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House not selling? These might be the culprits!

  • Latest News
  • February 14, 2024
House not selling? These might be the culprits!

PropInsights: Real Estate Revelations

Stressed about your home lingering on the market without any takers? It’s a frustrating tale many sellers in Cape Town and elsewhere know too well. You’ve poured time, effort and money into prepping your property, maybe even dropped your asking price, yet the silence persists.
Sandy Walsh, Real Estate expert and General Manager at Property.CoZa Prestige on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard provides valuable insights for sellers into why home sales sometimes stall.

In real estate, part of the territory entails properties that are more difficult to sell than others. With more than 25 years’ experience in the industry, real estate specialist Sandy Walsh, General Manager at Property.CoZa Prestige in Mouille Point, Cape Town, outlines the most important reasons for a stagnant property listing.



Walsh asserts when going to market, a realistic market price is fundamental as buyers are savvy and have access to good pricing research before venturing into the market.“Gone are the days when a seller ‘fishes’ for a price. With pricing tools and access to property reports, buyers better understand value across the price bands,” she points out.Your estate agent should provide statistical proof of current house sales in your area and what is currently available. If you’ve priced your home yourself, ask an estate agent’s opinion on the accuracy of what you regard as a fair asking price using their market appraisal experience and pricing tools.“Your go-to-market price is a crucial starting point in the journey of selling, and an experienced estate agent will gladly assist you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help set the right price in the market,” remarks Walsh.A property that has been languishing on the market for some months often indicates overpricing. In a competitive market like the Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town, pricing your property too high can deter potential buyers and prolong its time on the market.


Poor presentation:

Presentation matters significantly when selling a property. It can deter potential buyers if the property lacks curb appeal, the garden is in bad shape, or the interior is cluttered, outdated, or poorly maintained. The adage, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first good impression,” applies in this situation, Walsh says.


Limited marketing exposure:

Inadequate marketing efforts can lead to a lack of visibility for your property. “Even if your property is situated on the sought-after Atlantic Seaboard, ensuring it reaches the right audience and using the most appropriate various marketing channels is crucial.”


Market conditions:

External factors like economic downturns or oversupply in the market can affect the selling process. Understanding the current market conditions and adjusting your strategy accordingly is essential for a successful sale.Walsh comments that banks often provide information and guidelines for investors relating to the economic environment and interest rates, suggesting that the FNB Property Barometer is a popular option.


Neglected property issues:

Failing to address hidden or neglected issues such as structural problems, pest infestations, or legal complications before marketing a property can scare away buyers and result in a slumped sales prospect.


Insufficient marketing:

A comprehensive strategic marketing plan is essential to maximise the chances of selling your property. Walsh advises sellers to discuss the marketing plan with their estate agent to make sure it includes all marketing strategies.

These encompass online property portals, various social media platforms, “For Sale” signs, and other software tools such as a customer relationship management system (CRM) that oversees all communications with clients and buyer leads.

One of the best property exposure methods an estate agent can use is a well-written listing description accompanied by beautiful professional photographs. Walsh advises sellers to critique the agent’s marketing efforts and provide guidelines if unsatisfied.


Incorrect target market:

A sale will take longer if you consistently market your home to the wrong target group. Walsh explains this is primarily influenced by the description written for the online portals and marketing platforms that provide prospective buyers with property details. “For example, smaller spaces are often marketed as student accommodation or for first-time homeowners, yet this can limit the target market, and a broader description may be necessary.”



There may be a good reason so many peoples’ houses seem to be selling, and it’s in your interest to find out. A property with extra features may command a higher price. However, the value may be in the stand size or the view, Walsh comments. “It’s advisable to gather as much information about your competition to make an informed decision about your price.”
She says doing a Comparative Market Analysis is an excellent way to compare properties’ size, configuration, and price to determine a realistic selling price. “Your estate agent will advise you on how best to improve your property listing and make it more appealing to potential buyers.”

Walsh’s last advice for sellers is to compare their property with others in their market, understand the competition in property prices and set a viable price to sell within a reasonable time.

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