6 Helpful Strategies if Your House Doesn’t Sell
A Vendors Advocate or Buyers Advocate Can Help
You’ve prepped the house, you’ve enlisted a property agent, your house has been photographed, and the advertising campaign is in full swing. Everything is going as planned and you’re feeling confident. Then, come auction day, you don’t receive any bids.
After your initial confidence, this is likely to leave you feeling very disheartened. However, you’re not alone. Even if the current market is considered ‘hot’, with properties being snapped up left, right and centre, the reality is that 20-30% of properties fail to sell.
There are many factors which can contribute to this. If you find yourself in this position, it’s time to take a good hard look at your proposition and be ready to revise your plan. Here are a few tips on what to do if your house doesn’t sell:
Like any goods, the property market is driven by demand and supply. If you’re trying to sell in an area with an excess of properties available, it is likely you’ll struggle. If this is the case, consider what you have to offer and whether your house has a unique selling point. You may need to make some alterations in order to give it that special edge, thus furthering the value of the property. Otherwise your best option is to price it competitively.
Peter Boem, Finance Editor of property research website, OntheHouse.com.au, advises that your pricing strategy can have a huge impact on your prospects:
“Price is a sensitive issue and you need to be mindful of the psychology of selling. For instance, you are likely to get more interest if your property is priced at $499,000 rather than $501,000”, says Boem.
Another good strategy is to keep an eye on how long other houses in your local area are spending on the market, and measure how your property is performing against this.
Your selling agent is working for you so it is important that you receive the level of service that you’re paying for. Not all sellers’ agents will work in the best interests of their clients, and you don’t want an unscrupulous agent to stand in the way of your success. If you’re not happy with your agent, be prepared to discuss any concerns directly with them, and the sooner the better.
If your property agent is not working out, don’t feel obligated to stay with them. It might be best to take your property off the market, wait a few weeks, and then relist with a different agent.
In the first instance you may also want to consult with a vendors advocate to assist you in selecting an appropriate selling agent.
While this may seem like the least favourable option, in some cases it is necessary, especially if the property has been sitting on the market for some time. Properties that stay on the market for a while become less and less appealing to buyers, and the ones that do show interest tend to bid lower, in the hopes the seller will be desperate.
According to Boem, the ideal length of time for a house to be on the market is around 90 days.
If your property hasn’t sold by then, you’ll struggle to achieve your asking price from the current cohort of buyers. If this happens, your best bet could be to take the property off the market for a few months, and wait for a new set of buyers to enter.
Timing can be everything when it comes to selling property. If you’ve struggled to get any interest in your house, it could be quite simply that it’s the wrong time. Think about the time of year you’re listing – winter can be an especially difficult time, as depending on the property, there could be fewer buyers around. However, there are also fewer houses on the market, and therefore there is less competition to sell.
It also pays to look at how many properties are on the market at the time. If inventory of your particular property type is high, you could consider holding off until this has dropped.
Keep in mind that not all properties are the same so dealing with this on a case by case basis is important.
Sometimes all that is needed is a makeover. Your best shot at a sale may be to give your house a few touch ups. Throughout the selling process, gather feedback from potential buyers. They may pick up on things that you hadn’t previously considered, and by addressing these issues you can significantly improve your chances.
Whether it’s renovating, or adding a fresh coat of paint, even small fixes can make your house a more attractive prospect.
This also may be a good time to revisit your advertising campaign. If you spruce up your house, have some more professional photos taken which showcase the new features, and use these in further advertising. Your house needs to be shown in its best light in order to hook buyers.
Check first with your vendors advocate or selling agent first, to ensure you aren’t wasting money unnecessarily.
For anyone trying to sell property, it’s important to maintain realistic expectations. Often vendors fall into a trap where they set their price too high and expect too much, which results in no offers. The house then sits on the market for lengths of time, and becomes stagnant, with the chances of selling diminishing. Vendors must be willing to be flexible when it comes to price and open for inspections, and this will increase their chances of success.
Need extra advice? If you’re looking to buy or sell property in Melbourne, get in touch with the team at Property Mavens. As a reliable property agency, Property Mavens provides you with unbiased and independent evidence based advice to help with your property investment in Melbourne.
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About Miriam Sandkuhler, Property Investment Advisor
With Diplomas in Property and Business Studies – in a non ASIC regulated industry, she’s uniquely qualified to develop and also fulfill successful and sustainable property investment strategies for her diverse range of clients - investors, SMSF trustees and home buyers alike.