You will have seen the many many reports that despite our economic woes, the thriving property market is bucking the trend with booming demand and record house prices.
So why, in this seemingly perfect market for sellers, is your property not selling? As we mentioned in our blog last week, if your property has been sitting on the market for a couple of months now with little or no interest, the first thing you need to do is get to the root cause of the problem. It could be simpler than you think.
Changes you can make
The classic supply and demand conditions are at play in a seller’s market i.e. not enough supply to meet growing demand. This means that sellers can usually ask more for their home. However, sometimes agents and homeowners can be overconfident in a seller’s market and overlook some of the aspects of the house which may be less appealing to prospective buyers. These should still be taken into account when reaching the best asking price, and the price should reflect what similar properties on the market are selling for. If you push it too far then you risk missing out on prospective buyers. You also risk your property sitting on the market for longer, which can also strangely deter buyers who assume something must be wrong with it.
Don’t be tempted to instruct the agent that promises you the highest price for your property. Instruct the agent that can demonstrate success at selling properties similar to yours, in your area, and that you believe will offer the best service.
In a seller’s market it can be tempting to just list your property and see what happens rather than spend time and money making improvements that you won’t benefit from. This is the wrong approach. Remember, photos on property portals are your shop window and your house is the item you are selling. How do you make it stand out from all the other houses on there? This does not have to involve vast expensive home improvements. Trimming bushes, painting the front door or fences, fixing broken drainpipes and moving cars and vans out of the way when the pictures are being taken can make a big difference to that all important first impression. Consider what will be important to you when you look for your next home.
Some people like to live in very minimalist surrounds with nothing on their surfaces and just a few select pieces of furniture. Others prefer to be surrounded by all their worldly goods. There is nothing wrong with either, but when it comes to selling a house, you have to strike a balance which appeals to the masses. You would be surprised how many buyers struggle to visualise anything but what is put in front of them. On the whole, having a tidy up, a de-clutter and a good spring clean can make all the difference.
Market to today’s buyer
Remember to adapt and/or market your property to today’s buyer. Over the last year, having a home office with good Wi-Fi and garden space has become more important than ever before. You can’t make rooms that don’t exist, but you can repurpose rooms you have, or areas of a room, to demonstrate where a home office may go and ask the agents to point this out to prospective buyers based on their criteria.As we head into spring, get in the garden, pull up those weeds, cut the lawn, plant a few colourful flowers and jet-wash the patio to bring life back to your garden.
Changes you can’t make
Other people’s property criteria
As well as knowing all the best bits about your property, it is equally important to recognise and accept some of things which might be less appealing to some buyers. Unfortunately, these might be things which you can’t change, such as the location of the property, the number of bedrooms, the direction the garden faces, a shared driveway or an awkward layout. All buyers have a list of things they are looking for and a list of things they are not willing to compromise on and you cannot control what other people are looking for. However, for the right price, most sellers will find a buyer that can compromise on aspects they are not so keen on, in favour of the ones they are.
Problems with the property
One of the biggest issues sellers have is if there is something fundamentally wrong with the property. For example, there is Japanese knotweed in the garden, the property has subsidence, is at risk of flooding, or has damp. Perhaps it has a short lease, unsafe cladding or structural issues from past building work.
Whilst you might be tempted to keep quiet about any issues your property has, in the long run it is best to be honest as you will only waste more of your own time and other people’s. Estate agents also have an obligation to disclose any material information which may influence a buyer’s decision to purchase, so you must tell them everything you know when instructing them.
If you are in this position and struggling to sell your property, no matter what the reason, a property buying service like WeBuyProperty might be the best route to a guaranteed sale.
We will listen to where you are in the selling process, understand any challenges you have faced and provide a no-obligation valuation based on the information you provide. There will also be no estate agent fees to pay and we can transact in a matter of week or in a timeframe to suit you.
Should you wish to keep your property on the open market, we hope that some of the tips in this blog are useful for you and wish you the best of luck with your house move.
Call: 0207 449 9797