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Support thread for house sellers

(993 Posts)
Spirael Thu 06-Sep-12 10:33:21

Just what it says on the tin, really! I'm sure there must be other stressed house sellers out there? Hopefully we can band together and get some small joy of (hopefully?) seeing our houses sell so we can get a move on!

This is a thread of hand holding and mutual support for the EA dealings, weeks of silence, frantic house tidying, no-show viewings, silly offers and tough decisions. This is not for house bashing and price slating. There are plenty of other threads for that! wink

I've been trying to sell for a year now. Had a surge of viewings earlier in the summer making the right noises, but all has gone quiet for the last few weeks.

However, we have a viewing booked for later this afternoon from someone who has sold their house and is able to proceed - wanting to move before Christmas. Currently swinging between pessimistic and optimistic, while trying not to look at the house we want to buy!

Anyone else out there? smile

underthemountain Thu 06-Sep-12 10:46:51

Hi, I'm still here too. Sold earlier in the year but fell through. Viewings now dried up. Contemplating giving up!

financialwizard Thu 06-Sep-12 10:47:11

I will jump on this bandwagon. I need somewhere to vent!

I accepted an offer from FTB's on my vacant house end of May. The FTB's did not apply for the full mortgage until end of June. Two weeks ago they got the mortgage offer through, which was all they were waiting for to exchange and then announced they wanted a damp report for very minor damp work on the day we were due to exchange. Report was done the next day and they agreed the day after to exchange after some negotiation (ie me offering to throw £100 at the problem - total cost to repair £150). They were supposed to exchange yesterday but their solicitor was not in and no-one else would take on the file in the solicitors firm, Estate Agent has chased up this morning and their solicitor is in but now they cannot get hold of the buyers ffs. Their solicitor needs to confirm with the buyers that they are happy to exchange before she will. EA has given them a deadline of today at 1300hrs.

What is even worse is since accepting this offer we have moved back from overseas. We are currently living in work accomodation, but we have found and offered on a home we want to be our 'forever home' that is also vacant, so if things did progress we could be in before Christmas (I hate my husbands work accomodation). If not we might have to let the people we are buying from down, and we have already appointed solicitors to complete the purchase and put money on account, and made a full mortgage application.

My Mum is stressing because she is having to check the property every couple of weeks, although in reality she goes most days, for insurance purposes.

So tired of all of this now, and I am terrified the buyer is going to pull out.

financialwizard Thu 06-Sep-12 10:49:00


That is my greatest fear at the moment because we can't live in husbands work accomodation longer than another year, and the house we own isn't big enough for us anymore sad

I hate this house selling lark

jenduck Thu 06-Sep-12 10:55:45

I'll join you! Only had our house on the market for 3-4 weeks, but seen another one which we really really want (and which is probably the only one of its type we could afford in the lovely village location), so want things to get moving asap! Also want to be in said village by January so we can apply for DS1's school place.

Have had about 6 viewings total, each one a 'no' (except one yesterday morning I've not heard about yet), it is so disheartening. I am starting to think "is our house really that bad?" sad

Had 2 lots of people yesterday, the one who I've yet to hear from (but that was first thing, so probably a 'no', I'm thinking), one in the evening at 1.5 hours notice, just as I was giving DSes (3 & 1) dinner & planning for a bath (but couldn't as had to whizz round tidying up & not mess up bath/get talc everywhere). They said they like the house but the garden is too overlooked hmm. It is a terraced house, our 2 NDNs + 1 further down can see into the garden, entirely as you'd expect!

Totally agree about having to keep house tidy, no-shows & all the rest! I find it difficult keeping on top of laundry as me hanging a load out seems to be like waving a flag that we want viewings!

Hope your viewing this afternoon goes well, Spirael. I am hoping not to get any today & tomorrow as we go on hols for a week first thing on Saturday & I haven't even started packing yet as too busy tidying for viewings!

underthemountain Thu 06-Sep-12 11:07:14

Wizard-hope it all goes through for you! Ours supposedly couldn't get the full mortgage they needed, it was ironic that until that point we had been considering pulling out as we couldn't find somewhere to move to. As soon as we had found a place they pulled out instead.

Enjoying not having to clean up for viewings-that is my only silver lining at the moment!

financialwizard Thu 06-Sep-12 11:27:45

Thanks underthemountain. I am feeling like it will never happen. At least if it exchanged I could relax a little bit.

DivineInspiration Thu 06-Sep-12 11:46:48

Checking in! I accepted an offer 8 weeks ago from a cash buyer who the EA assured me had bought several investment properites through them this year with utterly flawless transactions and was a sure-thing. He produced all the evidence of having funds and being procedable and I accepted a slightly lower than anticipated offer on this basis.

Have spent the past 8 weeks chasing him about the survey, about trying to agree on contract terms, about returning documents to solicitors etc only to find out from the agent on Monday that he was a cash buyer, but that it appears that soon after he showed them his proof of available funds he went and spent them on something else (!) and, rather than admit he was no longer procedable and pull out so flat could go back on the market, has been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a mortgage ever since. It's a non-standard property and can be difficult to mortgage: hence why I instructed the agent to make this clear to viewers. So instead of expecting completion in the next fortnight, it now looks like it'll be weeks/months away; if he's even a goer at all. What's more, it turns out that all the EA's assurances over the past two months that they'd spoken to him, that things were fine, that they'd seen or done X/Y/Z were bare-faced lies - they admitted on Monday that 'buyer' was out of the country for most of August and they didn't hear from him in all that time.

There have been other viewings going on, but no other offers yet.

And breathe!

We all need a big bottle of virtual gin to get through our house-sales! All the faffing about that solicitors and EAs do which takes three times as long as it needs to. Grrr.

Woodlands Thu 06-Sep-12 11:52:05

Ooh hello! We are about to put our flat on the market and hopefully about to have an offer accepted on another place. Flats on our road usually sell within a few days of going on the market, and ours has got everything going for it (long lease etc), so am not too too worried, but maybe I should be!

Woodlands Thu 06-Sep-12 11:52:34

Ooh hello Spirael (from post-natal thread), didn't see it was you!

Spirael Thu 06-Sep-12 12:02:16

[waves] Hi Woodlands! smile

I'm sorry to hear so many people are having problems selling... But secretly I'm also a little happy that I'm not the only one. wink So annoying to be stuck in limbo with housing!

Problem with selling our house is it's in an area where 3 bed semis are the norm, and there are currently over 100 of them for sale within a mile in the same price range. Buyers can basically just pick their favourite!

Hopefully the viewer later will pick ours. [chews nails]

guineapiglet Thu 06-Sep-12 12:04:56

Hi - am hoping my message will give you some hope - we had our house on for over a year in a market which fell and fell over the year we had it on ( NW) - lots of viewings, lots of positive comments but no offers - EA told us people very unwilling to proceed due to uncertainty of jobs, economic situation, lack of mortgates etc - it is a horrible process and I remain utterly amazed that there is no better way to sell something so major than the useless, stressful system we have at present. Most culpable really are the Estate Agents, they posture, give bad advice, are not remotely pro active and earn a whopping great fee for doing so very little - compare this to the solicitors who do actually seem to work hard, for all their dithering, they do usually come up with the goods. All the EAs have to do is measure up, use their digital cameras to produce inadequate photos, use Rightmove and sit back. We finally accepted a low offer, very reluctantly at the end of June, and it is taken until yesterday to complete, with lots of to ing and froing etc. We made some money on the house, not much tho' but at least have not had to face the prospect of renting it out indefinitely which was our other option. It is very much a buyers market I'm afraid. My only advice is to keep up the pressure on the EAs, change them when you can, negotiate hard on their fee and be prepared to swallow hard and drop the price if necessary, it is a tough, tough decision to make tho.Nobody communicates properly, the whole business is conducted through smoke and mirrors, horrible, utterly horrible.

Woodlands Thu 06-Sep-12 12:24:08

I have been very tempted to go with an online agent - have been looking at the premium package on which for £700 or so gives you really good photos, premium listings on Rightmove plus all the other big sites, an ERC, a For Sale sign and they help with negotiation. But my DH doesn't want to pay up front, plus he thinks the big agents will negotiate a better price. We're just at the stage on trying to haggle down their fees. I'm aiming for 1%, is that realistic?

DuchessofMalfi Thu 06-Sep-12 12:36:37

We have had our house on the market for nearly two years now. We had one really stupid offer so far under the asking price that it wasn't really proceedable. We have had no viewings for months. We're on our fourth agent. Nothing is selling. We're surrounded by houses on our road that are also up for sale and nothing's shifting at all. I despair that we will ever be able to sell.

Spirael Thu 06-Sep-12 12:41:18

The EAs near us refused to haggle... But the fees are below 2% and the houses round here are cheap (no stamp duty level!) so the cost is proportionally low. Meanwhile the EA running costs (salaries, etc) are going to be similar to ones elsewhere. So I'm not too upset, especially since our current EA have been quite good.

I'd be wary of paying up front, Woodlands, as it doesn't give the EA much incentive to work hard as they've already got your money! You're the one that loses if they turn out to be rubbish.

We ended up moving EA after our first one had the house on the market for 9 months and managed to produce two viewings in that time. First couple of weeks with a new agent and we had six viewings. Even over the quiet summer months they've been in regular contact with explanations and suggestions.

Good that you made money on your house and can move forward at least, guineapiglet. smile

We're already listed as £10k below what we paid and expect to have to accept an offer £5k below that. We've done so much work on the house since we moved in too... Decorated every room, new floors/carpets, brand new kitchen and landscaped garden. It's heartbreaking!

Gravenwithdiamonds Thu 06-Sep-12 12:47:50

Gosh, it all sounds depressing! We're about to put ours on the market and I had sort of assUmed that we would sell quickly as we're in London and our area is cheap (ex-council) for the general area - though maybe that works against us if there are fewer FTBs around?

It's never occurred to me the house may sit on the market for over a year. I think I'm rather naive about the whole process...

Spirael Thu 06-Sep-12 12:52:53

You might be ok in London, by all accounts things are still moving there. smile We're up in Yorkshire where the market has flat lined!

Don't know why, it's lovely up here! And you can get so much house for your money. smile Of course it is cold and wet for 90% of the year.

Woodlands Thu 06-Sep-12 14:23:25

We're in London too and in a relatively affordable but up and coming area. We're probably going on the market for £240k which is in the right sort of range for FTBs, and hoping for an offer of maybe £235k. We're then hopefully going to be paying £248k for a 4 bed house just up the road that needs shitloads of work doing to it. I think I should not be too optimistic about this all working out!

Have actually just been for a peek at a house round the corner that's up for auction in a couple of weeks time, with a guide price of 175k. It needs everything doing to it (including central heating), but has a massive garden, and similar places are going for £275k or so when done up. Am tempted but terrified by the prospect of buying at auction! There were loads of people there at the viewing so I suspect it will go for a fair bit higher than the guide price.

I got chatting while there to a family who lives on my road who are also about to put their flat on the market. It sounds similar to ours but with not quite such a good layout. They are after a very quick sale so are putting it on at £225k. Competition!

Spirael Thu 06-Sep-12 14:36:50

London prices are scary... My 3 bed semi with conservatory, garage and good sized garden in a nice suburb of a city, with excellent transport links and loads of local conveniences, is currently listed at £120k. wink We're cheap as chips!!

stikmatix Thu 06-Sep-12 14:39:07

Please can I join? We're not living in the UK anymore, returned to our apartment abroad as DH came back here to work. Decided to sell so put it on the market in
August with an EA we have known for a few years.

Went on holiday and left EA the keys (as I said, known and trusted). Thank goodness I left the place really clean and tidy as we got back on the Saturday and on the Monday the EA called and said he had done a viewing with a family while we were away and they made an offer!

The big BUT is that I don't trust them. We accepted the offer, got the first document signed, they have a 7 day cooling off period which is end COB today (I will call EA this evening to check), then after that they can only pull out if they don't get a mortgage. The husband of the family is an accountant so they should be OK (not rich type accountant, but should know that he can get the mortgage), but the wife keeps spinning these stories about how hey don't know if they'll get a mortgage, and loads and loads of other BS.

It's going to be a long ride, but we're going to move to rented so perhaps not so bad. The buyer (the husband) used to be in the accounts dept of the EA so fingers crossed he's legit and it'll go through!

stikmatix Thu 06-Sep-12 14:39:34

Forgot to add, good luck to all of you, fingers crossed you all get the sales you're after!

financialwizard Thu 06-Sep-12 15:53:56

Well, you could blow me down with a feather. We did actually exchange today, and am due to complete on 18th September. Now all I have to worry about is the lender approving the mortgage and exchanging before my husband goes away for 8 weeks with work in 6 weeks. Why did I do this to myself?

Good luck ladies. I hope everyone gets what they need x

bumbez Thu 06-Sep-12 16:12:39

Fab news FW, we're meant to exchange this Tuesday and complete 25th, it's well over a year since we first put the house on the market.

We were so close to giving up and taking it off the market I just hadn't got round to telling the estate agents, so almost didn't let our buyers view!

They are relocating from London selling their titchy 2 bed terraced for the same or even more than our 5 bed detached!

Still can't bring myself to pack though till we've exchanged!

Good luck every one smile

stikmatix Thu 06-Sep-12 16:28:16

Great news FW, hope you complete super fast!

financialwizard Thu 06-Sep-12 16:41:13

bumbez - Good luck for next week. I do wonder where you are living because I am selling my house down south for only 25k less than what I am buying for. The house I have sold is a 2 bed and we are buying a 4 bed detached hopefully. I will only stop saying that when we exchange on the purchase.

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