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How long before we despair of selling?

(11 Posts)
mimou Sun 29-May-11 08:11:44

We've recently put our house on the market in the hope of being able to move to something with a bit more space now we have 2 DCs. We haven't had a single viewing so far (2.5 weeks). Is this normal atm? I've never sold a house before - we were renting before we moved here.

RockOnMrs Sun 29-May-11 08:24:03

There was a thread on here a little while ago about just how much we (i.e. everyone on Mumsnet who was trying to sell a house at the time) hated estate agents grin

But there was a really useful post from someone who I think might have been one of the genuinely nice estate agents ... she said that, if you are getting NO viewings, your house is at least 10% overpriced. If you are getting lots of viewings but no offers, it is at least 5% overpriced (I think).

We were trying to sell a house at the time, and had had loads of viewings but no offers. We immediately dropped the price; had 4 more viewings and an offer (which we accepted) within 2 weeks.

I know it's hard when you need a certain price in order to buy something else, but could this be the case here? Have you asked estate agents what other houses are selling for in your area? I'd always assumed that most buyers would be like DH and me, in that we look at houses that are at least 10% over our budget and then make cheeky offers if we feel the house is overpriced comapared to others that we've seen. (We bought our current house for 12% less than the original asking price, 2 years ago).

In our area (south coast), houses are definitely moving slowly and taking at least 12 weeks to get offers, whereas a few years ago you could get a full asking-price offer within a week of going on the market. Buyers have to have much higher deposits these days, and there aren't so many mortgage products around, and we're all waiting on tenterhooks for the BofE to raise the base rate .... hence, the housing market is a bit stagnant.

So - yes, I think that what you're experiencing is normal for the current economic climate.

Hope you get some viewings soon.

RockOnMrs Sun 29-May-11 08:26:08

Sorry, I posted before I'd finished. That 4th paragraph should have read:

I'd always assumed that most buyers would be like DH and me, in that we look at houses that are at least 10% over our budget and then make cheeky offers if we feel the house is overpriced comapared to others that we've seen. (We bought our current house for 12% less than the original asking price, 2 years ago). BUT apparently most buyers AREN'T like this, so the asking price is REALLY important at the moment. (Do check this with several estate agents though - I was really surprised to hear that people don't view houses that are more than £1k or £2k over budget, tbh!).

CristinaTheAstonishing Sun 29-May-11 08:46:43

We had lots of viewings in the first few weeks, then a lull, then started again. I think it's difficult to predict but I would have expected the EAs to have come up with at least a few viewings by now. Good luck.

mimou Sun 29-May-11 14:48:05

So, there are only 4 2 bedroom houses available in the immediate area and they are all slightly cheaper than ours, but they are all also rather smaller. As 2 bedroom houses go in this area, ours is quite big and if you compare 2 beds in a wider area (i.e. the whole town) we are pretty much mid-priced.

The estate agent tells me that he thinks the lack of interest stems from the fact that people have the (erroneous) impression that this is a less-than-desirable part of town. This really surprises me as we've lived here for five years without ever knowing that the area had a bad reputation, and have always found it a lovely place to live with very nice neighbours. In fact, if there was any way we could extend rather than move, we would, because we love living here, but the house is mid-terrace and there's nowhere to go.

If we don't get within 4K of our asking price we basically won't be able to afford anything bigger unless we move to one of the genuinely undesirable parts of town and take on a real "project" which, with two under two, doesn't bear thinking about.

I am wondering whether we should just give up on the idea of moving and see how we might be able to replace/rearrange furniture to make it possible to fit in for a bit longer. The main problem is that DS2 is soon going to need to have his own cot/bed and won't be able to fit into our bedroom any longer, however since he still wakes in the night a lot (and probably will for the foreseeable) having him sharing with the toddler is not ideal either. I think we may well have no choice, though.

CristinaTheAstonishing Sun 29-May-11 15:54:57

I wouldn't get too hung up on children sharing. Mine have always shared, even with enough space, eg Ds with DD1, DD1 with DD2, and waking up because the other one cries/snuffles/snores has not been a problem at all. Now we're - hopefully - moving again and I'm still thinking of getting the girls to share a bedroom.

mimou Sun 29-May-11 17:32:47

I'm not bothered about them sharing per se (I grew up with 6 people in a 3 bedroom house and didn't have a room of my own until I went to university!), it's just that DS1 is not at good sleeper. He went through a truely abominable phase of insomnia between 12 and 20 months and has only just really started sleeping properly. He wakes really easily even without having a howling baby sharing his room and when he wakes he seldom goes back to sleep for at least an hour, usually two, so I'm really reluctant to do anything that might result in him waking more.

Also there's the whole issue of getting two beds/cots into the room. If they were older they could just have bunkbeds, but that's not going to be an option. It is probably possible to fit a cot and a toddler bed into that room, but it's going to take some thinking about.

80sMum Sun 29-May-11 17:49:48

Are the photos or description putting people off? Check how the agents are marketing your house. Is there some feature or selling point that's not mentioned in the details (school catchment, proximity to station etc) that might make it more attractive to potential buyers? In the meantime, make sure you're showing it in its best light (remove clutter, repaint where paintwork may be a bit shabby etc) so that when the viewers do come, they won't see anything that puts them off.

mimou Sun 29-May-11 18:36:05

The photos look great to me. I spent a whole morning getting the place as clear and clutter free as possible - if it looked like that all the time we wouldn't be moving! Sadly the realities of living with two children in a house that only has one downstairs room (apart from the tiny kitchen) means that it probably won't look like that when people come to view.

I know I'm biased but compared to the other houses in the area I think ours looks by far the best. I can only think it's the price that's putting people off (and by the sounds of it a degree of snobbery that we are the wrong side of the railway line). School catchment might be an issue, but to be honest, anyone looking to buy this size of house probably doesn't have children. I asked the agent about it and he said schools hadn't come up in discussion with any of the people who have enquired about it so far.

tyler80 Sun 29-May-11 23:29:56

Obviously don't know the market in your area but round here average selling prices are 7% under asking - how does that compare to the 4k under asking you need?

And you really need to be looking at sold prices not asking prices for similar properties. Use land registry or nethouseprices or similar for this

mimou Mon 30-May-11 07:40:43

I've looked at nethouseprices, but it's quite difficult to get a feel for what comparable houses are selling for, because unless I'm missing something, there's not way of finding out how big the houses listed are. Round here there's a real mix of housing styles, so a terraced house might be a small 2 bed, a bigger 2 bed, a 3 bed, or a 2 bed maisonette. The prices that come up seem to be either a lot higher than I'd have expected (presumably 3 bed houses) or a lot lower than I'd have expected (possibly maisonettes given the roads they are on). The only one that is in the right sort of bracket is one I happen to know is a three bed but needed completely gutting so sold for a comparatively low price.

It's quite likely that no houses like ours have sold in the last year or so. There aren't very many of them.

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