Why can’t I sell my house?
If you find yourself in the unenviable position of being unable to sell your home, fear not – as there are always steps you can take to maximise your chances of a successful sale.
Selling a house is often described by those who have been through the process as a complete and utter nightmare. However, many of these people do not view the actual ‘sale’ as the greatest source of stress – that special award goes to the strain of praying that the timing of your sale, the timing of your purchase, and completion of the relevant paperwork are all completed within a reasonable time frame.
For a surprisingly large number of vendors, a planned purchase often falls through as a result of a failure to sell their own house, with a prospective buyer letting them down at the last moment. If you’re in this position, you may be asking yourself “Why is my house not selling?” Luckily, in this blog we’ll be looking at some of the most commonly cited reasons.
Why won’t my house sell?
There are a wealth of motives for a buyer to pull out of a sale – however it is important to note that being able to address these issues is not always within your control.
Have you ever looked, and we mean really looked at your house? Have you ever stood back and put yourself in the shoes of a prospective buyer who’s trying to work out how much your house is worth to them? It’s often easy, as a homeowner, to ignore the lack of varnish on the window frames, or the bad paintwork on the lower half of the front door – but as a buyer, these things stick out like a sore thumb. For many individuals who are in the market to buy, cluttered window sills, a front yard or garden that is overrun by weeds, or even uneven paving can severely limit the likelihood of a viewing becoming a purchase.
Many homeowners mistakenly believe that buying a house guarantees a higher return upon its sale. The market itself can fluctuate in strength depending on the political landscape, area re-development or even time of year, and consequently, many owners end up asking themselves “why won’t my house sell?” even though they have placed their home on the market at a price 20% higher than a comparable property nearby. Most owners should expect to be low-balled with initial offers, and so a slightly higher asking price can be acceptable – but outlandish figures are guaranteed to deter buyers.
Those who have owned their homes for a long time may realise that local amenities and services that were once available nearby are no longer there. Alternatively, maybe the area within which the house is situated is no longer a great choice for locals due to a lack of nearby jobs. As mentioned earlier, the political landscape can transform the attractiveness of any given region in a relatively short length of time. As a result, the reasons that led to you originally buying the house may no longer be valid for potential buyers.
Anti-social behaviour and crime
Do you live in a deprived area where crime is on the rise? Have you, in the past, had to deal with difficult neighbours? While many buyers forget to check crime statistics, they will often check with their agent and other nearby residents regarding day-to-day experiences on your street and whether or not there are any reasons to avoid a purchase. And unfortunately, even the odd disgruntled neighbour will be enough to put them off.
So, what can I do if I’m struggling to sell my house?
Luckily, some of the aforementioned issues can be easily rectified with little effort. In terms of presentation, a pot of paint and varnish from the local DIY store are a great investment to really make your home stand out from the crowd. You could also invest in a new front door to gain a buyer’s attention, as well as use weed killer on your garden or yard. Many sellers even hire power-washers to remove the build up of carbon that often leaves the outer walls of their homes looking shabby and undesirable. In short, a little effort goes a long way to encourage a sale.
If you do need to sell your house fast, it may be worth taking a small hit financially to ensure a sale in reasonable time. You can, of course, leave your home on the market for months, but the longer it stays on the market the more questions prospective buyers will have – and in all likelihood, an agent will advise you to lower your asking price after a certain length of time regardless. Getting the asking price right is an important part of encouraging a quick sale, so consider employing a surveyor to carry out a quick valuation of the property.
Unfortunately, when it comes to location or crime, there is little that you, as a seller, can do to increase the likelihood of a sale. If there are nearby amenities or services that are not immediately obvious to those who are not local, it can be worth writing a pamphlet containing any relevant information for anyone who comes for a viewing. Even better, realise that many prospective buyers will have different priorities to you, and that your worries about the distance to local services may not be an issue to them.
If you are aware of an increasing level of crime in your area, you can always appeal to your local council to have a greater police presence in an effort to reduce the frequency of offences nearby. You can also apply to the council to have graffiti removed, as well as damage to public property such as pavements and road signs fixed. Many residents in undesirable areas even form Neighbourhood Watch schemes – investing in CCTV cameras and community spirit to keep wrongdoers away.
Of course, sometimes you can be left screaming “Why is my house not selling?!” after months of exasperation due to viewings that never lead to an offer. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t sell. Luckily, there are property buying companies such as National Homebuyers who will buy your home for cash regardless of location or situation – and with most sales completed from start to finish in as little as seven days, you can savour the chance to finally move on with your life.