6 reasons your property isn’t selling – and what to do

Man confused why his house hasn't sold yet: it has a for sale sign and everything!

So you’ve decided to sell your property. You’ve enlisted the help of an agent, set a price guide, put it on the market…and you’re still waiting. Maybe you’ve had a few interested nibbles, but no one’s buying what you’re selling. What’s going on? And what can you do about it?

It’s not uncommon for properties to sit on the market for 30 days or more, but it looks like a red flag to buyers when something hasn’t sold after 90 days. Even if nothing’s wrong with it, people think something might be. So let’s get the process moving again.

Here are six reasons your home isn’t selling – and six ways to fix it.

Reason 1: Your listing photos could be better

Photographer takes nice photos of a house

Any influencer could tell you lighting and camera angles are everything. If your property isn’t looking its best in your listings and advertising campaign, it puts off potential buyers. 

Instead, invest in a good photographer and clean up the place. This includes landscaping the front and back yards, shining the windows, and removing rubbish. Embrace bright lighting, wide angles, and a neutral aesthetic so buyers can imagine themselves and their belongings in the space. You might be surprised how far good photos can take you.

If you want to go the extra mile, consider putting together a ‘lookbook’ video with shots of the house and pleasant music. Even better, have the selling agent give a guided tour of the property, highlighting the features and potential of the place. Given how much today’s property market has gone digital, having a video of the property can help you stand out.

Reason 2: The price and value don’t match

Woman confused why price and value don't match

Pricing your property is more art than science, but it’s still a crucial part of selling. If you go too high, you overvalue the place and turn people away, but if you price too little, you not only sell yourself short but arouse suspicion. This property is so lovely, so why is it so cheap?

An official property valuation can give you a better idea of what you’re sitting on. The idea is to hit the sweet spot between price and value so buyers know they’re getting their money’s worth.

Reason 3: The property isn’t for everyone

Woman gasps at lighthouse property that's perfect for her

Many unique properties have hit the market lately, from churches to lighthouses to retro vintage pubs. While these places can bring a lot of personality and charm, they don’t necessarily appeal to every buyer. Thinking of your buying audience and pitching your property to the right people is critical. Who wants to live in this home, and why?

Maybe your property sits on a lovely piece of land that a property investor could develop. Maybe your property could suit a downsizer or a family looking for a project. Once you know your buyer demographic, you can tailor your selling points to serve them.

Reason 4: Your home needs a refresh or reno

Woman cringes at really ugly house that could use a reno or paint or something

Renovating or refreshing your property can add instant value and draw eyes to your sale listing. Yes, it’s true some buyers are keen on a fixer-upper, but flipping properties these days can be expensive, and many more simply want to move into a home that’s good to go.

Some quick ways to revitalise your home include:

  • New lighting fixtures
  • A fresh coat of paint
  • Blooming plants in the garden.

If you want to take it further, add sustainable and energy-efficient features to your home, such as solar panels, double glazing, and a rainwater tank. These features can lower home loan and running costs for the new buyer and boost your home value quite a bit. 

If your budget is tight, there are solar construction loan options available.

Reason 5: Your selling agent isn’t the right fit

Bad selling agent drives couple beserk

Your real estate agent plays a vital role in selling your home. A lousy agent (or one who’s just a bad fit) can mislead, underwhelm, or confuse customers and hurt your chances of selling your property successfully. 

If your agent isn’t working out, consider getting quotes from other qualified agents to see if you can find a better match for you and your home. 

Some green flags to look for in a selling agent include:

  • Someone with extensive knowledge of your local housing market.
  • Someone with experience selling properties like yours.
  • Someone who can give you tailored advice on how to sell your property.
  • Someone friendly, transparent, and professional.
  • Someone who has a specific plan on how best to sell your property.

Be wary of someone who makes grand promises, speaks more than they listen, and doesn’t promptly respond to your questions and concerns. These can all make a difference in your selling journey. 

Reason 6: The timing isn’t right

Couple confused by the slow housing market that makes it harder to sell their house

Sometimes it’s not you; it’s the property market. A large part of selling is timing, so it may not matter how much work you put in if the timing isn't right. 

While Australian property is growing, specific suburbs might need help finding eager buyers. Capital growth can depend on the local area. 

Property markets slow down and cool off for two main reasons: 

  • Too much supply. If there are too many homes for sale, buyers have too much choice – and sellers not enough selling power.
  • Not enough demand. Reserve Bank rate hikes have pushed up the cost of financing a home, so many people who would otherwise have bought property have decided to wait.

If your local area isn’t selling hot property, it could be better to withdraw the property from the market until your local market picks up again. 

However, if you need to sell your property fast, it could be worth looking at ways to switch up the demand and supply sides of the equation. 

For instance, you could sell the property off-market: this tactic introduces you to a new exclusive pool of buyers among a more exclusive supply. However, keep in mind that off-market properties may need a discount to sell.

If you’re selling in a falling market, you could be buying in a falling market, too. Compare low rate home loans in the table below to get started.

Compare low interest rate home loans - last updated 20 April 2024

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

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