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If you are currently in the process of selling your home it is an exciting journey, but one that can bring anticipation, especially if the offers don’t roll in. In this article, we delve into the common pitfalls that might be hindering your home from finding its new owner. From lifeless curb appeal to misjudged […]
13 December 2023
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If you are currently in the process of selling your home it is an exciting journey, but one that can bring anticipation, especially if the offers don’t roll in. In this article, we delve into the common pitfalls that might be hindering your home from finding its new owner. From lifeless curb appeal to misjudged pricing, we look at 10 reasons why a house might not sell, some even in a hot market, and discover the key to increasing buyer interest.
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Curb appeal is the first impression potential buyers get of your home. If the exterior is neglected or uninviting, it can deter buyers before they even step inside. Invest in landscaping, a fresh coat of paint, tidy up the garden and put the bins out of view, clean windows and add a few inviting plants to enhance your home’s curb appeal and impress potential buyers.
Homes that appear outdated or worn can struggle to attract buyers. This is something to think about before you put your property on the market. Even small renovations such as a freshly plastered wall or added storage, cosmetic updates and fresh paint can breathe new life into your property. A modern and well-maintained home is more likely to capture the interest of prospective buyers and can help your home to sell quickly and achieve a higher asking price.
A cluttered space can make rooms feel smaller, which can put buyers off and distract them from imagining themselves living in your home. Clearing away excess belongings and decluttering spaces allows buyers to see the full potential of each room. The last thing potential buyers want to do when they view a house is to make their way through a sea of toys to get to the next room. So move those pet beds, tidy away toys and make each room feel as airy and spacious as possible. Think about taking pets out of the home for viewings, as they can also distract a buyer. Decluttering is also a great way to prepare for moving as it gives you the chance to sort through your belongings and donate or get rid of items, so you have fewer items to move, which will speed things up when it comes to packing up your home.
Staging involves arranging furniture and decor to highlight a home’s best features and doesn’t always have to be an expensive process. Empty or poorly furnished spaces can be challenging for buyers to visualise. Professional staging can make a significant difference in creating a welcoming and appealing environment if you have the budget to do so, but there are also things you can do yourself to make your home ‘feel’ staged. Add cushions and rugs for texture and to create a welcoming environment. Neutral art on walls attracts the eye and elevates spaces by dressing blank walls. Use small, inexpensive vases, books and plants to dress tables and turn them into a feature. To get inspiration, visit a local showhome and check out what ideas the developer has incorporated into their staging.
Pricing is a critical factor in selling a home. If the listing price is too high for the market or not reflective of the property’s value, it can turn away potential buyers. Consider a realistic and competitive pricing strategy to attract more interest and don’t be sucked in by estate agents who want to set a ridiculously high price to ‘test the market’. This usually means they know you will have to reduce the price but are desperate to secure the listing. It’s always wise to get at least 3 valuations from different estate agents and go with the agent who you feel most aligns to your goals, rather than the one who comes in with the highest valuation. It is also worth doing your own research online, using sites such as Rightmove to look at what similar houses have sold for in your area and what other properties are currently being listed for. This will help you have an idea of what your home is worth.
Effective marketing is essential in reaching a broad audience. If your home isn’t marketed well, it might not be getting the exposure it needs. Most agents utilise online platforms and have email lists of potential buyers, so before you enlist the help of an agent, be sure to check who they have on their books who might be interested in your property and what methods they will be using to market your home. High-quality photos and engaging descriptions are a must, but some modern estate agents also use video tours and social media to showcase your property effectively.
In the digital age, listing photos play a crucial role. The images on online home portals are usually the first thing potential buyers see and low-quality or unflattering pictures can discourage potential buyers from scheduling a viewing. Ensure photos are taken in daylight, preferably a bright, sunny day and ask the photographer if there is anything you can do in preparation, such as move cars off the driveway. Always check with the estate agent if they are going to invest in professional photography to showcase your home in its best light and make sure you receive proof photos to approve before the listing goes live.
Feedback from showings is invaluable. If your agent isn’t actively seeking feedback, you could miss opportunities to address potential concerns or make improvements and secure that all-important offer. Your agent should be regularly collecting and analysing feedback and feeding that information back to you to help you refine your selling strategy. If the estate agent agent isn’t doing this, contact them to ask why and consider using a different agent if the problem persists.
While you can’t change the location, emphasising positive aspects and local amenities can make a difference. Highlight nearby schools, parks, and amenities to attract buyers who value the neighbourhood. If you are taking viewings yourself, be sure to talk about the neighbourhood and the positive experiences you have had living there. This can help a potential buyer focus on the positives about the area and forget about other niggles they may have had about the area. For example, your amazing experience at the local country pub/restaurant could make up for the property being a bit further out from the local supermarket.
External factors like market conditions can influence how quickly a home sells and could be the driving factor of whether you sell your home now or wait for better market conditions. Economic conditions, interest rates, and the overall real estate market can impact buyer demand and this is something we can rarely control. Stay informed about market trends and be flexible in your approach based on the current conditions. If you are thinking of selling, contact local estate agents to ask their professional opinions on the market and how quickly houses like yours are currently selling. This is vital information that can help you have a positive experience selling your home and achieve your goals.
A clear path to a successful sale involves addressing various aspects, from enhancing curb appeal to strategic pricing and effective marketing. Each element plays a pivotal role and helps you gain the insight needed to make informed decisions that will bring eager buyers to your doorstep.
From mortgages and insurance to viewings, offers, exchange and completion, our Buyers’ Guide will take you through everything, step by step, from start to finish.
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