May 23, 2016
Five Reasons Your House Isn't Selling
It feels as if you’ve had the FOR SALE signs outside your house since before Christmas.
Signs that were put up by an eager young estate agent in a cheap suit who assured everything will be done and dusted by the New Year.
And you believed him. What is it they say about there being one born every minute? That must be the mission statement estate agents everywhere.
Illic natus perparvis.
Of course, the reasons that you can’t get anyone interested in buying your house may be obvious.
Does it look like this? Well...
Yet, on the other hand, if you’ve gone into the whole house selling thing without doing a little bit of hard work and research first, you may as well have put something like this on the market...
...and not see that going anywhere fast either.
So what’s the secret?
How is it that, whenever you see an estate agents sign going up outside a house that you don’t particularly like the look of and think, as a consequence (and we’ve all done it), “...well that’ll never sell”.
Except it just did.
Here are a few tips of the trade to help you out.
Funnily enough, and, at the risk of stating the obvious, one of the main reasons a property remains unsold for a long time is that the vendor is asking for too much money and has priced his or herself out of the market.
Remember. Your house is the carrot and you are the one holding the stick. But you mustn’t hold that carrot so high in the air that no-one is going to even try to take a nibble.
There are plenty more carrots out there after all. Despite how tasty and special you might think yours is.
Take another look at the homes your area that have sold. What sort of prices were they fetching? Some buyers might well set a maximum price on their search and so miss yours out-a house isn’t a car where someone with a budget of £4000 might stretch to £4500. If the average sale of a house price in your area is £400,000 then take it from us, no-one is going to go up to £475,000 for a similar property.
Not only because they don’t want to. But because they don’t have to.
Of course, you may have set the price at an absolutely sound and very sensible level. Well done you. Give yourself a good pat on the back. You’ve done your homework, you’re being sensible, realistic, level headed.
But all of that will mean absolutely nothing if the accompanying sales blurb doesn’t show your property in absolutely and definitely its best light.
Not particularly enticing, is it?
Yes, we’re talking about the accompanying photographs that accompany the information about your home.
These can be shocking. All you need is someone with a camera who doesn’t know what they are doing.
Meaning you end up with photos like this one.
And look, if that third bedroom really is tiny then don’t make it as obvious as this.
"Maybe you'll start a family one day. Squeeze the kids into this room for £450,000," said nobody. Ever.
Be creative. Strip it out maybe and just call it the ‘third bedroom’. If it is empty in the photo then it can’t look cramped, can it?
You’re learning. I’m impressed. Let’s move on...
Here’s one that few people think of. It’s about being personal. And how to make your house not look too personal.
Yes I know, I know. Your collection of cuddly toys might be your pride and joy, your babies even and you may dearly love them.
But you know, there is a vague possibility that other people might find it a little, well, strange. Remember, you are selling the house, period. The buyers will have their own ideas of what they want to go in it, not yours. So the less cluttered it is for viewing purposes, the better.
Remember. Keep it clear and keep it clean. Let the visible space do the work for you.
One thing ‘you’ do need to do is be available.
It might be tempting to clear off for work and do whatever it is that you do for a living whilst the estate agent does all the work in your absence.
But that just might send out the wrong signal to some people. After all, here they are, potentially interested in giving you half a million quid and, in return, you can ‘t even be arsed to meet them and show them around?
Sorry but that’s bad manners. You’re trying to sell your house. This isn’t a car boot sale, you can’t just wander off whenever you feel like it. Be committed and be there.
Don’t forget, the only person who can give accurate answers to possible vendors is you. The estate agent can’t be expected to know everything about schooling, local shops, garden centres and where you can get the best Cappuccino on a Sunday morning.
But you do. So show willing and be there, be prepared to be the host and part of everything, not some distant and inaccessible person who doesn’t appear to care. That’s only going to send your potential buyers elsewhere.
But, and finally, when you are there and when you are showing willing...know how and when to stop.
No-one wants hard sell. So don’t follow them around all the rooms asking them if they’re going to make an offer else sounding desperate and suggesting you’re happy to throw everything into the deal if they’ll buy-including the kitchen sink.
That sort of thing comes across as a tad desperate. Sad even. And annoying. Plus your prospective buyers will end up thinking “Why on earth is he/she so keen to sell this house?”
”What’s wrong with it?”.
Believe me, the second that little four word phrase appears in the mind of a potential buyer then they’ve gone, you’ve lost them forever.
And if they aren’t exactly going to reach out and swat you with a piece of rolled up newspaper if you will persist in following them around the house like an excited wasp at a picnic, then they’ll certainly be removing you as an option from their list.
And moving on. Which means you aren’t going to be moving out anytime soon.
One little extra thing to take into consideration is your estate agent.
Remember, you are paying them for the privilege of selling your home. You are their client and they are there to treat you as such.
Rather too many of them regard the arrangement as being the other way around. But don’t accept that. Make them work for their commission, demand their time, attention and expertise and, if there are signs that it really isn’t there, then change your estate agent.
And don’t be shy about doing so either. If they start to think either you or your property aren’t worth their time and trouble, you’ll soon find yourself at the very back of the lowest and most obscure filing cabinet somewhere.
You wouldn’t commission a solicitor to do some work for you and then give them nothing to do. So why do the same for an estate agent?
Get your house out there, get it looking good and get it seen.
And get it sold.
And the very best of luck to you.