What To Do When Your Home Won’t Sell

November 29, 2016
selling an investment property

Selling your property can be a stressful process, but do you know what’s even more stressful? When your home is on the market but just won’t sell.

If your property has been on the market for a few months but you’ve failed to close the deal or even bring in potential buyers, there are a few questions you should be asking and things you can do to kick the sale along.

Seek honest feedback

If you’ve been living at the property you might be too close to any problems to see what they actually are. A good starting point to understand why your property won’t sell or is not appealing to buyers is to seek an outside opinion and take any realistic suggestions on board.

Ask your sales agent as well as family and friends why they think the property is not selling. It could be something obvious you’ve failed to notice or just don’t want to hear. If possible, you should also ask any buyers that pull out of a sale what has turned them off the property.

It could be an unrealistic price, décor out of the eighties or unaddressed repairs. With any luck, this will pinpoint the problem immediately and provide you with an easy fix. If not, there are a few other things you can try.

Update the advertising

Your property listing needs to reach the right buyers and be advertised at a high standard. Learn how to update an old listing and give it life again.

First of all, don’t underestimate the power of advertising photos. If you currently don’t have any photos at all, then you definitely need to get some. And if you do, can they be improved?

Make sure the photos have good lighting, proportion, are not blurry and are showing the full potential of your well-presented home. As a minimum, you should have an external photo as well as shots of the main rooms in the house including the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and living areas.

Avoid any deceptive photography, such as a fisheye lens to make a room look larger. This is easy to see through and will only disappoint prospective buyers when they see the property in real life.

You might want to consider using drones for your property listing. The video footage can really show off the home.

Secondly, pay attention to the description. Buying a house is a big commitment, so potential buyers will read this. Be succinct but don’t scrimp on detail. Highlight the features and benefits of the home and tell potential buyers what makes your property unique.

Furthermore, are you advertising in the right places? If you’re only advertising in the local newspaper for example, you should consider an online portal where you can reach a wider audience.

Give the property a makeover

Depending on the state of your property, a few cosmetic updates could make it more appealing.

The key is to make minimal improvements that will have a big impact. This could be as simple as tidying up and removing clutter, fixing overlooked repairs, painting the walls a fresh neutral colour or laying some new flooring.

If the sore point is very obvious, like a shabby, unpractical bathroom or kitchen, a remodel may be necessary. While it may cost you more initially, you should be able to capitalise from the sale.

Also make sure the front of the property is well presented. Many prospective buyers will drive by the property in the first instance, so make the first impression count. Make sure the garden is well presented, that external paint is intact and the home looks inviting.

After any home improvements, be sure to update your advertising photos as well.

Click here for more tips on how to prepare your property for sale.

Research what similar properties are on the market

Check out similar properties for sale in your area.

Are these properties selling? If so, how long do they generally take to come off the market?

And what price are they selling for? Put on your detective hat and do some research into who their agents are, how they are being advertised, what the method of sale is and how they are conducting opens.

This could give you some tips on what works best in your area and why your current strategy isn’t working.

Reconsider the price

If there has been some interest in your property but potential buyers knock it back time and time again, the sale price could be an issue.

Check with your agent if it is a reasonable price and see how it compares to similar properties. You may need to reduce it slightly to bring it in line with market standards.

You could also try out different pricing strategies and price brackets.

If your property is listed at $555,000 for example, see if you get any more interest by knocking back to $550,000 (if your budget will allow).

This $5,000 shift might open the property up to buyers searching in other price brackets. In this instance, your property will now appear to buyers searching in the $500,000 to $550,000 range as well as those searching at a higher bracket of $550,000 to $600,000, whereas previously you would have only been reaching this latter group.

Evaluate your agent

While we’re not suggesting you should ditch your agent if your property doesn’t sell straight away, you do need to know they’re being proactive with your sale, especially if it’s been on the market for a prolonged time.

Sometimes it’s a matter of getting what you pay for. If you went the option of a cheap agent, he or she may only be doing the bare minimum required. Or perhaps you don’t have an agent at all and went for the private sale option.

Could an agent better help you to sell your property and offer some practical solutions?

Take it off the market and relist at a later time

If it’s been a few months and you’ve seen other properties come and go while your property still won’t sell, consider taking it off the market for a short time. While it may seem like admitting defeat, there are a few reasons for this approach.

First of all, current buyers may have already seen your property advertised time and time again and wonder why it hasn’t been bought, leading to the assumption that there is something wrong with it.

Secondly, market conditions may have changed since you first listed, or perhaps you’re leading up to a period where there typically aren’t as many buyers, like Christmas time.

Consider taking a break and putting it back on the market in a month or two when there will be a new pool of buyers seeing your property for the first time and potentially different market conditions.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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Our AI match engine will match you with over 150,000+ properties and you can swipe away or shortlist easily. Making your home buying journey faster and easier.