Q. My home has been on the market for about 3 months, and although there was a lot of interest initially, viewings have now dried up. Is there anything I can do?
A. In a word, yes – not least because the overall state of the housing market is by no means as bleak as all the doom and gloom in the national press might have you believe.
The key thing to remember however is that there is traditionally a lull in the market leading up to Christmas and over the New Year. Also, activity in the housing market does normally increase in the early part of the year leading to a more active market in the early Spring.
The first thing to do is discuss things with your agent. One thing he or she will probably suggest (and if they don’t, you could raise it yourself) is to take fresh photos. People will often retain a visual memory of a property they have already looked at – particularly if they are doing their house-hunting online. As a result, new pictures, perhaps taken from a different angle, can often tempt them to take a second look. Besides, if the existing shots were all taken back in late spring, they will be looking a little tired by now - not to mention over-familiar. And if you are worried about losing those nice, summery pictures, remember that thanks to the wonders of digital photography, you are guaranteed a blue sky – whatever the weather!
You can also help your own cause by casting an objective eye over your home, to make sure that it is still looking its best. Particularly at this time of year, gardens can look rather jaded, so a general tidy-up could well be in order.
Ultimately, however, there is only one real reason why a property isn’t selling, and that is price. The fact that you initially had a lot of interest suggests that your original asking price was probably about right. But things have changed since then, and I’m afraid you really may have to bite the bullet and look at lowering your asking price. If you are still asking, say, £205,000 instead of £199,000, your property may no longer be in the right price bracket, and you may be losing out with those buyers looking for “up to £200,000.”
Just remember, the property you yourself eventually buy will also be cheaper!
Mike Partridge is the owner of Partridge Estate Agents find out more about his business here