Imagine this scenario: a buyer sees a really nice house listed online for sale, and it checks all their requirements and then some. Score! But once they head over to personally view the property, they realise there’s something intangible that wasn’t included in the listing. It could be a deal-breaker, despite being the perfect property in every other aspect. How will the agent convince the buyer to close the deal?

Just like (almost) any other thing that can be bought and sold, some are easier to sell than others due to the price, condition, age, design, and many other factors. After all, not all properties are created equal. Here’s where the science of selling a home comes in, and how you – as an agent – can deal with properties that are difficult to sell.

These are some of the most difficult types of properties to sell in Malaysia:

Haunted” property
Even the bravest of us wouldn’t fancy staying overnight in a haunted house, right? Properties that are reputed to be haunted are usually some of the most difficult to sell in Malaysia, as local culture has instilled a deep-rooted fear of ghosts and other supernatural beings. However, more often than not, a property ‘earns’ its haunted reputation simply because it is left vacant and not maintained by the owners. One way to sell is to rent it out to people who do not believe in (or not afraid of) ghosts. Once it has been occupied for a period of time without any incidents, it will be much easier to put on the market for prospective buyers. Not everything is doom and gloom though; there are pros and cons to ‘haunted’ properties, or properties located near to cemeteries.


Suicide” property
This is fairly similar to the haunted properties mentioned above, except that there is tangible proof of an unfortunate incident. Many people will be put off by the fact that people have died within the property, which they will relate to it being haunted or at the very least, have a gloomy atmosphere. In this case, it is best to inform potential buyers of the incident and let them decide whether to purchase or not. (It will also earn you brownie points for being honest.) Likewise, it would be a good idea to find a buyer who is not bothered by the suicide (or restless ghosts), or recommend it to a religious group or association.

suicide property - noose

Smelly” property
Most people will avoid walking past a rubbish dump, and rightly so, because it stinks. Well, imagine staying in a place that smells like rubbish every single day. Not a very pleasant experience, right? That’s why properties that are near to sewage ponds or solid waste storage areas, which cause bad smells, are difficult to sell and are “virtually useless”. Neverthless, it really depends on how strong the stench is, and what the buyer’s acceptance threshold is. Some properties may stink from the outside, but once you go indoors, there is no smell – something an agent can highlight as a positive selling point, coupled with a reasonable price.

what's that smell

Ground floor of high-rise residence
Lower floor units in a strata property are usually harder to sell, due to concerns over safety, noise, privacy and limited views. However, all it takes is finding the right buyer. Be creative with your sales pitch and consider things like elderly parents (not convenient to stay on higher levels), fear of heights, feeling like staying in a landed property, having to take the stairs in the event of lift breakdown or electricity disruption, etc. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison; there will always be somebody who defies the norms and willing to buy a property at the right price.

it's raining coins

Property close to a construction site (a.k.a. “noisy” property)
Noise, dust, bad road conditions and heavy traffic are major concerns when buying a property near to a construction site. It is actually rather subjective, as the difficulty really depends on the construction’s proximity and how long it will be ongoing. While the ongoing construction can be a major nuisance (and potentially dangerous too), it can be argued that some properties will increase in value once the project is completed, for example, developments that are beside or near to future MRT stations. Agents can convince potential buyers by highlighting the positive aspects while stressing that the construction is just a temporary problem.

make it stop

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