REAL ESTATE | Why doesn’t my house sell?


Rosie Wang

Guest Columnist

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You’ve decided to make the leap and put your property on the market but months later you still haven’t had any offers and you can’t figure out why it hasn’t sold.


The most obvious reason a property does not sell is because the price is too high. With the Port Douglas marketplace house prices were at their peak around 13 years ago. For sellers who bought at this boom time, trying to achieve the same price is still difficult. Some sellers who aren’t in a hurry, decide that they would like the asking price to be near their original purchase price in the hope that the market will catch up.

Port Douglas prices do fluctuate still and are on a gradual incline. Despite this, house prices can be dictated on a monthly basis depending on how many other similar properties are on the market and how many other motivated vendors have reduced similar property prices to attract a sale.


Advertising the highest price won’t necessarily attract the best buyer. Advertising a price guide with a lower scale will encourage more buyers and provide some competition. This in turn can then push the price up to realise a higher price.

Noisy locations

Port Douglas there are no major motorways or airports, but people are still put off buying properties next to a road due to noise and lack of privacy. If your property is next to the Capt. Cook Highway or the main Port Douglas Road there are preventative steps you can take. 


Installing window installation/double glazing works. You can also put up acoustic blinds and curtains (offering up to 10dB reduction of noise). This can help alleviate prospective buyer’s anxiety about the noise. Putting up a fence to stop people looking into the house can help with privacy issues.


Try and look at your property with an unfamiliar eye (or get a friend to).

If the paintwork looks tired and peeling, or the house looks like it’s seen better days it’s not going to inspire a potential buyer.

A good presentation can increase the asking price, as it would be ‘ready to move into’ rather than prospective buyers thinking about all the work they would need to do.


A coat of paint and a good clean up can always help to give the property a lift. Have a stylist suggest the best ways you can present your property. Clear away anything personal in your home and declutter.

Also, target for the market you are selling to. If you have a four bedroom house that has been mainly a single shared house, try and incorporate family furniture (large dining table) etc. take down the music posters of Slipknot and hide the guitar collection. 

Poor street appeal

Most buyers will do a drive-by past a home they are interested in before inspecting it. If your garden looks unloved or messy, they won’t want to go much further. Tidy away old pots, dispose or replace broken and worn out external blinds, mend broken gates etc.


If you can’t do it yourself, hire a handyman to tidy the front of the property and any gardens.

Poor marketing

This is one of the most important sales of your life. Scrimping on marketing and advertising will affect the reach of people that know about your property and that’s important potential buyers! It’s worth paying that bit extra to ensure your marketing campaign gets under the noses of the people that matter and so achieve a successful sale. Depending on the type of property can also dictate your potential market. An investment property in Port Douglas will attract more Australia-wide prospective buyers, whereas a family house in Mossman will mostly attract more local buyers.


It’s imperative that you have professional photos taken. Your real estate agent can offer a wide range of marketing and advertising packages. Through print, online websites and search tools to social media there are many options. If you are appealing to mostly non-locals then a virtual tour is a good way for people to view the property without them being there. I have had a situation where the husband viewed the property and the final decision was made purely by his wife viewing the virtual tour back in Victoria.

Your property is your ‘home’ and you have an emotional investment in it. Prospective buyers view it as primarily their investment with a view to making it a home. The value of a property is only dictated by the market forces and what people are willing to pay at the time (not by what you paid in the past or hope to get in the future).

Your real estate agent will help you understand the market and what realistic asking price you could obtain if you wished to sell.


Rosie Wang is a Real Estate Agent with Ray White Port Douglas 



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