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PLEASE help me to sell my house!

(38 Posts)
beanlet Wed 20-Apr-11 21:20:58

I know, it's a hideous time to try to sell a house in the first-time buyers' bracket of the market. But 18 months in, we really have to sell soon - am seriously concerned about DH's mental health with the increasing strain of our current living situation (and mine too TBH).

To cut a long story short, we have two tiny houses, bought when we were both single, the larger one (2 beds) 200+ miles from where we both work. DS was born last summer, and while smaller house is near work it is only 1 bed. It will sell in a flash (location, also SE with buoyant prices). But 2 bed house (North, terrible housing crash) has been on the market for 18 months now. We can't live in 1 bed much longer with DS now 9 mths, but can't buy a bigger house near work until we sell 2 beds, as it has all our equity in it.

I'd really welcome tips on how to sell our larger house, as we are getting to the point where neither of us can cope any more. (Please don't suggest renting either of them; we've been through every possible scenario and it won't work. Nor can either of us, let alone both, change jobs.)

Plus points.....

Really sweet 2 bed Grade II listed terraced cottage with no structural work to be done and lots of character features. 5 mins from railway station, 20 min commute to major city.

Both village schools Ofsted "outstanding"; state secondary the best in the LEA.

Sitting room and main bedroom really good size, nice woodburning stove downstairs in fireplace. As well as two bedrooms, there is a newly renovated watertight basement with storage room and small study. New part-fitted kitchen in character style.

Enclosed part-walled cottage garden, and parking.

Dead quiet and private.

Good professional rental potential (though not for us in current circs)

Minus points.....

2nd bedroom really small - single bed or child's room only. Currently unfurnished as we use it as a drying and ironing room.

Bathroom even smaller. Decor fine but a bit tired.

Kitchen is not fully fitted and has some open shelving.

No fence between our garden and neighbours, and they have right of access on the path across our garden to get to their front door. (watertight division legally so no problems on that score).

Listed building so no more room to expand the property. Loft extension a no.

Could probably do with a lick of paint and some tarting up of woodwork, etc, but currently all very tasteful colours.

We've just reduced the price for a second time, and we'd take a lower offer still, but we can't afford to take much more of a hit, or we'll never be able to buy again. (or that's what it feels like)

Any suggestions of small, relatively inexpensive things we can do to find a buyer? I'd be so grateful, as we are both getting quite desperate now.

(and if you would all be a bit un-mumsnetty and not too harsh on me..... this has been very hard for us, and getting harder as DS gets bigger.)


dickcheeseandthecrackers Wed 20-Apr-11 21:23:07

Is it on rightmove already?
Any chance you could linky to the photos?

CarGirl Wed 20-Apr-11 21:24:45

We a link to the estate agents listing.

I think you may need to make the 2nd room into a proper bedroom to show it can be done - perhaps with a short and only 2'6" single bed.

beanlet Wed 20-Apr-11 21:25:04

I don't want to out myself any more than I already have. The photos FWIW are very tasteful.

CarGirl Wed 20-Apr-11 21:26:17

Do you want to pm us with the link so it isn't public?

I think it's impossible for us to give an opinion on what may help just from a description.

beanlet Wed 20-Apr-11 21:26:26

Good idea re putting a bed in there; perhaps people think it can't be done.

beanlet Wed 20-Apr-11 21:27:08

Will try... Hang on

SomethingSuper Wed 20-Apr-11 21:30:07

Does the bathroom have a white suite? If the room is fairly plain you could definintely make it look better with some accessories and new towels etc

SomethingSuper Wed 20-Apr-11 21:34:08

If the kitchen has open shelving, perhaps you could emphasise the 'country' vibe. Also, it's obvious that you should make the best of the 'cons' but have you made the most of the 'pros' too? You know, somewhere nice to sit and have a glass of wine in the enclosed cottage garden? Probably obvious but worth thinking about.

onesandwichshort Wed 20-Apr-11 21:34:20

What's at your house at the moment? Is it properly furnished, or does it just have odds and ends of old furniture in? You do - especially now - need it to look, not perfect, but desirable. And also desirable for the kind of people who will buy it? I'm guessing they will be single people, like you, or a couple, so the child's bed might not be a good idea, but a small single/sofa bed would be - or even a futon - to say guest room. But think of them first, then you'll have an idea of what to put in.

Then, paint, accessorise, make the garden look nice. And make it look lived in - I do wonder if that's perhaps the problem.

RufousBartleby Wed 20-Apr-11 21:35:56

Hard to tell from what you've posted, but are you sure you are being realistic about the price? I have friends who are putting houses on the market at £10k below what they paid (this is in the Midlands). Everything is saleable at the right price even in this market.

On the other hand - are you happy with your agent? Might it be worth thinking about changing?

Agree that it would be worth furnishing second bedroom because the calibre of the schools only really becomes relevant if the viewer can imagine the property as a family home.

You say that you are 200 miles away - is the garden being well maintained? Perhaps some nice bedding plants to add a splash of colour could make it more appealing?

stressheaderic Wed 20-Apr-11 21:37:30

A hanging basket/trough in bloom would prob add to the kerb appeal...a good couple of weekends coming up for viewing so don't despair.
Can't help much more without seeing the place!

thebestisyettocome Wed 20-Apr-11 21:37:51

We sold last year, against the odds I have to say. I totally sympathise. It's the most frustrating thing I've ever been through. In simple terms we had to change our agents and reduce the price in order to sell. I think that's the only practical thing you can do aside from making sure the house is always highly presentable when people view. You could try open days etc but I'm not sure how helpful this sort of thing is.

LynetteScavo Wed 20-Apr-11 21:39:18

No one will be interested in the schools if you can't fit a family into the house.

Put a bed in the second bedroom...and could the basement be a bedroom?

Also the fence in the garden......why is there no fence between you and the neighbor? This would put me off a house completely.

MillsAndDoom Wed 20-Apr-11 21:42:47

For sure a bed in the spare room - dress it as a bedroom - show homes use small furniture and don't put wardrobes in to make bedrooms look bigger.

CarGirl Wed 20-Apr-11 21:44:32

Well IMHO picture no 1 and no 2 are a waste - you can't tell anything more from either of them!!! One is the front door with trees and the back - just lots of trees can't work out which house is yours.

Photos of the kitchen, 2nd bedroom or basement room would be much better.

Main bedroom is lovely - something in the fireplace would be a nice focal point.

The lounge - the sofa looks squished in especially with the foot stool thing and is that a desk in there - can't tell?

MillsAndDoom Wed 20-Apr-11 21:44:49

Bathroom - clean up any less than pristine grout, remove all toiletries etc and put a few nice toiletries in and some lovely co-ordinating towels.

MillsAndDoom Wed 20-Apr-11 21:47:35

If it needs a lick of paint then it might be worth doing so - hard to tell without seeing pictures.

Seasonal flowers in planters, if you're going to spend money on it then make it stuff that you can take to your new house - nice garden furniture etc

MillsAndDoom Wed 20-Apr-11 21:49:19

Oh and the kitchen - if it is character with open shelves then maybe go the whole hog and shabby chic it up with gingham, kidston and bunting?

MillsAndDoom Wed 20-Apr-11 21:50:09

Sorry for multiple posts, on phone - happy to look at listing if you want to PM me.

cece Wed 20-Apr-11 21:57:06

I agree about the fence - would put me off - I wouldn't even view it.

beanlet Wed 20-Apr-11 22:09:06

I'm on my phone too - irritatingly slow!

Thanks for all the comments - it's priced way below where it was at the top of the market, over 20%. Since we insisted the agents advertise it as listed we've had loads of viewings, and one person even came three times, but no bites yet. Everyone says they love it, but it's "too small".

There's no fence simply because the garden looks better without it, but we could easily put one up.

Also agree that new photos should be taken - the sitting room looks bad in that photo! New sofa perhaps - we need one anyway.

I think the best ideas are furnishing the second bedroom and making a feature of the country kitchen (and getting a photo of it in ghe brochure)

Bathroom suite is white, victorian style, blue mosaic tiles (which I hate but they're not foul, per se)

wannaBe Wed 20-Apr-11 22:17:03

What feedback are you getting from the agent?

Tbh schools arr irrelevant as at that size it's not a family home.

The reality is that it's almost impossible for first time buyers to buy at the moment because of difficulty obtaining mortgages, and the only people this house will appeal to is those wo might not be in a position to buy it.

I don't agree with the sentiment that any house will for the right price. If there aren't buyers ten te house won't sell.

everyspring Wed 20-Apr-11 22:18:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigbadbarry Wed 20-Apr-11 22:23:19

I've just sold after 18 months on the market. Sadly, the way to do it is to reduce - we have sold for 70k less than we paid shock - but it became very obvious when we got the price right as we went from the occasional viewer to lots of interest and ended up with a bidding war! It helps I think that people (understandably) are reluctant to reduce and are sitting tight at their currently too-high prices - which means that those who do follow the market downwards have less competition.

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