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How Do You Get Rid Of A House That Won’t Sell In The UK? (Stuck With A House You Can’t Sell)

How do I get rid of a house that won't sell - Stuck with a house I can't sell

If you stuck with a house that won’t sell what can you do?

If you’re asking the question ‘how do I get rid of a house that won’t sell‘, you do have options. But what are these options if you’re getting desperate? But first, what are the reasons why house don’t sell?

If you stuck with a house that won’t sell what can you do?

  1. Check the value with at least one other estate agent.
  2. Spruce your home up to give the best first impression.
  3. Change your estate agent to a more proactive one.
  4. Rent your house and become a landlord.
  5. Rent to own or lease options.
  6. Wait for the market to pickup before you selling.
  7. Sell at below market value.

How do I get rid of a house that won’t sell in the UK?

If you can’t get rid of your house and it won’t sell, what are your options? There are a few to choose from, which follow on from the above reasons why houses don’t sell.

1. Check the valuation with at least one other estate agent

If you only asked one agent for a valuation, you may be over priced. As noted above, if your house is over priced it won’t sell.

Try reducing your selling price. Often this will bring your house to the attention of buyers, as sights like Rightmove will highlight homes which have been reduced.

2. Spruce your home up to give the best first impression

As already mentioned, first impressions count. If your home is untidy, if it smells of pets and especially dogs, if the decoration is looking tired, or the bathroom and kitchens are out dated, you will struggle to sell your house.

If your home is really bad, the only buyers you’ll attract is investors and builders. To sell your house quickly, your best bet is to off load it to an investor or a builder,but you will have to be realistic with your price. Builders and investors need to make a profit in the deal. See below about selling at below market value.

However, if you want top price for your home, give it a make over. Decorate your home and update the kitchen and bathroom. Then make sure it’s keep clean and tidy and without pet smells until it’s sold.

3. Change your estate agent to one that’s more proactive

If you are using the wrong estate agent, either because they are the wrong agent for the house, based in the wrong area or simply not proactive at selling your house.

you may want to consider going multi-agent and instruct more than one estate agent to sell your home. However, these days with websites like Rightmove, this is no longer so important.

Most people look for houses on Rightmove before going to an agent, so make sure your agent is using Rightmove to sell your house.

4. Rent your house out and become a landlord

There are many people who become accidental landlords by keeping their home. However, these days it’s not so inviting to become a landlord. The present UK government is pounding landlords.

The government of the UK are taking away the tenant eviction rights from landlords, they have taken away interest rate relief on mortgages, and they have also stop letting agents from charging tenants for doing background checks and the like.

Whether you agree with the changes or not, if you are considering becoming a landlord, you need to think about this very carefully.

Realistically the only way to do this the right way is to use a limited company. But of course your home will be in your personal name. To transfer it to a limited company to rent it out will be costly and will incur stamp duty, legals fees and potentially capital gains tax.

However, if this has been your principle private residence ever since you owned it, your home will be exempt of capital gains tax.

If however you still want to rent your house out to tenants, this still remains an option of how to get rid of a house that won’t sell.

You can rent it for a few months and sell it once the market picks up.

More Reading: How to reduce capital gains tax on sale of investment property in the UK

5. Rent to own or lease options

Rent to own offers, or property lease options, are a favourite way to attract buyers who are not sure that they want to be buyers.

The ‘buyer’ rents or leases your home at an amount which is usually set to at least cover your mortgage. In effect the ‘buyer’ is baby sitting your mortgage.

An agreement needs to be struck between you and the mortgage company to do this, but most mortgage lenders will be happy with this arrangement.

What is also agreed at the time of the lease agreement is to have the option to buy the home for a specified price from you at a date in the future. This period is usually set to a certain amount of time, which may be three years, five years or more. This period cannot exceed the length of time left on your current mortgage.

What also happens is the renter/future owner will agree to be responsible for the repairs on the home. This will save you money and give you peace of mind.

Rent to own tenants are also more likely to take better care of your home, even if they don’t wind up buying.

6. Wait for the market to pickup before you sell your home

If you can wait, it might be better to wait for a the right time to sell. As discussed about there are sometimes the wrong time to sell. It may be for whatever reason a down market or a buyers market, which makes it more difficult to sell at the right price.

Consider taking your house off the market and putting it back on at a busier time. Usually around Easter time is a good time to sell.

7. Sell at below market value

This option has already been touched upon above. As already mentioned, most if not all houses will sell if the price is right. If you want to sell your house quickly, you will usually always do this by selling it at under market value.

You have to be able to afford this, and of course it becomes difficult to sell your home at under what the mortgage is on your property. This is especially true if you are in negative equity.

Reasons why houses don’t sell

After explaining how you get rid of your house that won’t sell, let’s take a look at the reasons houses don’t sell.

Here are the top reasons houses don’t sell:

1. The asking price is unrealistic

Probably the number one reason why houses don’t sell is because the asking price is unrealistic. If you over value your home and put on with an estate agent at the wrong price, it will not sell.

Houses that are priced incorrectly may not even get viewings either. You need to get viewings to sell your home, which may seem obvious. But you’d be surprised at how many home owners make this mistake.

Many home owners need to achieve a certain selling price to pay off the mortgage and to have enough left over for a deposit for their new home.

The market doesn’t work that way. People don’t buy houses based upon what the vendor (or seller) wants, people buy houses based upon their perceived value of that home. Most, if not all houses, will sell at the right price, but not many homes will sell at the wrong price.

Be realistic with your valuation. Ask at least two , if not three estate agents around to value your home. Take a look at Zoopla house prices to see what houses are going for on your street.

2. Your house is not giving a good first impression

You can never make a second first impression. You need to show your house off in the best possible way.

Do the walls need a fresh coat of paint? Does the front door need attention? Is your garden looking nicely kept and tidy? Have you removed all the personal effects around the home and de-clutted every room.

If you have a dog, have you made sure your house doesn’t smell of dog? This can put potential home-buyers off.

3. Your kitchen is tired and out dated

Most know that kitchens sell houses. Take a close look at your kitchen and if its looking tired and out of date, consider replacing it. If you can’t afford to replace your whole kitchen, consider either painting the doors or simply replacing them with a more modern look.

If you don’t have an up to date modern looking kitchen, buyers will either be put off completely, or they will be looking to reduce the asking price to take account of replacing the kitchen.

Always make sure that things are put away in the kitchen and the sink is clean and tidy. Having a sink full of dirty pots and pans can put buyers off.

More Reading: Does upgrading your kitchen add value to your home UK? (What to spend)

4. Your bathroom is out dated

The second room in a home that sells a house is the bathroom or bathrooms. If you have an out dated coloured sink, toilet and bath this will put buyers off.

If your bathroom is out dated and the wrong colour, this will either put buyers off completely, or they will be looking to reduce the asking price to take account of replacing the bathroom.

More Reading: How much does a bathroom add to home value UK (What to spend)

5. Your estate agent isn’t working hard enough

If you choose the wrong estate agent this could stop you from selling your home. Use a referral from someone who’s used an agent before. But make sure the agent you’re using is the right one for the type of house you’re selling.

Make sure the agent is proactive and test them by asking a friend to call them on your behalf.

6. Wrong time to sell your house

It’s arguable that there’s a right time and a wrong time to sell. Having said that, if you price your property right there will usually be buyers in the market.

Be careful in the wrong market or at the wrong time of year, as this could mean your property stagnates and stays on the market for too long. Buyers can be put off by a house that’s been up for sale for months.

I hope this article has helped you on ‘how do I get rid of a house that won’t sell

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How Do You Get Rid Of A House That Won’t Sell In The UK? (Stuck With A House You Can’t Sell)

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been investing in property since purchasing his first commercial property in the 1990's for his own Chartered Accountancy business. But his first property investment project was to turn an old dilapidated restaurant into a large 5-bed home, which he purchased for £117,500 and sold for £450,000 (to see an "after" photo of the house before it was sold see here: About). Russell owns a number of investment properties, which includes houses, flats and HMO's. More recently he has turned his creative side to investing in property using lease options. His largest lease option deal to date was to acquire 12 properties worth over £2 million for just £12, which means he paid just £1 to acquire each property!

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