Can’t Sell My House

Help – I can’t sell my house!

Even with the smoothest of house sales, the average time to sell a property in the UK is 76 day – 295 , with regional a figure that is subject to change depending on the specific location of the property . If the weeks come and go and you can’t sell your house, you may find yourself in a panic. There can be a number of reasons why your property won’t sell, and while you may be able to do something about some of the issues, others are out of your hands. If you are struggling to sell your home, this can create a great deal of stress and uncertainty – especially if you are relying on the sale in order to take next steps such as buying another property, relocating, or paying off debt. Luckily, there are some ways you can increase the likelihood of a successful sale, and some alternatives to consider if you need to sell in a hurry.

Why won’t my house sell?

There are lots of reasons that homeowners may struggle to sell within a reasonable timeframe – which leads to the commonly asked question, why isn’t my house selling?

Can't sell my house - Is your house priced incorrectly

Is your house priced incorrectly ?

It is crucial to value your home correctly when putting it on the market, especially if you are looking for a quick home sale. Pricing it too high can put buyers off for two reason. Firstly, if the price is unrealistic and doesn’t represent the value of the home, they’ll look elsewhere. Secondly, the longer it stays on the market, the more weary prospective buyers will become, which can lead to them forgoing looking at your listing altogether. Consulting with an estate agent can help you determine fair market value,and if you are looking

for a fast sale, you may wish to list at a figure slightly below this in hopes to attract a keen buyer. When you can’t sell your house at the price you’ve listed, you may have to consider dropping it to attract buyers. *Tip – Use resources like Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and the Government’s’ Sold House Price Index to look at the listing and sale prices of local properties. This will give you an idea of the local market value, which can be of help when deciding how to price your own property.*

It’s not in saleable condition

Factors like your property’s structural integrity, cosmetic appearance, and cleanliness will determine whether it is in a saleable condition. If your home is in need of some TLC, this will be immediately apparent to prospective buyers, and will most likely put them off. If you are preparing to sell your home, you must first prepare your home – that means taking the time to clean, de-clutter, and make improvements where needed; for example, pay close

Cant sell my house - house not in saleable condition

attention to areas like bathrooms, wet rooms and kitchens, where things like mould can develop. Unsure of how to get rid of a house that won’t sell? Looking at whether or not it’s in truly sellable condition is an easy place to start. *Tip – Try looking at online listings for other homes for sale in the area, or even attend open days or viewings. This can often give you some perspective and/or ideas about what can be done in your own home to improve the saleability.*

Cant sell my house - The market is depressed

The market is depressed

The UK property market is cyclical, and if you are attempting a sale during a market downturn, this could provide a simple explanation as to why your home isn’t selling. While nothing may be wrong with your property or the listing, it may be that factors such as economic depression, political uncertainty, lack of demand and oversupply could lead to your home sitting on the market for a long time. If you are looking for tips on how to sell your house during a market slump, you may wish to ask your estate agent for advice.

The marketing isn’t up to scratch

When you can’t sell your house, revisiting the marketing is a must. With over 90 per cent of property searches now beginning online, it’s more important than ever to make your property stand out in the online listing. Eye-catching photographs are a must, so it’s important to instruct a professional to take pictures of your home looking its best. Many sites also enable you to include a video or 365-degree tour, which can help your listing stand out even more. Beyond online, traditional marketing

Cant sell my house - Marketing your property ro show it at its best

efforts like leafleting, newspaper ads and ‘For Sale’ signs can still have an impact. Furthermore, you want to highlight not just by the property’s current state, but also it’s potential. For example, is there the possibility of a loft extension adding two more bedrooms? Can the property be extended out the back to create a conservatory? Is there the option to remove walls and turn a cramped downstairs into a modern, open plan space? These and other benefits can help buyers see the long-term options, and envisage a future in your home.

How to get rid of a house that won’t sell

So you’ve tried all your conventional options for home selling- what now? What else can you do to help your home sale? It could be that your home simply isn’t reaching its full potential and that with a bit of time and TLC, you can completely transform your home:

Cant sell my house - how to get rid of a house that wont sell

Improve the kerb appeal

First impressions count, especially when it comes to sizing up your property. When you can’t sell your house, you should take a look at the front of the house objectively to see what your prospective buyers will see. When they see your home for the first time, they should be intrigued and want to come inside. You can increase the kerb appeal of your exterior by conducting some basic landscaping – mow the lawn, rake up any leaves or debris, deadhead flowers, weed the garden and paving stones, plant new bulbs, prune trees and bushes, and remove any rubbish or recycling bins from out the front. You may also wish to give the front door and frames around front-facing windows a fresh lick of paint as well.

Clean and declutter

It’s only natural that clutter will accumulate over the years, but this can be offputting to those looking around your home during a viewing. Prior to a viewing, you should get rid of all unnecessary clutter like books, toys, games and even unused cumbersome furniture to make each room look bigger. Cleaning the property from top to bottom can get rid of unsightly stains and unpleasant smells, and can create a great first impression as buyers walk through.

Add value

Many people will look at remodelling or renovating a home before putting it on the market, but the truth is there are little things you can do that make a substantial difference without having to go all out. For example, applying fresh paint, replacing broken tiles, putting down new flooring, removing grout, ensuring all fixtures and fittings are working (and ideally matching), deep cleaning carpets, utilising smart storage solutions and more can make your space seem brighter and cleaner. While some buyers are looking for a project, many will be looking for a turnkey, move-in ready property.

Create a blank canvas

Ultimately, when buyers walk through your home, you want them to see it as a place they could call home. You should, therefore, try to make your home as neutral as possible, removing your personal touches to create a space that looks like it could be a show home. For example, you may wish to apply neutral colours like Magnolia or White to the walls, remove photos or personal decor, and even make sure pets and pet beds are out of the house during viewings.

I still can’t sell my house – what are my options?

If even after carrying out the above you are still having no success, you could be feeling defeated and down. So, what are your options?

Postpone the sale

If you can’t sell your house in the desired timescale, you may wish to take your property off the market and wait until conditions improve to try again. If there is an oversupply on the market currently, you could take your property off and list it at a later date when there is less competition. If you are selling over the Christmas and New Year period, you may wish to try again in a few months when buyers actively return to the market. Of course, this is assuming you are able to wait; if you are in a hurry and need a quick sale, postponing the sale may not be an option. In cases like these, you may wish to consider some of the other options…

Rent it out

If you need to move quickly, you could keep your current property and use it as a rental. The income generated from tenants each month can cover your mortgage payments while you move into something new. Of course, there are things to consider with this option, such as the legalities and responsibilities of being a landlord, the financial implications (including the recent loss of buy-to-let tax relief), and the demands that managing a rental will place on your time. If you are relocating overseas for retirement or a new job, managing your property from afar and across time zones can be particularly difficult. In this case you may need to consider instructing a professional property management company (the cost of which you’ll need to factor into your monthly cash flow).

Lower the price

One of the easiest options for home selling on a short timescale is lowering the asking price. If you are prepared to take a below-market-value offer, you may entice a number of buyers who would have otherwise overlooked the property. While you may not enjoy the profits you would have liked, sometimes taking a loss or accepting less in exchange for a quick sale is a compromise worth making.

Look for buyers elsewhere

When you can’t sell your house by using traditional sites that target your average homebuyer, you may wish to widen the net to find others who may be in a position to buy your property. For example, you may want to network and approach investors or cash buyers, many of whom are often in the market for a quick sale.

Refinance your home

If your reasons for selling are financially motivated, you may be able to look at financing options that will enable you to remain in your home, forgoing your needs to sell. For example, provided you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible to release equity from the home, or if you have a variable mortgage, you could speak to your lender to discuss taking out a second loan or lowering your interest rate.


We can’t sell our house with with flyers and leaflets alone - where should we list our home online?

There are a number of property listing sites in the UK such as Rightmove and Zoopla, along with online estate agent sites like Tepilo. If you are working with an estate agency, you should ensure that they will put your listing on their own specific website as well.

How long should it take to sell my home?

While the average time to sell in the UK is six weeks, a property that boasts a great location and offers good value could sell in as little as three weeks. If you are unsure about the specifics in your chosen neighborhood, speaking with an established estate agent will help you gauge whether the time your property is spending on the market is normal, or a cause for concern.

I can’t sell my house - when should I consider other options?

This will ultimately depend on your specific circumstances. If you are in a hurry to sell, you may start investigating reasons for the lack of interest in the property and alternatives to selling after a couple of weeks.

I can’t sell my house - can I rent my home out?

Keeping your home and using it as a rental is possible, but there is a lot to consider before doing so.<Think we should create a blog on, “Things to think about before renting your home”, in which we can go into detail about things like legalities, costs, property management, how to sell at a later date if you have tenants in, etc. What do we think?>

I can't sell my house but want to buy another - what should I do?

Buyers stuck in a property chain can often face the dilemma of wanting to act quickly on another property, but aren’t able to do so without funds from a property currently on the market. You can consider letting out your property, or seeking out a cash buyer who may be able to take the property off your hands quickly.  Of course, cash buyers will often buy below market value, so you should consider this loss when weighing up what you’ll need towards the purchase of your next home.

What happens if I can’t afford to postpone the sale?

It may be that you are in a hurry to sell your property, and leaving your listing for later just isn’t a possibility. In these cases, you may wish to consult with cash buyers or investors who are on the lookout for a great deal, and who are often in a position to close a transaction quickly.