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Some honest advice and feedback please

(46 Posts)
leatherchair Thu 29-Sep-11 13:05:48

Our house has been on the market since the start of August. Initially it was for £369.999 as advised my the EA (other valuations from EA's were the same).

We have had 30+ viewings. After three weeks we dropped the price to £355 as feedback was some concerns about our proximity to a music venue.

We have now had some more viewings, house is always left tidy and clean. However, we still have not had one offer. Now, with viewers with a slightly smaller budget, we are getting a whole host of new feedback that we didn't get with the more expensive bracket!

So far problems have been:
bedroom 2 too small
unhappy about need for parking permit (we live in a town central location)
street is a is of private and rented.

The price is competitive for the area, and as I say we are having lots of viewings. Here is a link of our home. Would love to hear your feedback and thoughts:


leatherchair Thu 29-Sep-11 13:06:14

Sorry : our house

RedHelenB Thu 29-Sep-11 13:35:57

Think your house looks lovely so it must be to do with the price, are there a lot of similar properties for sale? How do you go about getting a parking permit? Maybe stress that you have no difficulties regarding this.

fresh Thu 29-Sep-11 13:39:41

Looks beautifully presented, although pics of the bedrooms would help. The only small suggestion I'd make is to move the TV - will it fit where the armchair is now? It's just that it hits you in the eye and because it's large it makes the living room look small. If not, can you somehow make it fit in the alcove to the right of the fireplace (prob have to take a shelf out, which might not be poss I know). You could then have something low in the bay window (ideally a storage trunk so whatever it is in the baskets on the floor in the alcove could go in there - space at floor level makes a room look larger) and then the window would be more visible which would also help. Perhaps the armchair could find a home somewhere else - dining room? Kitchen? I wouldn't put it in the bay. Much bigger mirror over the mantelpiece would help bring some width to the room, preferably one with a pale narrow frame.

How is the second bedroom set out? Looks quite small on the floorplan so I'd be tempted to take out as much as possible and put up mirrors!


leatherchair Thu 29-Sep-11 13:40:26

Thank you Red.

Yes, its very easy to get a permit and only costs £30 a year. The EA knows this. There are a few properties for sale that are similar and we seem to be priced right.

I assumed we had the price right too, given the number of viewings. But just not one offer. Not even a really cheeky one!

leatherchair Thu 29-Sep-11 13:44:35

Thank you fresh too. I know what you mean about the TV, although the feedback we get about downstairs is very positive.

Second bedroom is DS's, so there is a cot, and chest of drawers and a built in cupboard. We have explained to the EA that we used to have it as a double bedroom prior to DS.

Do you think it being presented as a 'babies room' is a problem? Thing is, DS is far too young to be out of a cot. It's very simply decorated as a babies room, white furniture etc.

Lizcat Thu 29-Sep-11 13:55:54

Again for me the TV is just too big it draws people's eyes and they miss your beautiful period fireplace. Take some photos with the shutters open as it is making the living room look quite dark, the photo gives the impression that you need the light on on even the brightest day. Personally I would also cut your hedge back a bit to let more light into the living room and also allow people to see the pretty front of your house. Finally a few pots of flowers and paint the shed to bring some colour into the garden.
Think about this as a business deal how much effort would you put into a deal at work worth £355,000.
I have to say the estate agents blurb may be helping the first thing my eye is drawn to is DIY - I know it says none is needed, but remember on line people will do a first glance see DIY without reading and move on.

dotty2 Thu 29-Sep-11 13:56:36

re. the 2nd bedroom, we used to use our smallest bedroom as a spare double before the DDs were born (it's about 10'x8', if I remember correctly). Now it is a child's room, and although not especially cluttered, you wouldn't think you could get a double bed in there, so I can see it might be hard for your buyers to make that mental leap. Is there anything you could do to present it differently? Could you have DS in there in a travel cot you could stash away when you have a viewing and put a double bed in there? I know that sounds a right pain, but if you're desperate to move...

Mandy21 Thu 29-Sep-11 13:57:37

The description is not very good - I automatically flick to this when I see a property I like for the room dimensions (a shortened precis of the full brochure) which appears for the vast majority of properties, but it is missing on this one. There are room dimensions on the floor plan but I think its quite difficult to read. I think perhaps people might be viewing because it looks lovely (as it does - its really well presented) and then perhaps think it isn't as big as they think when they actually view? My first thoughts are that the kitchen is small - simply because you have a drop leaf table right in the middle of the picture which isn't open - that to mean symbolises the fact that there isn't really enough space to open it out. Is there anywhere else you can position it (to make the kitchen look larger).

As you say, you are having lots of viewings so people are attracted to the house by the marketing - whether that be on line or via the agent, but something seems to be putting them off when they actually view. Would it be worth doing some of the viewings yourself so you get immediate feedback? At the same time, you can really push the positives of the house - centrally located, neighbours, the things that make you enjoy living there that the agent wouldn't know?

leatherchair Thu 29-Sep-11 14:04:56

Thanks to everyone for the advice - really helpful and some good ideas.

Interesting what you say about doing the viewings ourselves Mandy. I probably would prefer that, but most of our viewings seem to be in the week, and that means we are all either at work or for two days a week I am at home with DS.

He would not be a selling point at a viewing. grin

Onlyaphase Thu 29-Sep-11 14:09:26

You've had lots of viewings, so I would say that the description, photos and location aren't the problem. It is a lovely house, and well presented.

However, if you were your mythical buyer, what other properties would you be looking at? What else are you up against?

If I was looking to move to your area, I'd be looking at lots of properties around that price bracket, so it may just be that other properties are more appealing? For example, I love your house and it exactly the sort of property I'd have wanted 10 years ago...but DH would have wanted more space inside and out for the money, or a more modern house. If, for the same money, you could get a 3 bed more modern house with off street parking or garage, then we would have had a difficult decision, and whereas 10 years ago it wasn't a problem to move every 2 years, now it is, so you need your houses to last as long as would go for a bigger house for the money.

Probably no help at all, sorry. Just a different viewpoint.

leatherchair Thu 29-Sep-11 17:47:45

Not at all Only, its good to hear all viewpoints.

I know what you mean, it's not really a 'forever home' if you have more than 1 DC. But, its the sort of home/location that would appeal to couple buying for the first time, singles etc as it has a great location to town and station etc.

Regarding other properties on the market. There's not loads of town centre properties, a few that have a basement (we don't) which are priced the same, but then they have other issues like accessing the bathroom via a bedroom, or a small galley kitchen or yard style garden.

Interestingly, if you go further out of our town you can get a three bed for the same price, as yes would be a more modern build. EA says that when they take people to see ours, they are often asking to see the three bed-ers but coming back saying that it's the town centre, period charm they want.

No-one (according to EA) has told us it's a price issue.

nondomesticgoddess Thu 29-Sep-11 17:58:30

The house looks lovely and I agree with what Only says.

Have you had any second viewings?

I think people have mixed views on being shown round houses by vendors versus EAs. Our house is on with an online agent so I do all the viewings. I like doing it as I think I can give info that EAs wouldn't necessarily know and push important points home that EAs might not think of (like the parking permit non-issue in your case). It does mean that I often have the dcs with me. I try and push them out to play in the garden when we have a viewing and dh suggested that if they're being difficult I could just joke that they don't come with the house!

But for me, I know when I look at houses, I couldn't care less who's showing me round, whether there are children there, how the furniture is set out or even whether it's tidy. For me it's all about the light and room dimensions.

Btw - I may not be the best person to advise - my house has been on the market since the beginning of July and only a handful of viewings and no offers!

plupervert Thu 29-Sep-11 18:16:40

One thing that struck me is the standing bathtub. It doesn't look as though it has a shower and, to be honest, that is very off-putting.

Good point above, about the television in the window!

The kitchen looks particularly big and functional, though.

nondomesticgoddess Thu 29-Sep-11 18:20:17

Another thought - could a problem be that it lacks potential? In that it is well presented and it looks like you've done the side return. Could buyers be worried that it might not make financial sense in the short term as it would be difficult to add value to it?

ElbowFan Thu 29-Sep-11 18:20:26

What advice does your agent give?
They are getting the feedback, and presumably have some notion as to why there has been no useful interest.
There are lots of 'viewers' out there who are just being nosy - yours looks like a very nice house, are they just pinching your good ideas and taste?
Do you ask your viewers if they have sold, how long they've been looking, how far they'd be moving... just as chit chat?
Don't just think about the quality of what you're offering - think about the quality of the viewers the agent is attracting as well!

statueofliberty Thu 29-Sep-11 18:29:50

Sorry no advice but I love it,like your style.gorgeous

Iggly Thu 29-Sep-11 18:30:30

I really think you need to attend viewings yourself. Also mention the price drop so people can see the bargain (worked for me!)

Also talk about the house in terms of how you've used it, have you used the 2nd bedroom for anything else pre DC? our DS's bedroom looks small but actually easily fits a double bed or two sofas or can be used as a study.

queensusan Thu 29-Sep-11 18:51:55

I love the look of the house - and it's obviously drawing people in if you are getting the viewings - but I just wonder about location. You say there is a live music venue nearby - well, I'm afraid that in the current market that would put me right off. Is there anything else about the location that might put people off once they get there? Are there lots of pubs, restaurants etc. just around the corner or are some of the neighbouring streets not quite so leafy? As someone else said, people are not looking for a 2-3 year proposition anymore and I think they are afraid to take the risk of something not turning out quite right because of eg. noise/parking/being near a pub. By the way, we have a similar issue with our property which is one reason we haven't put it on the market.

If this is the problem then I'm not sure what you can do. Take the viewings yourself and make sure you address it upfront?

DamselWithADulcimer Thu 29-Sep-11 18:56:10

Looks lovely - though noise might put people off. It would put me off.

Beyond that, though: who's doing the viewings? I ask because the vendor is the best person, regardless of what the agents say. When we sold, we had about eight agent viewings, none of which led to an offer. I did the next two viewings, and ended up with a bidding war. Not because I'm brilliant (though I am wink), but because I was the one who could tell them the stuff they really wanted to know - like what the neighbours are like, what the toddler groups are like, and I could generally convey a sense of how much we had loved the house and how happy we had been there.

MrsCog Thu 29-Sep-11 19:12:37

I think the problem might be the price combined with what only has said above. Nowadays, I would have thought your house is the size of house a first/second time buyer would probably want, in order to ensure a good 5/10 years in the house. Realistically, how many buyers in that price bracket are going to be able to save the 60/70k needed for a deposit? Then, they might want to spend their deposit on this house instead as it would probably give more value for money long term. I could be a bit out of touch I am a bit shock at how small a property you get in the south for over 1/3 million!

OwlMother Thu 29-Sep-11 19:18:49

Is it possible to put a double bed back into the second room and use a travel cot which you could hide in the car for viewings? Had a friend who did this and it seemed to make a huge difference. Viewers do not always have the vision to see beyond what is there at the moment.

nightshade Thu 29-Sep-11 19:22:07

am in northern ireland so my opinion doesn't really count but i am shocked at the price for a 2 bed house with a small garden!! particularly in this climate.

3 bed, period houses here, with bigger gardens, similar to my own would be lucky to sell at £120, 000 - £140,000.

nightshade Thu 29-Sep-11 19:23:55

p.s not being derogatory, your house looks lovely!!

Bunbaker Thu 29-Sep-11 19:24:08

Lack of parking I'm afraid, and that is something you can't change. We are a two car family and if we couldn't park the cars off the road then no matter how nice the property is we just wouldn't be interested.

I am unfamiliar with house prices in your area, but over £300k for a two bedroom house with on street parking is a humungous amount of money. Where we live (rural South Yorkshire) you can get a nice detached 4 bedroom house with a double garage for that kind of money. So for me the other off putter is the price.

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