Trying to sell - advice please (long but please help me!)(33 Posts)
We've had our house on the market for three months, it's a two-bed mid terrace in the town centre close to bus and railway station. It's well decorated, has off road parking for 2-3 cars, a little bit of outside space and would be perfect for a first time buyer or an investment buyer. It's up for £109,995 which is about right for the area and size.
But we can't seem to sell it.
The area it's in is known in the town for being very cosmopolitan. There are ethnic supermarkets and it's a hive of activity for Goans, Indians, Pakistanis and Italians. It's bustling but sadly has a reputation as years ago it was the red light district too (I don't mind it - I've been here 10+ years). Someone was stabbed outside a house about 10 doors down last year so a Google search would bring that up. That's already seen off a buyer .
Those that live in the town and are 'english' (ie white) don't want to know because of the reputation the area has. People are sometimes scared of what they don't know, as I said I've had no problems here in 10+ years. Those who are non-white english or Goan/Indian etc don't want it because the two bedrooms aren't massive (they are doubles) and they tend to want to buy as two families together so it's not big enough.
Disclaimer: I've tried to explain that as best as I can, please don't slate me for using the wrong terminology.
I like it here. It's cosmopolitan (in as far as a West country town can be), close to stations, shops and work and we can walk everywhere.
Reasons we want to move are:
- DS starts school tomorrow and is in the school we really wanted which is where we want to move to. It's an easy drive but I'd prefer to walk him then catch the bus in to work.
- it's only two bed. DS is 4.5 and massive so we need more space
- there's only a small bit of outside space. DS is full of energy so we want a garden for him to play in
- next door (tenants) are very lively (to put it mildly) and I want some peace
We've had a few viewings but all have said 'too small' or 'stabbing'. So should we:
- carry on and just keep hoping?
- investigate auctions?
- drop the price? (mortgage is £100k so don't want to drop much lower than we have already)
If you've read this far then thanks. WWYD?? Any tips?
Just hoping isn't much use if you're keen to sell although I'd say this summer hasn't been the best time to sell (doom and gloom economics news, Olympics has meant people have been very focused on their tellies, crap weather, people going on holiday for past two months). You should expect to take a 20% hit at an auction.
If you're brave, you could post pictures for posters' opinion on presentation but assuming it looks and has photographed well, I'd wait until October and then consider a price drop. Have any of your neighbours sold recently - was it a problem for them?
Intrigued to know where in the West Country has a mix of Goans and Italians.
What does the Estate Agent say? It took 9 months for ours to sell a couple of years ago, was a nightmare. But there was nothing wrong with it, just the market was really slow - and I think it has got slower.
If they can tell you anything to boost your chances, do it! If not, and it is just the market, I would be inclined to just wait it out - 3 months isn't long in the current climate really.
If you drop the price then you can't put it back up again, so think very carefully before you do this. If it is a reasonable price for the area/property then someone will make a lower offer if they think the price is too high - and it's not like it's really high to start with. I would be inclined to keep the price the same for now tbh.
Also I am intrigued as to where this is as well! I'm thinking Plymouth perhaps? <nosy emoticon>
It's Swindon. And here's a Link <brave>
It looks pretty good from the photos.
Who is your market? If it's investment buyers can you estimate the amount of rent they might get?
Would you be willing to rent it out and rent somewhere else in the short term?
I think it is fine too in terms of decoration and so on although none of the rooms look huge. The back garden lets it down, imo - sorry.
There never was a back garden - we just fenced off part of the drive to get some enclosed outside space. I agree it's not great but it's the best of a bad job really. There is room for 2-3 cars to park the other side of the fence. And everywhere else round here is permit parking.
I think my market is first time buyers (cos of price) and investment buyers (cos of price/size/condition). Would probably get £500-600 a month rent for it. Do you think it's worth adding that to the particulars?
I wouldn't mind renting it out but sadly not enough equity to change to a buy to let mortgage. And I'm too straight to do it without.
Have you checked with your mortgage lender about consent to let on a residential mortgage - some lenders will allow you to keep your residential mortgage and let it out. No harm in checking otherwise if other similar houses in the area are selling for less your asking price you will have to make a call depending on how desperate you are to move.
Have you checked what the prices are on other 2 beds in the area in case you are overpriced?
It looks really nice from the pictures.
I'd play up the fact that there is off road parking for 2 cars in an area where you have to pay for parking and have permits.
From what I can see over the last year only 2 have sold in your area and both for less than you want for your place.
Yours might be much nicer, but I think you are going to have a hard time achieving the 100k tbh.
I guess all you can do is try, good luck
Thanks for your comments.
Thee houses that have sold here recently have all been bought for builder modernisation so have all needed lots of work whereas mine's all been done. But I see what you're saying financial
I bought it for £79k in 2001 then had to add to the mortgage a few year later so mortgage is £100k.
I am ging to check with my lender but it's NRAM so I don't hold out much hope.
I've checked and there are other houses in the area for similar price. But there are also dirt cheap (80-90k) but they all need completely doing up.
Thanks for all your advice. It's given me a lot to think about.
I think it looks like a really nice house for its size. Dont think picture 4 is flattering to that room tho - I would take that photo out. And I would buy a tin of paint and paint those back yard fences - that would just lift the area a bit.
3 months isn't long I wouldn't drop the price yet unless you're desperate to sell or it's lots more than others in the area. Good luck, I'm just coming to the end of the whole moving house palaver and even though it's been straight forward I don't ever want to be doing it again
I suppose it depends on the area, as here, on the outskirts of London, my Daughters 2 bedroom end of terrace with attic en-suite bedroom with no planning permission or building control, thus could not be called 3 bed, cost £192.000 7 years ago, and despite lots of renovation, plus orangery/conservatory, which cost £20,000, her recent valuation was £250.000, and if she sold, she would not make any profit, infact taking the interest into account, she will make a loss.
I would also add that you shouldtry and be at home when the agents show your house off - trust me some agents do not do a good job of selling it and pointing out key selling points. I just bought a house and the reasons I purcahsed it for are things I researched - such as local area information- a new shopping centre being built nearby etc.
Surely the feedback is more than just size of rooms and price - for exampel when I looked at similiar houses to the one I bought my comparisions weren't just on size to value but also on whether I had to do it up/ change anything, parking spaces. The reason I bought the house I have is because compared to a house further down the road on at the smae price was because I can move straight in, it is only slightly bigger but it also have a garage so additional parking space.
Your agent should be selling you house to highlight all these things such as compared to similar properties the house is in great condition and does not need money spent on it to bring it up to a high standard. Additional parking space - especially as most people now a days have 2 cars to a household.
2 Parking spaces make it a good rental property for sharers if the rooms are a smiliar size?
Oh and what is that white thing freestanding in the kitchen? Could you move it out for new photos and viewings plus hide the microwave, makes the kitchen look too small/cramped perhaps..
That's really great feedback - thanks. DH has been despatched to B&Q to get some paint for the fence.
The freestanding thing is the tumble dryer. I decided yesterday I'm going to paint/tart up the kitchen a bit. Also will talk to the agent again (had a brief chat yesterday as they called to set up another viewing on Friday) and get them to take some more pics.
Sadly I was put on risk yesterday so it's even more important that we get close to the asking price.
Thanks again for all your advice.
Where is the external picture of the front?
Open your blinds and let some light in the lounge and then get the EA to take the photos again.
Move the dining table away from the wall - all that says to potential buyers is that the room is to small for a table and chairs.
The vent for the tumble dryer is quite unsightly, could it be moved or disguised in some way?
The stripey bedroom is dominated by the wardrobe, could you get a smaller one that is a lighter colour as it appears very dark.
Open the blinds in the bedroom....please!
Move the laundry baskets off the top of the wardrobe in Bed 2 and replace with some wicker style/wooden basket to store the toys?
Move the ladder from the side of the wardrobe in Bed 2 and put elsewhere.
Get to work on the outside space, paint the fence, get some tubs with plants in, move the table so that is is very clear that on a sunny day people can sit outside with a glass of chilled white etc etc
...will think of more!
Wow Yellow that's brilliant advice - thanks. Am writing everything down.
I am put off by big feature walls as I know they'll be a bugger to redecorate and just date so quickly. I would say the lack of outside pic and floorplan is annoying. But if I liked it they wouldn't put me off - none of my comments would. It's like folks saying the Olympics stopped folks buying. Come on with 24 hour coverage would you really really delay making the biggest financial decision of your life cos you might miss Jess Ennis?
When you say you had to add to the mortgage and that brought it up to £100k - I think that could be your real problem. I'm not sure what you needed this money for (a holiday, car?) but it's not realistic to expect buyers in the current market to pay for equity that you withdrew and spent unfortunately. Well not unless you're going to throw in whatever you bought with the money into the house sale! Houses are no longer the cash machines they were. Whilst its gutting to be the first generation not to make a packet out of housing - falling prices will make upsizing much cheaper and are better for families (but not so good for downsizing).
We've even been told by our agent that you wouldn't necessarily get the money back that you spend on improvements on the house itself (as they would be done to your taste not your buyers). I feel for you as we're selling ourselves and won't get back all of the money we spent in doing the house up - I'm just so glad we put down a big deposit as we'll at least have money to move up the ladder (but we're waiting til next year at the earliest to buy back in as I think the market is crashing).
I agree from the sold prices it looks as though getting above £100k is going to be tricky. I don't see the economy improving any over the next few months to support rising prices and prices have never risen in a recession before.
I finally got round to checking my mortgage papers yesterday and it seems that for a small fee (£100), we can actually rent out house out without having to change to a buy-to-let. So this is really positive and probably the avenue we're going to head down. Lots of people want to rent round here so have an agent coming out next week to give me an appraisal.
Thanks for all your advice and comments, I really appreciate it.
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