6 Reasons why houses don’t sell

Home Sweet Home

6 Reasons why houses don’t sell

IMG 8238 1 1024x683 - 6 Reasons why houses don't sell

I had a very long conversation last month with a lovely couple who were keen to sell their property in Blackwell and wanted to discuss how best to bring it to market. Let’s say that that they had been there for a number of years and the property was definitely ‘lived in’.

Apart from the price, which is always as key factor why properties fail to sell, there are a number of other factors which could mean the difference between a ‘For Sale’ board and a ‘Sold’ board.

Much of the time, these are small adjustments. Remember, you’re trying to make your property appeal to potential buyers and not just yourself so have a good look around your house and see if there might be something putting people off.

Anyway, here are some of the things that you should look out for:

Curb Appeal

We all know the feeling of anticipation (or despair) when you walk up the path to a new property. The outside of your home needs to look as good as the inside. People driving around an area looking for their ideal home will make a judgement on your house just by looking at the outside so make it look appealing. You have to make buyers WANT to come and view it.

It can easily be done by simply mowing your lawn and adding potted plants and flowers. Perhaps making minor repairs or at the higher end, have the house painted. A fresh coat of paint on the front door can always make a good impression for not a huge amount of money. Make sure when you paint it, you go for a nice neutral colour with wide appeal. This is not about YOUR taste, this is giving the property broad appeal.


Have you ever been to a house where the family have lots of pets or they are smokers? It can be bad, can’t it? For some buyers we speak to, the smell can be so off-putting that they’re not really concentrating on the house anymore and more about getting out without seeming rude. Keeping these bad smells out is essential to selling your home.

Unfortunately, you get used to the own smell of your house and forget that they are there. You could use the help of a friend or relative to ask how each room smells.

We’re not saying that you should employ that old ploy of having fresh coffee or baking bread (although it has been said to work) but certainly something fresh and pleasant.


A big favourite of ours is to arrange for a sellers house to be de-cluttered. A potential buyer has to be able to imagine the life they would lead occupying the space – pretty tricky if you cannot see the skirting boards!

Maximise the space available by a having a thorough clear up. We find that when it comes to belongings, the 80/20 rule applies so, for example, 80% of your clothes are only worn 20% of the time. This can apply to many things so be ruthless with things that you no longer wear or use.


Close on the heels of de-clutter is de-personalise. Buyers need to imagine their belongings in the house which may be difficult if you have a particular taste in art or lots of photographs. You want buyers to be thinking about living in your house rather than your choice to have your entire giant insect and spider collection mounted, framed and on the wall. (Yes, I’ve seen it).

You need to leave it as bare as possible so that they can paint their own picture of living there.

Just think, if you were in the buyer’s position, would you be pleased and enticed by what you see?

Unclean Bathrooms and Kitchens

A kitchen and bathroom can make or break a property and if it’s not up to your buyer’s standards they might run a mile. The with today’ busy lifestyles and rise in the popularity of cooking and baking, the kitchen can be crucial in your house sale. Unfortunately, bathrooms and kitchens are susceptible to dirt and mildew, so it is essential that you check it over more than once to make sure it is as clean as possible.

Spend plenty of time cleaning your kitchen or bathroom if necessary.  In the bathroom and en suite, add fresh towels and fill up your soap bottles and even add a new rug. In the kitchen make sure tiles are spotless, particularly behind the hob.

Open the windows to let plenty of air in to keep it circulated and feeling fresh for when the potential buyers arrive.


Finally, light can be one of the most important factors when it comes to selling your home. You’d be unlikely to want to buy a property which was dingy and dark. You would want to see light bouncing off the walls and for it to have a nice airy feeling. Far too frequently we see pictures where the curtains are still half open.

Open your curtains and switch on the lights; this might seem like a waste of energy but you need to take full advantage of them when buyers come viewing.

If your room has a darker theme it is essential that you put every light on to bring the room to life. This can also make it feel more homely.