So angry at estate agent. Should I do anything?

(172 Posts)
TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 10:43:44

We put our house on the market last week using the price the estate agent recommended and we have had about 20 viewings in the last week but no offers.

Today one of the agents said to me it might be priced a bit high, I replied that they told us what price to use angry angry

What should we do? Drop the price straight away or leave it a bit longer. Its currently on at £340k and so I assume we'd need to drop it to 320-325k.

We're not in a massive rush to move but DS is starting school in September and we're moving area so I would like to be moved before then.

sorry if this post is a bit messy, I need a rant and maybe some positive suggestions / thoughts. Its constantly on my mind at the moment and I am losing sleep over this


thebestpossibletaste Mon 08-Apr-13 10:46:41

Do the estate agents give you feedback from the clients who viewed your property?

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 10:48:09

yes, most say it's too small, there is a railway line at the back of the garden so that's putting a few people off.

it's a perfect home for a couple or those planning a first baby but they've been showing it to families.

LizzyMcGuire Mon 08-Apr-13 10:51:55

One of our local estate agents overprices all their properties by a stupid amount, our neighbour's house was on for £300k when similar properties sell for £250k. You just look at their prices and immediately deduct 20%.


Mind you, if people were interested but thought it was overpriced, wouldn't they make a low offer?

Do you want to link it and see what we think of the price?

LizzyMcGuire Mon 08-Apr-13 10:53:03

Also, I don't know what the market's like where you are, but a week is no time at all.

You might want to stand firm.

FasterStronger Mon 08-Apr-13 10:53:11

You need to drop your price. I think your timescales are quite short. Lots of property takes 1+ years now to sell.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 10:53:49

that's what I thought Lizzy which does give me some hope. If I really wanted out but thought it was only worth £320 then I'd offer that.

not sure I want to out myself by sharing the link on here but I can pm it to anyone who wants it.

Alwayscheerful Mon 08-Apr-13 10:55:12

Yes reduce the price, negative feedback usually indicates the price is too high, viewers could see the room sizes when they looked at the property details. They should be chasing feedback from all the viewers and it should be logged on the computer system. You shouldn't have to chase the feedback, they should call you after every viewing. Reduce to £325.

LizzyMcGuire Mon 08-Apr-13 10:56:01

Oh yes please to pm. I love houses.

wonkylegs Mon 08-Apr-13 10:59:32

It's only been a week, so don't panic. Take a look back and try and get some perspective.
I must admit I did a lot of research before even talking to agents to get a reasonable idea of price in my head (other properties size, location & condition). This meant I laughed when one agent gave us a silly high price as I knew it was ridiculous.
We went with an agent and a price that seemed right to me not just their suggestion. I can't comment if that's worked as it only went on the Market on Friday afternoon and as our agents don't open on a Sunday that means we've only had 1 day of viewings.
Perhaps you could spend a bit of time and see what you think it's worth compared to the market in your area before rushing to drop the price.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:02:01

Lizzy have pm-ed

SoupDragon Mon 08-Apr-13 11:02:06

It's only been a week - I would give it a bit longer before reducing the price.

Do you have lots of big furniture in the rooms making it look smaller? Too much "stuff"?

MaryBS Mon 08-Apr-13 11:02:12

If you had 20 viewings, then I would say you hadn't priced it too highly. But if you are in need of a quick sale, then I guess make it clear there is a "deal to be done" to the Estate agents.

wonkylegs Mon 08-Apr-13 11:02:50

Oops meant to say try to find out from your agents the timescales for typical selling in your area. Some areas it is very slow but in others it's still very fast. Our suburb has a microclimate for quite fast house sales in a city that is generally quite slow otherwise. This is the kind of information an agent should be able to give you very easily.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:03:11

But if I reduce it to 325k then aren't people just going to offer lower?

A friend of mine has been trying to sell hers for months. They have plenty of photos and a floor plan. The estate agent has sent couples, and retired people, even though the property is quite clearly a family home. None of the viewers have found it 'suitable for their needs'.

I can't afford it, or I'd be making an offer.

They've decluttered, repainted, and dressed the house. And they've reduced it.... sad

magimedi Mon 08-Apr-13 11:05:52

Have a look & see what similar property in your area has sold for.

Very difficult to advise with out knowing what your local market is like.

How many agents did you have round to give an opinion?

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:08:05

we only had one agent round. we bought from them and I trusted them in the area blush

I don't have much time to spend meeting different agents etc.

LizzyMcGuire Mon 08-Apr-13 11:09:17

Right, I would swap the cot into the small bedroom and the cabin bed into the front bedroom for a start.

Is picture 5 with the fireplace your landing? It's lovely. I would take everything off the shelves and dress them beautifully with just one or two ornaments, get rid of the towels, it makes it look like there's no storage (there is plenty of room in your lovely bathroom.

Can you store one of your sofas? And thin out the books etc in the living room, it's not a small room but looks overstuffed and tiny.

Also can you store away the desk in your bedroom? Or even put teh DC in together and dress the 3rd bedroom as a study?

It's a beautiful house, and I don't think it's overpriced when you look at what else is around. But it does look too small for you and unfortunately that's what buyers will see.

I love love love your kitchen and dining room by the way.

EasterHoliday Mon 08-Apr-13 11:11:12

you wouldn't get 20 people through the door if it was really overpriced. How long is their exclusive period for? serve notice to end it now if you have to do that.

(my next door neighbour's house is for sale - they've had precisely two viewings in a month and tw*t agent has asked them to reduce by 18% of value as the asking price they suggested (in order to get the job) was way too high)

magimedi Mon 08-Apr-13 11:11:44

I'm not being shouty or rude, but you really should have hadvaluations from 3 agents. It's common practice for agents to give a high valuation in order to get your business.

How long are you tied into this agent for? If not for long I would get another couple round for valuation.

And if they ask you what you want/think it's worth just tell them that that is their job.

Is it a one off house or are there a lot similar to it? Check the other achieved prices in your area.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:15:08

Lizzy thank you for taking the time to look! The prospect of making the changes you suggested is overwhelming and not very practical. (the cabin bed would need to be dismantled to remove it and DH would have a great attack as he only put it up recently grin )

Do you suggest making the changes just for the photos or even for when people come over for the viewings?

Again, thank you very much for spending time looking at it wink

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:17:33

We haven't signed a contract yet, I've not received it in the post! although they have put it online and we have a for sale board. not sure where that leaves me.

magimedi Mon 08-Apr-13 11:18:42

I'd check on the T & Cs of your agent.

LizzyMcGuire Mon 08-Apr-13 11:20:43

I would do it for viewings. You need to highlight that it's a good sized three bedroom family house (which it is) and downplay the fact you've outgrown it.

Best of luck with it, it really is a lovely home and I think the price is bang on, just sit tight and declutter as much as you can bear to and I'm sure your buyer will come along soon.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:25:54

Lizzy I don't know if I can bring myself to do all that, DD (17m) is a fab sleeper, in bed by 7 in the dark and wakes at 9am the weekend but super light sleeper. DS (4y) goes to bed at 7ish but reads in bed for ages and has a night light all night.

and where would we sit if we moved the sofa out grin grin

FasterStronger Mon 08-Apr-13 11:27:58

Lesson number one: never trust the EA. grin how do you know they are lying? Their lips are moving boom boom!

SoupDragon Mon 08-Apr-13 11:49:02

Whether the changes to make it look bigger are "overwhelming" depends on whether you want to sell quickly at a good price or be hanging on and reducing the price - maybe more than once.

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 08-Apr-13 11:54:17

Don't think I am being unsupportive (because, it seems, the entire population of Mumsnet is narsty and bitchy atm hmm) but you probably should be cross with yourself, rather than the EA. You should have got 3 valuations. Valuing houses is not an exact science, the EA has not much more information to go on than that which is available for all to see online nowadays anyway.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:57:10

don't worry minty I don't mind honestygrin

Mamf74 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:57:13

We had this with our last agent; they priced it at 225k then within 3 weeks had told us it was maybe overpriced. They then really pissed us off by "strongly advising" us to take an offer of 160. WTAF!

We told them the only reason we were selling was the price they gave (bit of a lie, we were relocating) and unless we got an offer around the asking price we would take it off. Dropped it to offers over 215k and ended up selling (to the original offer man) at 217, after another few offers.

They kept asking us what the minimum we would take was, we just said the asking price - after all, that is what they assured us we'd get (mischievous smiley).

So, if you feel you'd get an offer too low if you do change the asking price maybe change to "offers over"? We thought that made it clear what we would take and stop stupid offers wasting everyone's time.

Mamf74 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:58:34

Oh, and seeing pp the initial price wasn't the highest we were quoted - one agent (out of the 4 local ones) valued it at 265!

I agree with those who say not to drop the price just yet as 20 viewings in a week is really very good - or at least would be around my area - and I think suggests price is achievable.

LadyKooKoo Mon 08-Apr-13 12:18:46

If you were overpriced then there isn't a chance in hell you would have had so many viewings! The problem is happening when people are coming through the door and as Lizzy said you need to declutter! We had 28 boxes go into storage before ours went on the market and we sold in three days (and completed six weeks later). I don't want to sound rude but you and DH need to suck it up and do the things suggested (and I know it is difficult, we did all of our moving furniture/boxing stuff up with a 20 month old in tow).

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 12:53:13

lady I want to ignore Lizzy's suggestion and you're not helping grin wink

might have a wizz around tonight then, better to be doing something rather than feeling totally helpless! I am even considering putting DS back into his toddler bed to make the place look more roomy!

SoupDragon Mon 08-Apr-13 13:13:58

Pack away anything you won't want between now and when you hope to move by - you are going to have to pack it at some point anyway.

huhpuh Mon 08-Apr-13 13:39:50

Our house is currently on the market so you have my sympathy. Our house has never ben so clean and tidy but it is a bloody effort to live in it practically and keep on top of viewings!

A couple of observations:
- a week is no time at all. I'd hold firm for now.
- shove anything you don't need/use into the loft or storage. pack a few boxes up as you'll be doing it when you move anyway!
- check Zoopla for a valuation on your house and others like it in the area.
- check Rightmove and see what houses similar to yours are selling for.
- there's absolutely nothing to stop you getting a couple of rival estate agents to come round and value the house now. You can always use the line that you're not happy with your existing agent (you're not!) and see what their consensus on price is. You are under no obligation to give them your business, or even speak to them again!

Doing all this should give you a much better idea of what your house is worth rather than relying on the word of one agent who plucked a number from the air to get your business and now sounds like they are not willing to stand by it.

Good luck.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 08-Apr-13 13:43:41

Terrys I'd love to have a look if you don't mind PMing me the link? smile

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 13:50:49

I have instructed DH to pick up some boxes on his way home. we've got nowhere to store them though but I might try one of those self storage places, they are doing the first month for £1.

thanks for all the suggestions! greeneggs have pm-ed you. smile

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 08-Apr-13 15:41:00

Have had a look, sorry to say, I have to agree with the de-cluttering suggestions! It looks lovely tbh, it's just that as Lizzy says, people won't want to see it all when they come to view. Open houses are a good idea for that; keeps the tidying to a minimum and might give previous viewers the idea to stop by again.

If you're keen to sell you can drop the price, but as far as I can see from other properties in the area, your price is fine. I would wait a while anyway, as I wouldn't think you'd want to drop the price after just a week.

iseenodust Mon 08-Apr-13 15:50:59

I really wouldn't drop the price after a week. Potential buyers will look at how your price has moved and will think you are desperate to sell and then make silly offers.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:55:21

Thanks for suggestions, I am not in anyway desperate to sell. its really silly as we love our house and are really happy here but we do want somewhere bigger and DS starts school in September so I thought we should move before then. But I hate this limbo feeling.

Can you tell I am a control freak grin

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:56:51

I like the idea of an open house, I might suggest it to the agent for this weekend.

thebestpossibletaste Mon 08-Apr-13 19:26:55

Terry's I'd love to take a look too. I work for an estate agent and agree a week is no time at all. Are the people who view able to proceed? I also think sometimes when people don't want to buy a house and don't have a specific reason, they tend to say it's too expensive or too small.

Potterer Mon 08-Apr-13 19:53:03

The thing about decluttering is you have to pack it all when you go anyway so why not start now?

We went to a Big Yellow storage unit, got one of their own cardboard boxes and they showed us a couple of different units. We used the now erected cardboard box to measure how many we could fit across each unit and how high we could stack the boxes.

That gave us a much better idea of space than this half a garage malarky when we could say, right it will fit 20 boxes in that one and 30 in that. We also said no to any with a steel column in the middle so as not to scupper our stacking plans grin

We too had grown out of our last house, that didn't stop me dismantling furniture, packing loads from any open storage units and stashing it all in storage. You will be amazed at how big it all looks when you do that, especially if you take before and after photos.

How you live in a property and how you present it for sale are worlds apart.

Cosmosim Mon 08-Apr-13 20:08:14

We found the person who evaluates the house is a separate job from the EAs who sell/market/do viewings with the firms in our old area (only small local did both jobs).

We had a wide variety on estimations from four different firms, so were paying attention to feedback the first week. We had less than half your viewings but the EAs said if it was really overpriced, they wouldn't be able to get any viewings. Accepted the first offer following week. House sold without a major drop in price smile

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 20:20:01

thanks guys, can't respond much tonight as busy decluttering, I'm feeling empowered as we speak grin grin

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 20:20:24

I will share pics later to those interested!

thebestpossibletaste Mon 08-Apr-13 20:41:40

Thanks Terry's :-)

Definitely agree about decluttering, the lounge is very full, try and hide in the attic/cellar the toy boxes and big toys, the room needs to be fairly neutral if possible. The less furniture there is, the bigger the room looks - this is a trick used in show houses.

I think the other rooms aren't too bad, although the room with the cabin bed does appear very full, could you put away toys and make the bed tidier?

When you've done that, get the estate agent to take new photos. I wouldn't drop the price yet, seems in keeping with others in the area.

well done Terry's - think of the prize of getting it sold and moving to your bigger place. we just did this this and hopefully are well on our way to new bigger house dom.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 20:51:02

thanks thebest (good short form name!) the opinions are at least, very consistent! smile

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 20:51:19

poocatcher fingers crossed!!!

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:27:49

picture rubbish as it's evening and on my phone but what do you think... Decluttered

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:30:54

I've moved Winnie the pooh now too grin

MarthasHarbour Mon 08-Apr-13 21:38:36

Could i have a PM too please? We have recently moved and sold ours quite quickly, we did a lot of shoving things into drawers, which with a 3yo was no easy task! Also hid lots of clutter in the garden shed/car boot/MIL's attic!! grin

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:41:11

have pm-ed Martha

Grannylipstick Mon 08-Apr-13 21:47:19

If the property was over priced you would not have had any viewings.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:54:15

I've cleared the landing too and hidden all the towels into the wardrobe so that looks better too. thanks guys!!! grin grin

DH has agreed to dismantle DS's bed on Thursday, just need to bribe DS back into a toddler bed!! wink

MarthasHarbour Mon 08-Apr-13 22:03:27

Thank you for sharing that with me. i-used to live in a town not far from there beginning with S ending with ton

Your house is beautiful. I agree that you should keep the price and say that you will invite offers, if that is still done.

Positives - your kitchen/diner which i love, and like the fact you have storage in the dining room. Gorgeous garden, big bathroom. Two big double bedrooms.

However, i agree with Lizzy's suggestions about the DCs rooms. The box room looks cramped whereas the nursery looks like it has a lot of wasted space. I know you dont want to mess about but if you really want to move before Sept (our uber straightforward move - only 3 in entire chain took 3 months) i would recommend putting the DC's in the same room and making a study out of the box room - OR swapping the bedrooms round.

I actually think your lounge looks cosy, i would just move the kids toys (sorry! - we had to do this) either into storage in their room or in the car when you get viewings!

I looked at your floorplan - what is in the basement? Could you store some stuff in there for a while? Or if it is used then could you make it into a study and move your bedroom desk?

I think your decluttering is a good start.

Good luck - if we still lived in the area it is a house we would want to look at - lots of character and charm, and cosiness!

ps - love the green stripy decor in the baby's room! smile

thebestpossibletaste Mon 08-Apr-13 22:04:04

Looks tidy there but have you hidden the toy boxes next to the sofa too and the big toy?

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:07:59

thebest we've kept the one tippy box but moved the blue square one and will love the big toy if we have any viewings. it looks loads bigger in here!

we will be moving the DC's around on Thursday.

the basement is full of stuff!! we are going to rent some storage and move some stuff out of there too.

I am thinking of having an open house on Saturday.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:08:22

tippy = toy!

thebestpossibletaste Mon 08-Apr-13 22:10:22

Good idea with the open house.

I really think for when you have viewings all the toys and toy boxes need to disappear from sight.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:13:59

OK thanks thebest I will try!

olivertheoctopus Mon 08-Apr-13 22:14:33

I assume you got more than one agent to value it? Where did they pitch the price?

MarthasHarbour Mon 08-Apr-13 22:14:57

Well done on swapping the DCs round. I know its a hassle but it will be worth it.

I also think clearing out the basement will be an excellent idea. Buyers need to see that there is a 'potential' room. You know - they might think about converting the cellar to a den/playroom, and if it is devoid of clutter then they can see what space they have to work with.

Good luck - keep us informed smile

formicaqueen Mon 08-Apr-13 22:18:26

If you haven't sign a contract you are not tied in.

When you got various estate agents round - what price did the different agencies suggest?

How much research did you do beforehand? How much do properties sell for on your road and what is the current climate in your area?

We had quite a few estate agent quotes when selling ours - 7 in total (bit over board!). The house was sold for 162k but the bottom quote was 140k (much much lower then all the others estate agents quoted) and the top quote was an inflated 175k.

The way I see it, the estate agent who gave us the bottom quote needed quick sales as they only had one office. They knew pricing our house low would make it walk off the market quickly.

The estate agents who gave us the highest quote just wanted our business but i knew that the price they gave was inflated and unrealistic.

In the end we marked it at a fair mid price of 165k and got 162k. We chose the estate agents we liked the best but dictated the price we wanted to sell at.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:23:25

I said earlier in the thread I only got one quote but I am quite sensible and I did some research myself so I think the price is OK. have decided (thanks to the positivity on this thread) to try to improve the place rather than drop the price just yet! smile

ivykaty44 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:24:13

Today one of the agents said to me it might be priced a bit high, I replied that they told us what price to use

If you have had 20 viewings then the estate agents should have telephoned every viewer and found out what the feed back was- they shouldn't have nights and maybes they should know why each of the 20 people were not interested in offering up an offer on the house.

Get back to the estate agent and ask them to give you feed back from the 20 viewings and then you will contact them on Friday to see what you have decided

Then come back to us on here

formicaqueen Mon 08-Apr-13 22:26:13

If you haven't signed already, get some more quotes on the house value. You probably need some clarification.

TerrysNo2 Mon 08-Apr-13 22:35:46

they did give some feedback, some people said it was too small, some didn't like the road (it's not a busy road but there is a royal mail delivery office opposite us and a railway line at the back of the garden). A couple have said the third bedroom is to small stop hopefully we can make that look better when we swap the DC's!

HermioneHatesHoovering Mon 08-Apr-13 22:40:24

You need to remember that the agent is only working for one person, THEMSELVES!
Do not kid yourself that they are working for you.

steppemum Mon 08-Apr-13 22:41:22

As I recall, EA can put their % in different ways. We had 3 round to give us valuations and went with the middle one, because we liked them.

BUT the most expensive had an interesting contract. The % they took as their fee was a % of the ORIGINAL asking price not the SALE price.
So price it high for the money, then reduce it to sell.

Jaynebxl Tue 09-Apr-13 06:35:03

How long do houses typically take to sell in your area? Round here it is really fast but I still wouldn't think of reducing after a week. I would, however, get the EA to subtly mention to viewers that they think you may be open to lower offers. It doesn't seem to me like the price is too big an issue if people are still coming to view, although we found that some people viewed when our house would have massively over stretched them. I do think it must be something about what they find when they get to your house so maybe something you can change, like Lizzy said. Happy to read the particulars if you want to pm me.

Jaynebxl Tue 09-Apr-13 06:36:51

Steppemum we came across exactly that with our last house ... It means you know they will always hugely overprice houses to get more money but don't care how much you get for it in the end, so long as they get the sale. There's one particular national EA who do that and who I wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

wonkylegs Tue 09-Apr-13 07:32:26

All the agents we asked round quoted a fixed fee which I was surprised about. I think the one that suggested a ridiculous high sale price was just trying to appeal to our greed or showing how little they knew about Market conditions in our area.

SmellieWellies Tue 09-Apr-13 07:45:37

Oooh, that makes me so mad when agents tell you one thing and then say another! I put my little flat out to rent, and took the advice of the EA about the price, and then he came back and said in a sort of patronising manner 'it really is a little bit too high you know', like it was MY greed at fault!!!!! I went by HIS advice. TBH, I was so mad that i dumped them and went to another agent entirely in a rage. And yes, it is now on for about 15% less.

But agree with other posters- don't reduce after a week, give it a bit longer yet.

[shameless plea for a PM photo. smile I LOVE houses too. ]

PaythePiper Tue 09-Apr-13 08:52:12

I haven't seen the "before" pictures or even the pics of the whole house but I am going to be brutally honest and say that I would consider the lounge to still be cluttered based on the photo you provided. Take ALL the DVDs off the shelf and other stuff and at least half the books and pack them away. You can always get them out again if you need to once you have sold. And most definitely put away all the family photos and pics of kids- people need to imagine themselves living there and seeing your photos interferes with that mental image straight away.

TerrysNo2 Tue 09-Apr-13 09:36:49

jayne and smellie I have PM-ed you

pay I don't want to take down all our photos as we are still living here but I do agree with you so I think I will remove some of them. I don't agree with removing the DVD's and books though, one of the things I liked when I viewed the house was that the shelves could be used for that and so I have tried to take away the big imposing items without leaving the shelves bare. Does anyone else think I should clear it all? If there is a consensus against me I will have a rethink smile

thebestpossibletaste Tue 09-Apr-13 10:13:44

Terrys, I don't think you need to put away everything, it is still a home and you are giving viewers an idea of what it can look like. You just need to avoid the cluttered "this house is really small" look!

I agree, put away some of the photos but leave out some, just not an overpowering amount. Also agree that some DVDs on the shelves are fine, that's what shelves are for, just make sure they're not cluttered and untidy. I just think bright toy boxes in the living room indicate that you are lacking storage and the eye is drawn to them, they don't look good, you want a neutral calm look.

TerrysNo2 Tue 09-Apr-13 10:21:06

Thanks thebest I think we will have to leave the red toybox out as otherwise there will be no toys left in the living room for the DC. We are having some bulk viewings on Saturday though so I might just pop it in the car then!

SoupDragon Tue 09-Apr-13 10:21:41

You are selling a family home and, IMO, you need to present it as a family home. So, some pictures toys etc are perfectly acceptable provided they are neatly stored and not over crowded. You don't need to completely blandify * it.

* made up word.

karron Tue 09-Apr-13 10:23:40

We had a biggish box that we dumped some odds and ends before a viewing: photos, books we were reading, toys that wouldn't fit in draws and hid it in the boot of the car (along with the dirty washing).

I also moved some of the furniture around so that the rooms looked more spacious and then moved it back after the viewing. Bit of a bind before a viewing but we never had more than 3 in a week. We only had 7 viewings in total though. Can't imagine doing it 20 times!

PaythePiper Tue 09-Apr-13 11:23:43

I guess one person's "blandify" is another person's blank canvas. I just know when I go into a house and see photos, it immediately suggests to me that the owner is somehow still staking a claim to it in some way and it always puts me off. I know it is a home and you are still living there but you are trying to sell it.

And yes, the obvious choice of what could go on the shelves is DVDs and books but I think by leaving stuff there you are effectively limiting the ability of people to imagine their own belongings there (what if for example they have a massive collection of tiny unicorn figurines they want to display?) This is just my opinion, of course, I totally understand your p.o.v.

ILikeToMowIt Tue 09-Apr-13 11:25:50

echo the agents only work for themselves!

when we sold ours two years ago, we had 3 quotes, ended up going with the middle ground. national agent, but with strong local office. they were ok at the start, but also started whining about the price after a week. we had actually found a buyer on the 2nd day, but as they had to sell their own house, they were in no position to make an offer on ours. we ended up selling to our 3rd buyer, after having 2 chains collapse. along the process the agents tried several times to nudge us down. esp when their fees are set, they just want to sell asap. as i haven't seen your pics, and don't know where you are etc, i can't comment on whether your house is overpriced, but a week is ery short regardless, and i think i would stick it out for a while.
can i have a pm too? i love houses

SoupDragon Tue 09-Apr-13 11:28:38

And yes, the obvious choice of what could go on the shelves is DVDs and books

Not necessarily - the number of times I've discovered that a shelf is slightly too small for a DVD/standard book is ridiculous.

I still maintain that there is no need to "blandify" it because the house has been on the market for just one week - different methods may be needed if it lingers for months and months.

clam Tue 09-Apr-13 11:36:45

I think people can take the 'decluttering' too far sometimes, and end up with a house that looks cold and uninviting. I saw one recently that I assumed was empty - literally nothing on the surfaces in the kitchen, but it turned out they'd cleared everything away to sell. I hated it.

So I think a few photos and CDs/ornaments is fine. Show-homes for new-builds have fake possessions around for a reason.

TerrysNo2 Tue 09-Apr-13 11:38:33

Thanks pay I really do value other opinions so its useful to know yours, I think I will leave them up there for now but if things don't improve after this weekend then I will definitely reconsider!

The agent has said they have already booked a few viewings in for Saturday so I'm hoping to get everything done for then and then not have to do anymore <wishful emoticon>

Iliketomowit have PM-ed you!

Viviennemary Tue 09-Apr-13 11:47:11

I don't think dropping the price would make a huge difference because people will make a lower offer anyway. So unless somebody was going to take say £40,000 off which they probably wouldnt be I'd just leave it for a bit longer. And I agree that you wouldn't even get 20 people through the door if it was very overpriced. It's just a difficult market.

ILikeToMowIt Tue 09-Apr-13 12:47:59

Thanks Terrys. Have sent reply! Lovely house!
WRT price. A house is obviously worth only what someone is willing to pay for it. I have heard that if you get viewers but no offers, you'd be overpriced by 5%, but I think that is not necessarily true- it is not like buyers always pay asking price...

MarthasHarbour Tue 09-Apr-13 12:54:33

I think family photos are nice too, it certainly doesnt put me off a place. Agree that it shouldnt be overload (my friend has an entire wall of family pics - lovely if it is your home but a bit OTT if you are selling!)

Good luck for Saturday - that is sounding positive. Oh and are your EA's showing the buyers round? We sold ours within a week but had about 5/6 viewings. We only did one of the viewings ourselves - and guess who bought the house... I think it is because it had the personal touch, the buyers got to ask us lots of questions that the EA wouldnt know, and i gave them a feel of how the house had worked as a family home i-also had DS all cute and bathed in his jim jams watching the gruffalo with his teddy bear and hot chocolate just before bed <shameless>

cjel Tue 09-Apr-13 13:13:41

I wouldn't drop price yet.If people want it - and you have had lots of viewings at that price, I was told my last house would get about 700,000. I thought more and put is up for 780.000 and sold it for 760.000 first day on market. It hasn't been long and people will make offers if they want it for less.

TerrysNo2 Thu 11-Apr-13 12:22:59

Hello all!

We have moved the beds round, DH was utterly grumpy about it all (he always is when DIY is involved smile) but we did it and DS's old room looks loads bigger.

We just need to take some boxes to storage now and have a little clear out of the cellar and I think we will be ready for Saturdays viewings!

I did one viewing today myself (agent cock up) and she wants to bring her husband back on Saturday, so thats positive!

Thanks everyone who commented for your help. MN can be a tough place sometimes but this reminds me just why I use it and will continue to do so.

MaryBS Thu 11-Apr-13 12:41:55

Hope it all goes well smile

SoupDragon Thu 11-Apr-13 12:44:09

Will that be your first "second viewing"? Sounds like the effort has been worth it.

MarthasHarbour Thu 11-Apr-13 12:48:30

Ah thats brilliant - see i told you we could do it better than the Estate Agents!! As i say you get the homely feel when the vendors show you round. We bought from a viewing with the vendors rather than the EAs - she told me that she was getting pissed off with the EAs as the feedback was always something she could have dealt with on the day

TerrysNo2 Thu 11-Apr-13 14:12:05

soup this will be our 3rd second viewing, we had one last week and the guy just put an offer on another house nearby as he preferred that its a newer house and then 2 second viewings on Saturday.

I'm a bit gutted as the house we wanted to buy has gone under offer but there may be a glimmer of chance as the buyers are in a chain of 5 and I don't think chains are that stable these days. I don't want to wish badly upon them though, so lets see!

TerrysNo2 Fri 12-Apr-13 14:10:31

estate agent has retaken the photos, if I sent you the link, what do you think??

SmellieWellies Fri 12-Apr-13 14:13:11

please send!!!!

MarthasHarbour Fri 12-Apr-13 16:42:02


MarthasHarbour Fri 12-Apr-13 16:42:49

Arrggghhh that posted too soon! I meant to say...

WHERE IS MY LINK?? <pouts>

thanks thanks thanks


MarthasHarbour Fri 12-Apr-13 19:04:17

Oh my word that looks sooo much better (not that there was much wrong in the first place wink ).

The DCs rooms are an immense improvement, it has balanced everything out perfectly. (bet DS is over the moon with his new space!) I like how they have taken pics at various angles of the second room.

You are going to kick me for this (but i didnt mention it originally wink) i think you have taken too much clutter from the hallway shelves... confused but it does look lovely.

Lounge is much better too - IKWYM - with little ones it is hard to get rid of toys but you have done well

A* grade for the OP! And good luck tomorrow

ChristYoni Fri 12-Apr-13 19:16:46

Ooh can I have a link please? I posted up thread as Lizzy. I'd love to see what you;ve done.

thebestpossibletaste Fri 12-Apr-13 20:21:17

Can I see the new photos too ? smile

ILikeToMowIt Fri 12-Apr-13 21:11:02

oh, please send me the link too!

TerrysNo2 Fri 12-Apr-13 22:16:02

have pm-ed you all the new link.

7 viewings tomorrow and I'm doing 5 of them!

I just spent the last 2 and a half hours jet washing the garden and path with a head torch on! grin grin

TerrysNo2 Fri 12-Apr-13 22:17:24

Martha I agree with you about the hallway but I wasn't sure what could go there, there's nothing that seems to really go there iyswim. any ideas?

Could I see the photos please?

Raptorrethy Fri 12-Apr-13 22:45:52

I'd love a link, please...I too adore houses! Sounds like you may not need any more advice though - fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Didn't see your original photos but those look really good.
I luffs it, can I buy it for £100k please? grin

TerrysNo2 Fri 12-Apr-13 23:00:18

umm, no

Ikeameatballs Fri 12-Apr-13 23:04:40

Would love to see too!

Raptorrethy Fri 12-Apr-13 23:07:40

Thank you. I think it has a very warm feel to it. Do you have a coffee maker and/or bread machine? Cliched maybe but you could greet your potential buyers tomorrow with a delicious smell...

TerrysNo2 Fri 12-Apr-13 23:12:29

no, rapto but I do have some frozen croissants so I could pop some of them in! grin

Ikeameatballs Fri 12-Apr-13 23:18:14

It's lovely.

I don't know the area at all but to me it seems pretty comparable to the one that comes up beneath it on the website when you search for 3 beds between 300k-400k. Yours and that one are nicer by far than the others in that bracket and yours is mor appealing in the exterior shots.

Could I see link too please?

Probably have no good advice, just nosey grin

TerrysNo2 Sat 13-Apr-13 09:57:32

first viewers here, wish me luck!!

thebestpossibletaste Sat 13-Apr-13 10:37:59

Looks good. Good luck with the viewings.

Not impressed by your estate agent's photograph of the lounge though, he still managed to include toys in the photo. Usually they try to take photos that don't show things like that.

Otherwise the bedroom looks bigger and the rest looks great (apart from the lawn but I guess it's too early to do anything about that).

TerrysNo2 Sat 13-Apr-13 11:02:29

thebest i agree about the toy boxes, he had to take the photos when we weren't in and even though I said on the phone top his colleague, tell him to move the toybox out of the way, he didn't!

can't do anything about the lawn yet, hopefully people will look past that.

just did the first 3 viewings, fingers crossed!

ILikeToMowIt Sat 13-Apr-13 11:31:14

Well done for making those changes.
Keeping my fingers crossed for you. You have a lovely house. good luck!

TerrysNo2 Sat 13-Apr-13 17:55:52

hilarious comment of the day:

"you're obviously very minimalist but we have lots of clutter" pmsl grin grin grin grin

SoupDragon Sat 13-Apr-13 18:44:53

Lol! Fabulous smile

thebestpossibletaste Sat 13-Apr-13 19:08:11

LOL grin grin

ILikeToMowIt Sun 14-Apr-13 10:22:17

grin that is hilarious!

TerrysNo2 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:09:11

Aggghhhhh, so frustrating!

Had 3 feedbacks out of 8 viewings so far, they all say its too small. AIBU to want to scream at them - "that's what the bloody floorplan is for and so check it out before you waste my time and I sacrifice a day with my children" angry angry

and breathe smile

thebestpossibletaste Mon 15-Apr-13 16:33:40

I guess you could ask the estate agent to check that all potential viewers have looked at the floor plan.

I don't think you can do much more than you have to make the house appear bigger. Do they find out in what way it is too small, ie which room or just in general? At least then you'd have something to work with.

TerrysNo2 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:44:54

DH is very cross about it and thinks the EA needs to qualify people in/out more. He is also trying to get some more detailed feedback so lets see what will happen.

Just a quick question. Is Winne the Pooh incontinent? Wonder why he is sitting on a "display towel".

Pm me if you like, I love house threads! grin

TerrysNo2 Mon 15-Apr-13 16:51:03

Quint That shelf lost its front piece of wood so it looked a bit rubbish, but I painted it last weekend and removed Winnie the Pooh and replaced it with a lovely vase of flowers (I will PM you the new photos!)

AFAIK Winnie the Pooh, despite his name, has no toilet issues grin

Cosmosim Mon 15-Apr-13 16:58:14

To be fair, moat people won't get the hang of looking at a plan and being able to visualise too small/enough sq feet until after a few viewings under their belt. Also, sometimes it's just the easiest thing to say as feedback rather than a vague "it didn't feel like home to me"

Cosmosim Mon 15-Apr-13 17:00:41

"Most" not "moat". Stupid fat fingers.

happyfrogger Mon 15-Apr-13 17:02:00

My flat was on in SW London for 275 with Foxtons. They did 90 viewings over 3 months. Last week we put it on with a small local agent at the same price as we were getting utterly desperate. Had an almost asking price offer SAME DAY.

sometimes it's just luck of the draw or the agent just isn't pulling in the right buyers.

A week is no time at all in my mind. Hang in there!

TerrysNo2 Mon 15-Apr-13 17:08:38

cosmosim I guess thats true, I just don't know why they wouldn't check so they didn't waste their own time viewing!

Thanks happyfrogger I know a week isn't long and if we'd only had a couple of viewings but no offers I think I would be less confused but we've had 27 viewings in 2 weeks and no offers. The EA told us it is an average of 8 viewings before an offer is made.

I don't know what else to do apart from wait now, and I am not the most patient person in the world!

That is a lovely house! envy

Not sure how people think it is small? If you want it to look bigger, the only thing I can think of is removing all the chunky play units in the living room.

Contradictionincarnate Tue 16-Apr-13 01:13:30

if you want to move in September I would suggest you need a buyer with no chain the end of June otherwise the sooner the better as the legal work doesn't take a set 3 months or anything. it could take much longer and you don't want the pressure.

TerrysNo2 Tue 16-Apr-13 09:41:19

contradiction we are going to move into rented if we can't find anywhere quickly after ours gets an offer. hopefully that will speed up the process too.

quint thank you grin

TerrysNo2 Tue 16-Apr-13 19:00:14

got an offer!!! £320k but no chain, dh and I will be having a serious think tonight!

thebestpossibletaste Tue 16-Apr-13 19:34:30

Oh wow, your first offer. That's great smile

I wouldn't accept straight away, but have a think about how low you would go, then ask the estate agent to decline.

In my experience no one offers what they can afford straight away, they will always try to get away with less.

TerrysNo2 Tue 16-Apr-13 19:47:13

We won't accept it but need to think about a counter offer and if they refuse then what we would be willing to go down to.

A lovely couple came round this evening and seemed quite interested so I want to hear what they have to say too. The offer is from someone who wants a buy to let investment and I would personally rather sell it to someone who wants to live here as we love this house and want someone else to love it too. grin

almondfinger Tue 16-Apr-13 20:18:44

Terry, can you pm me the link?

A word of advice on wanting to sell to someone who will love it like you do. Don't. Once it's gone, its not yours anymore and not worth your sentimentality now.
We sold our flat in London last Oct. It went to sealed bids and was with a first time buyer or buy to let. I like you, loved my flat and wanted to sell to someone who would love it as much.

So went with the first time buyer and she broke my fu*king heart. The buy to let had a completion time of 8 weeks so she agreed to same and was still dicking us about 14 weeks later. She was trying every angle t get more money off. Was nitpicking the survey and making big deals out of stuff her surveyor had to mention to make sure he was covered. RSJ will haunt me forever. My husband who is so laid back he is horizontal said it was the most stressful time of his life (and dd1s birth was a touch and go thing for both me and her). Due to the current economic climate first time buyers are more picky then ever and that's fair enough. Prices are high.

Take the money from whoever is willing to give you the best price the quickest, and put your love into your new home. Buy to let, less likely to be in a chain.

Don't counter offer, refuse their initial offer and see what they will offer next. It's only been a week.

TerrysNo2 Tue 16-Apr-13 20:54:31

almond I will PM you.

Thanks for your advice, its food for thought! The people who viewed tonight would be cash buyers so no chain but I do appreciate what you're saying.

I think this is a good strategy, to refuse their offer and invite them to make a better offer. Lets see what happens!

thebestpossibletaste Tue 16-Apr-13 21:27:14

I agree with almondfinger, stop worrying about people loving it. You're selling and moving on, think about a safe sale and getting close to what you want instead.

almondfinger Tue 16-Apr-13 22:32:50

It's a lovely house. I can see where people are coming from in that it is small. It looks really decluttered thoug.

I cant remember the answer, is that fireplace in the hall? It does look like it needs something on those empty shelves.

I would take down the frame with the family pictures in the sitting room and replace with some Art. Sorry, I'm another who's not a big fan of too may personal bits around a house for sale.

Do you have any bed side lights in your room? A lamp on the chest by the bed, switched on for viewing would make it look really cosy.

Love the stripy wallpaper. The bathroom is spacious and spotless as is the kitchen.

Good luck with the sale. Have a figure that you are willing to accept and take it when offered. This is a business deal, that's the one thing I learned from our sale. It doesn't matter how much I loved the place. I'll love the next even more.

TerrysNo2 Tue 16-Apr-13 22:41:29

Thanks for your comments almond I hope I won't have to use them if this offer comes off but if not and the viewings continue I will definitely review smile

almondfinger Tue 16-Apr-13 22:47:50

Apologies for appalling spelling and grammar. Sticky keys and v tired.

Have been lurking and keeping my fingers crossed.....and cannot bear it anymore.....please may I have a link? thanks

Plumsofgold Tue 16-Apr-13 23:21:41

Can I have a link please smile

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 07:38:32

Have PM-ed you both

FlowersBlown Wed 17-Apr-13 10:48:42

Also, don't believe them when they say they will love the house as much as you do. My MiL sold her mother's house to a lower offer after getting this line. They did minimal modernisation and rented it out. She was extremely upset. Go with the money.

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 10:56:27

thebest can you give me advice on what the EA has said:

- he said that even though its been on the market for 2 weeks we've had 34 viewings and no offers so he thinks this is a very good offer
- they originally said that we could get £325 - 330k so its within range hmm (even though they also said £340k was achievable previously)
- they "usually" get an offer after 8 viewings so this has taken many more which is why we should accept it.

I have said its lower than we are willing to agree at and to go back to them.

DH wants to hold out for £30k but I am a bit torn, the trouble is I believe everything anyone tells me blush

What do you think?

thebestpossibletaste Wed 17-Apr-13 11:08:02


2 weeks really is nothing! It's your house and you decide what to accept. I think if it had been months or even years (which is often still the case up North!), then yes, you would definitely need to reconsider, but the price can't be that far out as people are viewing your property.

Have the EA declined the offer and had a response from the viewer yet?

If it was me, unless I was absolutely desperate to move asap, I would decline the offer and wait to see what they come back with. You don't have to decide what the final figure you accept will be yet, just wait to see what they come back with.

In my experience no one accepts the first offer, the people putting in the offer will surely have a final figure they are prepared to pay in their head that they will go to! I'd be very surprised if that isn't the case ...

I too would hold out for £330 K tbh.

EAs always go on about getting an offer after an average of X viewings, but that's not always the case, and it is an average - each house and each case is different.

(Can't understand your EA - we wouldn't handle it like that - after two weeks! - and nor would my boss)

Let us know what the viewers say when you decline the offer smile

Alwayscheerful Wed 17-Apr-13 11:16:48

Would love a link please. Congratulations on the offer.

I would tend to agree with the agents, a reasonable offer based on the number of viewings but will look at a link and confirm.

Bear in mind first time buyers are often tight for cash but are usually emotional and buy with their hearts, they are restricted by the lenders requirements, always check how much deposit they have and who they are arranging their mortgage with. If the survey throws up in problems first time buyers will probably need a reduction in price to proceed.

Buy to letters make decisions based on hard facts, there is no emotion in their decisions, they will often make several offers and go with the one which is accepted.

I have worked in EA in the past and time after time I have seen 3 bedroom terraces and semis stick because the third bedroom is too small. I am not sure how small yours is but does it appear to be small?
Perhaps you should consider accepting the offer and adjusting what you offer on your new house, if you were buying thought the same agent, they would probably help you. At the end of the day it's getting moved before the end of the summer which is important.

Good luck.

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 11:17:01

thebest thanks for grounding me! I told the EA we wouldn't accept the offer and to go back to them. He was asking "what if I can get £325 and I said we would have to think about it but at £330 we'd have a deal.

He hasn't come back yet so lets see!

TBH I think they want to sell it because I am a major PITA wink I'm a bit of a control freak and so I call them quite often, I imagine they want to get rid of me grin

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 11:22:23

alwayscheerful thanks for your perspective too, our third bedroom is tiny.

I don't think we want to accept the offer as it is but rather see if there is any movement and then have a serious think.

We find out today what school DS has gotten into and so that will throw in a curveball if he gets into one of the "good" ones, although thats unlikely!

What a day!! smile

Alwayscheerful Wed 17-Apr-13 11:25:38

Op that's excellent news, the EA has an inclination he may be able to close the deal at £325, make him do his best to achieve £330 and hopefully the buyers will go for it, if he comes back at £325 you can always split the difference at £327,500.

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 11:29:36

That would be a decent outcome Always but he's not come back at all yet. I hate waiting!! Did I mention that I am impatient? grin

thebestpossibletaste Wed 17-Apr-13 11:44:52

It's possible that the EA haven't got hold of the people who made the offer yet or are waiting for a call back. I wouldn't call the EA today, as then I imagine they will pressure you again to accept the original offer.

Whilst I bow to alwayscheerful's experience, in my experience a lot of three bed semis have a small third bedroom.

Alwayscheerful Wed 17-Apr-13 11:57:17

Best possible - yes but some third bedrooms are very small e.g part of the stairs takes up floor space or a standard size bed will not fit or one of the measurements is less than 6ft, they can be very hard to shift. OP's house sound lovely I have everything crossed for her. Don't be surprised if the agents get back to you in the morning, no doubt the viewers will discuss it this evening.

joolsangel Wed 17-Apr-13 11:57:35

i certainly wouldnt reduce it after only a week and to get 20 people viewing in such a short time is really positive. i would keep it on for several months at that point and take into account the feedback which the estate agents ought to be giving you. remember estate agents usually price on the high side as they get a bigger cut when you sell. i wouldnt make any major changes either as everyone viewing will have their own ideas and want to put their own stamp on the house so people look through other people's tastes and furniture and consider what the house would be like with their own belongings and what be your taste isnt necessarily someone elses. i would also get another 2 or 3 estate agents round to give you a price and get onto the internet and check out other similar properties in your postcode which have recently sold and look at the sell price. good luck.

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 12:04:49

always our third bedroom is definitely a room, it has a door and a window and nothing impacting on it (stairs or anything) and it can fit a full sized single bed. It is just a small room though.

I will wait, might involve sitting on my hands for the day but I can do it grin

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 12:05:34

jools I guess you read the opening post but things have moved on a bit from there. Really appreciate your comments though!

magimedi Wed 17-Apr-13 13:47:45

If I had a £320 offer from a genuine non chain, proceedable buyer, I think I'd go with it.

I would want very good assurance that they were ready to proceed & I would want a very quick exchange.

Alwayscheerful Wed 17-Apr-13 13:51:49

Thank you for the link - a beautiful home. Third bedroom is fine.

There was an article on right move sometime ago, it was aimed at Estate agents and the interpretation of feedback, feedback such as - decor old fashioned, no garage, overlooked, third bedroom too small, dont like the main road, basically the article said if the viewers had seen the details & floorpan etc then the feedback was economical with the truth, what the feedback really meant was "its too expensive" the reasoning being, the viewers could see all those things before they viewed the property.

FWIW i love your house and I am sure someone else will too but I would look at prices recently achieved in your area.

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 15:07:32

£327,500!!!!! grin

Alwayscheerful Wed 17-Apr-13 15:08:26

Brilliant, well done.

Alwayscheerful Wed 17-Apr-13 15:09:22

Can we come house shopping with you?

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 15:14:03

please do, we want:

1 hour max train to London, 4 bed, 1700sqft+, good schools, nice small town or village, reasonable garden, not new build, west of London (bucks, herts, Berks, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex), nice quiet road, preferably something we can add our own touch to so nothing perfect!

budget £500k Max.

go shopping! grin

thebestpossibletaste Wed 17-Apr-13 15:15:23

Nice one, well done smile

TerrysNo2 Wed 17-Apr-13 15:20:40

no, thanks to you guys, you have helped so much with this process and saved my sanity! MN is awesome smile

almondfinger Wed 17-Apr-13 21:45:51

Congratulations. That was a quick sale. I hope completion is as good.

We had an excellent solicitor in Richmond who helped us buy and sell the flat. She was amazing through all the crap during the sale and really kept the ball rolling even through brick walls occasionally.

Let me know if you want me to PM you her details.

Happy house hunting.

Wow super fast sale, Well done. I hope mine goes that quickly I hate having to keep it all clean and straight.

ILikeToMowIt Fri 19-Apr-13 21:20:03

Well done. Knew it would work out!

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