It can feel like an eternity when you’re trying to sell your home. People can miss out on their dream properties when time isn’t on their side. No matter the amount of advice from an agent and a flurry of viewings, it can be disheartening when you don’t receive any offers.
Whilst as a seller you can do everything in your power to prepare for the best possible outcome – such as freshening up your home or being accommodating to viewings – many of the issues lie outside of your control. Below, SOLD.CO.UK shine a light on ten of the most common issues that could be affecting your house sale.
1. Is your estate agent right for you?
It is commonplace to trot down to your local high street and pick an estate agent based on your home and initial customer service. There is nothing wrong with this and plenty of people sell their homes with traditional estate agents every day. However, we live in a world where you have options when it comes to selling your home. Online estate agents have taken the power of all things digital and created a new way of selling that can be significantly faster than a high street agent.
2. Is the asking price realistic?
Most traditional estate agents value properties a little higher than what they’re worth. This gives a starting point for negotiations when a potential buyer puts in a lower offer. However, sometimes this can backfire on sellers. There have been plenty of cases where properties have been put on the market at an unrealistic price and haven’t booked any viewings. Similarly, as a buyer it is easy to take an agent’s valuation as gospel and refuse to budge on it for any interest parties – this can present problems too. Your estate agent should help you settle on a realistic asking price and also discuss the possibility of having to take lower to help sell your home. At SOLD we can give you an instant valuation ensuring you get a true representation of your property value.
3. Why haven’t I seen my property advertised?
When you know your property is up for sale you’d expect to see it listed on property portals, your agent’s website, and in their shop window if opting for a high street agent. Your agent should be utilising every available channel to get your property in front of the eyes of as many prospective buyers as possible. If your property is for sale and you don’t feel like it is being marketed correctly you need to contact your estate agent as it is their job to help sell your property.
4. Your home is in an undesirable location
You may completely love the area your home is currently situated in. However, this does not mean that every potential buyer will feel the same. Everyone has different criteria they require when buying a property. Is it located in the catchment area for a school? Is there a noisy main road nearby? Is there planning for countless newbuild properties next door? You cannot appease every single person that views your home but you may need to prepare for negotiation on asking price if you are serious about selling.
5. Why do the photographs of my house look so terrible?
Everyone is initially drawn to a property by how it looks. Regardless of the finer details it is the exterior shot of your home that will help it sell, along with all the interior images. Therefore, if the photographs used are poor quality or are an unrealistic representation of your home it can have an impact on how quickly your home sells. Furthermore, too many photographs are better than just a handful – buyers will assume there is something to hide otherwise.
If you are dissatisfied with the images being used to sell your home you are within your rights to request the agent creates a new set. Provide references of what you think is quality property photography and don’t settle for less. Every estate agent should have a dedicated professional photographer that works for them.
6. Why is my agent not keeping me in the loop?
Your estate agent should touch base with you reguarly to discuss how much interest your property has had. Furthermore, feedback from viewings should be reported to you to, as well as any potential offers. You should feel confident that you are getting all the information and never left in the dark. After all, how can you expect to sell your home when your estate agent isn’t giving you their attention? Make sure your estate agents keeps you in the loop via your preferred method and never be afraid to lay some ground rules as to the levels of communication your expect.
7. Could it be the wrong time of year?
The property market has an annual pattern that typically runs like clockwork. Most people house-hunt in the spring and autumn, with summer and winter months taken up with school holidays and Christmas. People tend to have more time on their hands in spring and autumn which makes selling up and buying a new house much easier. This isn’t to say you can’t sell during the typically quieter months, but it may not be as easy a process.
One way to remedy this is to put your house on the market during the prime months. February to June is the best time to sell your house, with mid-September to October also proving fruitful. If you’re determined to sell in the winter you could accept a lower offer than you would otherwise, or consider an incentive such as a certain amount towards moving costs for the buyer.
8. Potential buyers don’t want a project
Some buyers purposefully buy homes that need work doing to them because they can usually put in a cheeky offer below asking. Often, they will buy the property, complete renovations, and sell it on for profit or live in it themselves. However, not all property seekers want a project property. They want a home they can move into that may just require a lick of paint or swapping carpets to wooden flooring.
If your home isn’t selling have you considered addressing any areas of concern? If you’ve had viewings gather feedback from your estate agent, they may be able to shine a light on why people aren’t putting in offers on your house. Address any structural or aesthetic issues to increase the chance of you selling quickly.
9. What are the local market conditions like?
The time of year can have an impact on the time it takes to sell your property. However, your local market conditions can also dictate timeframes and the number of people interested in viewing your home. Your estate agent will be able to discuss how the local market is performing and give you an idea on the market absorption rate. This is a numerical figure that indicates the number of months it would take to sell the remaining property stock in your area if no other properties were on the market. Lower absorption rates indicate a sellers market, which is exactly what you want.
If the absorption rate is high, say 10 months, your estate agent may refer to the local market as geared towards buyers. It could be a reason why your home is not selling and you may prefer to take your property off the market and wait until the local market picks up again.
10. Are you being as flexible as possible?
Whilst you may be keen to sell are you doing everything in your power to sell your home? Are you accommodating viewings that suit interested parties? Are you responding to feedback? Are you being open to offers less than your asking price? Whilst we understand that you want to achieve a certain value and cannot be at the beck and call of viewers you will need to be mindful that flexibility could help you sell your home. Otherwise, you may find your home sits on the market for months on end.
Failure to budge on appointments to view, inspection requests, and low offers can hinder the sale of your home. Remain realistic and adaptable if you are determined to sell.