicates required fields
Putting your property on the market is an exciting and agonising time – but one that leaves you in an uncertain position. This trepidation only increases as the days and weeks pass, and when your property has been on the market for months, it is only right to ask the question – why is my property not selling?
To help you increase viewings and get that all-important sale, we have compiled a list of common reasons why a house doesn’t sell.
How long does it take to sell a house?
According to the Home Owners Association, the average time it takes to move from a new home listing on the market to an offer being accepted is 10 weeks.
As you may already know, this is not always the case. Some properties sell in the first week, whilst others remain on the market for years.
In 2019, the Post Office released their City Rate of Sale report and found that properties in Edinburgh and Glasgow spent the shortest time on the market. In comparison, sellers in London, Newcastle, and Liverpool had to wait the longest – up to 126 days on average.
Yet, the sale of your property can be significantly quicker than this if you decide to sell through a cash house buyer. WeBuyAnyHome purchase many of our properties within 7 days of giving a valuation – meaning that you can get your house ‘off your chest’, as soon as possible.
10 reasons why my house is not selling
1. Your property lacks kerb appeal
First impressions mean everything, and a buyer will quickly make their mind up if your property isn’t presented desirably.
Consider the buyers’ point of view – they want a house they can be proud of. A little effort goes a long way so be sure to smarten the entrance to your house by clearing paths and driveways, tackle lawn and vegetation, refresh gravelled areas, and even give the gate a coat of paint if necessary.
Something as simple as painting the exterior can improve kerb appeal. According to a survey conducted by Dulux, a third of UK house buyers expect to pay 25% more for a home with a fresh coat of paint.
Anything you can do to improve the appearance of your home will not only help attract sellers and improve your chances of selling, but it could also add value to the property.
2. The market is slow
A buyer’s market is a market in which there are fewer buyers looking to purchase than there are properties for sale. Buyers have more choice and more negotiation power, which can slow the market down.
After consulting an estate agent or survey, sellers looking to sell quickly may choose to drop the price to entice a buyer. Another solution is to take your property off the market and wait for it to pick up again. A property left on the market for a long time may put off potential buyers who start to wonder if there is an issue with the property.
Seasonal trends can also slow down the market. Selling in the lead up to Christmas can be difficult, but sales pick up in January where buyers start to think about the year ahead.
If your home is not selling in a hot market, consider other potential reasons.
3. The asking price is too high
The right asking price for a property can make a big difference, and significantly reduce the time it takes to sell.
Gather a price range by doing your research. Take a look at comparable properties in your area – what have they sold for? How long were they on the market?
Some agents may incentivise prospective clients by giving them an attractive selling price, but this isn’t always useful when selling. Overpricing will likely result in you having no interest on the property until you reduce the asking price.
It is important to sell at a price that you feel comfortable with, whilst ensuring it is attractive enough for potential buyers.
Pricing a unique property can make this difficult as there are many factors to consider. A professional appraisal can give you advice on how to sell your house and help you find a price based on location, unique features, and even historical value.
Be realistic when deciding on a selling price; if the demand isn’t there, you may need to drop your price to invite new offers.
4. The property is too cluttered
Unless they are buying as a rental investment, a potential buyer walking into a property will picture themselves living there.
An abundance of possessions on display, especially those blocking hallways and making a room look untidy, will make a property an unattractive prospect.
Small actions can go a long way, so remove any excess coats on a rack to make the hallway feel spacious and always tidy and clean to give the buyer the impression that the property is well maintained throughout.
If your property is not selling, give buyers the chance to see the potential in your home by decluttering before a viewing.
5. Your photographs don’t do your property justice
Bad pictures can lead to you not getting viewings on your house, so it is always a good idea to work with an estate agent who takes good pictures.
It is easy to see which estate agents take more time over their pictures, but there are a few things a seller can do to help.
Prepare your home for photographs by presenting the property in its most attractive light. Clearing worktops, removing clutter from a room to show off its true size, and adding fresh flowers are small touches that are attractive to buyers. Also, don’t forget to alert the photographer to special features such as original flooring or an original fireplace. These can prove to be an excellent selling point that sets your property apart.
6. Your listing is missing vital information
Include all the key information on the listing and make it easy for a potential buyer to find your property online.
A buyer might search for location + off-street parking + 3 bedrooms so failing to mention the off-street parking in the text description can result in potential buyers not finding your listing.
Search engines need clear information to categorise your property, so check the information on the listing with the estate agent before it goes live.
7. You aren’t based near a good school
For any potential home buyer with young children, the location of your property is very important. More specifically: you need to be in the catchment area of a good school. This means that, even if your house is absolutely ideal for prospective buyers, they may turn away because of this reason alone.
Needless to say, you cannot pick up your property and move it nearer to a school. However, you can alter the type of buyers that you are targeting your house at. Parents with young children will care about nearby schools – but older buyers, or those without children, won’t.
You should ask your estate agent to contact home seekers who do not have children – and emphasise the ‘advantages’ of your house which appeal to this demographic.
8. Nearby roads
Just like the presence of local schools, the effect of nearby roads is not something you can always change. For example, your property may be located near a major motorway, or situated on an A road – and this can cause some buyers to turn away.
In this case, you might want to consider discussing how many potential buyers are turning away for this reason with your estate agent – and if necessary, slightly reduce your asking price. You cannot change local development and nearby roads, but you can alter the ‘perceived value’ that buyers are getting for your house.
9. Your estate agent is doing a bad job
Sometimes, the reason your house isn’t selling has nothing to do with the property itself. Instead, you may be struggling to sell because your estate agent isn’t doing a good job.
The best estate agents have an extensive network of potential buyers in the local area, strong communication skills, experience in the local area, and up-front honesty. When your estate agent has these qualities, as well as being from a well-respected company, you can feel confident that this is not the issue for your house.
However, if you cannot find any clear reason for your property’s failure to sell, this may be a contributing factor. Keep in mind that, sometimes, your estate agent may try to pin its failure to sell on other things – so it is always worth getting an independent, outside opinion on the ‘sell-ability’ of your house.
10. The interior of your house
You have a variety of different options available to you, if you are struggling to sell your house.
Firstly, you can take your house off the market and continue to live in it. This is an option often taken if the hassle of selling your property outweighs the perks of selling it. For example, if the sale of your house is not time-sensitive, and can wait a few months or years, then this option can provide short-term relief.
As a second option, you may wish to consider making improvements or changes to your property. For example, you should investigate whether similar properties in the area have had work done, and subsequently sold successfully, after struggling to sell when first put on the market. This is information that your estate agent will likely be aware of – so have this conversation with them, and discuss areas of improvement for your property.
A third option available is to sell your house with a cash house buyer, like WeBuyAnyHome. This enables you to sell your property and move into your new dream house, which is valuable if the sale of your property is time-sensitive. The price you sell for will likely be less than you would receive on the market – but selling through a cash house buyer will also save you money on conveyancing costs, which can be an enormous help.
What is the best time of the year to sell a house?
The best time of year to sell your property can depend on different factors.
There is some truth about seasonality within the property market, but it isn’t just the weather or climate that brings sellers out into the open.
Surprisingly, the largest influence on activity is the amount of time it takes to sell a home. On average, in the UK, it takes around 10 weeks to sell a home. Therefore, periods of time throughout the year which are uninterrupted (i.e. there are not any national holidays) are typically the preferred time for you to sell your house.
Spring and autumn are therefore favoured over summer and winter, because they allow enough time for a sale/purchase to go through, without school or holidays getting in the way.
However, the weather does have a role to play, as in springtime, the days get lighter and flowers and gardens bloom. This makes property generally more appealing. Therefore, because autumn doesn’t have this advantage, spring is the most popular season to sell a house.
On occasion, property news does affect supply and demand, and this can distort traditional seasonal variations.
Sell your house in 7 days with WeBuyAnyHome
At WeBuyAnyHome, we are extremely proud to offer the quickest route to achieving a sale. In just 7 days, we can exchange contracts and help you sell your house fast. We are even able to help when it comes to selling a house with tenants and cause no stress to either party as the transaction progresses.
To receive an initial quote for selling your house to us is FREE of charge. Once you have received your quote, you can take your time to decide if you would like to proceed with the sale. At no point will we ask for any fees whatsoever and we even cover your legal fees.