house for sale

Why won’t my house sell?

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

If you've been struggling to get your house off the market, you might be wondering what's scaring your buyers off. These are the most common things that give buyers the ick.

1. Overgrown gardens

Overgrown and messy gardens are a huge turn-off for potential buyers. If your garden's looking a little unkempt, it could put viewers off looking inside the property as well.

Giving your garden a simple mow could make a huge difference. Hide your bins in the garage or at the side of the house. If you have broken fencing, it’s a good idea to fix it and give it a lick of paint. Do this for both the front and back garden.

2. Bad smells

Bad smells are one of the worst offenders for scaring off buyers.

A house that has a particularly pungent smell will deter viewers straight away. Try to tackle any odours from pets, cigarettes, damp or bins before you get your viewers in. 

Spray a little air freshener or light a scented candle before people arrive, and if it's a nice day, you could open a few windows as well.

3. Clutter

If your house is particularly cluttered, it can give buyers the impression that there’s a lack of storage. It might also make it difficult for viewers to see past your possessions.

Selling your home gives you the perfect opportunity to declutter. Getting rid of anything you no longer need will make it easier when you come to move out as well.

Clear the worktops and any corners so viewers can get a clear look at the space. If you're not ready to throw anything out, neatly pack it away and put it into storage.

To learn how to turn your clutter into cash, read on here.

4. Dark rooms

Oppressive dark spaces can make rooms appear smaller than they are. Natural lighting is considered a universal must for buyers, so for any dingy rooms, brighten them up before viewings. Open any blinds, curtains or window shutters.

Cleaning your windows can also make a big difference in the amount of natural light that comes in. If your windows are hard to reach, get a cleaner round to give them a once over.

Decluttering will also come in handy here, as more space will make the room appear bigger and brighter.

5. Damp stains

Damp stains are going to give any viewers the ick. A damp stain will signal to a potential buyer that the property might be problematic. Damp can also be a very costly problem if it gets out of control. 

While any damp will be noted on your home report, it's a good idea to try and resolve it before your home goes to market. That way, when you're ready to sell, you shouldn't lose out on as much for the price of the property.

6. Untidy kitchens or bathrooms

If your sink is full of dirty dishes, or you have a pile of unwashed towels in your bathroom, your viewers are going to get distracted.

Messy bathrooms and kitchens can be particularly off-putting because they can give the impression that the house hasn't been looked after.

Before your viewers come over, give the kitchen and bathroom a good scrub. Clean the tiles, put your dishes away and empty the bins. It will make all the difference.

7. Over the top décor

One of the best ways to help viewers visualise themselves living in your property is to keep the interior decoration neutral.

Bold wallpaper or swirly carpets won’t allow the viewer to see the property for what it is. Opting for some neutral paint and flooring might help your property get off the market quicker. Pop to your local DIY store and get some neutral paint. As well as being easy on the eye, light colours will make the rooms seem big and bright.

8. Structural damage

If your house has any cracks, it'll reduce the overall market value and buyers will identify these as a problem.

Do a check of your home and see if you can find any cracks in the walls or ceilings. If you can't afford to fix them before you move, you'll probably end up having to accept a lower offer than what you originally hoped for.

Read on to see what might happen to house prices in 2021.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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