Even in a buoyant market, with a great property to sell, sometimes it is hard to attract a buyer. This can be a nightmare, emotionally as well as financially. The trick is to stay positive whilst remaining realistic. Here are a few common problems and tips on how to avoid them, adapted from a piece in this week's Sunday Times:
Problem: Too Individual
A property that is clearly somebody else's dream home is a difficult concept to sell. Few buyers want a house that leaves no room for their creative stamp.
Solution: Create a Blank Slate
Consider getting planning consent for extensions or loft/basement conversions, so there's scope for new ideas, or at least empty spare rooms to create the longed for blank canvas.
Problem: Too Quirky
The owners - or, more likely, their architect - may be the only ones who really love the striking desin inside and out. Many house-hunters like floor-to-ceiling glass windows, but there may be some internal flourishes that just have to go.
Solution: Tone Down The Personal
If the shiny orange wall and the exposed shower in the master bedroom have failed to attract anyone so far, go conventional and get a decorator in.
Problem: Unusual Location
Converted windmills or barns aren't in locations were everyone wants to live. Buyers may love the view an make an offer, but they'll withdraw it once they realise how impractical it is to live there, or how hard it will be to get specialist insurance.
Solution: Focus on what is Special about the Location
Photos of the views, garden or nearby beach are vital, but not just ordinary photos. One estate agent in Sussex called in a photographer to take aerial shots of a house he was marketing using a 'drone' device. It is now under offer.
Problem: Wrong Buyers
You can't sell a grand design in the way you would an Edwardian semi or a county vicarage. The more unusual the house, the more you'll have to seek out the right buyers.
Solution: Know Your Market
Sophisticated cosmopolitan types may buy the converted abattoir that no local will touch. Europeans moving to Britain, especially Germans and Scandinavians, are used to good modern design and won't be put off by a house that's not built with boring bricks and mortar.
Problem: Not Exclusive enough
Flooding the internet with fabulous images of your masterpiece may work against you. Once a house has been seen everywhere and several agents have had a go, it is simply much harder to find a buyer.
Solution: Keep it Low-key
Consider taking it off the market and waiting a year before you try again, or reduce the number of pictures on show and take some new ones.
Problem: Too little or too much information
You know the deal. Everyone starts looking online, and if the website particulars only offer two images or conversely twenty-odd, everyone smells a rat - or, worse, desperation. It also doesn't encourage anyone to book that all-important viewing.
Solution: Be Selective
Trim the pictures to offer 4-10 great images. Imagine yourself as a buyer and highlight details about the property and the area that you would actually want to know about and would appeal to you.
You also need to get the photographs right. Make sure you've removed the dog bowls, tidied away the dirty clothes and put the loo seat down. Your first impression online is important for impact - but people only fall in love with a house when they are there.
Problem: Wrong Price
If all the above solutions have been tried and you really want to sell, there's only one answer, and it's the one most sellers are reluctant to hear: cut the price. "Even buyers of unusual homes need to know they can recoup their investment,' says Alan Hunt, head of the prestige property department a large Scottish estate agent, 'No one should buy a property, build one or do one up without having an eye on the resale value.
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