When will my house sell?

I was once called in to help a homeowner with a beautiful Georgian home in Chichester.  He and his wife had been trying to sell their house for a soul-destroying seven years. If you asked any of the six or so estate agents who had tried and failed to sell the property, why hadn’t it sold, they would chorus as one: it’s the price.  That’s always the reason a house won’t sell, right?

But this house had already dropped in price by a staggering 33%, and was now starting to actually look cheap when compared with the competition, so I knew it wasn’t the reason for the lack of a sale.  Once I’d played detective, I uncovered a whole raft of issues I felt were stopping the house from selling.  We tackled those fairly inexpensively, put the asking price up, sprinkled on a little luck and hey presto, the house was sold inside a month. Once I had identified the factors that were stopping this house from selling, the owners were happy to rectify the issues.  Until my visit, they hadn’t known they existed.

The first step in turning round a failing property sale is to identify what has gone wrong so far. Until you do this, how can you put it right? Whilst estate agents will assume the asking price is too high, (often a price they themselves valued it at) I will look at all the other factors, including the way the house is presented, whether that’s right for the target market, the motivation of the seller, the subliminal messages that the photography and words are conveying, and many other aspects that may not be apparent to the seller. (See also my post ‘Is there a hidden reason your home isn’t selling?’)

With all the houses I’ve helped sell over the last decade or so, there has almost always been a very subtle reason it wasn’t selling.  That reason would stop a buyer being able to connect with the house, and to see it as their new home.  Without this connection, it’s almost impossible to sell your house, other than to an investor with no emotional investment in the transaction.  But until you know the reason, you are relying on luck playing a huge part in your property sale. It’s a big gamble.

So when a client asks me “When will my house sell?” I reply simply, “When you’ve discovered why it’s not selling”.  Find that, and you’re almost there.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

4 thoughts on “When will my house sell?

  1. vicki weston

    My mothers house has been on the market for 15 months and after initial interest and a few viewings she is getting no viewings at all . The house is a Georgian town house in the Old Town in Bridlington, listed grade 2 *, 5000 sq feet, 6 bedrooms, huge walled garden, private parking, price reduced to £429000. The problem according to the agents is the location- Bridlington is seen as a cheap and cheerful resort with more than its fair share of low income households. The Old Town itself is lovely – her street is untouched and consists entirely of period properties. There is obviously nothing she can do about where the house is! What should she do?

  2. Sam Post author

    Hi Vicki, and thanks for getting in touch – I feel your mother’s pain! It’s so difficult when the house is beautiful but the area doesn’t command a price to match. I’d suggest the marketing might need closer inspection – perhaps the demographic isn’t being properly targeted. The right text and photography can ensure that it appeals to the right type of discerning buyer, not someone looking for a cheap area. If you’d like to send me your mother’s postcode to [email protected] I’ll take a look and tell you what I think. Sam

  3. James

    Hello Sam, great article and website! Fortunately I’m not quite in the situation of the sellers you mentioned in your blog (yet!), months for me rather than weeks, but I am selling my first house and so I’m not entirely certain about quite whether the marketing of my house is as effective as it might be in terms of its description and photos. If you have time, it’d be brilliant to get your take on it! The link is http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-30891111.html


  4. Sam Post author

    Hi James – thank you for getting in touch, and for your kind words! It’s a lovely property, and the photos taken on a blue sky day are very pretty. I can probably make a few suggestions about how you could make its marketing more effective, and it would be great if I could feature it on my Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/TheHomeTruthsPage to get some more responses for you – are you feeling brave?! Sam

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