Still not sold after 6 months!

Q. My house has now been on the market for almost 6 months, without success. Help!

A. There is no denying the fact that the market is a lot tougher right now. Even allowing for that, however, 6 months is a long time. So – assuming, of course, that you’re still happy with your existing agent – I would suggest that you need to take a completely fresh look at the situation together. By that, I mean you need to re-examine every aspect of your strategy, from the asking price right through to the way your home is presented.

First, ask your agent to do a new valuation – if possible performed by a different member of staff from last time, and using the most up-to-date market data to arrive at a more accurate assessment of your home’s current value. After all, the single biggest reason why a property doesn’t sell is that the asking price is too high. If you are really serious about selling, you may therefore have to bite the bullet and accept that the market has moved, and that a more realistic asking price may be necessary.

Incidentally, when it comes to agreeing a new asking price, bear this in mind: the vast majority of people now start their home search online, using price bands as one of their main search criteria. If you want to be noticed, you therefore need to make absolutely sure that you don’t fall just the wrong side of a commonly-used price break. If your property is priced at £355,000, for example, it will be missed by all those buyers searching online with a maximum price of £350,000. This might sound obvious, but it’s a mistake that’s easily made.

At the same time, get your agent to a take a fresh look at the condition of your property. They may be able to point out one or two things which, 6 months down the line, now need sprucing up in order to enhance its visual appeal.

A new main photo – perhaps taken from a different angle – is also a good idea. People remember pictures – and if they see the same one over and over again, they simply reject it. Again, this is particularly relevant to the internet. People searching online will often simply scroll down looking at thumbnail pictures, and ignoring ones they have seen before – so a new picture may well catch their eye.

Finally, even a small thing like moving the For Sale board to a different position can have a positive effect.

None of these things can absolutely guarantee you a sale, of course, but together they just might attract some fresh attention from buyers – and ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.