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Why isn’t my house selling?

Despite hopes your home would sell quickly, is it a few months down the line and still languishing on the market? We take a look at the common reasons for homes not selling– and how to fix them to get that all important sale

why isn't house selling?

Selling a home can be tricky at the best of times, and despite the general consensus that a lack of housing supply is the main cause of today’s housing crisis, it doesn’t necessarily mean all houses sell easily. If you have had problems finding a buyer for your house then take time to consider the following factors and their possible remedies.

Your home lacks kerb appeal

Buyers make up their minds about a house within minutes and if the outside of your home isn’t looking its best you could be losing out on potential buyers. Try to look at your property from the point of view of a prospective buyer – everyone wants a home they can be proud of.

First impressions are so important so make sure that the garden is tidy, wheelie-bins are in a side passage if possible, or somewhere where they are not jarringly obvious, and make the effort to clean doors and windows.

According to our 2019 Annual HomeOwners Survey, more than 68% of homeowners say kerb appeal was important in their choice of home. The most important factors were windows being in good condition, a well maintained roof and a tidy front garden and driveway/path. We’ve teamed up with Checkatrade to help you find local tradespeople and get those jobs done fast

The property is too cluttered and tired

Decluttering isn’t just about hiding away your nic-nacs and clearing surfaces – though that is important. If the garden is stacked full of old childrens toys, rusty trampolines and rotting playhouses, or the spare room is crammed high with old furniture and that old running machine you never use, it’s time to clear them out. Your council may be able to clear things for free. Alternatively our household rubbish removal partners at AnyJunk send two crew members to clear junk or bulky waste from anywhere on your property. They can arrange same day collection in most cities and on average 95% is diverted from landfill.

Make sure your home is clean, tidy – and ideally pet and child free. We know children and pets are usually something you want to showcase but they can be off-putting for potential buyers trying to picture themselves living in your home. Try to minimise the noise and space they take up by confining them to one area – it’s what TV rooms and gardens were made for!

The photos don’t do it justice

Most buyers will start their property search online so the first glimpse they’ll get of your home will be via photos. Given the wealth of choice offered by most property websites it is easy for people to pass over pictures which look unattractive or don’t have the ‘wow’ factor. Some estate agents use professional photographers while others have been taking photos so long they know what items of furniture to shift and when the wide angle lense is needed. But some agents will be better than others. If you’re photos don’t come up to scratch you shouldn’t accept them. You are after all paying the agent to provide these as part of their marketing services. Ask to approve any pictures before they are posted online.

The asking price is wrong

Getting the price of a property right can make all the difference to the prospects of a sale. The best way to ensure you have the asking price right is by combining online research with advice from at least three estate agents. Bear in mind that some agents will overestimate the initial value of a property as a means of incentivising prospective clients whilst other agents may price your house low for a quick sale so they can earn their commission quickly. It’s important to find the right agent.

With our EstateAgent4Me tool you can compare agents in your area to find estate agents that are selling properties fastest and regularly achieving asking price.

Find and Compare Local Estate Agents

This form will take you to for the results

The estate agent isn’t doing a good job

Many homeowners end up feeling that their estate agent is not doing enough to sell their home. If you believe that to be the case then make sure you have told your agent that. Ask what else they could be doing to market your property. It’s important to have regular conversations. They should be in touch with feedback on viewings and progress. If not, get on to them. It’s important that they re-assure you that they are doing all they can to actively market your property. Here’s what you should expect an estate agent to do.

If you need more reassurance it may also be worth doing some investigative work. Try asking a friend or family member to pose as a prospective buyer in order to gauge the level of service that they receive and to confirm that the person that manages the viewings is knowledgeable and competent.

It’s important to be open with your estate agent about your expectations. They should be in touch with feedback on viewings and progress. If they’re not, get on to them.

If you aren’t being listened to or have lost faith, give notice to terminate your estate agent contracts and move to another estate agent.

What are my options if my house isn’t selling?

You could:

How long is too long when selling a house?

If you were hoping your property would be snapped up almost as soon as it hit the market anything more than a few days may seem too long to you! But according to the experts two months is about as long as you should wait before considering lowering the price or switching agent.


Leave a comment (5)* Required

  1. KateKate

    I’m not sure what changing agents would achieve. All properties are on the internet for the world to see so I’m not sure where another agent would get a buyer from

  2. Lorraine AldredLorraine Aldred

    We are in a really difficult position. We sold our house last year only to have the buyer pull out. We changed agents as they were concentrating on selling new builds. Then we discovered the biggest problem. Within a mile radius of our home, four different new ‘estates’ are being built with houses of the same size and price as ours. They have the additional bonus of the builders offering to pay the first year’s mortgage and help to buy for new builds. It’s so frustrating as even though the agent tells us that we’ve done everything we can and they’re working hard(reducing the price, ensuring everywhere is spotless, having a virtual tour, changing photos which are all high quality etc.) We have now had no viewings for a month. No idea what to do next!

  3. Rebecca AndrewsRebecca Andrews

    Our house has been on the market for 8 weeks. It’s a big four bedroom house and was assured that family houses like ours are selling fast. Having to downsize because husband being disabled. I ‘nag’ my estate agent every couple of weeks as we have had three viewings in that time. Then I hear nothing from them for two weeks till I nag them again. We feel they are only putting in viewers because we ‘nag’. I have never had feedback from them that’s why we think that. We are at a loss as to what to do. I am I doing right nagging them. They have even pushed people through the door whose houses are not on the market yet even after saying on people who are ready to buy. We’ve never had a second viewing. Help please any advice would be appreciated.

  4. Dee MacGowanDee MacGowan

    Your articles are excellent. However when I attempted to print one off for a friend having difficulty selling his house, a Sign up for our Newsletter box obscured part of it and couldnt be removed. I wanted to repay the extensive help he is giving me for preparing my house for sale by doing this for him. Very disappointed. I have directed him to the site instead.

    • PaulaPaula

      Hi Dee,
      Apologies for the difficulty you’ve had printing, I want to let you know that we have solved the problem, and to thank you for taking the time to point out that little bug that’s crept in. I hope you’ll both continue to get value from the site through the whole process; good luck with the house sales!



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