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If this plopped through your door would you run a mile?

(63 Posts)
narmada Thu 05-May-11 21:59:53

DP and I have been looking for ages for a house to buy. We're quite picky and have to consider school catchments as two small pre-school children. There is very little on the market in our chosen areas and and in our price bracket (we're in south west london/ Surrey) and having been gazumped a couple of times (yes, really) I am trying to think of alternative ways to find us what we need.

I wondered about doing a mail drop to houses in our chosen streets that might be within our price range if they were to come on the market. Just a printed sheet through the door with our details, our position (no chain, financially sorted) and encouragement to contact us if interested in selling.

If you got something like this through your door would you just bin it immediately?

Has anyone ever tried anything like this?

Pancakeflipper Thu 05-May-11 22:03:24

It has happened to us. We live in a lovely area with lovely amenities. No one in our village thinks anything negatively ( flattered! And it's worth a crack) about it but I don't know if anyone has been successful.

DaphneHeartsFred Thu 05-May-11 22:05:20

Sorry, but I would bin it. Even if I was thinking of selling.

narmada Thu 05-May-11 22:09:45

daphne why would you bin it out of interest??

pancake thanks for the reply - have to admit I am a bit doubtful. We are just getting really desperate to move, our current house is just so small and no garden with two little ones. It's ironic after so many years of not being able to afford anything - now we can, there is nothing to buy!

Pancakeflipper Thu 05-May-11 22:13:59

Even though you might not a direct response it might make someone think about moving and they then visit an estate agent... I presume you have introduced yourselves to every estate agent in the area ? Bought them cakes???

everyspring Thu 05-May-11 22:16:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KTDace Thu 05-May-11 22:16:37

This is how my parents sold their house 25 years ago. I say give it a go, you have nothing to lose. Good luck.

Moodykat Thu 05-May-11 22:19:22

Well, estate agents do it so why not?!

GollyHolightly Thu 05-May-11 22:19:37

My in laws live in an idyllic country cottage with a picture postcard garden and on the edge of woodland. They have had at least three letters popped in their mailbox asking that if they were ever to sell could they contact * * * * first.

They've kept them, and they're thinking of selling in the next year or two as they're getting older and won't be able to manage the upkeep for much longer (wood chopping, oil burning stove etc).

If they're sensible they'll play the interested parties off against each other and get a great price for the place grin They might even save the estate agent fees if they manage to pull it off without any help.

ggirl Thu 05-May-11 22:23:49

Have had a few of these through the door and wouldn't hesitate contacting if I was looking to sell.

nocake Thu 05-May-11 22:34:44

If I was thinking of selling then yes, I'd contact you as it would save the estate agent fees (and the less cash they get the better).

missnevermind Thu 05-May-11 22:51:54

I was thinking of doing this the opposite way.

We are thinking of selling later in the year and on our group of roads their are a lot of Teaching rooms and 'religious' buildings - several different religions.
I was thinking of sending letters to them all to ask if any of their patrons would be interested.

You have to use everything you have in this climate.

Eaglebird Thu 05-May-11 23:24:08

Go for it Narmada, nothing to lose.
DP & I saw a house we wanted to buy. It wasn't on the market, but we wrote to the owner and asked if he'd be interested in selling. He said he might be, and after some negotiations, we bought the house.
No estate agent involved, just our solicitors, brilliant!

maggiethecat Fri 06-May-11 00:43:10

How absurd to bin it even if thinking of selling? I think some people just like to be disagreeable Narmada.

I know one person who said she got her house like this. It shows a very proactive approach and I, if selling, would consider that to be a desirable quality in a buyer.

lulalullabye Fri 06-May-11 02:13:16

Kirsty and Phil did it on location and it worked for their buyers. Do it.

SaveWaterDrinkWine Fri 06-May-11 06:36:43

We did this - we heard that a lady might have been thinking about selling. We wrote her a polite letter enquiring if this was the case. She wrote a lovely letter back saying she was thinking of moving but not for a while. Anyway, about a month later the doorbell rang and it was the next-door-but-one neighbour of this lady's who did want to sell and would we be interested in having a look at the house. Long story short : we have been in the house for 7 years now!

Do it!

Sleepwhenidie Fri 06-May-11 06:41:36

Definitely do it, I am still waiting to find out Daphne's reason for binning it because I can't thing of a single reason why you would do that if you were interested in selling, it's not as if estate agents give you any kind of protection as a house seller confused.

karen2010 Fri 06-May-11 06:49:59

yep another vote for do it
I sold a house this way no estate agents fees
no one trumping though the house
bliss

PositiveAttitude Fri 06-May-11 07:17:22

I have had a couple of these over the past 12 years. It makes me feel really smug proud grin . I take it as a real compliment that someone would be interested in buying my home.

There are 5 houses on our road and the first time we had a letter put through our neighbour went through with a sale from it.

I would definitely take someone up on it if I had a note put through at the right time.

Go for it, what have you got to lose?

pooka Fri 06-May-11 07:25:01

A friend of mine posted letters through every house in a cul-de-sac she was interested in. Got a call from one owner and did look round. IN the end, he wanted more money than she felt the house was worth because it needed a fair bit of work. But at least she got the response, and no one was any the poorer for her having leafletted.

BerryLellow Fri 06-May-11 07:25:07

My mum and dad live on a terrace that is much admired, especially in summer when the holidaymakers arrive. If you happen to be out in the garden there are quite often enquiries about any of the cottages being for sale. I think it's flattering too.

TheVeryAngryMumapillar Fri 06-May-11 07:37:10

We have had one of those...but we rent.. We never thought it odd....it was in our last rental which was a very pretty cottage.

It seemed understandable that people would ask....

nothingnatural Fri 06-May-11 08:03:51

My friends did this and bagged one of the best houses in our village for way less than the market rate. I would definately say go for it.

hester Fri 06-May-11 08:07:11

My friend bought her house this way. You should try it.

Mirage Fri 06-May-11 08:26:52

My friend bought her dream house this way.We bought ours privately,too,not with a letter drop,but because we knew the owners,and while we were completing,two 'want to buy it,please ring me', letters came through the door.Luckily for us,the people we bought from were honourable and ignored them.We have been here 6 years and don't ever plan on leaving.

Tbh,most houses here are sold before they ever reach the open market.We get a lot of people moving up from London and getting quite bewildered because they think they can just buy what they like.They don't realise that nearly everything is sold by word of mouth and 90% of the houses will never appear in the estate agent's window.

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