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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

PurpleGeekyGirl Tue 11-Sep-12 16:40:52

I'll join in here too if I may! Boyfriend has just put his house on the market and we have had deafening silence as a result. I hate all this sluggish slow moving malarky... I tried to sell mine 2 years ago but couldn't and ended up having to rent it out instead and ended up with the tenants from hell angry (anyone in yorkshire, avoid dacre son and hartley with a bargepole!)

noddyholder Tue 11-Sep-12 16:46:05

Most buyers are quite savvy and watch the houses that chase down. Most houses that have sold have been re available weeks later. I think the old style waiting for a recovery won't happen this time due to the state of the economy and housing. A lot of people I have worked with in property in the past are jumping ship now me included grin

YellowWellies Tue 11-Sep-12 16:54:40

Hmmm. I'd love a crystal ball. It feels really annoying to be the first generation in years NOT to make a packet from selling their home but m'eh.... my strategy is plan for the worst and hope for the best, and well - we are trying to look on the bright side - it will make our forever home cheaper ultimately if prices keep on falling.

Before we decided to sell to rent instead of buying, I was getting very annoyed when looking at houses to buy - at being expected to pay an inflated price to cover a new car, holiday or kitchen that someone had bought out of their house equity. Unless I get the car or to go on the holiday - we decided we'd be buggered if we were going to pay for it for someone else!!! (I'd check what they bought for and often ask as politely as possible, what work had been done to the house in the intervening years to justify the price rise - usually nothing but there would tend to be a spanking great range rover on the drive...).

I think most procedable buyers are more savvy these days as the muppets easily separated from their money can't get mortgages anymore. Which I guess is a good thing (other than for us trying to sell our houses!!!) if we don't want the banks to go under again. The days of someone coming along and falling in love with your house and paying over the odds - won't happen with the tough lending criteria but I guess could still happen with a cash buyer (but then aren't they more savvy and less likely to be ruled by their hearts?) Fingers crossed and well, let's hope for the best and plan for the worst.

noddyholder Tue 11-Sep-12 17:04:31

We went to fill out some forms at our letting agent today. They do a tiny amount of sales too.They know we are looking to buy and had several houses in our bracket but teh girl we spoke to said everyone would be in negative equity if they took an offer and so they hadn't sent to us as they knew we wouldn't pay over the odds shock so they know they are over priced and were effectively asking us to bail out their clients or forget it!

Badvoc Tue 11-Sep-12 17:47:36

Agree with noddy...most houses round here (Derbyshire) are on the market again after a few weeks/months.
Exception are the smaller/cheaper houses like 2 bed terraces or ex LA properties.
We bought our house 6 months ago for £172k
Our next door neighbours have just out their - exactly the same - house on the market at £200k!!

Badvoc Tue 11-Sep-12 17:48:13

How do you mean "jumping shp" noddy?

noddyholder Tue 11-Sep-12 17:50:05

I have been renovating houses for years and have stopped for now.

Badvoc Tue 11-Sep-12 17:53:28

I see.
Am still in shock about neighbours putting their house in at £200k! What in earth are the EAs thinking! They are the EAs that we bought this ine from so not like they don't know the score!

Gravenwithdiamonds Tue 11-Sep-12 19:17:47

It's tricky as I think the market locally is very different compared to what other posters are experiencing. We're in an affluent area of London where £million-plus houses are the norm. We live in an ex-council area which have about the only 'affordable' (under£500,000 is considered a bargain round here) housing and, to be honest, I think they're still under-priced for SW London. Usual buyers round here are young couples moving from a flat to a house and the occasional first-time buyer - I assume there's a lot fewer of them around. My NDN tried to sell her house a couple of years ago at what I thought was an inflated price and it didn't sell, though her house is very different to ours.
We are upsizing but also moving out so our next house will likely be cheaper, certainly no more expensive.

The EA is just so bullish about the price - mainly because 3-beds (which we have) are rare round here.

YellowWellies Wed 12-Sep-12 09:00:40

Oh aye Graven it's definitely a very local market and London seems to be bucking the trend at the moment - but it didn't during every other crash, it just crashed last and hardest, I guess because London always feels itself special and different to the rest of the country, but despite this sometimes hard economics will just have their way.

I am surprised that you really think 500,000k is 'underpriced' given that a traditional rule of thumb is that houses should be 3.5x single salary or 3x joint - is that not totally out of touch with local wages? That's still half a million pounds (a lottery win in my books!) for a roof over your head. Ok I know city boys earn a lot compared to folks up here, but no offence meant - but would they want to be living in an ex council house at the opposite side of London from where they work?

Badvoc it sounds like the EAs 'bought' that commission by promising a high price to deluded folks. I bet they try to put the thumb screws on in a few months to get them to lower the price. One of the agents up here is going down this route - flattering you to win your business about how lovely your house is, then telling the truth a few months down the line when no one has been to visit. A pal is just going through this, it would have been much easier for her to just know the real value at the outset.

Noddy - interesting. Everyone I know who used to develop property (ok only like 4 people!) now wouldn't touch it 'with someone elses' - as it were. They've banked gains and are sitting on the sidelines. It's seems only to be the amateurs on Homes under the Hammer that still haven't realised that the music has stopped...

Well we've got 3 more viewings arranged yesterday which I need to try to fit in before closing a week thurs, and am hoping to try to put them off until Friday when I'll be working from home as I can keep the house looking nice (the cat has a tendency to spray cat litter everywhere) and until then we've lent our spare room to a pal (who needs internet to work from home, but is awaiting a BT connection at their new house, and it looks like Dr Evil's lair filled with computer screens), also have got antenatal class tonight so am hoping that'll be ok. We've been really flexible with viewings until this point but I am starting to lose the will....

Gravenwithdiamonds Wed 12-Sep-12 10:19:07

Our area is all city workers (including me and DH) - the transport links to Waterloo are excellent and many cycle (including DH). I still don't know how FTB in particular afford it but then, we were FTB, don't have a large mortgage and aren't bankers. A large deposit is a must I think as, like you say, large mortgages aren't available. I do think £500,000 is a lot but it's not unprecedented for sold houses here and I'd be prepared to negotiate. We're not in a great rush so will sit and see.

yes, it's ex-council but it's a pretty 1920s garden estate - red brick, cottagey conservation area, big gardens. If London is going to crash, that means I'm more anxious to sell now. I had half thought we were daft to sell as prices have risen so much, i'm keen to hang onto our best asset - rents are crazy at the moment. But we need a bigger house and we need the deposit for that house...

Best of luck with your viewings. We're having photos done this morning - my house has never looked tidier or more clutter-free. It will be impossible to keep this up for viewings!

TunipTheVegemal Wed 12-Sep-12 10:31:57

I don't think there's the stigma there used to be attached to ex-council. Largely because some of the older ones are built to a much higher spec than most newbuilds. There's an ex-council estate in my village that is probably the second nicest part of the village - lovely solid pretty brick houses with big gardens built round a green.

guineapiglet Wed 12-Sep-12 10:36:50

Good luck to all of you with viewings today - hope the sunshine helps to bring out viewers. We have just sold in the NW in a very turbulent market, have had to take about 7% off the price to do so, and consider ourselves very lucky after a very stressful year. We have moved to an area where we would roughly have to pay twice as much as the house we have just sold for a property of the same size - it is heartbreaking! To most of us, half a million pounds is a lot of money (too much) but in this area it seems to be the accepted norm - but I cannot understand how the UK as a whole will be able to sustain itself with such huge discrepencies between north and south ( in general, although I know there are pockets which buck the trend) - we simply cannot have one half of the country continuing to prosper whilst the other is not. We have friends trying to selll a gorgeous house in Cumbria, a few years ago it would have been snapped up - at the moment it is on for a good price, but there are no takers and no interest, the market is simply flooded and flat. Someone - aka the housing minister, is going to have to look at this stark situation as it is heartbreaking for families who have to move. If we all accept the principle that prices have to 'drop' to more realistic prices, especially to encourage the FTBs, there will be some areas immune to the principle, - there has to be some kind of consistency.

Gravenwithdiamonds Wed 12-Sep-12 10:52:30

Yes, the discrepancy is awful - i'm from the NE and my childhood home is now worth less than what it was sold for 15 years ago. We would consider moving there, I think the quality of life is fantastic but there just isn't the kind of work that we do available in the NE whereas in London we find it very difficult to recruit.

Saying that, many many people I know with children, if not most, are moving out because the property prices are so high and the secondary school situation very complex.

YellowWellies Wed 12-Sep-12 11:06:24

Aye prices up here are easily back down to 2004 levels (which was nearly before the credit splurge started) - I'd consider 2003 prices to be about right in line with the long term trend and for purely personal reasons would be great as would enable me to be able to stay at home with the kids rather than us both going out to service a huge mortgage to keep the bankers rich! The regional falls have been dramatically masked when the national figures are announced by the BBC, Halifax etc as positive figures in London keeps things propped up and makes it seem as if the national market is 'stable'. Properties are losing thousands a month in many parts of the country and have been for a couple of years.

I do think worse is coming though. We've had 8 years where anyone who could fog a mirror was offered a 110% mortgage by Northern Rock - no wonder the market went nuts. I think the Inland Revenue ought to go over old mortgage applications with a fine toothed comb as there must be a lot of back tax owed given how inflated some folks made their incomes 'seem' on mortgage applications. Such fraud (which ok was done out of desperation to get on the ladder, and with the complicity of mortgage brokers) bust the system for honest people. People found to lie on their applications by the banks are now having their mortgages pulled. About time too, they ought to have checked at the time and none of us would be in this mess. But then the higher house prices went - the bigger mortgages people needed, and the more they borrowed from the banks (and the more they had to pay back!) so no wonder the banks didn't try to stop the bubble. They were raking it in.

Good luck with the pics. I didn't recognise my house on ours!!! grin My Catholic nan has advised us to bury a statue of St Joseph upside down by the front door as apparently that is a sure fire way of getting a buyer at the price you want. In her octagenarian wisdom - I kid you not... but am tempted to try it! blush

Ah and cheers for the clarification on ex-LA housing - I forget that some of it in London is actually very nice! I still reckon that a greater premium would be attached to Edwardian, Georgian or Victorian jobs - but that's probably me showing my own preferences.

CuddyMum Wed 12-Sep-12 15:19:52

Another viewing lined up for Saturday - someone renting locally. Am feeling a bit more buoyant now. I'd better seek out a statue of St Joseph... smile

CuddyMum Wed 12-Sep-12 16:13:12

Aha!! They sell St Joseph statue sell your home kits on eBay!! I think I am losing my mind... But I'm going to buy one.

YellowWellies Wed 12-Sep-12 16:51:14

Ah go on - hah if the government thought the Olympics (a bunch of lovely folks running and jumping?!) would have a long term impact on house prices then why not some sympathetic magic grin Just make sure you bury him upside down by all accounts and don't forget to dig him up when you leave.

God I sound mad. blush

Got another viewing scheduled for Friday. After our pal and his 3 computers will have moved out of the spare room. Whoot. Will be glad when the closing date gets here to be honest. Am so nervous - but can't wait until thursday next week when we found out if / how much anyone has bid. And the next day we've got another growth scan for the baby (so all very exciting).

Is anyone else paranoid that viewers are going to attempt to open a cupboard and get flattened by all of the stuff you've hidden in there? Or is that just my definition of 'housekeeping'. wink

YellowWellies Wed 12-Sep-12 16:52:49

And I shouldn't even mention my cat's impeccable timing at dropping one in the litter tray usually as a viewer's car pulls up on the drive....

CuddyMum Wed 12-Sep-12 17:47:26

I opted for a St Joseph medal as I wasn't sure about burying an 8 inch statue! Good luck with your viewings - hope the cat doesn't curl one mid viewing! I am luck, I can take the dog out with me smile

Gravenwithdiamonds Wed 12-Sep-12 17:52:53

Good luck with your scan and viewings.

There have been 3 burglaries on my road today<sigh>, I think I will need that St Joseph!

YellowWellies Wed 12-Sep-12 17:56:45

Jeez that's awful! Ok I live in the back of beyond (Orkney) and decent take aways and other luxuries of modern life (next day deliveries from the mainland) are non existent but I honestly haven't locked the house since we got back from holiday in May. Even when we're out at work we leave the door open in case the postie has a parcel for us. That's so shit!!!!! Mindst I guess in a recession petty crime rises - but burglaries are so scary - hope you're ok Graven. One not to mention to viewers!

Gravenwithdiamonds Wed 12-Sep-12 18:49:15

I know, it's horrid. The silly thing is, they usually go for the big houses and our area is thought of as really safe because the neighbours know each, the houses ae much more crammed together and we have a very good residents' association. The car is always unlocked (I think it's too rubbish to bother stealing!) and I leave windows open etc. Not any more... sad

MoreBeta Wed 12-Sep-12 19:05:57

Very definitley a lot of sellers with unrealistic expectations.

In our area we looked at a house a few days ago and the seller is expecting a 25% profit on the house they bought 7 years ago. The Land Registry shows that house prices in our area have actually fallen 3.5% compared to 7 years ago.

A lot of older people like the sellers of the house we looked at in our area are trying to sell houses at a 25% price over what the market will bear. They just sit on the market for years. It is just as frustrating. I am a cash buyer but the sellers just will not get real.

Woodlands Thu 13-Sep-12 08:37:29

I hope people don't look at what we bought ours for and think we are being greedy. We bought it five years ago for about £193k and it's on the market for £240k. But we extended the lease (which cost £26k) and we spent at least £10-15k on doing it up - replastering, new boiler, new radiators, new kitchen etc etc. We reckon our break even point is about £233k (and ideally we'd like to get £235k).

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