What to do if your house doesn't sell

Category General News

There’s a feeling of helplessness when your beloved home has been put up for sale and months go by without a sale. You love your home and probably expected it to be snapped up earlier, but now the interest is waning and the offers have stopped altogether. What steps should you take if your house doesn’t sell?

The first thing to do is put your emotions and attachments to the home aside and try to get an understanding of why the property is attracting buyers. The two most common reasons why properties don’t sell are the condition of the building and the price - take a step back and look at your home objectively.

Poor condition of the property

Firstly, your estate agent will be able to give you an outsider’s perspective and better insight into the property. Take their advice seriously and act on it; if they think the price is too high, adjust it, if the house needs some minor renovations, give it a new lick of paint.

Check any wooden decks or frames and see if the wood is looking tired. A fresh coat of clear varnish should bring them back to life. If the garden is overgrown or too sparse, try to fix it up. Small changes can have a massive impact on the appeal of the house.

Secondly, listen to what potential buyers say when they view your home. Pay attention to their questions and concerns as these could give you an idea of the shortfalls of the property. If they are concerned about parking space or the fact that there is only one bathroom, perhaps have some plans drawn up to make alterations to the house and estimate the cost. If you put in this initial effort, buyers are more likely to purchase a house that comes with approved plans for renovations.

The price may be too high

A good estate agent should have a grasp of the average property prices in the area and should be able to accurately value a home. They will be able to tell you what to expect when it comes to the selling price. If you set the price too high, it won’t sell - simple as that. People purchase homes on their perceived value of the property.

If your estate agent thinks you should lower the price, then do. If you suspect them of trying to lower the price to make a quick sale, claim their commission and move on, then get a range of opinions from a few different agents and see what the general consensus is. Bear in mind that in 2017, around 90% of houses sold for less than their asking prices.

What if my property still doesn’t sell?

If the property is in pristine condition and the price has been dropped, but it still won’t sell, the next option to consider is to rent it out. This can be a medium-term solution until the property market changes, but at least you will get some monthly income out of the property for the period of the lease agreement.

Being a landlord is no easy task, so be prepared for all eventualities and choose the tenants wisely. You need to get the rent on time, every time, so choose a tenant that you trust. You also don’t want them damaging the property.

Remember that the tenant has the right to occupy the property for the full period of the lease - usually 12 months. This means that you won’t be able to sell the property until the lease ends. This strategy can buy you time until you can figure out a good solution.


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Want to rent, buy or sell your property on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Woodstock, Cape Town? Berman Brothers Properties specialise in listing and selling your property and we have a variety of available houses, new apartments and other real estate options to ensure that you find your next dream home. Contact us on +27(0)21 439 9030 to find out more about the latest developments in area hotspots such as Woodstock, Green Point, Sea Point, Llandudno, Camps Bay or Three Anchor Bay.

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Author: Berman Brothers

Submitted 28 Mar 18 / Views 762