Melanie Hearse - 15 Jul, 2019

What to do if your house isn’t selling

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House been on the market, but failing to move? Here’s some real estate agent approved tips and tricks to improve your chances.

Today’s real estate market isn’t all about putting your best foot forward to attract the best price – in the current climate, it’s sometimes simply about getting a sold sticker on the sign

While it’s not always something you’ve done; or not done, behind the lack of offers (for example, you live in an area with more comparable and competitively-priced property stock than interested buyers), sometimes your problem can be solved with a little creativity and focus. Here’s our real estate agent approved five-point plan:

1. Assess your home

Your agent should have given you a frank assessment about what work needs to be done around your home to improve your offering. We all know the fresh neutral paint job is a must to staying competitive, but many of us have been living in our homes so long we don’t see the tiny – or even glaring – issues holding up a sale. 

It’s also important to pay attention to the little things and less glamorous rooms. “We’ve seen the mistake of homeowners and realtors only concentrating on the main rooms of the house. It’s easy to write a functional space like a laundry off, thinking buyers won’t pay much attention to it, but you should treat every room as a key selling feature. It may not be the reason you get a sale, but it can certainly lose you one,” says Ramya Menon, Director of Sales with Bayut.

2. Assess your strategy

Your agent should be checking in with you often, with at least four strategy ideas at any given time, says Andy Reid, director of the Sold By Group.

“There are many types of strategies that can be used to sell a home – from the types of photos, using online videos to social media campaigns, home opens – so on and so forth. Your agent should be assessing how their strategy is working on a continual basis and making tweaks until the property is sold,” he says.

If it hasn’t been raised with you, ask your agent what they recommend switching up to breath life back into your sales campaign.

3. Assess your agent

It’s important the agent-seller relationship is a collaboration, Reid says. “Your agent should bring the know-how of selling real estate, the local market knowledge and honest feedback and advice to the table. But it’s also your home – if anything makes you uncomfortable or you aren’t sure about it, you need to be able to say so,” he says.

He recommends staying in close touch, noting he meets clients at least once a fortnight in person to keep them up to date with progress and to refine selling strategies.  

4. Assess your price

“Perhaps the sentimental value you’ve attached doesn’t match the current value of the house. Having an honest but realistic conversation with your agent can result in a price drop, and eventually a sale,” Menon says.

Reid said simply dropping your price isn’t always going to mean a sale, and it may not be the right move for your situation. If the market won’t meet the price you are looking for and you (and your agent) believe you could successfully achieve it in a better market, it’s time to consider if you are ready to sell.

5. Assess your goals

“People don’t wake up one morning and decide they want to sell their home – there is usually a bigger goal or reason behind it – maybe you’re having a baby, you want more space, you’re ready to move up the property ladder, or maybe you’re downsizing,” Andy says.

So if you’re sure you’ve looked at all of the above and you’re still not getting that sale, it’s time to look at why you are selling – what goal are you trying to achieve – and rethink your options. “It just may not be the right time for you to sell,” Andy says.

If finances mean you must, talk to your bank and discuss your options – you may be able to apply for an interest-only period, or you may like to look into renting your property for a period of time. Speak to a real estate agent specialising in rentals in your local area for a realistic view of what you’ll need to do, what costs and fees are involved, how likely you are to find a tenant and what income you could expect (don’t forget to ask the ATO about any tax implications when doing your maths!)

Words by Melanie Hearse

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