Why Has That Property Been On Sale For So Long

One of the questions that always gets asked is "How long has this property been on sale? I blame TV property shows because one person once asked the question and everyone else decided that they too had to ask the same thing (They also need to say "That's a good space", "This has got lots of potential" and in Spain at least "Can we knock that wall down?".)

The answer is, "It doesn't matter!" Much more relevant is whether you like it not whether others have liked it or not before. Some properties sell within a day, or even an hour of being put on sale and others take longer to sell. Equally, as we will find later on in this article, some properties will never sell and there is a reason for that, yes, you guessed it, the owner is a f*ckwit!

Today therefore we are going to look at why a property may take longer to sell and reasons that it still may interest you and much more importantly why asking the question "How long has this been on sale?" doesn't give you any more information.

The Right Client Hasn't Seen It

An obvious one this, some houses are quirky and some people are quirky. Until the quirky person sees the quirky property for the prfect match then the property won't sell because to other people that quirkiness that gives the house character, well, they just couldn't live with it. A few years back for example we had this. You can read all about it and other things in the blog post here.

It was great and soooooo different. However it took six months to sell because you need to be a particular type of person to live in a ship at the top of a hill 40km inland. That's why it hadn't sold

The Market Has Not Yet Caught Up

Sometimes an owner sets a price in a rising market and waits until the market gets there. They may not care because "They are in no rush to sell". Eventually they start to get visits and everyone asks "How long has it been on sale?" This is a classic "It doesn't matter" moment because the market has now got to that point which is demonstrated by the fact that they are now getting visits. Property sales in Spain are notoriously different to other countries. Properties don't tend to get burnt by being on the market for too long like in other countries. Owners are happy to wait for good offers even if it means the property is on the market for a loooooooong time. That's why it hasn't sold

Bad Advice

Related to the point about the market is the bad advice the owner got from the agent initially. "Sure you can get 16 Bazillion for this apartment. Let's try it at that price and then see". And of course there is tumbleweed in terms of visits. However the agent has set a price in the owner's mind at that point and then bit by bit the relaisation comes to the owner, "What if we drop the price to 15.995 Bazillion?" More tumbleweed. They don't come down enough to create interest and if they do then everyone sees it in their notifications and says "What's wrong with it if they have had to reduce the price so much?". That's why it hasn't sold.

A Mess

Our classic line "You have to be able to see through their mess!" comes into it here. Spanish sellers don't present a property to sell in many cases and don't have anywhere to put their junk and they throw nothing out, absolutely nothing. Papers, broken printers, old PCs, cables, magazines, books from that time they were going through a phase of liking fantasy novels, useless medals and trophies and much more importantly crucifixes, catholic memorabilia, gifts from various Communions and old old excess dark furniture. Some would say it's quirky (See above) others would just say it's a mess. That's why it hasn't sold.

Visible Structural Issues

Cracks, peeling paint, even old wallpaper peeling off in a country where wallpaper is an abhorration. Damp patches, whole walls dripping with damp and an overwhelming sense of cold wetness on going into the house don't get shown on your average property listing, in fact the photos may look great (See below for photoshop) You might be looking for a doer upper but many other people aren't so that property may well not have sold as a result.

An Abhorrent Paint Job

Three bedrooms, one shocking pink, one violent purple and the other just very very dirty off white. A living room in mustard yellow with a feature wall of volcanic red. Yep it happens. Various coats of paint will sort the problem but yes, it puts people off. That's why it hasn't sold.

Stairs (And Lots of Them)

We are getting to the stage now of saying that "fourth is the new third" meaning that fourth floor without a lift is what third floor used to be... the maximum height someone will go without a lift and still buy. However this rules out a lot of people. It seems that most people imagine that in ten years' time their knees won't work. Therefore places that don't have a lift tend to be slower sellers as the market is reduced somewhat. That's why it hasn't sold.

It's a Bank Property

Where to start? Nobody in the bank knows where the keys are. There's a metal door on it to keep potential squatters out. Everything has been ripped out including the wires. Offers are not answered. If you make an offer it goes into an auction process. There are already offers pending so we don't want any more. You need to prove your money doesn't come from illicit sources and even when you have done that they still want more paperwork and by the time they approve that then it's out of date and you have to start again (Bitter personal experience? Yep!) You're foreign so haven't got a NIE to make the offer... You get the idea. Bank properties are generally more trouble than they are worth. The link to the article is below by clicking on the image. That's why it hasn't sold.

It's almost as if banks shouldn't try to present themselves as estate agents as they haven't got a clue. Who knew!

What Surrounds The Property

In this case we are talking about villas and houses more than apartments. What the photos on the listing won't show you are things such as the pylons, the wreck next door, the crocodile in the green pool, the overgrown gardens and the state of the house, preferring instead to show photos from ten years ago when the house was pristine. If you don't get a warning from the agent beforehand then you are going to be seriously let down. That's why it hasn't sold.

The Neighbours

We know of a great flat for sale in the Grau near Valencia port but it's second floor and the person on the first floor is a cat person. How do we know? Well, it stinks to high heaven on the stairwell as you go past their door of cat piss, pooh and just generally ... cats. It's horrible. The photos of the flat look great and the flat is great but you will never get around that....Now if they lived on the fourth floor and you didn't have to go past it then maybe... (Unless the smell is a decomposing body in the flat which the cats are slowly eating... nah that's just as bad!)

Loud neighbours, smelly neighbours, dirty neighbours... they are all possible and if you see, smell or hear them when you visit then you know why the apartment hasn't sold, however good it is.

Interior Flats

Spanish people hate interior flats. An interior flat is one that doesn't look out onto the road at the front. It may actually have more light, less noise and less pollution comprared with a flat on a main road but even then the average Spanish buyer won't go for it. This was exacerbated by the Covid lockdown as those with interior flats didn't even get to see other people for a few months. Many interior flats are dark, dingy and small but don't expect to be told that on a property listing. That's why it hasn't sold.

Size and Spaces

Sometimes a flat is too small for many people who go to look at it. We gave you an example in this post where a flat was advertised at 80m2 when we know it is just 55m2. Therefore those who turn up to see it aren't interested and in this case for example it's also ridiculously overpriced. Also the spaces may not work in the sense of the owners have crammed 3 bedrooms into 50m2 or even like a listing I saw last week 3 bedrooms in 45m2, that's almost witchcraft. Usually knocking down a wall can sort out issues like this but many people don't want to do a reform so the property won't work for them, that's why it hasn't sold yet. Someone will like small spaces though and will buy it.


We have written a whole post about Photoshop and other sins here. Photoshop is one of the main reasons that properties don't sell because it gives a false impression of a property and then you arrive to see it and rather than being excited by it your first impression is disappointment. That's why it hasn't sold.

Ghost Listings

Great listing, non existent property. It hasn't sold because it doesn't exist. It might have been on Idealista or your portal of choice for months or even years luring in the unsuspecting like an Angler Fish does its bait. Once you get on that database from your enquiry then you are never getting off it. It's always "just sold". We wrote about it in this post along with a few other scams. This one hasn't sold because it doesn't even exist.


There are tenants and they are... difficult... You want to go and see it but you can't because the tenants aren't there, they won't let you in, they are away on holiday, they are cooking lunch at that time (Whatever time it is) and a long etcetera. Also the tenant is a sitting tenant with a right to stay after sale and they are paying a really low rent compared with the current rates in the market so they have no incentive to go. That's why it hasn't sold. Beware of ads stating "Vendido con inquilino bueno" Anyone would be good if they are only paying 200 euros per month.

Let's Get On To The Main Reason... Owners

Because the number one reason for a place not selling is that the owner or owners are shall we say "a bit loopy" or living on another planet.


Sometimes there's just no way around it. There are seven people inheriting the property and six of them want to sell so they advertise it but the seventh hates the rest of the family so won't sell even when they get a full price offer just to p*ss off everyone else. And that's why it's still on the market.

The Owner Demanding B

The price is 300,000 Euros but the owners want 200 declared on the deeds and 100 in B. That's why it's still on sale. We never say to people yeah go on pay it in B. It's illegal and shouldn't be done and also it's very difficult to get money in cash these days.

Owners Wanting Time After Sale to Move Out

You can't buy it because the owners want a few months after selling to move out and find something else and they cannot be spoken to and convinced that's not how it happens. That's why it's still on sale.

Non-Declaration of New Build

The owner is selling a house of 500m2 but only 160m2 exist on the deeds and the owner won't do anything about it. An owner needs to sell what they own otherwise they are passing on a hot potato to the buyer, you. In very rare cases you might accept taking on that hot potato because you know it is something that can be sorted at a later date and you have an absolute bargain but in 95% of properties that isn't the case. That's why it hasn't sold.

The Owner is a F*ckwit/Unreasonable

Now let's talk about "Boris**" ... because Boris is a total f*ckwit. Boris didn't want to declare the full size of the house. Boris didn't want to negotiate the price. Boris didn't want to move out until after the sale. Boris didn't want to go with the timescales the buyer wanted. Boris listened to a "lawyer" (Who wasn't a lawyer) who told him BS and even when a notary told him it was total BS he doubled down and refused to believe it. Boris didn't want to pay to declare the new build even if he was going to do it. Boris wanted to increase the price by 100k to cover his 10k costs if he didn't have a signed contract by the end of the week. Boris tried to blackmail our client to that end. Boris was eventually told to go and f*ck himself.

Boris is a f*ckwit.

That's why 15 years after he put it up for sale Boris' house is still for sale at 500k less than he originally asked for...

*Boris is not the guy's real name of course, we just decided to use the name of another f*ckwit.

So that's it. Why has that property been on sale for so long? So many reasons that it could be apart from the obvious, it doesn't do anything for me. Contact us with what you are looking for and take your first step to finding your ideal Valencia Property. You never know, you may see some of the above examples but there's one thing I can guarantee, you will never meet Boris* (Not his real name) because that is never being shown again even if he wants to give it away for free. And if you want to make sure you don't meet him then make sure to ask me for his real name in a DM.

Golden Visa Property Of The Week

If your dream is to be the owner of some extensive orange fields and a bit of history in the Valencian Campo then this old Masia from 1898 may tick a lot of boxes. The price is 595k but you'll need more than that to buy this as a reform/modernisation is required. However you would be buying a piece of history.

Yes, you could live here as is but no heating apart from the wood burner and these old buildings get cold in the winter, old furnishings, (IKEA just 20 minutes away and Valencia City 25) a decent paint job required, new windows, do something to the whole excellent second floor area and think of a project to do it fo. Maybe a wedding reception venue, small hotel or writers'/yoga retreat, cult headquarters in the style of Waco or something even more inventive.

You have around 700m2 of property over three floors, huge terraces overlooking copious orange fields, 50,000m2 in fact, plenty of space for parking to the front of the house and the small town of Benifaio just 3km away and Alginet around 4km.

You could live here in splendid isolation while at the same time being just a few minutes away from your favourite morning coffee haunt, a large gym (In Benifaio), and just over 20 mins to the beach, airport and fast trains. Even slow trains get into Valencia in just 22 minutes from Benifaio station.

Oh and did we mention how nice this place looks. Classical Valencia construction from the 1890's with a protected feature chimney. Take a look

If You Liked This...

Then maybe take a look at some of our previous posts. Just click on the images below.

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