The reasons behind why a property won’t sell

There’s no doubt that some properties are easy to sell making every real estate agent’s job a dream. Thanks to reality TV programs like The Block, buyers now expect more!

So which properties are easy to sell? Highly saleable properties are well marketed, visible on all website pages in the immediate area and/or newspaper.  You need to advertise on ALL major portals, remembering southern buyers have a preference for Domain. These homes need to be priced fairly or attractively enough to entire buyers to inspect and thus compete. Finally the property needs to be presented beautifully AND well maintained so that potential buyers can literally move in.

Of course a good agent has a lot to do with it also, and can create competition through marketing. A great agent can leverage offers and maximise the sale price.

But what if a property doesn’t sell?

Let’s look at the reasons why some properties just don’t sell.

1)   Properties that don’t present well from first impression with a good curb-side appeal.  If it looks good from the outside, that will create a sense of pride of ownership.  Properties that look average or unappealing on the outside are always harder to sell. As the proverb says: “love turns a blind eye to every fault”.

2)   Properties that have unappealing aspects – these can include anything from being dark inside, overlooking something unattractive, near power lines or busy roads. Steep blocks of land with steep driveways or difficult access also create a stumbling block. Even though you have had no problem with navigating the hairpin driveway, don’t assume that everyone feels the same.

3)   Very quirky or unique properties. These properties are often quite delightful but only appeal to a small niche market. Whilst there is a buyer for every property, statistics suggest that it takes on average 22 buyers before you get an offer, or get SOLD.  We trialled this at MY PROPERTY GROUP last week and we sold to buyer no 21.  Selling quirky properties take a lot longer (how many super quirky buyers are there?) and in order to eventuate a quick sale, you may need to consider the price point. These properties include pole homes, steep blocks, artist’s cabins and houses with 2 bedrooms, brightly coloured properties or really impractical properties.

4)   Properties that smell! This is a stand-alone point. Many sellers are immune to the fact that properties often have an odour – and it could be of a much-loved dog or a pet. Homes with teenage boys that leave sweaty clothes lying in wash baskets are a case in point. Homes need to be aired. Overly scented homes with canisters of air fresheners can also smell offensive to those susceptible to sinus problems or headaches. Nothing beats the smell of fresh flowers or perhaps a candle or some aromatherapy.

5)   PRICE, PRICE AND PRICE! Of course, you think your home is very unique and worth more than the agent has appraised it at! You’re human after all! The benchmark for what the market is thinking and where the market is at is based on the offers you receive. During a marketing campaign it normally takes three offers for a stubborn and reluctant seller to accept market values. The first offer is perceived as the buyer’s fault. The second one is perceived as the agent’s fault and the third one is often taken as the market’s fault. Sadly often fourth offers are even lower (especially in a falling or neutral market) as the seller may have wasted too much time in coming to terms with this.

6)   Poorly presented properties are harder to sell. That goes without saying. Even a dirty shower screen can put off buyers. When did you last clean your dishwasher or oven? Think like an hotelier and invest in a good cleaner, remove personal clutter and personal possessions. Perhaps it’s time to call in a stylist?

7)   Focus on your WHY. Why are you selling? If you aren’t motivated enough and won’t accept buyer feedback and market value, then withdraw your property from the market.  Too many unmotivated sellers clutter the market with too many properties, causing a lack of competition and will ultimately reduce prices. Start imagining a life outside of your home and then you may be able to move on.

One of Australia’s favourite icons, John McGrath, said famously “Even the greatest properties in this world remain unsold due to price”.

FACT! So even if you have a small, dark, dingy property overlooking power lines, on a steep block that smells of dog and has absolutely no appeal….there WILL be a buyer if the price is right!

PS I have just sold a block of land with a massive power line running right through it and a tiny triangular shaped building pad which you could put a Toblerone shaped home on. It took 5 contracts to sell it (as they all got cold feet), but we got it sold.

Gaby McEwan has been selling homes of all shapes, sizes, colours and styles for over nine years. Contact her or on 0401 781 116.