Here's How To Sell A House Fast In A Slow Market

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

Wondering how to sell a house fast in a slow market? We have everything you need to know.


When it comes to putting your house on the market, do you want to wait months, even years, for your house to sell? Or do you want a quick sale, allowing you to move on with your onward purchase?

The answer is pretty obvious, you want the quickest sale you can! Right?

BUT you’ve put your home on the market, ready for it to get snapped up and it just doesn’t seem to be generating the interest that you thought it would.

You might be wondering if the market is to blame, so what can you do to sell a house fast in a slow market? Well, you have come to the right place! We have got all the tips for selling your home and FAST.

If you’re here to get a quick answer to a question, use this menu to help you get around. Got more time on your hands? Perfect, take it all in. Ready? Let’s dive in…

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Setting expectations: Is the housing market actually slow?

Everyone thinks they have a fantastic house, so why wouldn’t someone want to buy it? You might also have been told by the estate agent that they think it will sell quickly – all of this sets some pretty high expectations, so after a few weeks, if your home hasn’t sold, is it due to factors you can control or have you just hit a time when the market is slow?

In this situation the best thing to do is to determine how long you should actually expect it to take for your property to sell, and we’ve actually written a post on this topic here. In summary, according to The Advisory, it takes 129 days to sell your house or 18 weeks, on average, but that is significantly dependant on mostly the time of the year, the type of property and the area in which your property is.

Aside from time on the market, there are a few other ways that you can tell if the market is actually slow. Here’s a quite breakdown:

House prices and reductions

If you regularly keep an eye on house prices in your area, which lets face it, most of us spend far more time on Rightmove than we should, then it can be a good reflection of the market. If you see lots of price reductions, and the properties staying on the market for a long time, then that would indicate it’s slow. On the flip side, if you see houses selling very quickly and the prices consistently increasing, it indicates higher demand.

If you’ve listed your property on the market – keep a close eye on other properties in your local area and how quickly they’re moving to SSTC.

Home inventory supply

Using a rather simple formula you can work out how slow the market is based on “house supply”. Take the number of houses currently for sale and divide it by the average number of houses sold in the same month. A balanced housing market will normally have a 6-month supply. Anything above this suggests a slow market, as there’s more houses than buyers.

Still a little confused? Let’s work through an example…

Let’s say there’s 1800 homes for sale and an average of 300 homes sell per month.

1800/300 = 6 suggesting the housing market is balanced.

If 1800 homes were for sale but the average was only 200 homes selling per month then, 1800/200= 9, suggesting the market is slow as there’s a 9-month supply.

There might be a reason your house isn’t selling

If you’ve looked and researched some of the steps we’ve mentioned above & you’ve determined the market isn’t as slow as you first thought, then the fact your house is sitting on the market might be down to something you can influence, which is good news! Here are just a few of the main reasons that your house may not be attracting the interest you expect:

Is the price right?

And no, we’re not talking about the game show.

Pricing your property correctly is the single most important thing. Don’t just blindly go with the suggested value the estate agent tells you, they’ll often tell you a much higher value than it’s worth to get you to go with them, to then quickly suggest that you reduce when there is a lack of interest.

The best thing to do to determine if your property is priced right, is to look and do the research yourself. Look at properties in your local area that are very similar to yours in type, bedrooms and condition, and get an idea for how they are valued. You can use Zoopla & Rightmove to get a good idea of if you’ve priced your home correctly, including looking at recently sold house prices.

Are you being stubborn?

We’re sorry to point the finger, but it could well be you. If you’re naturally a bit stubborn, you might want to soften a little. Sellers shouldn’t expect to always sell their house at the full asking price and need to be open to a bit of negotiation. Don’t be too quick to decline the first offer you get! Generally this can be the one of the better offers, as the house is fresh on the market.

Make sure you look at the sold house prices of comparable properties, not just asking prices, there can sometimes be significant discrepancies that give you lofty expectations of achieving full market value, which rarely happens.

Your house isn’t selling itself

Everyone loves their own house, and the way that they’ve decorated which might be perfect for what you like – however it might not accommodate everyone. What we mean by that is it might not being “showing well”, so it might be time to redecorate. Just freshening up some paint and staging the house correctly won’t cost you a significant amount, but it will potentially help you sell far quicker.

You need to decorate and set up the house in a very neutral manor, you’ll likely get a lot of different people view your property so you need to appeal to the majority.

Is the house empty?

Another thing to consider if you’ve actually moved out the house is whether it’s empty, because if it is, it might take longer to sell. When people view a property they like to feel like they can imagine themselves being in the home, which having it furnished and lived in, helps with.

We’re not saying you should cover things up, of course! But, having an empty property makes it easier to see some of the small flaws that you may not otherwise have seen, which might put the buyer off.

Your property is pretty unique!

If your property is generally unique, large, expensive or just has some unusual features, then it might naturally take longer to sell as there is a smaller pool of buyers. You just need to set your expectations if your property falls into any of these categories, so you aren’t left disappointed after a few weeks and little interest.

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What’s the secret to a fast property sale?

We’re fast sale experts. We buy hundreds of properties every year in as little as 7 days, so believe us when we say we know the secret to a quick property sale!

The biggest secret to a fast property sale is pricing your house correctly & going on the property market at the right time.

TIP: Always try and do the house price research yourself, so you’ve got an idea on how to price your property. Getting a valuation from an estate agent will often be higher than it should be, as they want to naturally win your business.

HELP! How do I sell my home fast in a slow market?

That leads us nicely into this section, if you can’t control the time when you want to sell, you might have chosen a time in which the market is slow. If this has happened to you, what do you do? How do you achieve a quick sale in an unsuitable market – here are our main tips and tricks:

Presentation

If you’re marketing your house in a slow market, presentation is everything. You probably won’t get too many viewings but you need to make the most of what you do get. There are a few cheap, quick and easy things you can do to ensure that you really impress any potential buyers.

Freshen up the paint & redecorate

It’s relatively cheap just to go around the house and repaint some of the older looking walls and skirting boards, and it will make a huge difference! A fresh lick of paint makes all the difference, and make sure you choose neutral colours to appeal to a wider audience.

Garden & outside space

If you have a garden or any outside space it’ll pay to keep it clean and tidy, it’s an area that the potential buyers may see themselves spending quality time. It’s important.

  • Make sure your garden is cut, there’s nothing worse than having an overgrown garden as the prospective buyer won’t be able to get a good feel for how big it actually is.
  • Try and make your garden appear or feel secluded, large fencing or hedges help. Most people don’t like the idea of having a garden that is overlooked, and that may hinder you from selling.
  • Make sure your windows are clean, you want to make the property look like you love it and look after it. Having clean windows both inside and out is one of the main things that people look at.
  • Trim back the hedges or bushes if they are large & overhanging, they can look messy but also block light from getting into the property.
  • Power wash the drive – it’s not one that many people think of, but you’ll be surprised the difference it can make to the appearance.


General appearance

You’re trying to sell your home, you want to make sure the people that view it fall in love with it! It’s a pain, but before every viewing you need to make sure your house is in tip top shape, ready to show.

  • Keep it tidy. No ones house is clean 24/7, and it’s annoying having to constantly tidy, but whilst you’re selling your home, you need to be ready for a viewing at any time.
  • Make up the beds, lay out the table, and add some flowers to the room.
  • Turn on lamps and light some candles to make the rooms smell good and lighten the place up.
  • Get rid of any unnecessary clutter, you need to make your property feel bigger, not smaller.


Home improvements

This is the section that may cost you a little bit more money, but if done right might actually add value to your home in return, so you get it straight back, and will hopefully achieve a quicker sale by doing it.

General

You should always try and do cost effective general improvements, such as patching that hole in the wall or fixing the skirting board – just generally repairing the issues that occur in a lived in house over time!

Kitchen

Without doubt the room that people care most about when viewing a house is the kitchen, and the simple reason why is that it’s typically the most expensive thing to replace.

Now you might not want to replace your kitchen fully, as that will set you back thousands. There are still things you can do to spruce up a dated looking kitchen whilst on a budget, here are a few ideas:

  • Sand down and paint, or wrap the cupboard doors to make them look new
  • Replace and regrout any tiles to make them look a bit more up to date
  • This bit will cost you a small amount, but replacing the worktop is like the icing on top, it’ll pull everything together nicely making it look like a completely new kitchen


Bathroom

Old school bathrooms are a big put off when you are looking to sell, you know the type, pink, green, blue bathrooms with vibrant colours everywhere. If this sounds like your bathroom, it might be time to update it.

Bathrooms are the second room everyone looks at, because you guessed it, there generally the second most expensive.

Correctly marketing the property

If you feel you’ve been doing everything we’ve previously spoken about, and your house is in tip top shape, it might be the way that you are actually marketing it – or lack of!

The right estate agent is key

Getting a good estate agent, if you choose to sell down that route, is not always an easy task. Most people will generally just choose the cheapest estate agent, but before you do – you might want to do a little bit of research or talk to people that have used their service before jumping in. Some estate agents will go above and beyond on your property – all of them should list them on the popular property portals like Rightmove & Zoopla but a few of them will also have lists of buyers, or people they know will be interested before even listing the property.

You should look for an estate agency that has a high turn over of properties, is the shop window always changing with new properties every time you walk past? That’s a good sign!

Your listing

Does your listing really detail the best features of your home? You want to make sure that it really accentuates all the main features of your house, if you’ve fit a new kitchen, mention it! It’s a sales pitch. You need to make sure you also utilise all the features available to you on Rightmove, give information on the property type, bedrooms, bathrooms, floorplan, key features, property description, tenure & the EPC certificate.

Photos

This should kind of go without saying, but by far this is the most important part of your listing! It’s the first initial impression and can make or break your sale – the main objective of the listing is to get people to view the property, so the standard of the photos is so important. If you’re property has been on the market for a while, then you might want to try and refresh the photos.

3D Walk through

This is one of the newer features some estate agents are offering, it’s basically just a virtual walk through of your home – you know like when you view Google Maps on the street view? Yeah, that! It’s pretty cool as it allows prospective viewers to get a much better idea of the house before coming to see it, and as you can imagine it’s been popular throughout the COVID epidemic.

Consider a video

If you can’t quite do the fancy 3D walk through, you could do one yourself in the form of a video. It doesn’t offer quite as much interactivity, but it does offer a better idea of the layout and available space, or far better than just photos that is. You’ll have to ask your estate agent to do this for you, as normally they won’t offer it – it’s also a great little video you can share on your own social media to maximise it’s potential audience.

Is your property up everywhere? (Facebook, Gumtree, etc)

If you’re really struggling to sell your property, are the estate agents really doing everything they could be? Sure it might be on the popular property portals, but what about the lesser known ways of advertising the property, such as adding it on Facebook, or Gumtree, have they sent leaflets out with your property on it? All these are the kinds of things that they could be doing to increase your chance of a sale.

Offering incentives

There is always more you can do to get your home sold, if you really think it needs an extra push to stand out from the crowd.

Reducing the price

This is something most people do – especially if you’ve had an estate agent perhaps over estimate the value initially to get you on board. It’s something you need to think long and hard about though, once you reduce the price, it can make you look like you need to sell and savvy buyers will notice then potentially offer you a lot lower than what it’s worth. It also makes a difference to what we can offer you as cash house buyers, so really put some thought into it.

On the other side, what it will do is show up as a new listing on Rightmove, and trigger all the alerts that people have set in the price bracket. Take for example you have a property listed at £105k, and reduce it to £99.9k, it will trigger emails to everyone who has alerts set for the price bracket 90-100k – a whole new audience!

Planning permission

This depends on the property, but if you’ve got a property that sits in a certain bracket and adding an extension takes it to another – then it may be worth looking at getting planning permissions. What we mean by this, is if for example you have a two bedroom home, it’s probably not large enough to be considered a family home and is aimed more at couples, if you get planning permissions for an extension which will allow for it to become a 3 bedroom house, it opens the property up to a whole new audience.

Getting planning permission is time consuming so if you are able to secure it for a prospective buyer it can help increase interest and the potential offer. It’s a big potential selling point.

Offering a bonus to the estate agent

If you want to ensure that the estate agent will be working the hardest to sell your property, ahead of any of their other properties, then offer them an extra agreed incentive!

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General housekeeping tips to sell your home quicker

Before each and every viewing you want to make sure your house is in tip top shape, you should put together some sort of cleaning checklist to ensure you run through it every time and give your property the best potential of selling.

We’ve got your started with a few general housekeeping tips to help you sell your property quicker:

  1. Make sure all the surfaces are completely clean.
  2. Declutter – especially in important rooms like the kitchen, you want to make your rooms look as big as possible.
  3. Flowers and candles are always welcoming and you can use them to really set the tone and feel of a loved property.
  4. It’s important to have the rooms arranged in the correct way – a living room should revolve around the TV for instance, making it look and feel warm and cosy.
  5. Make sure the beds are made, and co-ordinate the bedding with the room.
  6. Appeal to buyers senses such as smells, make your home have a welcoming scent.
  7. Thin out your cupboards to make it look like there is loads of extra space, but all the necessary items.
  8. Deep clean everything, your windows are important but everything else should also sparkle.
  9. Depersonalise – don’t have too many quirky personal items, you want to make the home look neutral.
  10. Utilise the light as much as possible – have curtains and blinds open, and windowsills as clear as possible.


Have you thought about the time of the year?

Another significant reason that you may not be able to sell your home is the time of the year. Did you know the market fluctuates considerably depending on what month it is? Sometimes we know you aren’t able to control when you actually sell, it’s usually due to a change in circumstance so it’s not always a factor that you can actual change.

That being said, Spring is the best time to sell your home. The reasons for this simply as there are less holidays, your property looks better in the sun & the longer days allow for more viewings as many don’t like viewing property in the dark.

Winter and summer are the two worst times to sell, mostly because the financial impact of the Christmas period and the fact everyone goes on holiday in the summer.

Alternative solutions for a quicker sale

We’re the experts when it comes to buying property quickly! We’re a fast house buyer, who can buy homes in as little as 7 days. We handle everything for you, so there’s no stress or hassle, and we also cover all your fees – not to mention, you won’t have any estate agent fees!

We’re honest and transparent about our service from the start, and we’ll tell you straight away that unfortunately we can’t offer you full market value. That being said, getting an offer from ourselves is completely free & no obligation so it’s worth finding out right?

We’re also a name that you know you can trust, as we’re part of the National Association of Property Buyers & The Property Ombudsman, which offers protection for both parties. As well as that, you can see our great reviews from people who have sold to us in the past on our Trustpilot page.

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