Downsizing parents(28 Posts)
The logistic are going to be a problem. I can deal with the 'destination' end and the storage (I think).
How do I deal with an empty house?
I think that it has to be all out .
Would leaving token furniture in the house off set another removal lorry? in terms of price.
Or,token furniture to goodwill, after exchange?
With Dad's bungalow, we did take everything out, but then we knew that whoever bought it would be completely renovating it anyway - the kitchen and bathroom were still the originals from when the bungalow was built in 1969 - my parents were the original owners - and it needed new windows and radiators too. It also had built in wardrobes and bookshelves my Dad had put in which, like most of my Dad's DIY, were very strong and functional but not particularly attractive! We took up the 40-year old carpets too and the place looked much better without them.
Honestly Harbinger, we viewed loads of places last year when on the market, a "token bed and nothing else" will eg show how much space is available around the bed (very hard to judge this with an empty room), so if it's currently furnished and the furniture isn't needed elsewhere then it's better to retain a minimal set of stuff.
If I were doing this, the bedroom would retain:
A bed, a bedside table or two, lamp on one bedside table, clock radio on the other, wardrobe and chest of drawers, one ornament or mirror or cloth on top of the drawers, clear windowsill, curtains kept up, and possibly a chair.
The lounge would retain sofa, telly or radio, chair, fireguard (if you have a fire), coffee table, clock and few ornaments if there's a mantelpiece, keep a mirror up and a few pictures if you have them (but remove family photos as apparently they stop people visualising properly!)
Kitchen, keep kitchen table (to prove it fits in), kettle, mugs, stack of plates/crocks and few cooking things in cupboards.
I' also keep in a toaster/microwave if they have one. Aim to show it's a well functioning space for cooking.
Bathroom: take away any mobile mobility aids unless parnts still living there: commode seats are not a selling point! Otherwise clean and minimalist.
Garden: if they have any simple furniture keep it, otherwise just neaten it up and clear the vista so buyers can actually see what they are buying.
Hope that helps? People really are slow to project themselves onto a truly empty room, it's v hard to judge furniture sizes (which is why new build houses often have slimline furniture in the show home!)
There is always a flurry of activity from September so I'd start marketing it then. Leave the furniture, you'd be amazed how hard viewers find it to visualise empty bedrooms with furniture. Even if the furniture is dated it's better than empty.
definitely get it on the market now. it will take a couple of weeks and should hit the September peak. make it look inhabited but not cluttered.
Very little is needed elsewhere.
To leave a token bed/sofa/dining table would probably be pointless.
Someone looking should just see the space, but do they?
It depends upon how much of it is needed elsewhere: if you look on rightmove you will find lots of empty properties being marketted. Some are bare-bones minimal and the "purpose" of rooms has been lost: it makes it hard for viewers to find the place inviting and picture themselves there. A cluttered house likewise is difficult, which is why all the sites urge sellers to declutter.
So think ideal-homes and look at the websites to get an idea: eg in the living room, retain a sofa/telly/bookshelf/few ornaments/pictures so it's homely and clearly a lounge, wothout an ounce of clutter. Likewise, keeping beds in situ with a few bits about, a minimal kitchen setup kettle/toaster/teabags/drainer... If that's possible?
If going for an autumn sale (rather than spring) would you leave any furniture in the house?
I looked at the thread title and thought "why do you want smaller parents?"
Try putting it on the market mid-September, that's the "second peak". Viewers will often try to knock the price down if they think the house is empty, as they presume you want a quick sale. Also even a bit of cold will make it feel damp if it's unoccupied. Good luck!
Another very valid point, thank you.
My DPs have been in their house for nearly fifty years and I last moved house twenty plus years ago, so we are real novices at this moving/selling business.
It sounds like an empty house is to be avoided. I had initially thought that we would just have to drain the water, little did I know....
I wouldn't see several nearby houses also being for sale a problem. If I was interested say in an area I'd check out all the properties. Chain free, keen to sell so you don't have maintenance etc over the winter, you have a lot going for you. EA around here say things slow down a lot when the clocks change though as there are less day light hours for viewings..
The situation is similar to yours Rusty. I presumed that Christmas/New Year were totally dead times for house hunters.
I take on board all the comments about waiting until the spring. You all talk sense . I am beginning to think that putting the house on the market in the late autumn would be the better plan of action. Especially as nobody intends to do any work on the house. The only drawback is that four houses, very nearby are up for sale already.
renting is possible but is a lot of hassle and work for just the six months. Also much harder to sell a tenanted home.
put it on the market ASAP - deal with outstanding DIY, get them to declutter a bit and price it realistically. Start it now and they certainly won't need to leave before October.
Could you just rent it out for 6 months?
We sold my Dad's bungalow after he died last November - the insurers insisted we drain the heating and turn off the water and electricity if it was empty for more than a month - even though we suggested it would be better to leave the heating on low. They also wanted someone to check it every week - luckily the estate agents agreed to do this and were also OK with turning the electricity on and off again for viewings.
We had thought it would be better to wait till spring, but the agents said that the week between Christmas and New Year was one of their best times for selling because most people were off work and had time to view. They were right, as we had an offer early in January and completed before the end of February.
We didn't have to pay council tax for 6 months, but we were warned that the rules were changing this April and if it hadn't sold I think we would have had to pay a proportion.
I would be putting it on the market now if they want to move in October.
May also be worth checking if the local council has changed its council tax charges for empty properties. Some now levy the full charge or even an increased charge to avoid homes sitting empty for months.
A house that has been empty for weeks, let alone months, becomes cold and lifeless, and much less appealing imo. Better to sell it while they're there, if possible. If not, you will need to maintain it, insure it and keep it at least damp-free/warmish for as long as it takes to sell.
The market is (marginally) better for buyers in spring, because more houses come on the market. But that means it's probably worse for sellers!
Can you put it on the market whilst they are there, with the aim of selling it in Oct/Nov? If you leave it empty for any length of time, particularly in winter, you need to have someone check on it regularly, remove junk/post, you may need the heating on or tanks drained and you'll need to talk to the insurers as they might impose conditions or refuse to insure it.
I left my house empty for 10 weeks last year til it was sold and we had to have checks every 7 days and the heating on or tanks drained from 1st November. I also had to use specialist unoccupied house insurers as it fell due for renewal during the empty period and the original insurers wouldn't renew cover on an empty house.
Could do it this side of Christmas. Empty or staged bits?
Either market it asap, or do it up/maintain garden etc over winter.
Don't leave to rot without going up regularly to check it out. I'm not sure the market will be better in the spring. If everybody goes with that theory, there will be more houses for people to chose from.
The house is four hours (+) by car. Should it be left empty? How to avoid squatters?
Don't know what to do.
DPs feel that market will be better in the Spring.
Why not put it on the market straight away? If its empty someone may buy before Xmas? Much better than having it hanging around empty.
Do you want to do work on the house before selling? Why would you leave it sitting empty for 6 months over the winter? Is that your real question - what to do deal with a house which will be sitting empty over the winter....is it near you?
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