Why is my house not selling?
And what can I do to help you sell.
Lately I have received a few calls from clients asking why their house is not selling. We recently ran a seminar and one of the sections was how to improve your chances of selling your home. So here’s a look at the market and maybe some explanation, as well as some tips on how to improve your chances of selling your home.
Is the market dead? Certainly not!
Based on recent activity, the market is very much alive and kicking. In August we sold properties and have around 150 inquiries to attend to, most of them genuine buyers and most looking to buy in the next 3 months. So the market is by no means dead.
The UK market is very slow and UK buyers are rare, but as UK buyers are only 5% of the actual market it shouldn’t affect the market too much. Those who seek are hunting for bargains. They’re looking for something generally under 150,000. Why this figure? I can only guess, but I think a lot of the UK buyers are people who decided to move to Spain a while back.
However, with the UK market down, they couldn’t sell their houses, so they waited. Then they decided they didn’t want to wait much longer, so they remortgaged their house (I think June of this year was the highest number of mortgages in several years). This means that instead of the £300 – £400,000 they were going to have, they have between £60 – £100,000 and are now looking for a second home rather than a primary residence.
For the rest of the Northern Europeans, it is the Dutch and the Belgians efficiently with some of the Nordic countries that are falling. Those from the Benelux countries are looking for a lifestyle change and tend to be younger families or those who are not ready for retirement and want to earn a bit of a living. They tend to look for large villas with a good size plot, but prefer to stay close to the beach. Others look for larger premises to function as a hotel.
The rest of the market is Spanish. Spaniards continue to buy and at least 60% of our queries and 80% of our sales are to Spaniards. But they’re usually looking for a first-time home or a beachside vacation home. They also don’t have much more than 250,000 whatever they’re buying.
So if we look at a breakdown of what people are searching for, it’s pretty much the following
Townhouses and apartments 15 minutes from the beach – up to 150,000
Townhomes and inland apartments around 100-120,000
Beach apartments 1st-3rd line up to 200,000
Villas next to the beach between 200 – 400,000
Inland villas with large plots at around 300,000
There is a good market for shabby properties to reform at around 100,000 but most of those looking for this type of property want a real bargain ie work on it and double their money.
Hotels and rural houses – from 200,000 – 800,000 – both on the beach and in the interior – minimum 6 beds
And that is more or less what we are seeing.
So why isn’t your property selling?
The most obvious reason is the price. No matter what the market, there are always buyers and any good value property will sell. It is estimated that the market in this area (Comarca de La Safor and Marina Alta) has a 30% overprice and from what we see I agree in most cases. How do you know if your property is priced correctly? Well, a simple rule of thumb is this.
If you have a villa/chalet, etc. With a parcel of land, use the following to calculate the value of your land.
1. If the land is urban, inside it costs between 25 and 80 euros per m2. On the beach it costs up to 250/m depending on the location (this top price is the price in prime areas like Moraira with sea views) in Oliva it would be around 100 – 130 per m, so multiply the number of meters by this figure and You will have a land value.
2. If it is rustic land then the M is worth 7-10 euros regardless of the house.
3. To calculate the value of the house, if it is new then it is worth about 1100 euros per M, if it is old 900, if it needs reforms then 500-750 depending on what needs to be done.
4. If you have an apartment or townhouse then you multiply the m2 by 1300 if it is new or 1100 if it is old, 500 if it needs a lot of renovations or something in between, obviously there is a premium for being closer to the beach (like it or not, people you still want to be close to the beach and would prefer to buy there), so add around 20% – 30% for similar beachside properties (within 10km). Also, if the property is an apartment and does not have an elevator, discount 20% of this value.
Of course, this doesn’t take into account things like pools, location, views, whether an apartment has an elevator (which devalues a house by 10-25% depending on the floor if it doesn’t have an elevator), etc. give a rough and ready guide to the value of your home. If you’re out by more than 10%, you’ll have a hard time selling in today’s market because it’s similar to the formula used by banks to calculate mortgage values.
What can you do to make sure your home sells?
You have to work closely with your agent on this case. Most agents work hard to make a sale in today’s climate, but are very disappointed by sellers who say they want to sell, but put so many obstacles in the way that they make it difficult. So what follows is a checklist of what YOU can do to help sell your home.
Before your first visit
1. Clean it up! When the agent comes to take photos, do you really want people to see the trash in the guest bedroom, the tools all over the living room floor, and the dog basket in the kitchen in photos? No, of course not, so clean your house. before the agent comes to take photos and before each visit. It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t and have a “take it or leave it” attitude. Don’t be surprised then if the buyer has the same attitude and leaves you.
2. Be available. There is nothing more frustrating than hearing “I can’t tomorrow I have to go shopping” or some other excuse. We invite people from the UK to view houses and they usually spend a few days here. When your agent calls for a showing, take your time (or don’t complain that your house isn’t selling). If you can’t do it, ask someone else to do it. Better yet, give the agent a key. He’s working for you to help sell his house, so help him out. Postponing it for two days gives the buyer a chance to view 10 or more homes, so yours may not even get a showing.
3. Look at the price. It’s a shame that in Spain it’s usually the buyers who set the prices, and the agents don’t bother to tell them if this is right or wrong. Ask your agent to make a proper valuation. Or better yet pay for a bank appraisal. Then set your price below this. Remember that agents commission must be added to the price – 3-6% is normal, although you may be able to negotiate with your agent. But do you really think your house is worth what you’re asking for? If 5% comes out, it can be the difference between getting clients or not. In almost all cases where a house does not sell, it is due to price; They are usually priced too high, but the owner thinks his house is the best.
4. Time for a change. Paint the house. If it is a villa, paint inside and out. It’s a small cost that makes a big difference. It gives the house a clean feeling and paints it with non offensive bright colors like cream or dare I say Magnolia/eggshell. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not, you won’t be living there much longer.
5. Get rid of the clutter. Even large rooms can seem tiny with a lot of clutter around them. Only have the essentials you need to live: the rest keep it in a garage or rent a storage room. Clutter is the second biggest killer of home sales after cleaning.
6. Consider getting a makeover – it can be done fairly cheap. Some soft furniture, well placed pictures and a mirror in the right place, table set as if it were a dinner, plants placed in strategic places, it doesn’t cost much but the effect is incredible.
1. Make sure it is clean and tidy.
2. Remove pets If you have cats, dogs or any other animals, get rid of them when people come. Your dog may be a little gem, but many people are afraid of them and don’t want to be around when dogs are around.
3. Also be sure to get rid of pet odor before visitors arrive. If you have cats, NEVER let them into the kitchen (or even the house) when there is a visitor there; You may believe they are the cleanest pets in the world, but the visitor won’t. Also keep in mind that many people suffer from allergic reactions to cats, don’t lose a sale over that. Take the dogs for a walk (don’t chain them outside because they still bark and can scare people).
4. In summer, turn on the air conditioner for half an hour earlier, in winter, turn on the heating. A comfortable temperature is 21 degrees. It gives an atmosphere and people are generally comfortable at this temperature.
5. Open all doors and windows, unless of course it’s pouring with rain outside. Make the place look light and airy, this is a great selling tool, even for Spanish buyers. And make sure all the blinds are open; do not sit in a dark house when visitors arrive.
6. Make an impressive entrance. The entrance is the first thing people see and the first impression is the most important thing. Clean the garden, make it tidy, put plants outside the door, make it cozy. If you live in a flat, make sure the community entrance is clean and tidy, get rid of the bikes and strollers at the entrance, a few friendly words with your neighbor will do the trick.
7. Smells. Get rid of any odor. Do not cook smelly foods like garlic or fish beforehand. It can be unpleasant. I went to show a house once and the owner was cooking something horrible, it smelled like old wellington boots and it made her eyes water, we got out of there so fast. Too bad because it was a nice house.
8. Be cheerful. If you look miserable, the buyer will notice and probably won’t want to be there. Ideally, leave the house when the visitor arrives and let the agent do his job. It can be unpleasant for a buyer to have the owner there. It means they can’t open up to the agent.
9. Be silent. Never try to sell your house. That’s what the agent is for. What you may consider to be a unique feature and selling point may be someone’s worst nightmare. You don’t know what the customer has told the agent beforehand and his pearls of wisdom may be exactly what they didn’t want to hear, so keep quiet unless they ask you a question. So by all means answer honestly.
after the words
One of the most annoying things about real estate agents in Spain is that they rarely call you back to tell you what’s going on. If they don’t call you then call them. Find out what the feedback was. Ask the agent before the visit to fill you in on the customer’s feedback and LISTEN to what the agent has to say.
If it’s something you can change without problem, change it. But always call the agent afterwards, give them a day or so.
Hopefully, that has given you some ideas to help you sell your house. If you are desperate to sell and have a