Support thread for house sellers

(993 Posts)
Spirael Thu 06-Sep-12 10:33:21

Just what it says on the tin, really! I'm sure there must be other stressed house sellers out there? Hopefully we can band together and get some small joy of (hopefully?) seeing our houses sell so we can get a move on!

This is a thread of hand holding and mutual support for the EA dealings, weeks of silence, frantic house tidying, no-show viewings, silly offers and tough decisions. This is not for house bashing and price slating. There are plenty of other threads for that! wink

I've been trying to sell for a year now. Had a surge of viewings earlier in the summer making the right noises, but all has gone quiet for the last few weeks.

However, we have a viewing booked for later this afternoon from someone who has sold their house and is able to proceed - wanting to move before Christmas. Currently swinging between pessimistic and optimistic, while trying not to look at the house we want to buy!

Anyone else out there? smile

financialwizard Fri 07-Sep-12 16:08:00

Fingers crossed for you Spirael.

CuddyMum Mon 10-Sep-12 16:21:59

Well no viewings this weekend - am wondering where the next viewers will appear from as all of the houses in the next bracket down are either splitting up or moving away.

Spirael Mon 10-Sep-12 16:52:41

All gone quiet here too... The EA hasn't been able to reach our interested viewers, so no idea whether they're going to make a higher offer or not. Might not find out for another two weeks! shock

In the meantime, we changed the living room floor from mouldy old carpet to nice shiny new laminate over the weekend. EA are coming out on Wednesday to rephotograph. So hopefully that might help drum up some additional interest! Maybe? [clutches at straws]

At least there's still no-one else interested in the house we want to buy. smile

Hopefully now that schools are back, interested buyers will come along for all of us-!

YellowWellies Mon 10-Sep-12 17:03:44

Hello all - been on market 11 days had 9 viewings, 4 second viewings and now going to closing (which for those not in the know of the Scottish system is where buyers put in their best and final offers in a blind auction by a certain date). It's all a bit scary biscuits as I'm 7 months pregnant and we were hoping in the slow market that we'd be here until Christmas / the New Year so we are now just planning on moving into rented as we can't be arsed fannying around with a chain when you've also got a labour and due date to think about. Also we're moving areas from the Northern Isles to Fife / Edinburgh so it's going to be tricky for us to look at houses together until after the wee one is born (otherwise it would mean a flight and I'm approaching my flight ban with lots of airlines), and whilst I love DH - he's not picking a house on his own!!!

So there is hope (minds we'll have to see what offers we get at closing). To be fair I would say two big bits of advice we've learned from our process - look at your particulars - if the pics are not amazing - get those agents working for their commission to come and take some decent ones. Our agent took the most lovely photos and even came back on a really nice day to make sure he'd got a pic that made the most of the view.

And price. It really seems to be about price. We'll not make back all that we spent doing this house up (I doubt we will - if I'm being realistic, we might, but but only if we get some amazing offers which in this recession aren't going to happen are they?) but we'll have enough for a deposit for the next step which is fine by us we bought this as a home.

As for what we're going to do next - we're going to sit on the sidelines and rent for 6 months as our target market is falling quite quickly like £2-3k a month and we don't want to buy and end up in NE immediately, so spending £400 a month on rent is a no brainer - even if the popular view is that renting is 'dead money'. When we got the valuation back from the surveyor we were both a bit put out as it was less than we'd hoped after all the effort we'd put in (new heating, bathroom, total redecoration, months of hard graft!) but we decided not to be greedy, to trust his expertise and put it on for offers over that price - and that seems to have worked in terms of getting lots of viewings. Our agent said if we'd not had a viewing in a fortnight he would see that as being proof that the price is wrong. He seems quite a savvy guy and has been really upfront with us about being realistic. Also if in doubt never go for the agent that values your house the highest - they are just trying to 'buy' the commission and get you on their books. The agent that offered us the highest price - has the most dire particulars and shit website am sure noone would have bothered to come and view the house - especially not at a daft price.

YellowWellies Mon 10-Sep-12 17:15:32

Am amazed at the difference in EA fees around the country - ours are only 0.75%. Is this because the solicitors fees for conveyancing are separate in Scotland? Or is this just a really good deal?

Good luck all

guineapiglet Mon 10-Sep-12 19:34:01

Hi - I really think the exhorbitant fees the EAs charge should be subject to a public review, I think their greed has gone unchecked long enough. On our recent sale, the EA gained 1.25% plus VAT - and the solicitors charged just £600 for sale only - the amount of work the EA did was negligible, came round, took some photos with digital camera, minutes to upload, came up with some completely inaccurate details which had to be changed 4 times ( why are my proof reading skills better than theirs?) and sat back. Probably about 20 phone calls, 18 of which I paid for. Never returned calls, told 'lies' about the buyers ( well, lets say, embroidered the truth to keep us hanging on) and raked it in - easy money for minimum amount of effort. We finally completed last week, they have earned well over 5k and NOBODY from the EA has rung to tell me, no further follow up, other than a 'how did we do selling your house' type survey, minutes after completion through email. IS this service? WHY is there no better alternative. Still feel very bitter and twisted about them, when my inner self says,' be grateful and get on with life'. I wish I could earn 5k for so little.

CuddyMum Mon 10-Sep-12 20:06:02

I have to say my EA so far is working quite hard - a y

CuddyMum Mon 10-Sep-12 20:08:14

I have to say my EA so far is working quite hard - a good brochure and professional photographer etc, lots of advertising. Good communication but so far time waster viewers which is frustrating all round.

buttons33 Mon 10-Sep-12 23:05:44

My EA did very little for the money. Very little indeed! I had to proof read the particulars. The best error was putting a bathroom where a bedroom should have been (little two bed flat, it's not complicated). They got lucky when our buyer contacted them instead of the online agent we were also using. I have not heard from the EA since accepting the offer. The solicitor has been working far harder and will get about 1/4 compared to the EA fee.

financialwizard Tue 11-Sep-12 08:08:05

My EA charges 2% + VAT (negotiated down from 3%). They are absolutely superb though, could not fault them at any stage. I would most definately recommend them to anyone should they be in the area.

YellowWellies Tue 11-Sep-12 09:08:59

Hmmm with our 0.75% fee - we do the viewings (or just leave a spare key with the agent and folks can let themselves in to look around when you are out, we're very trusting up here on the isles!) - I'm guessing folks paying more are in a contract where the agent does the viewings? I'd pay upward of 5% if they did the sodding cleaning pre-viewing grin

CuddyMum Tue 11-Sep-12 10:34:43

Am thinking I may have to reduce the price even more but this doesn't leave much room for negotiation... I would really like to move before Christmas.

Woodlands Tue 11-Sep-12 10:36:32

I had a good read of the advice on MSE before choosing an agent. We managed to negotiate down from 1.75% to 1%, with a 5% bonus on any amount over a certain figure (which I doubt we'll get, but the agent must think there's a chance). It does seem like a crazy amount of money to spend. My DH insists it's worth it as they will be able to negotiate well with buyers. We shall see!

First proper viewing already booked in for Saturday - eek! We're having an open house the following weekend too. Photo probably being taken early next week. I have a window cleaner booked for tomorrow afternoon. I also need to get a grouting pen for the bathroom mouldy/manky grouting, and hire a rug doctor to clean the carpets - not to mention general decluttering and depersonalising. It's all go!

Spirael Tue 11-Sep-12 12:03:58

For cleaning grout, what you need is HG Mould Spray, Woodlands! It's awesome stuff.

Good luck with your viewing on Saturday! That's very quick to get some interest, especially if your photos and stuff aren't done yet. Hopefully they'll love your house and offer you lots!

No news yet from our holidaying potential buyers, but we have another viewing booked for Thursday from someone who was ready to go on another house where the sellers pulled out at the last minute. She has all her finances in place and is urgently trying to find somewhere else ASAP to keep the chain going.

Fingers crossed she likes us and gets into a bidding war with our other interested party!

Woodlands Tue 11-Sep-12 12:42:02

I periodically have a go at the grouting with bleach and old toothbrushes, but the trouble is we did the grouting (and sealant) ourselves and we didn't do a very good job, so the surfaces aren't smooth and there are lots of bits for the mould to get into. I've scrubbed and soaked and all sorts to no avail! Our bathroom is a bit of a mess really and new buyers would want to rip it all out and start again, I'm sure. We just never got round to it!

Woodlands Tue 11-Sep-12 12:42:31

Good luck with the Thursday viewing - sounds v promising!

CuddyMum Tue 11-Sep-12 13:10:38

Fingers and toes crossed Spirael!! I am awaiting a call from the EA branch manager to discuss ways forward - not sure he can do anything but it will make me feel as though I am doing something (other than cleaning on my day off).

YellowWellies Tue 11-Sep-12 13:51:24

Has anyone read the new RICS market report summary for August 2012 - it makes pretty eye opening reading - I'm just reading the comments from the EAs at the end of the document each describing their local pitch. It makes interesting reading to check out your local area and might explain why what we think are cheeky offers might require a second thought. Hmm I do hope we get over our asking price when we go to closing but we won't know until the 20th September (it's doing my head in). www.rics.org/site/download_feed.aspx?fileID=12383&fileExtension=PDF

Lots of agents are blaming the Olympics for deterring house viewings but really, really - with iPlayer and 24 hour news does anyone think people would put off the biggest purchase of their life because they want to watch a race? I don't buy that. Ok maybe I'm a cynic (which is maybe why I'm running to get out of the market now before it really tanks, which is my fear). It seems to be the same old but slightly different excuse (the Jubilee, Kate and Will's wedding, bad weather, good weather) that they churn out every month to explain why people aren't keen to buy often overpriced houses which they can't afford without a vast mortgage that the banks aren't offering anymore. IMHO it's all about prices being out of touch with falling wages and a return to responsible lending (i.e. checking folks salary claims are true and asking for proof of income) meaning there is no more credit to fill the gap.

Between the lines the message from lots of the EAs quoted in that RICs doc seems to be - sellers have unrealistic price expectations. I guess we probably did until our surveyor knocked that out of us. Still ultimately (after a bit of time renting) we plan to upsize so I'm trying to be an optimist as a falling market is good for upsizing as it brings the gap between house levels closer together. Hopefully we might be able to go from a 2 bed to a 4 bed without getting a scary increase on our mortgage.

CuddyMum Tue 11-Sep-12 14:28:25

EA just returned my call. He's currently trying to persuade a previous viewer to offer - they loved the house but thought it was too big! It would be too good to be true if anything comes of it.

YellowWellies Tue 11-Sep-12 14:30:15

Fingers crossed. I can't ever imagine 'too big' being a bad thing! Oh the luxury of space would be wonderful. Good luck xx

Gravenwithdiamonds Tue 11-Sep-12 16:19:06

Very interesting 'yellowwellies'. We are about to put our house on at - what I think is - a very high price. This is because (a) we haven't yet found a house to move to so are in no rush (b) our house is big for the area and has some advantages that most don't eg, off-street parking, downstairs loo (c) we're in London and the market is still (supposedly) buoyant, and (d) I'm prepared to come down if we are being very unrealistic.

Do you think it's still bad to go on the market with a high price? We haven't sold before so feel a bit clueless and I feel the EA is dictating what we do though, to be fair, they are local and know our area very well.

CuddyMum Tue 11-Sep-12 16:27:54

Graven - try it and see if you get any viewers. You never know.

noddyholder Tue 11-Sep-12 16:33:20

Definitely unrealistic expectations. I am fed up with agents coming back to me re offers I made months ago saying they would accept now. Now I want more off as I have seen the decline and expect further. I offered 275 for a house on for 315 in feb. Agent mailed me today to say do we want to look again they have it at 275k and another agent has it at 269! So assume could get for 250k. Absolutely nothing selling here even near good schools which I don't need now. My advice is drop your price and try and negotiate the drop up the chain. We have realised if we wait til January we may get what we want and save a fair chunk.

YellowWellies Tue 11-Sep-12 16:33:40

I guess it depends if you want to sell quickly, we didn't want to linger on the market for too long as when I see houses that have done that (I use a little add on called property bee with mozilla firefox and it allows you to see all previous price changes and description changes for a property on Rightmove) - I instinctively think something must be wrong with them, or the vendors are unrealistic and 'kite flying' rather than serious about moving. If it's somewhere I'm serious about I look at the last selling price through the Land Registry too so I can see what someone bought it for and how much they're out to make a profit.

It's your choice I guess. Personally that strategy would make me a bit uneasy... but then I'm not in London and it is a very different market. Looking at the Land Registry figures - London is still rising and prices there rose 6% over the last 12 months and are masking large falls over the rest of the country when national stats are reported. I can't see what is fuelling London other than perhaps a case of the Emperors New clothes-itus?! As the last market crashes hit London last but hardest of all - if it were me I'd be tempted to not hang around on the market too long in case you catch the turn in sentiment. But then, wouldn't a crystal ball be a marvellous thing. Certainly up here in Scotland there is a steady crash with sensible values returning and overpriced houses simply not selling. I wouldn't advise you to do what you are doing up here and indeed most agents wouldn't advertise a house on their books above the home report value (we still have those) as everything is selling beneath that.

Good luck! I have no clue what I'd do in your situation. I guess it depends on what you plan to do, if upsizing or moving somewhere cheaper (where you could haggle a reduction in price) then I'd try to undercut the market by putting on at a sensible asking price, as there is so much unsold stock on EA's books that it's easy for your house to stagnate and linger on for sale amongst everyone elses. I did worry that the flurry of activity re our house meant we've put it on too cheap but at least with it going to blind bids - we stand a chance of a fair market price.

YellowWellies Tue 11-Sep-12 16:40:41

V true noddy - I wouldn't want to chase the market down - that was our biggest fear. Hence we put it on at a realistic price. I know lots of folks think prices are going to go back up again - but I can't see what would drive that with the current economy. If you are willing to cut dramatically then try putting it on at a high price and be willing to drop and then buyers might feel they are getting a really good deal - just don't slowly cut a few thousand here or there on a very expensive house as that looks like the agent has had to pull teeth!!! grin

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