Selling a house in the UK can be time-consuming and stressful at the best of times. If your property is located in an undesirable or unpopular location, selling is likely to be more challenging.
Even in a fast-moving sellers’ market, properties will only sell if there is a demand for them. What can you do if you need to sell your house fast and nobody wants to buy in your neighbourhood?
Don’t despair! There are ways to boost your chances of getting offers on your home. Our property-buying experts have put together this guide on “How to Sell a House in a Bad Neighbourhood” to help you navigate the house-selling process successfully.
Top Tips for Selling a Property in a Bad Location
Short of picking your house up and moving it to a more popular location, how can you increase the chances of getting a quick house sale?
Take Your Time Choosing an Estate Agent
Selling a premium property in a high demand location is a breeze. Selling a home in a less desirable neighbourhood takes more experience, skill and local knowledge.
Estate agents are not created equal. Take your time to find one with the necessary expertise and available time to market your property well and manage any negotiations that arise. Ask friends, family members and colleagues for referrals. Look at the properties an estate agent is listing to see if they manage sales in your area or similar locations — if they focus entirely on high demand neighbourhoods; they’re probably not the best choice for you.
Set a Realistic Asking Price
Recent research shows that homeowners who set a realistic asking price from day one of marketing their property typically sell their homes much quicker than those who have to reduce the price.
When deciding on the asking price for your home, you must consider its location, as well as other factors such as its condition and size. Get at least three independent quotes from estate agents, and don’t be tempted to just go with the one who gives the highest valuation — they may be telling you what you want to hear in a bid to get the business.
Do your own research too. Check out how much similar neighbouring properties have sold for recently. Get an overview of the market — does buyer demand outstrip the number of houses for sale? Or are there lots of properties on the market and a limited pool of buyers? By taking the time to understand how much your property is worth in the current market, you’ll be in a better position to choose between valuations from different estate agents and set a realistic asking price that will help you to sell your house fast.
Target First Time Buyers
First-time buyers (FTBs) are more likely to be confined by budget. Therefore, they may be more willing to compromise to get a foot on the property ladder. If an FTB falls in love with your home, they may be more inclined to overlook a bad neighbourhood than a buyer with more money to play with and a greater choice of options.
If you’re selling via an estate agent, ask them to target their advertising to appeal to first-time buyers. You can also ask them to find out a potential buyer’s position when they book a viewing. And don’t forget the importance of staging your home for the target audience.
Present and Stage Your Home Well
Make a great first impression on potential buyers as soon as they pull up to view your home by boosting your property’s curb appeal. You can’t control what the neighbourhood looks like, the lack of amenities or the noisy local residents, but you can make sure your property looks its best the first time a buyer views it. Add a lick of fresh paint to woodwork, repair broken windows and doors, tidy any garden areas and remove clutter like dustbins.
It’s also worth staging your home for the target audience. If you’re selling a large family home, add some play equipment to the garden or create a playroom for the kids. If your house lends itself to homeworking, stage an office space even if you don’t have a dedicated room for working, for example, by adding a small desk and lamp to unused under stairs space. Simple touches like a fresh bowl of fruit in the kitchen and a vase of flowers in the lounge can bring a home to life and help people envision themselves living in your property.
Download our guide, “House Improvements For A Quick Sale”
Offer Buyer Incentives
We have all heard horror stories about nightmare neighbours, and some of us may have experienced it up close and personal. No matter how lovely your property is, if there are issues such as noisy neighbours, poor amenities, excessive traffic noise or unpleasant odours — for example, from a nearby fast food outlet or animal farm — you’ll be targeting a very niche group of buyers who are willing to accept such circumstances.
If you find an interested buyer who loves your home but is uncertain about making an offer due to the location, it might be worth considering offering an incentive or discount to seal the deal. For example, you could offer to pay any stamp duty due or cover the cost of specific home improvements they’re keen to make. Communication is key to successful negotiations. Find out what the buyer cares about most and tailor your incentives to their needs.
Highlight Desirable Property Features
Make the most of any stand-out property features and highlight the positives of living in your area. It may not be the most desirable location, but perhaps it has an amazing curry house or an incredible local play park?
Focus on the features that will appeal to your target buyer and emphasise these when advertising and hosting viewings. If someone falls in love with your home, they’re much more likely to overlook a less than ideal location.
Introduce the Neighbours
Unless your neighbours are the problem, introducing potential buyers to them can be an extremely effective way to provide peace of mind about the local area.
If you’re on good terms with the neighbours and they are available during viewings, invite your prospects to speak to them about the neighbourhood. If there is a particular concern a buyer has, such as proximity to a noisy pub or the odour from a local eaterie, your neighbours can share their personal experiences of living nearby, which will hopefully be reassuring to potential buyers.
Hold an Open House
Get your house in front of as many eager buyers as possible in one hit by hosting an open house. Now that COVID restrictions have been significantly relaxed in many settings inviting multiple buyers to view your home during the same window of time is a fantastic way to increase your chances of getting an offer.
Open house events can also stoke competition between buyers. If your property is near a more popular area where house prices are out of reach for some people, bargain hunters may be eager to make a winning offer if they think there is competition.
Plan Viewings with Care
It’s important to be honest with potential buyers about any neighbourhood problems or shortfalls, but there’s nothing wrong with booking viewings that will create the best first impression of your home.
If you know the neighbours play loud music every lunchtime, avoid booking viewings at this time. If the smell from a local farm or factory is worse early in the morning, only offer appointments later in the day. You can also ask your estate agent to share directions to your home that highlight the best parts of the neighbourhood and avoid the more unsightly parts of the area.
Be Honest with Potential Buyers
Buyers will appreciate an honest and transparent approach to selling. Concealing problems will probably only lead to delays, disappointment and potentially added expense or a failed sale further along the house sale process.
Furthermore, most solicitors and conveyancers will typically require any house sellers they represent to complete a TA6 Sellers Property Information Form. This form is designed to provide the buyer will all the property information they need to make an informed decision about proceeding with their purchase. You could end up in court if you fail to disclose certain information about your home, for example, an ongoing dispute with a neighbour.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
If you’re struggling to sell a property because it is located in an unpopular location, you must be prepared to negotiate both the asking price and conditions of sale. In this situation, the buyer holds all the power — if they are the only interested party, they can afford to drive a hard bargain.
An estate agent can negotiate on the seller’s behalf, or they can do so themselves if they have opted for a private house sale. Negotiations might include dropping the asking price, but the buyer may also want you to agree to specific terms; for example, they may ask you to undertake certain repairs or improvements or set a completion date that suits them.
Consider an Off-Market House Sale
If you have no luck selling your house on-market with an estate agent, consider selling off-market to a cash house buying company.
House Buyer Bureau has the funds to buy your house in as little as 7 days or any time scale that suits you. We buy houses in all locations regardless of their condition. Contact us today to get your free, no-obligation cash offer.