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UK Homeowner Advice For Selling Your House Fast

By Ben Kennish

I Can’t Sell My House – What Should I Do?

I Can’t Sell My House, What Are My Options If I Need To Sell Quickly?

Selling property can be tough, and it’s known as one of the most stressful parts of modern life. But what if you get to the stage where you quite literally can’t sell your house?

i can't sell my house advice

Well, today we’re going to be taking a look at what might happen if you find you can’t sell your house, and what you can do in order to help it sell.

Why Isn’t My House Selling?

It makes sense to start off by taking a look at the main reasons why a property in the UK might not sell. In order to sell you need an agreement from both parties – buyer and seller – so what could prevent that from happening? Let’s take a look:

The Value in Regards to the Location of the Property

  • One of the biggest mistakes a selling homeowner can make, is overpricing their property.
  • The main issue, is that the value often looks different to the buyer and the seller. While the seller might think the property is worth more because of what they originally paid for it, a number of factors might influence the potential buyer to think otherwise.
  • One of these factors, is the location of a property.
  • Depending on where in the country, and furthermore region and city a property is in, the price can fluctuate quite substantially.
  • Even in the same town or city, properties can vary hugely in value. It depends usually on their surroundings, for example how close to the city centre they are or how desirable the area is.
  • There has been research that the same sized property in the same city can price in a range of hundreds of thousands of pounds – literally just dependant on where in the city the said property actually is.
  • One area where the price difference is more significant than any other, is without doubt, London – but this stands for any city, whether you’re up north in Newcastle, or more in the middle in Manchester.
  • How long your property is on the market will tend to depend on its location, and how its value sizes up in comparison.
  • So, if your property is overvalued in comparison to the rest of the properties in the said area, then it’s likely that it’s going to take a long time for it to shift off the market.

Usually, the only way to help a property to sell if this is the case, is to reduce the price so that it’s more relative to other competitors in the said area.

Whether Your Home is Well Maintained and in Good Condition

  • If your home isn’t well maintained and in good condition, then this is going to cause you more than one issue in the overall process of selling.
  • For example a “fixer upper” property isn’t likely to be taken off the market unless it’s at a relative price, as it’s likely the buyer will have to spend a lot of money on it in order to make it liveable for them.
  • Therefore if a property requires work doing on it, it’s going to affect how much you can value that property at – regardless of location or size.
  • The issue with this, is that it means the size of your potential market shrinks considerably. There are only certain people who are happy enough to buy a house that needs work put into it.
  • If the price doesn’t reflect the fact the property needs work, then it’s likely that the sale is going to be delayed hugely.
  • Another option here, would be that you could do the work yourself – or pay to have it done – in order to up the value of the property and to widen your market.
  • Alternatively, you could look at reducing the listing price with your estate agent.
  • Of course, all of these options take time.
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The Market is Against You

  • Sometimes, it can just feel like you’re incredibly unlucky – and whether you believe in luck or not, this could actually be the case.
  • The problem is that the property market is fluid and everchanging. This means it goes through periods of selling quickly, and of course, periods of selling slowly.
  • If you’re selling your property at a time when the market is slow to sell, then of course it’s likely to slow down the overall selling process of your own property.
  • This type of market is often referred to as a “buyers’ market”, because sellers are likely to have to decrease their prices in order to sell the property.
  • One thing that might affect the state of the property market, is the calendar year. For example, selling property in the Spring and Summer tends to be a far quicker process than selling in the Winter months, for example.
  • However, if the market is generally slow, then the calendar isn’t really going to affect it. Like any sort of sales market, the property industry has its own ups and downs too.
  • If this is the case and it is a buyers’ market, and there are an abundance of properties similar to yours on the market, then this could also slow the sale down, as buyers can afford to be more picky, and will always be convinced that they can get more for their money.
  • If you find yourself in this situation, then a viable option would be to take the property off the market for the time being. You can always re-list it when the market picks up.
  • However, if you need to sell the property under a time constraint, then this isn’t likely to be an option for you.

If you find yourself in this scenario and can’t afford to wait, then you might have to look at reducing the price of the property in order to help it to sell more quickly. There are, however, other options.

Your House has Been on the Market for a Long Time

  • If your house has been on the market for a long time already, then unfortunately it’s likely to become increasingly difficult for you to sell it – especially for a good price.
  • The truth of the matter is, there is a window of time when is a “good time” to sell a property. If you’ve already missed this, then it can cause issues.
  • Usually, this window of time is in the first month or so of the house going onto the property market. If a house has been on the market and hasn’t sold for a number of months, it can actually be considered off putting for potential buyers.
  • Straight away, if a property has been on the market a long time, buyers will start to ask questions. They’ll wonder if there’s something inherently wrong with the property, and whether that’s the reason for the lack of sale.
  • Another thing they’re likely to consider, is whether or not they’ll have a similar issue when it comes to their turn selling in the future. The last thing they want to be burdened with is a house that doesn’t sell.
  • Of course, an option in these circumstances would be to take the property off the market and reconsider in six months or so. If you do this, however, you should be extremely mindful of the price you put the property back on the market for when the time comes. If you put the price too high, you might find yourself in the same situation all over again – and that’s the last thing you want.
  • If you don’t want to take the property off the market, however, you could look into hosting an “open house”. This is a very American thing to do, but it’s increasing in popularity in the UK all of the time.
  • The great thing about an open house, is that it can create a buzz around your house. Potential buyers become competitors with each other and so on.
  • If your house needs work however, this probably isn’t the best option. People like to be impressed by what they see at an open house, rather than by imagining what they could do with the house.
  • If neither of these options are for you, you could drop the price. It goes without saying that if a property is what’s considered “at the right price”, then it’ll sell.

The only issue with all of these solutions, is that they take time. If you don’t have the time, then you may want to consider selling to a cash buying quick sale company. Our advice on using these organisations would be to thoroughly do your research and ensure they’re a reliable company. You might also have to take below the market value in return for a quick sale – but if time is of the essence, then you may not have another option.

Your Estate Agent Might Be the Issue

  • If you’re with an estate agent who isn’t actively trying to help you sell your property, or has possibly overpriced it, then this could be the reason why it’s not selling in the first place.
  • It doesn’t matter whether your estate agent is online or in person – they should be actively working to help you to sell your property quickly, for the right price.
  • In order to ensure they’re working correctly, you’ll want to have regular contact with them in regards to your property and the sales process – and furthermore, what they’re actually doing in order to aid its sale. If you still feel that they’re not pulling their weight, you might want to consider switching your estate agent.
  • Another issue, could be that they’ve priced it too highly. A lot of estate agents – particularly those who work on commission – will price property highly in order to gain your business. If you suspect this is the problem, you could request to reduce the asking price.
  • A good way of avoiding this happening, is to gather several valuations in the first place, before deciding which agency you’re going to sell with. This will give you a general idea of what the average pricing is for your property, and which agencies are possibly guilty of overpricing.
  • Another, is to read reviews and ask for opinions on estate agents. One of the best ways of getting a good service is by word of mouth, so talk to people who you know have sold their property recently, and ask about who they used.
  • Furthermore, it is a possibility to sell with several agencies at once – but this can be an expensive option.
  • Always read the contract, and consider what your options are.
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What Else Can I do if My House Won’t Sell?

So we’ve taken a look at the reasons why your property might not be selling in the UK at present, and what some of the solutions are. So what else can you do if your house won’t sell?

Let the Property Out to Tenants

  • It’s a possibility that if your property won’t sell, you could choose to let it out to tenants.
  • It’s not an option for everyone, as being a landlord comes with taxes and responsibilities galore!
  • Being a landlord is much like running a business, and if you feel that this wouldn’t be for you then that’s okay – there are other options. If this does sound like something you’d be interested in however, here are your options.
  • First off, you’ll have to inform your mortgage lender or company about your decision to start letting out your property. This is so that you can switch your mortgage type to a “buy to let” contract.
  • Generally speaking, if your lender is happy enough to do this, then your interest rates are going to go up.
  • Furthermore, there are a number of rules you must follow if you’re a landlord in order to comply with safety regulations, so you’ll want to ensure you research these thoroughly.

Sell Your Property onto a Quick Sale Company

  • Finally, as we briefly mentioned, you could look into selling your property to a cash buying quick sale service.
  • However, many of these companies and establishments have been associated with fraudsters in the past, so be sure to do your research thoroughly and know exactly who you’re dealing with.
  • Although you are likely to have to sell for below the market value – usually around ten percent – this is in return for a sale that could take as little as seven days.
  • Usually, these companies will value your property for free too, which means that you save money on the process, as well as not having to pay legal fees or estate agent fees.
  • This is usually a good option for those in time sensitive situations. People who use quick sale companies range from those facing repossession and debt charges, to those that need to emigrate or move quickly in order to accommodate a new job.
  • Likewise, they’re often used by people facing unpleasant divorce settlements, or possibly those bereaved who have been left a property that they can’t afford.
  • It’s an easy fix to getting your property off the market if this is the end goal. Just be sure you know the terms and conditions of the company you’re dealing with, and be prepared to sell for less than the market value.

Overall, there’s no argument that it can be extremely difficult to sell your property – particularly if this is due to the state of the market and isn’t actually any fault of your own. We hope that today, we’ve opened your eyes and helped you to realise that even if this is the case, then there are options for everybody, regardless of personal circumstances.


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2 thoughts on “I Can’t Sell My House – What Should I Do?”

  1. I’ve been trying over 6 months to sell to with my local agent i’ve also tried quick sale companies but their offers are so low, do you have any suggestions?

    1. Quick sale companies will generally pay 85% of market value, and yes it’s a big hit especially if you don’t have the equity. I would suggest lowering your asking price on the open market first with your estate agent.

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