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Why you’re struggling to sell your home

By Andrew Bell

Owning a home that's been sitting on the market for months or even years can be a frustrating experience. Unfortunately, these things happen in residential real estate. But that doesn't mean there's nothing else you can do to encourage a buyer to put down an offer.

Here are a few reasons your home might not be selling:

There's too much "you" there

You've spent years creating a space that feels like home for you and your family. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that if you're planning on staying in the house, you should reassess once it goes on the market.

Start with personal effects. Your affinity for collecting knick knacks in the kitchen might make the space look cluttered, while a room that is painted in bright or odd colors can distract buyers from the layout and size. Once you decide to sell your home, you should consider paring down your personal style.

Buyers are going to walk through your house trying to imagine their own furniture and art decorating the space. The more decor that's currently in the home, the harder that becomes. Consider removing extraneous decor and repainting any bright colors to a more neutral tone.

Poor-quality pictures

Most Australians start their home-buying process online. That means browsing through dozens of listings and skimming through photos to see if the home is worth seeing in person. Unfortunately, pictures that fail to leave an impression on potential buyers may mean they never take the next step.

Luckily, even non-professional photographers have access to a quality camera in their smartphone. Make sure you take photos of every room from an angle that gives an honest idea of the size and shape. Don't forget to take several pictures in the kitchen, which is always a major selling point.

Be sure your house is clean and tidy before snapping pictures, and consider rearranging furniture if a room feels particularly cluttered. If you simply don't have an eye to capture the space, bringing in a professional photographer may be a smart option.

The price is wrong

For most buyers, the bottom line is almost always price. And if you've priced your home too high – even if you might be willing to negotiate – potential customers may not even consider it.

Be sure to do your research and see what similar homes in your neighbourhood have sold for and take that into account when pricing your own house. You should also take into account any external factors that may be discouraging buyers: Is your street particularly noisy compared to nearby homes? Is the back yard bordering a busy street?

Consider all of these factors when trying to find the right price for your house.

Factors out of your control

Even if you've done everything right, sometimes there are elements that are simply out of your control. It could be the wrong time of year. Families with children may be hesitant to look for a home in the middle of the school year or during the holidays.

Beyond the time of year, sometimes the market simply isn't on your side. The demand for housing ebbs and flows depending on myriad factors, which means you could have listed your house when many other similar properties are available. Buyers can then be picky and drive down prices.

If you find yourself in an undesirable market, you have some decisions to make. While you can certainly leave the for-sale sign up and cross your fingers, you may also decide to pull it from the market and give it a try again next year. For more insights, consult our experienced team.

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