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This house selling stress is peaking!

(21 Posts)
beatie Mon 16-May-05 13:23:03

This afternoon we'll find out what position we're in regarding our buyers. We accepted an offer from them below the asking price. They were good buyers as they were planning to rent ou their flat not sell it.

They waited 5 weeks to have a Home Buyers Survey done and this weekend have lowered their offer due to the Survey contents. We've said NO this morning. The reason is the surveyor has given its valuation based on assumptions and some of those things aren't true.

The Survey highlights damp and tells the buyer to check if we have damp proof guarantees. We do. If there is damp, we can get it sorted before they move in.

There's nothing majorly wrong with the house. A bit of flashing needs replacing on an awning we have out the back of the house, one chimney stack needs rebuilding in the loft before the dining room fireplace could be used (the lounge fireplace is fine to use) That's about it.

It's a rather annoying Surveyors report. It never uses the word good. Everything (windows, GCH, electrics, plastering, kitchen, bathroom) was new 3 years ago. The Surveyor will only use the word reasonable to describe where there are no problems.It's all so negative. I guess this is the usual legal terminology, but still, it detracts from the fact that our buyers would be getting a house they can move straight into and have to do zero to it.

The house is 100 years old (as are all the houses in this city) so I feel it is unlikely the buyers will find a house and have a survey that highlights nothing.

I'm also concerned about the report highlighting damp. You may remember I spoke to this surveyor when he was in my house. I did not ask him to disclose any details, he offered the info, to me as he was leaving. He said what minor problems he'd found, used the words nitpicking and told me the walls were 95% damp free. He indicated one small section of wall about 30cm long where he got a low damp reading. He said "I would not recommend that you or the buyer bothered having that bit of wall damp proofed since it is a lot of hassle when it is not even the whole wall"

How on earth has he gone from sying that to me to writing " All the groundfloor walls measured a low level moisture reading" and now recommending that all the walls need a damproof course???

Anyway, I hope we can negotiate something with the buyers. Oh yes, BTW - they are no longer renting out their flat but are selling it. Even though they already have a buyer (a family member) our buyers are no longer the chain-free buyers who we agreed to sell the house to, so I wonder if they have a right to quibble over £2000 now?

Well, of course they have a right, but it is still annoying.

I know it is a buyers market but when I look at the internet there are no other houses in the condition of ours for sale at either the price we marketed ours for or the lower price the buyers want to pay. Plus, house prices are still on the up in my particular area.

I don't expect any help or advice here - it is just therapeutic for me to sound off. Thanbks if you even read this far.

noddyholder Mon 16-May-05 13:25:44

stick to your guns Something similar happened to us.The surveyor who was doing the survey came from a different part of the country and knew nothing about local prices.On this basis our buyer lowered her offer but we said no and stuck it out In the end the surveyor changed the valuation after researching the local market Can you afford to drop?

beatie Mon 16-May-05 13:29:27

Yes and no. We've had to borrow a bit of money already from FIL since we couldn't get a mortgage based on DH's future payrise. We would be able to borrow more money from FIL but don't want to. If that makes sense. So no, we don't have the cash sitting around. We're paying asking price for the house we're buying and it is the top of our budget (but worth the money)

bonniej Mon 16-May-05 13:29:47

Just to point out when I bought my house six years ago if I'd taken too much notice of the surveryors report I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole!! They always make things sound much worse than they are. I think it's a way of covering themselves as if they don't mention something that is later discovered I suppose they could get into a heap of trouble. I know it doesn't help you any! Good luck and if I were you I'd remind them that you accepted the original offer from chain free buyers, which they aren't any more so they're really not in a position to try and knock down the price. If they really want the house they'll pay the extra.

DickWhittingtonsCat Mon 16-May-05 13:41:07

AAAHHHH! Just sharing house selling stress in sympathy. My estate agent just rang me to "touch base" as he always says. The flat (lovely two bed flat in brilliant location) has been for sale for 10 months with 33 viewings but not one offer, despite bringing it down £15k. Meanwhile, estate agent has nothing more positive to comment than the potential buyers (all childless yuppies) feel that it's not as welcoming as others. I asked him what he meant, as I just don't know what items they expect to see, and he said he'd consult in the office and get back to me! Certainly some overpriced flats come with integrated sound and light systems etc, but why on earth would I want that sort of thing just in case it helped a sale, when the market is like it is? I am thinking of taking the flat off the market, just to reduce my stress. I really want three bedrooms so when my parents visit they aren't stuck on a sofabed in my sitting room, but now it looks like I should just give up and spend my pennies on a fancy new sofabed instead . Meanwhile all the places I might like to move to are also sitting on the market for months on end ...

beatie Mon 16-May-05 13:43:49

Please do come and share your house-selling stress.

Have you tried changing Agents? Would you consider letting out your flat and then renting a house with 3 bedrooms?

It's frustrating isn't it?

DickWhittingtonsCat Mon 16-May-05 13:53:13

Yes, I think I could change agents but am just wondering if I can face the extra stress. I can't let it out, because it's too risky; if I didn't get tenants for a couple of months then the double mortgage would be too much for me. What's awful is the limbo of wanting to move but it not happening.The bathroom taps need changing. If I had an offer tomorrow, I would tell them and knock off some money; if I were moving in 6-12 mths' time I'd change all the taps; but if I had to stay there for the next 5-10 years I might change the whole bathroom fittings. Also, I have a really good mortgage rate which the building society was going to let me port over, so I have been saving money for my deposit, instead of taking the chance to overpay on my mortgage. If I'm not moving in the near future it makes much more sense for me to overpay now, and forget building up this deposit for a fantasy move to a bigger place.

crunchie Mon 16-May-05 16:11:42

Dickwhittington Change agents immediately. 33 veiwings is great, but no offers is bad. Sorry to be blunt but there must be some reason no-one is buying. Can you look at your flat objectively? Or get a friend or another estate agent to look at it and give you a honest opinion. Watching those house doctor type programmes, yes they spend £2000, but they then sell for the asking price. You have dropped yours £15K already, and still no buyer. Change those bathroom taps, put everything you can into storage and you might be lucky

DickWhittingtonsCat Mon 16-May-05 16:53:18

You are right! This is where being a single parent really drives you mad because it is so hard to talk about money matters even with close friends! My estate agent frankly sounds like he just wants my property off his books. He, for the first time in 10 mths, sent me some "tips" today, which are, don't leave shoes in the hall, clear junk mail from communal downstairs hallway (which I was doing for the first 20 or so viewings ...), and "try and rearrange the furniture to be more welcoming". I repainted it all cream before putting it up for sale, and it was described as "good decorative order", and every single b-y time we have had a viewing I have tidied up to leave everything spotless and uncluttered. I rang another agent, which is known for high commission and high tech marketing, and they said someone will come and do a valuation on Sat. I asked my estate agent if I would have any obligations to them if I took it off the market because I was fed up, and he says, not at all and he thinks I have been very unfortunate with the London property market! The other agent gave me an appealing spiel about how it is not the number of viewings that counts but being able to match the buyer and vendor. I suppose getting another valuation is either going to show me that something is wrong with the flat which we have never noticed in 6 years, so I can't afford to move at all, or that the other agent just doesn't have enough buyers on his lists, and I'll have a go with the bigger agent. Otherwise I am having a vision of ds and I staying in this flat forever and forever and never progressing anywhere.

sophy Mon 16-May-05 19:03:37

You should always get at least three valuations when you sell. And don't necessarily go with the agent who's valuation is highest -- they may be doing it just to get you on their books. So if your property hasn't even had an offer in several months I would definitely get some other agents round to get their opinion.

beatie Mon 16-May-05 19:25:01

Update from me: The buyers are happy to pay the original agreed price so long as we get the 'damp' sorted. I'm going to track down the company who did the damp proof course 3 years ago. let's hope they still exist. It will be interesting to see which statement is true. The verbal statement the Surveyor gave me about their only being a fraction of a wall with damp or the written survey which says ALL the downstairs walls have damp.

But either way, it is good news.

sweetkitty Mon 16-May-05 19:36:12

Can I join your thread think I'm at the top of the stress list, our flat been on the market 9 months, 18 viewings one offer below what we had hoped to get but he was a first time buyer and wanted to move in 6 weeks so we said ok. Took him 4 weeks to get the survey done turned out ok flat is 4 years old then nothing happens for 4 weeks so we chase it up turns out he hasn't paid for any searches and after 2 weeks pulls out. On with new estate agents 10K cheaper 1 viewing in 4 weeks!!

Meanwhile we see lovely house in Scotlans put in offer all goes well until our buyer pulls out and we can't go ahead with the purchase but due to Scottish law we are liable so we have to pay for the house to be readvertised, how gutting is that paying for your dream home to be advertised so someone else can buy it?

Then to top all this off DP started new job 2 weeks ago so he is in Scotland travelling 4 hours a day to work and back and DD and I are down here. We are moving up to my Dads one bed flat in 2weeks so at least we will be together. We will be losing money each month and to add to my stress I've just found our I'm pregnant again (am delighted about baby just desperate to find somewhere to live).

Anyone beat that?

Gobbledigook Mon 16-May-05 19:39:48

ANd me! We've had ours on the market for 10 months. We've had about 20 viewings but not one offer. Not a sausage.

The house has seriously everything going for it and the only thing that needed doing was the kitchen. So now, we are doing the kitchen.

It truly is a nightmare, confounded by the fact that we moved into our new house in January so are paying 2 mortgages and come June will also have to pay council tax again on the unsold house.

Oh, happy, happy!

Gobbledigook Mon 16-May-05 19:41:02

The only comfort is that our new house is gorgeous, massive, huge garden and we've got ds1 into one of the top state primaries in the borough (out performed academically by only 2 of the many private schools in the borough ) - the stress is worth it!

DickWhittingtonsCat Tue 17-May-05 09:37:17

Many congratulations, sweetkitty. And good luck, Gobbledigook. I've sacked the estate agent and getting a valuation from someone else on Sat. I could not sleep last night with worrying about everything, not the actual selling and buying so much as trying to imagine what is going to happen in our lives over the next 5-10 years (ie living in the new flat) and make the "right" decisions.

assumedname Tue 17-May-05 09:39:53

Gobbledigook - our council allowed us a 50% discount on our unoccupied old property after we moved into our new one. Yours might do the same.

crunchie Tue 17-May-05 19:41:35

dickwhittington get your new valuation and another couple if you can. Then don't sign a contract which will tie you in for a number of weeks if you can. When I sold my London flat I gave the agent 1 week to start marketing my flat and we agreed to renew verbally each week if I was happy with their performance. I had already had an offer agrreed on my new place and HAD to sell in a couple of weeks. I also asked for a 4 hr get out clause which meant I only had to give 2 das notice if I wanted to change agents. Really try to get an agreement like this, then they have a vested interest in selling the flat, as you can take it away again. Also ask honestly what you can do to help, and say ou are prepared to spend a little money to improve it if they think it will help. Lastly agree that they will accompany ALL veiwings as that is their job, not yours. You will have too personal a veiw.
Sorry have I swallowd the book?? I sound like the house dr combined with that guy who does up and sells property that is stuck on the market

Gobbledigook Tue 17-May-05 19:43:18

assumedname - we get full exemption from council tax for 6 months if the property is completely vacant but we moved in Jan so the 6 months is nearly up - then we have to pay full again I think - actually, might check that because there may be a reduction still after 6 months..

janeybops Tue 17-May-05 20:03:08

also fed up - no viewings for weeks..

Gobbledigook Tue 17-May-05 20:05:50


Mind you, kitchen is still in progress so not really wanting any atm. Scared stiff it'll make no difference though.

sweetkitty Tue 17-May-05 20:12:03

phone EA today she said our ONE viewer was very keen but was seeing loads more properties but she was going to line up some viewings for this weekend, why don't I believe her???

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