On market for 10 days - viewers say house 'too small' - do we reduce price now??

(66 Posts)
runningLou Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:30

We've had our house on the market since last Tues, and in that time had 4 viewings. 3 out of the 4 viewers have said the house is too small. It's a standard 3 bed terrace with kitchen extension, garden and garage. Same as most houses in the area. EA says 'too small' is code for they're expecting more for their money. I've had an exchange of e-mails with him this morning re: price reduction (5k).
Do we do it now or is it too soon?? I know I'm an impatient person!! We don't have a deadline to move other than by next Easter, but I know I'll get more stressed as time goes on, as well as the annoyance of having to keep the house 'viewing-ready' for months!!

MrsFlorrick Thu 10-Oct-13 13:37:12

It's only been on a week and you've had 4 viewings.

Perhaps those buyers need a reality check as to what their cash can buy them.

It's too soon to reduce. The agent is saying that because he wants a quick sale so he can get his fee.

If you sell for £10k less his fee is barely affected but it's a huge amount of money to you!!!

Sit tight for now. Don't panic.

Also time of year is a factor. You may find more interest after Xmas in January. I certainly wouldn't reduce price before end of Jan.

Unless of course you need to move immediately.

Pinkje Thu 10-Oct-13 13:38:00

I wouldn't yet - shows desperation - and it won't be too small for someone. If your estate agent has done their job correctly your price will be realistic.

Aethelfleda Thu 10-Oct-13 13:41:44

Sounds too soon to drop yet. Check what similar properties are a) on for now and b) what things actually sold for (rightmove/land registry figures). This will tell you if your ballpark value is about right.

When you do pricedrop (eg if you find a dream house and want to quicken things along) most EAs recommend you drop by 10-15 thousand so you move into the next "sale band" on rightmove. Dropping by too little does not bring more viewers in. So sit tight, patience! And say firmly to the EA you're sticking tight as you believe their initial appraisal was correct....

SoupDragon Thu 10-Oct-13 13:42:52

Can you do thing to make it look bigger? Less furniture/clutter/rearrange stuff etc.

lljkk Thu 10-Oct-13 13:46:06

OP: Linky linky, please? Wonder if a few visual adjustments would make it seem roomier. Your viewer sounds rather cheeky.

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 13:47:38

Can you declutter and put into storage any bits of furniture that make rooms look small.

All our bedrooms have things that make them look small.

SpecialJK Thu 10-Oct-13 13:54:45

Agree with Soupdragon. We moved quite a lot of stuff out for our viewings and had an open house over a weekend (so we didn't need the stuff!) moved as much child related stuff out as possible, even went to the bother of our neighbours taking our laundry bin for us over the weekend (I'm sure they loved that) so it was bare minimum furniture, pictures etc. The open house made it look really busy like there were lots of interest

runningLou Thu 10-Oct-13 13:57:50


runningLou Thu 10-Oct-13 14:01:03

Link posted above!
Thank you everyone you have calmed me down a little! I guess I was really excited to get viewings and was hoping they would lead to offers and have been disappointed with the feedback ... So frustrating to be told house is nicely presented but small. We have been very happy with it as first-time buyers / with a family.
Have decluttered as much as poss - house looks pretty much like it does in pics - though could obviously move furniture if needed / declutter still further!
The point about the EA's fee is a good one ... Will have to take his advice with a pinch of salt.

I always find this odd, you have good photos and a floor plan, so what are buyers expecting? hmm Nice house btw, I stand firm for a little bit.

Fab41 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:12:45

Too early to reduce, and it looks lovely. I wish houses were that price in the south east! Good luck with your sale.

SoupDragon Thu 10-Oct-13 14:20:20

I can't see anything major at all.

All I'd do, perhaps, is remove the unit in front of the fireplace and the one in the dining area where the fireplace would have been - but that's fairly petty TBH! Maybe move the slide from the lawn and make a seating area out there but again, it's petty.

I think they are saying "too small" because they've nothing else to say.

cavell Thu 10-Oct-13 14:26:57

A week isn't very long. Really.

Your house looks very nicely presented. I do agree, though, that it might be good to move the shelving unit in front of the fireplace. It looks a bit cluttered there. Is there a working fire behind it? That's something people seem to like.

Too soon to reduce I would say. You have a very pretty house (I have the same colours in my lounge, great taste) which is, as you say, a standard 3 bed house, I don't understand what people are expecting. I would however say your hallway is much bigger than I would have expected on a terraced house.

I think the "too small" excuse is being used because they can't think of anything imaginative to say. They are not interested and it gets the agent off the phone without having to elaborate.

One last thing, do you have a nice fireplace in your lounge ? If you do I think you should move the storage unit in front of it, so you can show it off ?

Tiredemma Thu 10-Oct-13 14:30:37

Too small???

its a three bed terrace. what are they expecting? Narnia through the bathroom door?

I would sit tight. These people that are saying 'too small' will be viewing other properties also. They will be back

cross post with SoupDragon

runningLou Thu 10-Oct-13 14:32:38

No, there's no fire - the unit's actually covering up the board which in turn covers up the ugly hole left when the plumber removed the old back boiler that was in the chimney breast when we bought the house, in order to install our new boiler in airing cupboard upstairs!!
Maybe we should look at putting something else in that space though ... Poor DS, this whole house-selling thing has really set off his toddler OCD and if we have to lose more toy storage he may crack!! Really useful advice though thank you!

DidIMissSomething Thu 10-Oct-13 14:33:35

Looks great - really nicely presented. I used to work as an estate agent and this sort of thing was my speciality!
If I was being hyper critical I'd consider:
The arrangement of the baby room - is there any way you can rearrange the furniture so the window area is clear of overlap i.e so curtains open freely and don't overlap furniture - can the tall unit near the window be swapped with whatever's behind the door?
Also the lounge - the storage area in the fireplace brings that wall in making the room look narrower and the footstool adds a bit of clutter. tbh I think it looks fine - I was looking with a critical eye to come up with those - I must admit I'm astonished that you can keep it so neat and clutter free with a family living there!

A trick I've used before is getting out the best toiletries and having those in the bathroom, having nice flowers in for viewings etc. The idea is to make the house seem more aspirational - the old if I buy this house I too will have beautiful things, be super tidy etc. I know it sounds like codswallop but it does seem to work!

I really wouldn't reduce just yet - if you've had 4 viewings in a week it shows that you are pitched about right. It takes on average 10 viewings to get an offer so no need to panic yet - good luck

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Thu 10-Oct-13 14:34:03

I think the problem is that it is described as a 3 bedrooms. There is no way that a proper bed fit in the 3rd upstairs room or if it does just fit you do have to put one in there to show that it is not just a tiny office or nursery.

And yes remove the shelving next to the dinner table. Other than that it is a very nice house.

runningLou Thu 10-Oct-13 14:35:59

Tiredemma if we had Narnia through the bathroom door there's no way I would be selling ;)

Lottie4 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:37:59

Have a look on sites like Zoopla, Rightmove and the Land Registry and get a feel for what the same style properties have been selling for in your area over the last year, that may help.

Think it would be worth hanging on a bit longer before you reduce as anyone who is seriously interested would make you an offer. Most people see the estate agents particulars with room sizes on before they view, so they the viewers had a pretty good idea of what they woul dbe looking at in the first place.

runningLou Thu 10-Oct-13 14:38:55

I have had massive dilemmas about how to present DS's bedroom / boxroom. A single bed does fit in there as the room is 6'5 by 7'2, but I don't want to put him in a single bed (he's 2), so it would be majorly disruptive. I will consider it though ... I know it must be a concern for people when they see it set up as a nursery and can't visualise a singel in there.

I think looking at the room sizes on the plan shows that a single bed would fit (that is of course if you know the size of a single bed grin). I hate floor plans that don't show room sizes.

runningLou Thu 10-Oct-13 14:47:06

Ok, enough people have mentioned the fireplace that I am seriously thinking of giving my Dad (the DIYer of the family - DH is useless!) a call and getting it sorted!!

DidIMissSomething Thu 10-Oct-13 14:48:34

Don't worry about the nursery room - I expect an awful lot of people looking will want a home with a view to starting a family or they'll need a third to use as a study - houses that age nearly always have a small third bedroom so it should be as expected

nickelbabe Thu 10-Oct-13 14:54:27

Definitely don't change the price!

if they say it looks small, they're mad! it looks really big for what you'd get down here for that price!

If you're trying to make it look bigger, in picture 7, your dining room, take out that toy chest that's on the chimney breast - you can put it on top of the one in the alcove, or just move it out completely. That will make the room feel wider.

can you put more into the room of picture 12? sometimes too little stuff makes it look like you're trying to make the room bigger - a picture on the wall above your A-Z might make it looks bigger (or even a mirror)
can you get a chair in that room?

i think it's a really nicely presented house.

nickelbabe Thu 10-Oct-13 14:55:36

sorry, i missed your post where you explained about the hole in the chimney breast.
You can get a board that looks like a fire, if that helps, or just board it and plaster it and then repaint over it.

Pachacuti Thu 10-Oct-13 14:58:19

I think there is too much stuff (not a criticism; we have about ten times more stuff than you do crammed in, but then we're not trying to sell...)

Based on far too many hours frittered away wasting the House Doctor, I'd say

Photo 3 -- there is a lot of stuff. There's the unit, and two sets of bookshelves, and the DVD unit under the television, and the white storage chest. It makes the room look smaller and it raises a red flag that the house doesn't have enough storage space. If I were being ruthless I'd put the unit and the storage chest into a storage facility somewhere, thin down the contents of the shelves so that there are some books/DVDs but also some knick-knacks and some space, empty out the DVD shelving under the TV (some to go onto edited main shelves, rest to go into storage along with many of the books from the shelves). And you need to sort out the fireplace area somehow (and I'd try to beg, steal or borrow a big mirror to go over the fireplace, because of too much Ann Maurice).

Photo 4 -- oooh, and there's another storage unit of some kind lurking behind the armchair, and it looks as though it's got more books and stuff on it. Thin that out as well -- you want to be sending out "all our stuff is invisibly stowed away because this house has SO MUCH SPACE" vibes.

Photo 5 (and 7) -- more storage units. If you can, put them in storage temporarily. And think about staging the dining table for dining (plates, glasses, maybe something in the middle of the table).

Photo 6 (and 8) -- kitchen isn't huge, but it's not cluttered. Don't think you need to do anything there.

Photo 9/10/11 -- it's a family garden, probably what most viewers are expecting.

Photo 12 (and 15) -- no problems here. It's not an enormous room but it's not cluttered.

Photo 14 -- it's a small bathroom, but not much you can do about that.

Photo 16 -- Nice; good size for a child's room.

Photo 17 -- I see what others are saying; it doesn't look as though the room's big enough to be used as an actual bedroom. I'd be tempted to move the cot into Bedroom 2 alongside other child, borrow or hire a single bed from somewhere and style this room as a single bedroom to prove that it can function as one.

comewinewithmoi Thu 10-Oct-13 15:03:35

No way would I reduce after 10 days. Nice house. Also garage looks ripe for conversion?

blueraincoat Thu 10-Oct-13 15:04:18

Can someone make it a clicky link please, my phone won't let me copy paste

Shlurpbop Thu 10-Oct-13 15:12:47

I think it looks lovely - definitely don't drop yet! When we were selling we had a builder come to look round - he said he wouldn't offer anything more than 20 grand less than we were asking. Came up with a list of problems and how much it would cost him to fix them. We nearly took the offer because he was so convincing but luckily we didnt as two weeks later we got the full asking price smile
Never underestimate how fab your home is!

Shlurpbop Thu 10-Oct-13 15:14:39
TheFutureMrsB Thu 10-Oct-13 15:15:18

Another who thinks it looks lovely but would move the unit from the fire too!

I can't see any bad points and it looks quite big from the photo's. I like it and it's a good price smile

Renniehorta Thu 10-Oct-13 15:17:10

From the photos there does not seem to be any reason why your house will not sell. As others have said hang on in there with the price. If you get offers you will be more likely to reach an acceptable price to you if you negotiate from where you are now rather than from a reduced price.

I have recently bought a house and have been looking for about 8 months. Some houses that were up for sale in my area 8 months ago are still unsold. They seem to be where sellers are unwilling to negotiate or where the price is just too high. OTOH properties pitched at the right price go very quickly.

So as long as you know that you are asking a realistic price, I would stick with your asking price but be willing to negotiate.

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 15:23:17

I've just had a quick look round your post code on right move and there are several, no bigger asking more than you. Ok posh fittings in some, but no garages so I wouldn't, panic yet.

Also I thought we were the only house with a family bathroom that size, but non of the houses I've just found have one any bigger.

I should add DD1 thinks our 6ftx6ft bathroom is too big as it and the hot water tank cupboard are cut out of her room. Literally I suspect as the house is almost 200 years old so it wouldn't have had niceties like a indoor bathroom and hot water when it was built.

blueraincoat Thu 10-Oct-13 15:33:38

Thanks for link.

Agree with others, think you should hold off dropping price. Estate Agents always want a quick sale. Hold on a bit longer if you can. Am always shocked when I see beautiful houses like yours for money that wouldn't buy me a 1 bed flat where I am.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoNotRideInOnAWhiteHorse Thu 10-Oct-13 16:43:08

The small bedroom has no single bed in there and I would be nervous about the reality of one fitting.

I would get rid of the units infront of the fireplaces, it makes the rooms look smaller and would make me wonder what there was hidden behind.

If you can live without them, the shelves could go also, for example in the main bedroom, the eye is kept too busy with these things.

H2OWoe Thu 10-Oct-13 17:30:27

Lou - I think your house is lovely and compared to London prices it's a giveaway. It is a totally standard floorplan. There is quite a lot of toy storage in the reception rooms though so it looks like space is an issue. But really, you've done a super job presenting it. Stay firm. You have a very nice property and the garage is a great extra. Best of luck.

NB: love love love the B & W flooring in entry. Snazzy.

Retroformica Fri 11-Oct-13 07:10:29

Keep it at its test pics for a month. Wait for more feed back

Rainbowshine Fri 11-Oct-13 07:11:43

Presumably your EA was the one recommending the price you're marketing at - you could challenge them wanting a price reduction by asking what they based their original pricing on! It is too soon to reduce. You're getting viewings, and I think "too small" is probably viewers looking for something easy to feedback. Ask the EA to question viewers whether there is a specific room or area they mean - if no it's a case of can't think of anything else to say, if they do have specifics it can help you.

I agree with PP re toy storage. We have a smaller third bedroom but for various reasons couldn't put a single bed in it so we put markers on the floor to show how one could fit in. We could explain this as we did most viewings. You also have a fab garage - is this decluttered/organised?

Retroformica Fri 11-Oct-13 07:13:48

Store some o your stuff to make it feel bigger?

IrisWildthyme Fri 11-Oct-13 07:35:59

If your EA is telling you to reduce after only 10 days that just tells you your EA is useless - they possibly may have over-quoted the price you could get in order to get your custom and have been planning to get you to reduce all along. They may have been bringing around people who have told them they need 4 beds or 3 large beds big enough for sharers, rather than people actually appropriate for this house, in order for them to be seen to be getting viewings.

Do a proper browse of Rightmove and Zoopla for your area. tbh your house may be over-priced as in the 30 seconds I had to look on rightmove I found a house in your area at a similar price where the master bedroom was twice the size as it extended out above the rear extension, and also saw a house with near-identical floorplan being marketed at £7,500 less. These are the other houses your potential buyers will be visiting - perhaps consider going and visiting them yourselves? (you may need to use a friend as cover as competitor estate agents aren't going to take kindly to this) That may help you work out if your house is genuinely correctly priced in relation to other properties that people might buy.

Dillydollydaydream Fri 11-Oct-13 08:05:18

It's very early days to be looking at dropping your price. The house looks a good size for the price and as you have had several viewings That's a good start.

Bumblequeen Fri 11-Oct-13 09:04:44

This is exactly what happened to us!

EA assured us we would get x amount. The house went on the market and the first few viewers said it was too small. They suggested we drop by £5k. We agreed.

Viewers liked the house but said they could get more for their money nearby in areas not as nice as ours. EA then had the cheek to try to talk us into selling for £15k less than asking price. He asked what was the lowest possible price that we could sell at.

Once the contract was up we decided to come off the market. We are now waiting until next year spring.

Very disappointing and disheartening.

runningLou Fri 11-Oct-13 13:51:43

Right, well, I have instigated a plan to declutter living and dining area and conceal / get rid of toy storage as much as possible. Am going to lose toy unit in front of fireplace, replace with board papered to match the wallpaper, and put a vase / other toddler bait in front of it.
Am also going to remove one of the other storage units completely and look at putting DVDs on bookshelves, losing books to loft ...
DH is dead against this and thinks I am taking viewers' critiques too seriously but I feel we need to do something.
When we've sorted that - hopefully this weekend - I'll get back in touch with EA and ask for new photos.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Fri 11-Oct-13 14:30:33

"If your EA is telling you to reduce after only 10 days that just tells you your EA is useless - they possibly may have over-quoted the price you could get in order to get your custom and have been planning to get you to reduce all along. They may have been bringing around people who have told them they need 4 beds or 3 large beds big enough for sharers, rather than people actually appropriate for this house, in order for them to be seen to be getting viewings."

EA tend to do that a lot, when we were renting they showed us completely inane places, of course it is too small if you want 3 double bedrooms! I think that is most of the problem.

nickelbabe Fri 11-Oct-13 17:29:29

ooh, i'd go the other way and lose the DVDs.
you only need a few DVDs near the DVD player, and the rest of the bookshelves should be books.

organise them better - double stack paperbacks, meaning that they are further to the front of the bookshelves and put posh hardbacks in more prominent positions.

spend a bit of time thinking about how to arrange your books - make people think about the theme.

Preciousbane Fri 11-Oct-13 20:19:34

I think your plan to change stuff is good. My freedom sold her house super quick a couple of years ago. She is a natural minimalist though.

Good luck.

Preciousbane Fri 11-Oct-13 20:19:59

Friend not freedom

runningLou Sun 13-Oct-13 22:38:26

Decluttering done - toy storage has disappeared and we redone fireplace and added a mirror above (thank you to whoever suggested that!). Have e-mailed EA with some pics to see if he wants to change the ones on our listing.
Also added to my profile if anyone wants to compare!!

FriedSprout Sun 13-Oct-13 22:43:27

WOW - that looks so good, really good job on the fireplace - hope it sells soon smile

ivykaty44 Sun 13-Oct-13 23:00:49

It is a lovely house, very tidy and neutral colours.

www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42936848.html same sort of house size - but smaller kitchen and they want 5k more
www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-27770763.html this one is on a main road yuk but 5k more and againn similar size rooms but smaller kitchen
www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-27518142.html?premiumA=true this on e is right on the dual carriage way and again very similar size rooms and they want 5k more - but yuk to living on a main dual carriage way

Pachacuti Sun 13-Oct-13 23:35:20

That looks really good! Hope your hard work pays off.

MairzyDoats Sun 13-Oct-13 23:41:57

I have to admit, the storage in the fireplace and dining room were the things I noticed, but now they look so much better! More streamlined and less cluttered. I am def going to come and ask MN opinion when we put our house on the market, it's a font of wisdom. Hope you get an offer soon.

"It's too small" isn't some sort of code for "drop the house by £5k". If they wanted the house but for £5k less then they would have offered £5k less. Those buyers are just not interested in your house as it is too small for what they want.

Viviennemary Sun 13-Oct-13 23:46:31

It's a bit too early to reduce it I think. But on the other hand an EA told me that most viewings come when the house first goes on the market. So if you got a reasonable offer it's definitely worth considering it. But the market is supposed to be on the move up but then that could affect the house you are buying. It's difficult.

Preciousbane Sun 13-Oct-13 23:56:30

Fireplace looks really nice now, totally changes the look.

CanadianJohn Mon 14-Oct-13 04:18:11

Someone said "garage looks ripe for conversion"

Sorry to be an idiot, but conversion to what? It looks to me perfect as a garage, with room for storage and/or a work bench.

The house looks great, btw, I wish my house was so presentable.

OP, new photos look amazing, best of luck grin

cavell Mon 14-Oct-13 11:35:25

You have done a fantastic job with the fireplace and the dining room - it looks great. I will be really surprised if you don't manage to make a quick sale now.

runningLou Mon 14-Oct-13 13:26:26

Thanks everyone! DH thinks I am slightly mad to disrupt kids' lives by hiding all their toys in the loft, but I really hope I will be proved right if the house sells!
We have another viewing tomorrow afternoon, and then a second viewing on Thursday from a buyer who was round last week. She is looking for a buy-to-let investment so probably less bothered about spaciousness anyway.
Just waiting to hear back from EA about getting some new pics taken now ...

Bramshott Mon 14-Oct-13 13:44:26

Remember that buyers have to say something to the EA because "nah I just didn't fancy it / it didn't click for me" is too vague. "It's a bit small" is an easy thing to say with little comeback.

ivykaty44 Mon 14-Oct-13 13:59:39

runninglou - where are you wanting to move to?

runningLou Mon 14-Oct-13 14:04:46

South Manchester area hopefully - more expensive than where we are sad

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