House selling problems have three main causes. The trick is to deal with each proactively if you want to achieve that quick sale. Read on to find out how.
If your house fails to sell quickly...
The most common house selling problem - your house fails to sell within your desired timeframe.
If your house fails to sell within 2-3 weeks (say) then you need to speak to your agent. Don’t automatically assume that the price of your property is too high.
Try to gauge the activity level of your agent. Have they achieved a reasonable number of viewings? If not, that probably indicates a price issue. What about the feedback from viewers? Are there any pointers there? If you take this into consideration you should have a good feel for whether the agent’s advice is sensible.
When your house ‘sticks’ on the market you have essentially five options:
Ask the agent to step up marketing activity
Alter the price
Fix non price issues
Find another way to sell your house
If your buyer pulls out..
Other types of house selling problems occur when buyers pull out of a sale. This often happens when a lender gives a lower than expected valuation. Chances are your buyer may try to then re-negotiate the price with you. How you handle this is down to a number of things:
The condition of the house
The degree to which you need a quick sale
How much interest has been shown in your property
Your financial circumstances
Don't create your own house selling problem by over-pricng your house. If your house is priced at a premium because of its condition then you may find that there will be a shortfall between the lender's valuation and selling price. At the top of the market this matters less where buyers have more cash available but can cause problems for first time buyers.
However if the lender’s valuation reflects the fact the house needs work then you may need to be flexible on price.
But don't forget property negotiations can be tricky – inexperienced sellers can give away too much money!
If there is no meeting ground then ask your estate agent about whether she can contact other parties who viewed the house or made earlier offers. Or can contact other potential buyers on her books.
If you have a broken property chain..
As house selling problems go, being part of a broken chain is one of the most stressful.
A property chain is simply a series of related transactions. Broken chains happen for the best of reasons and are usually expensive for all concerned. This is because most of the chain is typically committed and has incurred considerable expense – especially those buyers who have exchanged contracts and are set to lose their deposits.
Reasons for chains breaking down include some buyers reducing offers (what the trade calls gazundering) or pulling out on the strength of a survey. Other reasons include someone simply changing their mind and withdrawing an offer or late or missing paperwork.
Usually the only way to rescue a chain is to find someone to buy quickly. Most likely it means finding a cash property buyer.
There are many individuals and companies offering to rescue a broken property chain and are sometimes called ‘chain angels’. If you're selling with an estate agent - ask if they know of any chain angels operating in your area.
It is worrying that the National Association of Estate Agents reported in 2006 that as many as 30% of people have experienced some form of breakdown in a property transaction – most commonly due to broken property chains or a competing offer from another buyer.
Sometimes the issues in a property chain can be solved if all the people involved in the chain work together. For example, if the lender on one of the properties comes up with a low valuation it might be possible for all members of the chain to 'chip in' to rescue the chain. Typically the people at the top of the chain will be most motivated to help. If you find yourself in this situation you should ask your solicitor to liaise with other solicitors in the chain.
Still stuck with house selling problems?
Many situations involving house selling problems can be overcome. However, what if time is running out?
As of June 2007 we're seeing more properties sticking on the market. If you need to sell quickly, want a cast-iron guaranteed sale or want the flexibility of moving in your own timeframe, find a reliable cash property buyer to help you overcome your
house selling problems.
The right kind of cash buyer will take the time to tailor a solution to meet your needs. Or just offer advice on your options.