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When selling a house, there are certain changes that sellers can and should make before putting their house on the market, as not doing the right things can, in the worst cases, render your house unsellable. Several factors which although may not make your house totally unsellable, will make it much harder to sell and may eventually end up making your property unsellable altogether.

Why Are Some Houses Harder to Sell?

When it comes to selling houses deemed to be unsellable or even those deemed to be ‘trickier sales,’ it can be more challenging, with many traditional and typical house and home buyers less willing to commit to buying such a property.

There are numerous reasons as to why a property; be it a house, flat, or something else may be unsellable. However, common reasons include the property being in terrible and unlivable condition, excessive Japanese Knotweed and other factors, like if your property has very difficult tenants.

Selling a house which has been deemed unsellable is much trickier than selling what would otherwise be a ‘normal’ house or property. This can be additionally frustrating for example, if you are looking to sell a house fast, as those which are not sellable are much harder to sell and may not even be able to be sold on the open market, offering an additional challenge.

What Makes a House Harder to Sell?

Property Location

A prime location is at the top of most buyers’ wish list, however, this is subjective. Perhaps it is a family looking to live in a good school district; or maybe it is someone who wants to live close to the city centre in order to reduce their commuting time.

Generally speaking, homes which are close to good public transport links, are located in a safe area, and which are close to good amenities such as good schooling, restaurants and shops and medical centres have a higher value.

Conversely, homes which are not close to good amenities and which are located in more crime-ridden areas or areas with no useful facilities are harder to sell.

Some location factors, for example being close to an airport or power line, will automatically be difficult to sell and will mean a lower asking price. In addition, if your house is very prone to being flooded and has a history of being flooded, this makes it much more difficult to sell. This is also the case if your house is too close to the edge of a cliff, or potentially if it is ver near to the sea and can be affected by high tides and storms.

Bad Odours

A deep clean before selling can go a long way in helping to make your house more appealing to buyers; however, certain smells are difficult to get rid of. Residual smells of smoking and pets can be a nightmare when it comes to selling and if the property is in a very bad state with terrible smells, it will always be either unsellable or much harder to sell.

Cats in particular have been cited by multiple real estate agents as a common reason why a house might be more difficult to sell.

Unrealistic Price Expectations

If a home is not selling, estate agents say that this may be due to an unrealistic asking price. Homes become more difficult to sell or even unsellable if the vendor’s asking price is not realistic and typically, if a house has been on the market for a long time, it is because the sellers are asking for too much money relative to the property they are trying to sell. In these cases, potential buyers may well carry out separate property valuations, or even just a quick, instant online house valuation to get an idea of the property’s true value, before they even view it.

Lack of Natural Light

Natural light is one of the main factors that many buyers look for in a house. It means that regardless of the furniture, paint work or lighting, they have a great starting point. A lack of natural light makes a home far less appealing to buyers and unfortunately is not something that can be easily fixed. The cost-savvy buyers could also view a lack of natural light as leading to more expensive utility bills and greater ongoing costs.

Property Disrepair

If you have neglected to carry out major repairs or renovations in your home, it could become unsellable and make your property harder to sell. Few people, particularly in the residential property market will want to buy a house or property where they have to invest large amounts of money just to make it liveable. Repairs may seem like a pain to do at the time, but if they are left for too long they can become unmanageable as well as very expensive to fix.

Leaving any repairs or renovations for future buyers will only result in you selling the property at a lower value than it should be, if it even sells. Moreover, with some required repairs, like leaks and electrical problems, leaving them unchecked can lead to more severe and longer term problems which will end up costing more to fix.

Structural or Architectural Problems

Generally speaking, one of the most common problems that makes a home unsellable are ones that cannot be changed, such as the property’s susceptibility to the elements and similar. It is very important to note that structural and architectural problems as well as the wrong types of home renovations can actually reduce your property’s value (read more).

Aside from location, this tends to be issues with the structure or architecture such as a strange layout, inconvenient plumbing, or low ceilings. All of these factors will make it more difficult to sell a property. A property may however become totally unsellable if there is excessive damp or subsidence, leading to more severe structural problems.

Seller Attitude

Sometimes it can be difficult to sell a property if the seller is inflexible. For example, if a seller is unwilling to put in the groundwork, such as deep cleaning, decluttering, or removing pets from the home, all of this can be difficult for agents to work with. Similarly, if a seller ignores expert advice about valuations and asking price, it can prevent a sale.

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