What to Do if Your House Won’t Sell

It’s an unjust reality that some homes will remain on the market for months on end whilst others will be sold the moment they’re listed.

If you’re trying to sell your home but aren’t getting any viewings – let alone offers – you’ll know just how frustrating it can be. You’re ready to move onto the next chapter of your life but held back until you make the sale.

If it’s been 6 months to a year and you’ve still had no success, it might be time to reassess the situation. Here’s some ideas that might put the wind back in your sails. Or sales, as it were.

Reprice it

“Your house is only worth what the market is willing to pay you,” says certified financial planner Ellen Derrick of Learn Vest Planning Services. Indeed, the number one mistake many sellers make is to over-price their property.
It’s easily done. You’ve probably spent years and many thousands of pounds doing your house up – it’s only natural to want to get the best price for it when you come to sell. However, think of the price from the buyer’s perspective. In the current economic market, very few people can afford to go outside of their budget. Therefore, if your property sits on the top end of the pricing spectrum, it’s going to get instantly overlooked by a lot of potential buyers.

I always think about this in terms of ebay. Most people will select “Priced Lowest First” when looking at ebay auctions. If your item does not fall within this filter, it’s going to be excluded from search results – limiting the number of eyes on your listing. With the advent of online property market places, this too is true of home-buying. As such, if your house does not fall within someone’s set budget, the likelihood is they won’t see it.

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Repaint it

Although you probably gave your house the once-over when it was originally listed, it’s time to take a second look. We’ve all heard interior design experts touting the colour magnolia as if it were the holy grail but the truth is, potential buyers are more attracted to a neutral property.

In an interview with the Design Sheppard, colour expert and consultant Karen Haller explains the psychological benefits. “Magnolia is really a cream. It is warm white, which means it is a yellow-based white. The psychological properties are actually the same as white. The positive attributes are hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanliness, simplicity, sophistication and efficiency.” And who wouldn’t want to see all of these characteristics in a potential home?

Renovate it

Once you’re home is appropriately white-washed, it’s time to get minimal. Put as much needless fodder away as possible away. Yes, your family portraits are lovely, but viewers want to imagine themselves in the house, not you.
Neutral colours work best
Today’s buyer is a lot more reluctant to take on a “project” so it’s important you get the aesthetic just right. Invest in a few glossy green plants to give your home a fresh and natural feeling. Improve the curb appeal of the property by tidying up the front garden. If you’re leaving whitegoods and kitchen appliances behind, give them a thorough going over. Amanda Selby, brand manager at Leisure says,”To really wow potential buyers, make sure your appliances are in the best possible condition. After all, a beautifully clean range cooker is the centerpiece of your kitchen and an asset to your home.”

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Basically, you need to make each room look as catalogue friendly as possible. That means neutral, clean and minimal. This might seem like a lot of effort, but it’ll be well worth it when you make the sale.

Reshoot it

Once your house is looking spick and span, go through your property photography and ask yourself – is this the best it can be?


Try to shoot on a bright summers day – everything looks better in the sunshine. Before retaking the pictures, make beds to a hotel standard, balance out items in the room so that there’s a good sense of symmetry, clean the windows, get rid of the dog, put your giant stuffed tiger away. It’s all too easy to take a bad picture and if you don’t think you’re right person for the job, either rope in a savvy friend or hire a professional. After all, you don’t want to end up here.

Relist it

If you’re considering relisting, have a 3 month gap between the time the property goes off the market and when you put it back on. This gives you plenty of time to do all of the above and take a market rest.

Once the property is back on, it’s time to push it as much as possible. Get ad space in the local paper, list your property online, write about it on Facebook. Whilst it’s important not to over do it, the right kind of promotion can work wonders. And with a house that’s just been overhauled both inside and out, you’ll be making that sale in no time.

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