Why isn’t my house selling?

If your home has been sitting on the market for longer than you expected it might be reasons that are not obvious. The good news is that you can probably do something about them. Here are several factors that could be stumbling blocks to viewers making an offer.

Wrong time of the year

Houses tend to sell better in autumn or spring than summer or winter. There’s a whole raft of reasons; in the summer we’re all busy holidaying, and it’s far too tempting to get home from work and have a beer in the garden rather than concentrating efforts on looking at houses.

Winter, meanwhile, is cold and nasty and snowy and dark. Who wants to buy a home that they’ve only seen in sub-zero temperatures, with rooms bathed in artificial light? Again, people tend to go on holidays to warmer climes, and there’s always that mind set of putting the whole thing off until the New Year.

If you’ve gone through all four seasons with no sale, then look for other reasons.


Probably the most obvious reason for a sale struggling. If you’re asking too much then clearly it will be a struggle, and asking for too little can sometimes plant the seed of suspicion in a potential buyer’s mind. They may believe that there’s either something wrong with the house, the area, or the future (new developments planned, for example).

Poor condition

If you went to look at two cars of the same make, model and age, with one costing a thousand pounds less but showing signs of scuffing and needing repair, which would you go for? Most people would probably go for the more expensive one and forego the hassle.

So your home, with cracked walls and windows, and peeling paint and unruly garden, might just represent too much hard work. While repairs are musts, it can sometimes be difficult to judge what stylistic alterations need to be completed, as some potential buyers will relish a challenge or project. Ask your agent for their opinion.

Too old or too new

There’s little you can do about this one without help from a time machine. Older homes have a more likely propensity for damage and will probably require a full structural survey for the buyers – that means expense. Even if there’s nothing wrong with the home, some of the décor might need updating or replacing. A brand new home might be smaller than expected for a similar price to one 20 or 30 years older.

If you suspect this is an issue, see if you can find out specifically why viewers turned it down and try to act on their feedback.

You’re still there

…and those who come to visit can see it across the home. Your pictures. Your paintings. Your wallpaper and gadgets and kids’ toys and prints and everything else that is yours, and stays yours in the visitors’ minds even as they drive away, talking about the next home they’re going to visit.

Unfortunately these items need to be cleared away from the moment one starts putting the selling plan into action. Make it more of a blank canvas for the imagination of buyers, something they can impose themselves on in their mind, and that is half of the battle won.