To ask for help with father for house selling?(9 Posts)
My father was widowed three years ago, and is finally ready to sell the family home which he has realised is too big for him to look after on his own. He's found somewhere much smaller, close to friends and family, and is absolutely desperate to get it. He's really pleased with the way he's cleaned and decorated his house to sell it, and has been told by the estate agents that he doesn't need to empty it as house buyers like to see things in situ.
The trouble is, this advice means he absolutely refuses to clear the house at all. Downstairs is clean and mostly tidy, but rammed full of so much furniture that every room looks too small, in photos and in person (some rooms have two dressers, four bookcases, three coffee tables each etc), plus tonnes of family photos and knickknacks absolutely everywhere; upstairs, his office (which should be a decent-sized single bedroom) you can only stand in a square-metre space due to all the furniture, paperwork, shelves and desks, while the other bedrooms are full of even more dressers, chests of drawers, book cases, wardrobes, dressing tables, card tables, more coffee tables, and decades of books, pictures, vases, bedding, clothes, and more knickknacks.
Because he's very clean and everything is dust-free and well-kept, he doesn't see that any of it might be putting buyers off - he thinks it shows this family home has personality, while my brother and I think most people wouldn't even bother to view it for more than a minute or two. In six months (I know it's not the hottest property market in the world right now), he hasn't had a single offer.
I want to mind my own business and just help him if he asks for it (he's a grown-up, can take care of himself, and I've got a busy life of my own) but he calls me frequently, depressed and distressed that his house is getting no offers and he's going to lose the house he wants. But if my brother and I try to suggest helping him put things in storage -- not even culling them for good -- he gets extremely upset and insists that his home is just as he likes it and he doesn't want to live like a monk in an empty cell.
Please help! House moving is so stressful at the best of times -- how can I either step back and not let his stress affect me, or help him sell this one and get into the house he wants? (Or both?!)
If he has found somewhere much smaller, at what point in proceedings was he planning to edit the furniture down a bit? Does he get any feedback from the agents after viewings?
It is a tricky thing to tackle, he'll still see you as the child so any advice will be resisted I suspect! On the other hand, I know how frustrating it is to have someone sounding off down the phone all the time yet not do anything themselves to fix the problem.
Cotswold He says there's no point sorting stuff until the "wheels are in motion". It seems like that's some mythical magical future point where he'll somehow be given a green card to go ahead with sorting this stuff out -- he knows it needs to be done, but always finds an excuse why he can't today/this week/this month.
And yes, exactly that: we're his children, so what could we know?
Would he do it if the estate agent suggested he should?
Could you try going at it, one room at a time? Is there any rooms he doesn't use much? Word it as putting stuff in storage ready so things are easier/he can move to his dream home more quickly when he does sell as moving house is such a nightmare. If he'd find it hard taking advice from yourself could the estate agent suggest it as part of feedback?
I think you need to speak to the estate agents and ask them to speak to your father about the need to clear the property if he's to stand any chance of getting an offer. It may be that he'll have more respect for the views of a professional and if it's a bossy professional who's quite direct then so much better!
Agree he might listen to the estate agents. Or does he have friends/ brothers/ sisters you could get on board.
You could also do a mumsnet thread along the lines of 'please help my dad sell his house' and then present him with the impartial advice gathered.
Ask him if he wants to hear your true opinions about it. If he does, Be blunt and say if I was looking for a house to buy and saw those picture of your house I would not consider it. Its cluttered.
Thanks everyone. I think the trouble is that housemoving and de-cluttering are both SO emotional, and he's just so caught up in the perceived stress he might encounter that he's paralysed and unable to mitigate it by actually doing something proactive. I'll try the room by room approach, but the thought the other house might get sold to someone else while he moseys along means he'll just get frustrated and panicky again. Would the estate agent take my call, in that way, or would they just insist they could only deal with him, if you know what I mean?
Softkitty We tried that. It did not go well.
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