Why isn’t my house selling?
Reasons why your house won’t sell – and what to do about it!
When trying to sell your house, it can be really frustrating to go through the motions of constantly keeping it in a viewable condition, showing prospective buyers around and dealing with estate agents – only for your beloved property to sit on the market for months on end.
You might be in this situation and wondering why your house isn’t selling. To shed some light on common property put offs, we surveyed the nation to find out the top ten things that put people off buying a property.
Read through our reasons why your house might not be selling and get ready to sell your house fast with ease!
Why won’t my house sell? 14 Reasons why:
- The house is near a busy or high-speed road
Are you finding that your house won’t sell because it’s beside a main road? While you can’t stop the traffic coming by your house, there are a few things you can do to prevent some of the annoyances that come from living near a busy road – noise being one of the main ones.
You can reduce the sound and sight of cars from your property by incorporating things such as tall foliage in your front garden, investing in double or even triple glazing, and adding tall fences to your perimeter – just be careful not to compromise too much natural light if you do go for this.
In the garden, you can opt for decorations such as water features to mask the noise, while if possible, lowering the level of your garden can work wonders for reducing unwanted sound.
- The house smells
No one likes to walk into a house that doesn’t smell great. They say the smell of freshly baked bread or a hearty meal are some of the secrets to selling houses, but if you’ve no time to cook, simply install a few air fresheners and make sure your house is well ventilated.
Damp is one of the main things potential buyers will be able to detect through the smell of your house, thanks to its distinctive musty smell, so make sure you treat any problem areas too, and make an effort to keep pet smells at bay or cigarette odours outside.
- The house doesn’t have a garden
Now, we’re not about to suggest you invest in a landscape gardener to simply sell your property – if your house doesn’t have a garden and this is something that’s a deal breaker for a buyer, there’s not an awful lot you can do.
You can, however, make whatever outdoor space your property does have all the more desirable. Try incorporating as much greenery as you can through plants, small trees or pots of herbs, or even adding a little fake grass and a deck chair to a patio area. Sometimes it’s not about the garden, but more about showing your property comes with the potential to spend time outdoors.
- Parking is a problem
Not having a designated space to park a car can be a problem for potential buyers. If this is the case with your property, it could be worth addressing their options for parking head-on. You could do this by leaving information for potential buyers to see when they view your house that explains where the nearest parking facilities are, how much it costs, or what you currently do for parking at present.
- The front door opens onto a main road
Again, you can’t change the fact that there’s a busy road outside, but you can help potential buyers to forget this problem. For example, sound-proofing, double glazing or solid doors can be a big help in separating the outdoors from the in.
- There are signs of cracks on the walls
More often than not, cracks in the walls are to be expected. Usually they’re nothing to worry about, but if you can reassure potential buyers that they’ve been checked by a professional, it’s sure to put their minds at ease. Have a professional look over any potential issues, so you can address the matters that require attention, and reassure buyers of ones that don’t.
- The house has a shared garden
While there’s not often much you can do about this, potential buyers are more than likely just going to need reassurance that a shared garden doesn’t pose any nightmares. Let them know about the neighbours you share it with, who’s responsible for what in terms of maintenance and generally how well it works having a shared space outdoors.
- The house has signs of damp
Damp can be a huge cause for concern for a potential buyer. If left unattended, it can soon turn into something quite damaging. The trick is to tackle it early, and take steps to prevent it.
Make sure your home is well heated and ventilated, and you regularly tackle problems such as condensation or excess steam from showers. You might want to invest in a dehumidifier to make this process simpler.
- There’s a short leasehold remaining
A short remaining leasehold on a property can be problematic for buyers as it can sometimes make the property more difficult to get a mortgage on, due to the potential reduction in value.
To extend the lease on a property, you need to have owned it for at least two years. It’s often advised that you extend the lease when it reaches 70 years remaining. There are costs involved in doing this however, so make sure you consult a professional beforehand.
- There are noisy neighbours
Noisy neighbours were our survey respondents’ number one bugbear when it comes to buying a house. Dealing with noisy neighbours is always going to be awkward, but the best way to go about fixing it is to politely address the issue in person. Be open and honest about the situation, and hopefully you’ll be met with consideration.
If a polite conversation doesn’t work, you could try polite notes, keeping a record of the noise disruption, and finally once you’ve exhausted all polite options, speak to their landlord or local authority for advice.
There you have it. The top ten things that put off British house buyers from placing on offer on your home. But that’s not all the guidance we have for you! As experts in buying and selling property, we know a thing or two about how to sell your house fast. Read on find out more things which in our expert opinion, may be hindering your sale ambition from being fulfilled.
- A high asking price
It’s crucial to make sure that you value your home correctly when putting it on the property market. Overvaluing your property will put prospective buyers off for two reasons: if the asking price doesn’t reflect the value of the home, buyers will look elsewhere and the longer your property stays on the market, the wearier prospective buyers will be.
- Poor quality photos
Photographs play a significant role in attracting potential buyers, especially with more and more people searching for property online. If your online listing only features one or two bad-quality pictures of your home, buyers will assume your property isn’t worth viewing.
- Not having the right estate agent
Even if your agent seemed competent and experienced when you hired him, not all estate agents are right for all properties. Your agent should constantly be in touch arranging viewings and providing feedback from potential buyers, as well as promoting your property properly. Good estate agents should have a strategic marketing plan in place for when properties struggle to sell, so if your agent’s gone quiet, it might be time to look elsewhere.
- Selling at the wrong time
The property market is notoriously volatile, so it’s important that you monitor your local market to make sure that you list your home at the right time. The ideal environment to sell in is a sellers’ market, which occurs when there are lots of willing buyers looking for a new home. In a buyers’ market, sellers must competitively price their homes to avoid languishing on the market.
How to make your home more attractive to buyers
If you were hoping that your property would be bought almost immediately after it hit the market, anything more than a few days without any interest from prospective buyers may seem too long to wait. The average time it takes to sell a house is six months, but if you find your property languishing on the market for more than two months without activity, it might be time to make some changes.
Selling a home on the market is a competitive process, with buyers looking to secure their ideal property for the best possible price. If you feel like your home isn’t reaching its full potential, there are some ways you can make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Upping the curb appeal
First impressions are incredibly important when it comes to generating interest in your property. Although most sellers focus on making the interior of their home attractive, the first thing prospective buyers will see is the exterior. You can increase the curb appeal by mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, pruning the vegetation, removing any visible rubbish bins and giving the drainpipes a fresh lick of paint.
Creating a blank canvas
When potential buyers view a property, they want to be able to imagine what it will look like when they’re living there. If you have excessive belongings cluttering up every room or a gaudy interior design, buyers may be distracted and dismiss the property. Consider painting your walls with a neutral colour, replacing any decorative rugs or decorations with lightly-coloured furnishings and putting your personal items away ahead of viewings.
Fixing any minor issues
As most prospective buyers want to move into a property that requires minimum maintenance and repairs, fixing any minor issues like cracked tiles or worn patches of carpet can make all the difference. It might be worth instructing a chartered surveyor to perform a property survey, so that you can take steps to rectify any major issues that will put buyers off or reduce the value of your home.
Make sure it’s in a sellable condition
Factors like your property’s structural integrity, curb appeal and cleanliness will determine whether it is in a saleable condition. Most buyers are looking for a low-maintenance property, so if your home is in desperate need of some TLC, it’s likely that prospective buyers will be immediately put off.
My house will not sell – what are my options?
If you feel like you’ve done everything you can, and you’re still finding that your house won’t sell, don’t worry, you still have plenty of options. You could:
- Postpone the sale
If you don’t have a deadline you need to sell by, it may be worth taking your home off the market and relisting it when conditions improve. In the spring, the odds of a property getting multiple viewings increases exponentially, making it the best time to sell.
- Rent it out
If you are selling your home because you need to relocate to a new area, renting it out might be the best option for you. Even if the rent you charge won’t cover your mortgage repayments, paying a small amount of negative cash flow every month is better than paying to keep a vacant house.
- Lower the asking price
Referred to as a “fire sale”, reducing the asking price to a rock-bottom value will make your property more attractive to any buyers looking for a bargain.
Part-exchange scheme: A part-exchange scheme involves trading in your property as part payment for a new build house. The property developer will buy your existing home and then subtract this value from the cost of your new property. However, a part-exchange can be costly as you must move into one of the developer’s new builds, which are generally priced at the maximum the market will allow.
- Quick house sale
If your house won’t sell and you need to get rid of your property fast, consider selling to a quick house sale company like Good Move. Good Move are regulated property buyers who buy any house, regardless of its condition, for up to 85% of the market value. Sales can be completed in as little as ten days and there are no seller fees or property chains.
The survey conducted on behalf of Good Move by 4Com Media in 2019 polled 1,000 adults in the UK.