How to Sell a Home That’s Been on the Market for a Long Time

Selling a home can be a stressful and emotional experience, especially if it has been on the market for an extended period without any offers. However, don’t lose hope. There are effective strategies you can implement to reignite interest and secure a sale. This comprehensive guide will provide you with actionable steps to help sell your home, even if it has been languishing on the market. These tips are particularly relevant for South Australian homeowners, but they can be applied universally.

Reassess Your Pricing Strategy

One of the most common reasons a home remains unsold is that it’s overpriced. The real estate market in South Australia, like anywhere else, can be volatile, and it’s crucial to price your home competitively.

Accurate Pricing: Start by comparing your home to similar properties in your area that have recently sold. This is known as a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Look at homes with similar square footage, number of bedrooms, and condition.

Consult a Real Estate Agent: A professional real estate agent can provide invaluable insights into the current market conditions and help you set a realistic price. They have access to detailed market data and understand the nuances of local real estate trends.

Adjusting Your Price: If your home has been on the market for several months, it might be time to consider a price reduction. Be strategic about this—don’t slash the price drastically, but rather, make a moderate adjustment that will attract new interest without underselling your property.

Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

First impressions are critical in real estate. If your home doesn’t look appealing from the outside, potential buyers might not even step inside.

Landscaping: Invest in some basic landscaping to make your home look well-maintained. Mow the lawn, trim bushes, plant flowers, and add mulch to garden beds. These small touches can make a big difference.

Exterior Maintenance: Ensure that the exterior of your home is in good condition. This includes cleaning the siding, painting trim, and fixing any visible damage. A fresh coat of paint on the front door can also make your home more inviting.

Case Studies: Many South Australian homes have successfully sold after minor exterior improvements. For example, a home in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs saw a significant increase in viewings after the owners invested in simple landscaping and painted the front porch.

Upgrade Your Marketing Efforts

If traditional marketing methods haven’t yielded results, it’s time to up your game.

Professional Photography and Virtual Tours: High-quality photos are essential for making a strong impression online. Consider hiring a professional photographer. Additionally, virtual tours can give potential buyers a comprehensive view of your home without having to visit in person.

Leverage Social Media and Online Listings: Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and real estate websites to reach a broader audience. Social media advertising can target specific demographics, ensuring your listing is seen by potential buyers who are most likely to be interested.

Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent: A knowledgeable agent can help you craft a compelling listing and use their network to promote your home. They can also provide advice on staging and minor improvements to make your property more attractive.

Stage Your Home for Success

Staging can significantly impact how buyers perceive your home. It’s about presenting your home in the best possible light.

Key Areas to Focus On:

  • Living Areas: Make them look spacious and inviting. Declutter and use neutral colours.
  • Kitchen and Bathrooms: Cleanliness is crucial. Consider updating fixtures and adding fresh towels or flowers.
  • Bedrooms: Ensure they are tidy and free from personal items. Make the beds with attractive linens.

DIY Staging Tips: If hiring a professional stager is out of your budget, you can do it yourself. Remove excess furniture, depersonalise spaces, and add touches like fresh flowers and new pillows.

Professional Stagers: If possible, hire a professional. They have the expertise to highlight your home’s best features and create an inviting atmosphere.

Address Potential Issues with Your Home

Sometimes, underlying issues can deter buyers. It’s essential to identify and address these problems.

Common Issues:

  • Structural Problems: Cracks in the foundation or walls can be a red flag.
  • Outdated Features: Consider updating old fixtures, appliances, and finishes.
  • Maintenance Issues: Ensure everything is in working order, from plumbing to electrical systems.

Pre-Sale Inspection: Conducting a pre-sale inspection can identify problems that might scare off buyers. Addressing these issues upfront can make your home more appealing and prevent surprises during the buyer’s inspection.

Be Open to Feedback and Adjustments

Feedback from potential buyers and real estate agents can provide valuable insights into why your home isn’t selling.

Soliciting Feedback: After showings, ask for feedback on what potential buyers liked and didn’t like. Your agent can also provide insights based on their experience.

Interpreting Feedback: Look for common themes in the feedback. Are buyers consistently mentioning the same issues? Use this information to make informed adjustments.

Making Adjustments: This could involve changing your marketing strategy, making minor home improvements, or even adjusting the price. The goal is to make your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

Reevaluate Your Real Estate Agent

Your agent plays a crucial role in selling your home. If your home has been on the market for a long time, it might be worth reevaluating your agent’s performance.

Assessing Performance: Look at how your agent has marketed your home, their communication skills, and their overall strategy. Are they proactive and responsive? Have they provided you with regular updates and feedback?

Signs It’s Time for a Change: If your agent is not meeting your expectations, it might be time to consider a change. Look for an agent with a strong track record in your area and a proactive approach to selling homes.

Choosing a New Agent: When selecting a new agent, consider their experience, local market knowledge, and marketing strategy. A fresh perspective might be just what you need to sell your home.

Consider Incentives and Offers

Offering incentives can make your home more appealing and encourage buyers to make an offer.

Buyer Incentives:

  • Closing Cost Assistance: Offering to cover some of the closing costs can make your home more attractive.
  • Home Warranties: Providing a home warranty can give buyers peace of mind.
  • Flexible Move-In Dates: Being flexible with the move-in date can appeal to buyers who need to move quickly or are waiting to sell their current home.

Crafting Compelling Offers: Work with your real estate agent to create offers that stand out in the market. Highlight the unique features of your home and any incentives you are offering.

Selling a home that’s been on the market for a long time can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By reassessing your pricing strategy, enhancing your home’s curb appeal, upgrading your marketing efforts, staging your home, addressing potential issues, being open to feedback, reevaluating your real estate agent, and considering buyer incentives, you can increase your chances of selling your home. Implement these strategies and turn your prolonged listing into a successful sale. Remember, patience and persistence are key. Good luck!

Further Reading

  1. Discover Your Home’s Value for Free: A Guide for Australian Homeowners
  2. The Comprehensive Guide to Real Estate and Property Management for Australians 
  3. When Will House Prices Go Down?
  4. Unlocking the Potential: Real Estate as an Investment for Australians


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