I can’t sell my house what are my options if I want to move now
There are many reasons why your house may not be selling. But every house will have a buyer…at the right price.
If your house isn’t selling and you need to move right away, what are your options. You may be moving elsewhere in the UK or perhaps emigrating overseas and need to sell fast. But the location of your house and current market conditions will affect how quickly your house will sell. If you are willing to consider creative options (which doesn’t necessarily mean selling at under value), you could sell your house within a few days. Yes within a few days!
Why isn’t my house selling – In the UK
Firstly, before I take a look at your options if you can’t sell your house, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your house may not be selling in the first place.
A house sale requires essentially two things. These are a ‘willing buyer‘ and a ‘willing seller.’ Which means if the price is right, there will always be someone who is willing to buy any house.
But let’s take a look at some of the reasons why your house may not be selling right now.
Your house is over valued and the price you’re asking is not realistic
Every house in every street around the UK has a price cap or perceived value. The ‘perceived value‘ by the seller is not always the same as a potential buyer’s perceived valuation.
The true value of a house depends on any number of things.
So what does affect the value of your home?
Location of your house is very important
Where your home is located will affect how much it’s worth. This isn’t just where it is situated within the UK, but also where it is located in a particular area of the UK.
Prices can differ significantly between homes even in the same village, town or city. They can even vary greatly from one street to the next too.
For example, when I searched on Zoopla for 3-bed houses in Bournemouth, this is what I found. At the time of the search the lowest price of a three-bed house in Bournemouth was £205,000. But the highest price was £825,000.
That’s the same number of bedrooms and in the same town in Dorset!
If your house is over valued for its location, this will affect how long it is on the market. One option in this case is to reduce the price it’s being sold for.
How up together and how well maintained your house is
Is your house a doer upper?
If it is and the buyers will need to spend money spent to bring it up to date, this will affect the valuation. In other words, this will reduce the value of your house if it requires money to be spent.
This can limit your market, as only certain people are happy to buy a house that needs doing up. This can delay the sale, especially if the value does not reflect the work to be done.
Potential options are to either reduce the listing price with the Estate agent (i.e. to reflect the level of work required). Or spend money on the work that needs to be done.
But of course, this takes time.
If you don’t have the time to wait for this. If you want to move quickly, your options are more limited.
The market conditions are against you – it’s a buyers market
If the market is slow at the time you are looking to sell, this will slowdown how long it takes to sell.
A slow market could either be at a certain point in the calendar, i.e. selling a house in December is not as good a time as it is to sell a house in the Spring.
It could also be that the housing market in general is slow. As we all know the housing market has its ups and it has its downs too.
If it’s a buyer’s market and there’s a glut of your type of house on the market, this may also have an impact on how long it takes to sell your house. Buyers can be more choosy about the house they buy in these types of markets.
One of the options open to you in this case is to take it off the market Then re-list it when the market conditions change or improve.
However, if you are keen to sell your house quickly for whatever reason, this may not be an option for you.
In which case you may need to consider dropping the price. But please read on for other options open to you if you house isn’t selling.
Your house has been on the market for too long
There’s always a window of opportunity to sell a house. It’s always better to have it sold within the first month or so of going on the market. Buyers can be put off if a house has been on the market for months.
They will be asking questions like ‘what’s wrong with it?’ ‘Why isn’t it selling?’
They’ll worry that when they also come to sell, they will have a similar problem to you. This in itself will drive down its value.
What are your options?
A similar option to the situation above is to take your house off the market. You may look at re-listing it 6-months later, but be careful about the price you first list it at when you do so.
If you make the mistake of listing it too high, this may cause your property to remain on the market again for too long. This may put you back into a similar position as before.
To encourage a sale of a house that’s not selling, another option is to have an open house. An open house creates a buzz and can create competition. However, depending on whether or not work needs doing on your house, you may need to consider doing the work, before you hold the open house sale.
Another option if you can’t sell your house due to the fact that it’s been on the market for a while, is to drop the price it’s listed at. As already noted above, all houses will sell at the right price.
But most of the options described above to sell your house can take time. If you don’t have time, then you may need to reduce the price to get it sold quickly to suit your needs.
However, if reducing the price is not an option, then you may be interested to speak with us about the options we can offer.
The house sale process we offer can in most cases be quick. We generally pay the current market value. But sometimes more than the current market value is paid in certain situations.
Your estate agent is not proactive and may have over valued it
Even with websites like Rightmove and similar, the sale of your house does also depend on how proactive your estate agent is.
To check if they are proactive about your property, have a friend to call your agent. Have them describe a similar property to your own and see if yours is mentioned. If your friend is willing, they could even book a viewing and see how well the agent does at the viewing to sell your house.
It is also important that the agent values your property at the right price. There are some agents that price house high in order to win the contract.
But then encourage you to reduce the price when it doesn’t sell. This can be risky, as already noted above, if a house doesn’t sell within the critical window of opportunity, it may get stuck on the market.
Make sure you get at least two-three estate agent valuations. But also check your current house value on places like Zoopla or Mouseprice (Mouseprice valuations cost, whereas Zoopla are free).
Get references and look at online reviews about the agent. This will give you an indication as to how well they will represent you. You want to make sure they will be proactive on your behalf.
The options to help in this case would be to change your agent. But this depends on the contract you’ve signed with them. It’s possible to get multiple agents, but this normally affects the agent’s fee. Most estate agents charge a higher fee for multiple agents.
Check your contract. The consider your options.
What to do if you can’t sell your house – in the UK
In the above reasons why your house won’t sell I have covered a few options open to you to consider. But there are other options that you could try if you can’t sell your house.
These include the following:
Let your house to tenants
Not everyone wants to become a landlord, especially since the introduction of the ‘tenant tax.’ There are also the many problems associated with renting properties, which isn’t for everyone.
Some people are cut out to be landlords, which is similar to those that are okay running their own business. But many people don’t want the hassle of tenants and would prefer to sell instead.
Having said that, this is an option to you if you can’t sell your house. If your house is mortgaged, you will either need to inform your mortgage company about the change or convert the mortgage to a ‘buy to let’ type of mortgage.
If your bank or lender allows you to keep your existing mortgage, there may be fees to pay and the interest rate you pay may change. Usually if the lender is happy to make the change, the rate will generally increase.
There are many rules and regulations you will need to follow if you become a landlord. The most important ones currently include:
- Taking a tenant deposit and putting this into the tenant deposit scheme.
- Make sure you have a sign tenancy agreement.
- You must get a gas safety certification for any gas appliances in the property.
- Make sure you install smoke detectors and alarms, together with carbon monoxide detectors.
- Keep the property well maintained.
- Make sure you carry out tenant checks and obtain references, plus where relevant rent guarantors.
Sell your property to a property solutions company
If you don’t like the idea of becoming a landlord. Also, if you are not able to use any of the suggested options or solutions discussed above, you may be able to seek help from us.
If you get stuck, please feel free to make contact and we’d be more than happy to have an informal chat over a coffee. There’s no obligation and no hard sell.
We are here to help, and if we can we will.
We will always agree to pay at least market value, if not more.
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