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Oh Lordy - not even on market yet and stressed out!

(10 Posts)
Mamathulu Tue 04-Oct-11 21:22:08

Ok - me, DH and 4 dc's have bitten the bullet and decided to sell and move - we'll be renting as DH's work is moving next year, and we'll be moving quite a way, but that's another story.
Basically we live in a 3 bed Edwardian converted maisonette, seaside resort, commuter territory, good schools, nice area, 10 mins walk from sea, town and station, a field attached to the back of the communal garden, lovely views.
Downside - up 2 flights of stairs, and needs some work doing. With DH working, commuting, looking after us all (I have moderate/severe ME) there's precious little time to do it up - but the kitchen was put in in 2004, bathroom in 2008, all floors have been replaced with laminate, lino or wood. Structural problems - one window pane needs replacing, there's a leaky skylight in the hall, but we're getting that done before we go. All in all, it's a beautiful place, high ceilings, big rooms, but we just need more rooms which are smaller, iyswim.
So - 4 valuations:
1 - 200-220, wouldn't take less than 215. Eager, keen, had done his homework, and all his written research looked well thought out.
2 - whizzed round, didn't know anything about property or area, snottily said 170-180, and we just weren't very impressed with his attitude.
3 - big chain of agents, quite nice attitude, but again, didn't seem to know much about the area, and compared it to a flat that was in a different area, with 2 bedrooms, so not really a good comparison. Again, said 185 but was 9of course,) willing to put it on for 200 after I'd told him about what research I'd done. (Apparently there's too much information on the internet, as well - hmm)
4 - Slightly more enthusiastic than 2 or 3, was at least aware of the field, but still said 170-180.
Zoopla (which I know is not going to be hugely accurate) says 235.
Are we really bonkers to be expecting 200-215? I think DH wants to go with 1, and see what he can do. I think I agree, but I don't want to sit and wait until next summer and then walk away with 180, which would mean nothing to save, basically, and no chance of ever having enough for another deposit.

alabamawurley Tue 04-Oct-11 22:50:02

Please don't take this the wrong way but when others on here have complained about EAs overvaluing, they would just have to read this to understand exactly why they do just that. Now its altogether possible that EA 1 has valued it correctly and you will achieve something in the region of 215K - but you have to question why when three EAs give pretty close valuations, one would be 30K higher. Would you still be dismissing the consensus view if EA 1 had valued it at 150K?

Think about it from the EAs point of view: if they value realistically, you will just go with their competitor, and this way they have a chance of talking you down after a few weeks (probably citing a 'turndown in the market' or something along those lines). What have they got to lose? Look at EA 3, upped the valuation - ostensibly after hearing about your research - but more likely after realising that the lower valuation wouldn't win the instruction.

What have similar properties sold for recently (and ignore those on the market)? Where are prices going generally? Oh, and when referring to Zoopla as an estimation tool, just forget the word 'hugely' and you've got it sussed wink.

Mamathulu Tue 04-Oct-11 23:46:19

Actual sold prices - 3 bed flats
320,000 - purpose built, ultra posh retirement block with manicured lawns. Lovely kitchen & bath, but the rest's really not that fab.
216,950 - purpose built, good nick, but bland.
169,950 - purpose built - needs modernisation - full refit.
159,950 - converted, further from town, smaller rooms, one floor higher, all in the eaves.
305,000 - 4 beds, but similar size rooms, extra loo & garage
199,950 - 2 doors down from ours, purpose built, needs modernisation, smaller rooms but extra bathroom & garage. Double maintenance bills of here.
Sorry for brevity - typing one-handed!

Amaris Wed 05-Oct-11 07:16:22

It's difficult to value isn't it when all properties are different? Looks like you have to move in any case because of your DH's job, so staying where you are isn't an option. You could try to rent your flat out, but then if property prices drop as people say they will then you could be worse off. How much of a hurry are you in to move? If you want to test out the market you will have to put it on higher and see if you get people through the door - although towards Christmas there are likelly to be fewer people looking for houses. Estate agents can get it wrong, my house went on for lower than I would have liked, and the EA led me to believe that I would get about £10k less than I actually got (and I used an EA I'd used before who does know the market!) - but it's a bit of a gamble because you have to find that one person who loves the house so much that they are prepared to pay, which I guess depends on what your house is like and whether there's much comparable around and how much demand there is for your area.

So I guess I'm saying that if you want to get more all you can do is give it a go and then drop the price if you have to later. The downside of that is that it might take longer to sell. I found that before I got my good offer my expectations lowered over time with the numbers of people coming round and not offering, or offering low and you kind of get used to the idea about having less money than you wanted.

Good luck!

Mamathulu Wed 05-Oct-11 07:57:13

Thanks guys - some really useful stuff to think about here - shall talk to DH about it, and I think we can only try to get a decent price, and see where it goes. Many thanks though!

ElderberrySyrup Wed 05-Oct-11 09:27:44

I would probably think about putting it on with Agent 1, since he was the one that most impressed you, but at a lower valuation than he suggests.

If it was me I would probably be going for a compromise option of putting it on at just under 200 and be prepared to drop the price VERY quickly, say if no viewings within a fortnight.

Ladymuck Wed 05-Oct-11 13:01:30

I think that the one 2 doors down is probably the most realistic comparison tbh. If you look at property-bee then you can check back to see what it went on for (or thinking about it doesn't zoopla link back to the sales ads too).

In terms of choosing agents, did any of them offer you anything about prospective buyers? We went on the market yesterday and went with an agent who is selling a comparable property on our road, but the vendor won't drop their price (and they've had 6 offers all at the same price). We accept the price for what it is in the current market, and would happily snap up any of those buyers (we've gone on at the same price - in fact £50 more). We have our first "second viewing" this evening, even though the house isn't yet appearing on rightmove etc. Obviously may not result in anything, but at least we know we have people looking who want to move to a house like this.

Akandra Wed 05-Oct-11 14:46:00

In your situation we went with agent 1. We have put the house on at more than we expect to get. But in the same vein we felt that 2 and 3 undervalued. In fact, once 2 did his homework (AFTER he came round and gave us a valuation) his own damn report said he had undervalued! That report came out at what we want to get for our house and realistically expect given what we have and the price of other properties in the area. We went with 1 and want them to make it clear we are open to offers. If someone makes that offer they will feel they are getting quite a bit of money off. As much as we'd love to move quickly, we're not compromising on what we want for this place, because that means compromising on what we can get in the next house.

So in your case if you think 199,950 is what you want, go with agent 1 at his higher price. Then someone can knock 20k off the price and feel they got a bargain and you got what you expect. And you might get more.

The two caveats to that are: how long is the tie in? In our case agent 1 had a 2 week tie in, which further convinced us to give it a try. Why not? We can always change our minds and change it fast. Agent 3 wanted a 2 MONTH tie in! And also when you say your husband's work is moving next year do you mean January next year? Or October next year? If you have time you might as well try and get more. You can always cut the price later. You can't put it up.

If you want to see if Agent 1's strategy is working, you can look via Rightmove and see what is under offer in your bracket and at what asking price. Also shows you any history of price reductions so you can tell if Agent 1 is reducing a lot of properties before sale. The only thing you can't tell is how much of an offer people are taking, though you can look and see what people got once the sale has gone through with that particular agent (though if someone knows a site that tells you the sold price and the agent I would LOVE to see that).

One bit of background - I live in a town that has weathered the downturn in the property market well. Property hasn't really lost value. And right now, due to a couple of factors, the town is going through a little property boom (every agent told us that). So I have reason to expect that my strategy might work.

alabamawurley Wed 05-Oct-11 21:13:04

Looks like there's nothing massively similar to compare with Mamathulu, and remember to take into account the sold dates too - after a very slight pick up over the summer, the market generally has taken a turn for the worse over the past couple of months and I have a very strong suspicion things will get worse next year. Also, character properties are by their nature harder to value - you may find someone who falls in love with it, or the foibles that sometimes give them their charm can be offputting to others e.g. what you describe as 'bland' may be someone else's 'easy' if you catch my drift.

If I were you, I'd go with no.1 but make sure you have a short tie-in - if they are really that confident of achieving their valuation then that won't be a problem. Also, if you really want to sell, don't just sit there expecting someone to offer you what you think its worth, before eventually chasing the market down (although looks like you're aware of this anyway). Property is selling outside of 'prime' locations but generally must be realistically priced. Good luck, hope it works out smile

Mamathulu Wed 05-Oct-11 22:00:24

Thanks everyone - I think we're going to go with 1, but especially thank you for reminding me about the tie-in, which I'll check tomorrow. No. 1 did seem v confident that he could achieve that price, and with lots of London offices, I can well imagine they might, as it would be good for a commuter, being so close to the station. I guess we shall see! Getting excited again now - I now just have have to be patient!
THank you ladies, you've been wonderful - as always! grin

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