So, you placed your house on to the market and expected it to fly off the shelf but it’s still lingering there after a few months…why is this? When so many houses are snapped up so quickly?

Well, we decided to investigate and see what the most common reasons are that put people off from buying a house.

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Price

This is no doubt the number one factor when it comes to your house not selling. The price is often determined by two appealing factors; price for location and price for condition. There’s no denying that homeowners do tend to grow rather close to their property over the years and so can develop an emotional attachment that may lead to an inflated value against the ‘true’ value of the house.

A great step to overcome this emotional attachment factor is to have a look at property portals in the same area as you. Though bear in mind that the majority will sell for usually 5 – 10% less than what they’re marketed at.

When you’ve looked at enough properties and considered their value and condition, perhaps re-think your strategy when it comes to setting the price. Fix the house value at a realistic price.

Condition

Not everybody likes to be greeted by ostentatiously bold colours upon entrance to a property and swirly wallpaper that peaked in the 70s. It’s impossible to cater for everyone’s taste but providing a potential buyer with the opportunity to see the potential of what they can do with your property should be offered.

Be house proud; mop your floors and wipe down your worktops − this may sound like common sense but you’d be surprised how often these simple tasks can be overlooked. A quick tidy up in the house and garden will leave a lasting impression on the potential buyer. Leave the wheelie bins out of view…

Make sure there are no signs of what could be construed as structural damage, this will be a huge turn-off for a potential buyer. A ceiling that endured a flood may be fixed and the roof above pose no future threat but the doubt will have been sewn as soon as the ceiling is seen to have water damage. Natural cracks can appear in walls over the years and have no implication to the house structure but, if left untreated, could again put off a potential house buyer. So fill in any cracks and tidy up any water damage, doing so will prevent any reason to put off a potential buyer.

A good tip when assessing the condition of your property is to get an outside party you trust and ask what they honestly think of the property. Take what they say on board as they’re coming in to your house as an outsider and don’t see your home every day like you do, so they’ll see things you don’t.

Location, Location, Location

Overcoming a bad location can be difficult. Treatment works, power plants and even flight paths can devalue a property dramatically. As a seller you may have to take a serious cut in the asking price, more so than your neighbours who may just be across the street.

Depreciation can also come from the decline in the area your house is based. Poor economic times or the impact of a school closure or a new motorway can result in negative house values. This could result in you having to sell the house for less than what you paid, or you could even let the property out to tenants if this is a feasible option.

It can be difficult to negotiate a good price if you’re affected by the above when it comes to the property’s location, sometimes accepting a reduction is the only option.

Photos

Pictures used in your advertising are possibly the very first impression a prospective buyer will get of your house, so it could be worth having a professional or an experienced estate agent take them. If you’re going to take them, make sure they give a true representation of how the house is now.

It’s good practice to ensure that the pictures on the estate agent’s website are listed in the correct sequence. Remove wheelie bins and cars away from the front of the property so they’re not in danger of photo-bombing. Don’t be afraid to be critical with the estate agents and do request images to be taken down if you feel they don’t do your property any justice.

If you’re struggling to find a buyer for your property you might want to consider other avenues, our article about property auctions could give you some additional food for thought.

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