Why is my House in Wandsworth Not Selling, and What to do About it?


With miles of green space, great high streets packed with independent businesses, amazing transport links, good schools and attractive neighbourhoods, south west London has plenty to recommend it.

So, you might be wondering why on earth is my property in Balham, Tooting or Wandsworth just not selling?

If your lovely home hasn’t attracted the interest you expected, it could be a sign of the times. With a rise in interest rates and a squeeze on incomes, some people are adopting a wait and see approach to the housing market. That said, the urge to move that started in the pandemic is still around and we are seeing plenty of demand for the right local properties.

If you’re a vendor currently asking ‘why is my home not selling?’ there are eight big reasons to consider. And the good news is that in most cases they can be fixed!

1. The asking price is too high

Asking price is possibly the biggest reason why otherwise appealing properties languish on estate agents’ books for too long. It is easy to be seduced by an overly optimistic agent into setting a high asking price. But a house that is more expensive than similar ones close by, for no apparent reason, will put people off. It will also price you out of certain search brackets on the property portals, meaning your home won’t be noticed by many serious buyers.

If you think you’ve gone in too high, do plenty of research into local properties on the market and recent sale prices. Then talk to your estate agent about rethinking your approach.

2. Your home isn’t well presented

There’s no getting away from the fact that London buyers expect a certain standard of presentation – even if they’ll ultimately replace your kitchen, bathrooms etc with ones to their own taste. First impressions really count, so make sure your home has that all-important kerb appeal with a tidy garden, clean windows, attractive plants and a bright and cheery front door. Inside you need to put in the effort too, decluttering, tackling minor repairs and giving the place a light and neutral coat of paint if necessary.

Get advice from your agent and listen to viewer feedback and address any issues that are turning buyers off.

3. The photos aren’t doing your home justice

The photos and videos in your estate agent listing are crucial to hooking in potential buyers from the start. In the age of Instagram, most agents know this but if you’re not getting people through the door, have a critical look at your listing compared to others.

If you think your photos are the weak link, ask your agent about having them re-shot but attend to any presentation issues first.

4. The listing is lacklustre

Along with the photos, the blurb about your home is designed to draw people in and help them understand what makes it special – and see themselves taking up residence. Make sure your listing is well written, engaging and accurate. It should also be making the most of the key features that people search for – if your home is detached, has a garden, is close to good schools etc. Make sure your floorplans are present and accurate too.

5. It’s just not a good time

Time of year can have a big impact on how easily your home sells. Spring is traditionally peak season but, as we’ve said, other factors are at play right now with some buyers holding off until the economy is more stable.

Weigh up the pros and cons of selling now. If buyers aren’t coming forward, a strategy may be to take the home off the market for now, fix any issues with the presentation and remarket it later in the year.

6. Your estate agent isn’t up to the job

It may not be down to your home at all but your agent just not doing the best job for you. Maybe they are overworked, short staffed, have taken on too many properties or you’ve opted for a budget online service that isn’t working out in today’s climate.

Firstly, think about how your agent is falling short – could they improve your listing, be more available, give better feedback on viewings? Have an honest conversation and if things don’t improve consider switching – but check your contract first. Listing with two agents could make them work harder but you will pay more in commission.

7. You’re in a long property chain

There’s no denying that chains can be off-putting to some buyers and if yours is a long or complicated one, people may be opting for places that are simpler or chain free. Again, get viewer feedback to see if this is the case and think about your options. Could you decide to break the chain and move in with family or to an Airbnb to secure a buyer? Or could you get a bridging loan, if needed, to buy the property you’ve found – again making you chain free.

8. Your property is hard to mortgage

The reason why buyers aren’t biting could be more practical – that there’s something about your property that makes it hard to mortgage. This could be that yours is a leasehold home with a short lease that’s coming up to the critical 80-year mark, or that there is another issue that rings alarm bells – if it’s an ex-local authority flat, for example.

If the lease is the issue, think about extending, getting legal advice from solicitor experienced in this area. For other issues, find out what you can do to fix them and talk to your estate agent about a strategy such as advising buyers about specialist mortgage brokers.

If you’re wondering why your property in Balham, Tooting or Wandsworth isn’t selling, we’d be happy to talk to you about alternative strategies and give you a no obligation market appraisal. Contact us today.