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  • Aaron Lin Property

"I am a serious seller, why is my unit not selling?"

In a red hot upmarket with high demand, we are seeing HDB units get sold within a week and at most a month. So why are some 'serious sellers' finding trouble in selling their units or not even getting viewings?

We share about how to evaluate your unit and rectify this 'not selling' problem for sellers. Read on!

Summary: Sellers want to get a higher price, but this is always dependent on demand. Everything starts from the property advertisement and pricing. Evaluate the reasons why your property is not selling and work out your expectations and strategy.


For any serious seller of a unit, the priority is first to get offers for it. Thereafter, comes the often-asked question: Can I get a higher price?

How can we go about evaluating if a unit can command a higher price, or if it cannot, we want to know why and what can we do about it. Today, we start by challenging the belief: "Selling property is all about luck".

All about luck

Some sellers believe that selling a property involves luck, above other things. You just need to list it, determine some price and then wait. If you are lucky, you get offers and good offers to close your deal, otherwise, you are unlucky and have to keep waiting till the offer comes around. Of course, this is not true.

The whole process of successfully selling a unit involves strategy, asking the right questions (to yourself) and publishing the right details on your ads. Before we share the secrets of this process, let's take a look at the possibilities and context in listing a unit.

Categories of units

Each selling units can be classified into different categories. For categories, they range from things like 'high demand, easy to sell' or 'wait long long, no demand even if selling at a loss".

In order to gauge demand, the easiest thing is to use the pricing on your ads measured by number of enquiring calls received. An example would be: if you list a unit asking for 400k to receive 20 calls, you perhaps can try 420k which would bring about 10 calls. Maybe you might still get 3-5 calls if you go to 440k.

Such an example shows the high demand for such a unit, where significant price increases can still see demand. A seller can be assured of getting a higher price due to the high demand and thus competitive bids.

On the other hand, there are instances where sellers have to list at a loss. This is not the scariest yet. The scariest is when you list at a loss and still receive no calls.

What is the problem?

Now that we have understood the idea of categorising units and established that selling a unit is not a simple matter of luck, so what is the problem when a unit is not selling?

First, the seller needs to identify if the problem lies with the agent or the unit. Consider if the agent has recommended the right strategy or is doing his or her job in being responsive to potential buyers, etc. If the agent is the problem, change. If the agent is not the problem, as often is the case, you need to consider potential problems about the unit.

Could it be the unit's condition, or the asking price or perhaps the way the advertisement listing is placed? These are all possibilities of problems which cause the unit to not sell.

For example, the way an advertisement is structured and placed depends a lot on how the agent understands the market and then categorises the unit. These are all specialised knowledge which could make the key difference between your unit selling or not.

Secret to the process

Now comes the part you have been waiting for. So what's the secret? Actually, if you have been following the article, this comes as no surprise.

  1. The pricing strategy starts from the advertisement. Price correctly and communicate price accordingly to potential buyers.

  2. Agent needs to condition the buyer from start to finish and avoid giving wrong impression to buyers.

  3. Make sure the buyers are aware of the specifics of the unit they are viewing and purchasing, this includes pricing expectations importantly.

The pricing strategy is determined by identifying the unit category & its demand level. If there is no demand, consider the problem with the unit. The pricing strategy would therefore flow from there, as to whether you are looking to attract more potential buyers with an attractive price or filtering out unrealistic bids with a higher cutoff.

A competent agent would then take charge of the negotiation and communication in a process we call 'conditioning'. From the moment the buyer sees the advertisement, to the calls and communication up to viewings and eventual offer, the agent must ensure that the buyer knows and understand the price expectations of the seller. This clear communication

ensures that the process goes smoothly and helps to weed out buyers who might not have the budget for the purchase.

There are listings which provide some ambiguity such as listing prices as negotiable. There must be reasons to putting the word 'negotiable' on the advertisement. However, how far negotiable goes and what it means in terms of exact dollars and sense need to be managed by the agent and communicated to buyers.

This is part of managing expectations to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly and well. Buyers today want to be informed with precise information about what they are buying, the process and, often more importantly than others, the price they are paying.

By managing the whole process well from start to finish, 'Why is my unit not selling?' will become an irrelevant question to you.


Watch the video to find out what Aaron has to say about selling properties and buying Chanel bags!


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