Tips for selling that ‘hard-to-sell’ property

Written by Barry Du Bois

First let me say, I personally have a general philosophy that I use in every aspect of my life. I don’t invest in negatives, negative thoughts, negative attitudes or negative people. I always look for a positive, a realistic positive of course. So I will invest in an agent that realises whatever the positives are of a property and is capable of helping you find potential buyers that are looking for those positives. There are buyers for every property. A great agent knows how to highlight the positives and provides the right advice on styling your property to find the right buyer.

If the property is hard to sell it’s usually because of one of four reasons: it’s overpriced, you haven’t found the right buyers, the presentation of the home itself needs work or, your agent is a dud. First ask a lot of questions. You need as much feedback from the people who have inspected the home as possible. What is turning them off and is there something you can do about it? Hopefully your agent will give you this feedback, there may be some consistent themes.

It’s overpriced

If you have over-priced the property then logic says you should lower it. However consider changing your advertising at the same time. A new main photo with your online listing may attract the eye of buyers who have already dismissed it because of the price. They click, thinking it’s a difference house and notice the new price.

You haven’t found the right buyers

If the sales results of similar homes in the area suggest your price is right and you haven’t attracted a buyer, then there is something wrong with your marketing. Is it your online add? Think back to when you purchased the place and what attracted you. It’s possible you are not pitching the property at the right targets. Things to consider include:

  • Do the photos need work?
  • Is the headline not attracting the right people?
  • Is the copy not doing its job? Is your ad not in the right places?
  • Do you have a premier listing on Is it on domain?

There is something wrong with the property

Ok, if the property has issues that can’t be fixed then these need to be factored into the price but I’m assuming these issues existed when you purchased the place? Think back. Was it presented differently? Are there areas that can be addressed? Remember all the tips about styling and dressing a home, they can make such a difference. Established plants can hide eyesores and there are even companies that hire plants for properties being put on the market.

Your agent is a dud

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Ok it happens. It’s possible your agent has mishandled the property, failed to chase up potential buyers, negotiated poorly or developed a lacklustre marketing package. Some agents can be lazy, rude or simply incompetent. It happens in all industries - time to find a new agent.