You put your house on the market a while back, hoping for a quick sale to get things settled. Unfortunately it has not turned out that way. You’ve had a bit of interest and some prospective buyers have viewed your property. But you’ve had no offers. So you’re wondering “Why is my house not selling?”
So what’s wrong? Is the market bad at the moment? Are there no buyers around for your type of property? Is it just the situation or is there something you can do? Let’s look at selling my house tips for getting a quick sale.
Why Homes Don’t Sell. What Do I Need To Know?
Targeting The Right Market At The Right Time
Figuring out who might buy your house is the first step to focussing your property on your target market. A second bedroom might be better as a study or left as a bedroom, depending on who might buy your house.
Demand for property is most buoyant in the springtime around February and March and in autumn around September so make sure your selling period includes at least one of these times.
Price is probably the most powerful lever in the housing business apart from location. So it’s really important to get it right. Your property is worth what someone will pay and it’s easy to overvalue it by asking too much.
Finding out what local homes in your area have sold for recently is easy now with the online resources available. If you set your price too high, buyers may have set a ceiling price for your area and miss your property. A realistic price means what other people might offer for your home, not how much you think it’s worth.
So bite the bullet and set the price realistically, there’s plenty of advice and data out there to guide you. Setting your price in the normal band for your area will maximise the likelihood of potential buyers considering your property. This is where an experienced local estate agent can really help you. It is likely that a buyer will want to negotiate a bit on your price, so leave yourself a little leeway too.
Enough Good Photos
Most people at least start their property searches online nowadays. And there’s lots of choice so your job is to give your potential buyers the information they need. Good, wide-angle photographs are a big part of this. Out of focus, poorly lit and poorly composed shots will mean many people rule your property out right away.
If you can’t take good shots, get a friend who’s good at photography or pay a professional photographer. Within reason, the more photos the better. Setting the dining table, taking some furniture out of the sitting room and removing clutter from the background of each shot can make a real difference to the perceived quality of your rooms.
Your House Is In Poor Condition
Obvious neglect of maintenance or repairs will put people off or attract offers at significantly less than you are asking. Untidiness or mould growing on the shower walls may be seen as a sign that bigger problems may also exist. So it’s worth fixing any obvious visual problems and spending a bit of money on repainting faded or damaged paintwork.
One really useful thing to do is to check on the competition – what are equivalent homes in the area like? View a few houses yourself and see where your place sits in the quality scale. This may point you towards where you have to improve to get a sale in the present market.
You’re Still Doing Work On It
Small things always need to be done to a property but if you’re in the middle of renovation, extension or rebuilding the garage then buyers will be wary of considering your property. They can’t be sure how things will turn out and if you are doing it yourself they can’t be sure it will meet all the required legislation.
Your House Isn’t Clean
It’s really, really important that your house is spotless. If you can’t do this then get an industrial cleaner service in to do it properly, it will pay off. Kitchens and bathrooms must appear hygienic and fresh, so a new toilet seat and fresh, white towels are a good investment.
Your Home Is Too Personal
Yes, I know it’s your home but when you come to selling it you have to think differently. If you have unusual colour schemes or collections of Mickey Mouse memorabilia that may be lovely but can put people off visualising how they might live in the space. Paint over with neutral shades and remove anything unusual.
Make Yourself Available For Viewings
When engaged in buying a house, people often look at numerous options and view several houses within a short period. Being flexible and putting yourself out to allow people to view your home can pay handsomely. If you are too picky about times they may decide to go elsewhere.
Don’t Show The Property Yourself
If you are paying an agent to market your property, let them do it and go out for the duration of the viewing. If you have to guide the viewing yourself, have a plan to show the best room last and don’t try and impart too much information. After the guided viewing, invite buyers to look round for a second time on their own. This reduces the pressure they might feel and allows them to talk privately as they tour the property.
Listen To Comments And Questions
The questions and comments from your viewers can be a gold mine. They will tell you the things that come to mind when someone sees your house for the first time. The same question coming up more than once may indicate a problem you should address.
Decluttering and Depersonalising
First impressions stick in the mind and may colour the whole view your prospective buyer has of your property. Go across the street and look at your property as if you were someone else. The outside is what people see first so it’s sensible to ensure the garden is tidy, all the doors and windows are clean and any rubbish is cleared away. Are the paintwork, grouting and windows looking good? Are weeds sprouting all over the drive?
Inside we are usually aware than a clean, tidy and uncluttered room shows itself off to best effect. If necessary put some of your stuff in storage to allow an airy feel to your rooms. People are trying to visualise themselves in your home and being distracted by bright green walls or masses of clutter makes this much more difficult. Depersonalising the rooms can enable someone to see the property as less of your home and more as their potential home.
Make sure the hallway is clear of all obstructions and the bathroom and kitchen surfaces are clear and clean without dirty towels or smelling bins.
It’s Not Fresh
If your home looks a bit tired and run down then your offers are going to come under your expectations too. Freshening up the place with new paint, lino or tiling can reap big rewards. Check all the fittings and bulbs, replacing anything sub-standard. Removing heavy curtains, improving lighting and putting flowers in the room can all help.
Export The Pets
Many people are not fond of animals. Some can be allergic to cats or afraid of dogs, and they can at best be a distraction from the business at hand, your property. The potential damage or smell from animals can also put people off. Farming your animals out for a while can pay dividends as your buyers concentrate on what you want them to see.
Have You Done Any Marketing Yourself?
Your estate agent is not the only way to market your home. You can have fliers printed and distribute them in the local areas, advertise in local papers or make a video tour of your home to post online. People can then get a feel for what it’s like to live in your home.
Opening your house can generate interest and be a source of useful comments on how your property is seen by others. Neighbours and word of mouth can also be powerful ways of finding that one person who really suits your property.
Do You Have The Right Estate Agent?
Choosing the right estate agent can be tricky and there may be little to go on. You want one who is locally experienced and competent and who you can personally relate to. Referrals from someone else may be a good way.
Ensure you are getting the service you expect and be prepared to change once your agreement has ended. You can negotiate a shorter contract and be clear what you expect from an agent. Getting at least three agents to value your house is important and web-based estate agents are also available, with lower fees overall, so are worth considering.
Don’t Tell Lies
While it might be normal to exaggerate a little on descriptions it is very important to try and be as accurate as possible. If a buyer turns up and finds the details are not as described they are going to be very unhappy. They then distrust everything else about you and your property. So describe your property honestly.
Keeping On Track When You Have A Buyer
The longer it takes to get to exchanging contracts, the more likely the deal is to fall through for a number of reasons. You need to keep an eagle eye on this process and talk to your solicitor at least every week to see where things are.
Selling My House Fast?
Setting your house up so that potential buyers perceive it to be just what they want is a complex process. But by following the suggestions above you can make a real difference to your chances of selling your house quickly.
There are other options, you can sell property fast with a dedicated house buying service such as Sell Property Fast Cash who guarantee you a good price for your home and a quick completion.