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Selling home: Tips to attract viewers?

(115 Posts)
Tau Sun 24-Feb-13 16:16:41

We want to sell our house. It's been on the market for about a month now, and we've only had one viewing. I guess we should drop the price, but we can't go to low or we won't be able to afford another decent home!
There is another house for sale around the corner, very similar to ours and a bit nicer inside, but not on such a nice spot, but it's on for less than ours and hasn't sold in a year! Soooo.. I'm a tad worried there.
Our house is lovely (in my opinion) as is the location. It's advertised on rightmove.
Any ideas how we can get more viewers?
First, of course, is to lower the price. But what else?

CocoNutter Tue 26-Feb-13 23:22:49

Darn it. Added a reply and it disappeared! OP - see if a double bed will fit in your third bedroom. We did this - I was sceptical but it works well and isn't squished in, and I actually really like it - and we were able to market it as having three double bedrooms which made a massive difference to its appeal. People liked seeing it set up as a guest room. Our room was roughly the same size as yours.

Tau Wed 27-Feb-13 13:10:08

We will now wait and see what happens. If it doesn't improve, we will probably change estate agents. But from our experience with looking for houses I can say that some ordinary estate agents are rubbish as well.

There was one that we contacted by email because we were interested in viewing a house, but they never got back to us. We contacted them again - still no response. We called, but got an answering machine and no reply. In the meantime we looked at other houses and decided we were no longer interested in that one house anyway, so we gave up that one. It is still on rightmove... I considered going over there and tell the sellers about their lazy agent, but I was too wimpy.

Another one was so grumpy when she showed us a house that I thought she was angry with us for wanting to see it! Her colleague was much nicer, but every question we asked was met with a look of utter confusion...

A third estate agent has been amazing though, they keep sending us adequate updates, made us swift appointments and were friendly and efficient.

So yeah.. it's a bit of a gamble. perhaps I should write a book about it! grin

Tau Wed 27-Feb-13 13:12:00

Uh. Coconut, I too posted something that has now disappeared. Anyway, it was to say that we have used that smaller bedroom as a double before - it can easily hold a double bed plus wardrobe, and some more small furniture too. Perhaps I will contact the agent to point that out...

MrsJollyPostman Wed 27-Feb-13 13:38:34

Just a thought what reputation does the estate agent have generally? If they have a reputation for messing people about it might put buyers off? We were put off looking at a couple of houses because the estate agents had faffed us about before.

CocoNutter Wed 27-Feb-13 19:36:47

Can you set it up as a double for the photos and viewings? I couldn't visualise it working til DH insisted we try it so it may be hard to convince people if they can't see it.

Tau Sun 03-Mar-13 10:02:05

Uh... even more confused now.
There was another house for sale here, one that we can actually see from our house, very comparable to ours, but after a week or two the for sale sign went and it was no longer on rightmove.
Now there is a sold sign, and apparently it has already sold... I looked it up on the estate agent's site and can't see why it would sell so much faster than ours... the price they accepted is close to what we are asking, personally I think the house is less nice than ours, and the location is definitely less nice.. The garden is nicer, but just as overlooked as ours, and it has a carport which we do not have. The photos are not that great either, so I really don't get it....

FriedSprout Sun 03-Mar-13 10:12:10

Tau, that link not getting me there

LIZS Sun 03-Mar-13 10:13:52

Maybe they viewed it first, or it is on with an agent the buyers have registered or are selling with themselves. Not all buyers will trawl Rightmove constantly, and frankly the details you have were not up to snuff. There may still be an advantage in having an actual local, rather than virtual, EA.

CuddyMum Sun 03-Mar-13 12:46:53

Ah, that sucks Tau. I suppose if they were up with a good agent the buyer may have been handled well/persuaded by the agent. You could get their agent round to look at your house.

Tau Sun 03-Mar-13 14:23:51

Hmmm.. we've had that agent around and were not impressed; they seemed a bit confused and changed what they said all the time. Also, we've heard not such great things about them from two local people who tried selling their house with this agent... one is still on the market after a year, one sold through another agent. But those were much more expensive houses than ours.

The problem is that 'normal' estate agents ask so much commission... :-/

CuddyMum Sun 03-Mar-13 14:32:02

It's very frustrating isn't it. We have an agent (who I can't stand) in our area. Crap photos, no floor plans and generally he's a nasty little man. It really irritates me when he manages to sell houses! I don't know how he does it.

Come and join us on the other thread Tau:-

LIZS Sun 03-Mar-13 14:32:24

but cheap commission isn't an advantage if the house doesn't sell ! you may end up having to sell for less because of their indifference in which case it is a false economy. Have any houses in your area been sold by them recently?

MarjorieAntrobus Sun 03-Mar-13 14:47:22

Is this the one that sold v quickly, OP?

MarjorieAntrobus Sun 03-Mar-13 15:01:20

There may still be an advantage in having an actual local, rather than virtual, EA.

Yes. This. ^^

If I were looking for a house in Penzance, I'd see yours and be interested UNTIL I saw that your agent was in Lytham (ie hundreds of miles away). I would then think, "Uhoh, the owners must live in Lytham and this is either a probate sale or a holiday-home sale. It'll be impossible to push the sale through. The owners will never be available to show it. The agent has never seen it and won't know anything about it. I won't bother with that one."

fussychica Sun 03-Mar-13 16:34:34

We purchased our current home via an online estate agent who were based at the other end of the country from the property. As in your experience, the description and the pictures were crap. Mind you it wasn't exactly stunning in the flesh grinand needed plenty of work. The agent had no involvement in viewings and I assume this will be the same for you.

Fortunately for the seller there weren't many of this type of property for sale in the area so she didn't struggle for viewings as it's a very popular type of property in a good area. We knew the area so it didn't put us off but if we had been from outside the area we probably would not have looked at it based on the online details.

In the end though I think the main reason she got away with using a rubbish agent was the price she advertised it for (on an offers in excess of basis) as she was desperate to sell after being widowed. You could try a lowish offers in excess of price to stimulate viewings but it in a tough market you probably wouldn't get an offer much over your starting price. Difficult one. Good luck - hope you sort it out and get viewing soon.

Tau Sun 03-Mar-13 18:31:36

No, Marjorie, that is not the house I meant. Not sure why the link didn't work...
I'll try again.

I can't imagine that someone would not even inquire about a house that interests them because the estate agent isn't 'right' ...if I want a house I don't care what estate agent is selling it!
We recently went looking at houses, and the best viewing we had was done by the actual owners. I feel you tend to get a better impression of what it is like to live in a home if you get to meet the owners.

I think it can be an advantage if the sellers show you around
It makes sens for us to do the viewings ourselves, because we both work from home and we figured it would be a major pain if we'd have to leave the house (and work!) for every viewing... and sitting here while an agent is showing viewers isn't that great either. Ofcourse with the lack of viewings we've had so far that isn't a problem.

But I'm still hopeful; we've only lowered the price just before the weekend, so who knows; we may get swarmed by viewers next week!

Oreocrumbs Sun 03-Mar-13 19:32:18

The link works now. Do you know what the agreed sale price is?

They quite possibly didn't look at your house because it was over their budget. It was on for 10K more than this house when they would have viewed. And the dated decor of this house would give the inpression that there might be more wiggle room.

Also the pictures are better. The house isn't, by a long shot, your's is much nicer, but the angle of the pics shows the space in the rooms better, and the garden doesn't look as overlooked as yours. It may well be, but you can't tell from the pics, where you had that pic from upstairs showing all of the neighbours gardens.

I would get that agent round and get them to do a valuation. They will probably tell you what that house went under off at.

Tau Sun 03-Mar-13 19:51:43

Yeah, I saw that with the garden. Funny thing is, that garden is actually more overlooked than ours, because the houses behind it are on a higher level than the sold house! Well, it shows the effect of sensible photography, doesn't it? They have private parking space though, and we don't - so that may have been an issue in their fast sale. Although there is plenty of parking space around the green.

I don't know what the agreed price is. I'm thinking it may be the price that now shows on the advert, because I think the original asking price was 149950, and this is 2000 less.

We had that agent come around at our house, and they told us to put it on the market for no less than 155000, and not sell for less than 150000.... In fact, we had several agents say the same thing - which is weird, because our own estimate was 145000-150000...

Tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day, and we got hold of a camera with wide-angle lens, so we're gonna try to take better pics. I am a bit worried as we are not exactly great photographers... but when I tied to take pics at first, I at least had the sense to try and keep the neighbours' properties off the photo!
Next time I think we should skip estate agents all together - they are not that much better than we are!angry

Oreocrumbs Sun 03-Mar-13 20:03:23

It may well have been the parking. Some people won't look at a house that doesn't have a drive (I won't).

If you have time tonight, have a look on right move at some similar sized houses (doesn't matter where or how much they are) and research the photo's.

Make a mental note of what looks good - which angle, what is on display that type of thing, to help you tomorrow.

Then take photo's from as many angles as you can in the room and see which ones work out best.

Confuffled Mon 04-Mar-13 09:17:40

yours is nice, but the photos are bad! the last one you linked to has far better pictures.

Good luck!

Tau Mon 04-Mar-13 12:21:53

I am now decluttering - really annoying, that- and taking new pictures, all of which are hideous. I am NOT a photographer!!!
I'm having all sorts of very resentful thoughts towards potential buyers, estate agents and even my partner - 'cause he is the one who wants to move house to chase his pipe dream existence on a totally insufficient budget... angry

He better bake me a really good cake!

Tau Wed 06-Mar-13 06:49:24

No longer angry at my poor partner - he did bake me a lovely chocolate cake! Of course he is still completely unrealistic with his expectations for a new house/live... but I guess that's what I'm there for.

Anyway we now have our new photos up. Anyone care to have a look?
They are not very good, but I do think they show the house better than the first ones did.
For some reason the estate agent also kept a few of the old pics. Not the worst ones, but it does mean that some pics are completely pointless. I think it may be because they need the same amount of pics to fill up their brochure, and we sent them less. hmm

Here is the link:

LIZS Wed 06-Mar-13 07:13:11

Much better pics.

marinaaquamarina Wed 06-Mar-13 07:33:14

I was looking at your listing and couldn't work out what was nagging at me until I realised I couldn't see any radiators in your pictures - which made me think you might not have central heating.
Then I thought I can't tell if your windows are UPVC double glazed from the pictures.

Would it be worth doing a Features - bullet points at the top of your listing/narrative/description -

Like this:

I think it works better than having to plough through quite a lot of dense writing looking for clues. As I don't think you actually say you have central heating and the double glazing is 'alluded to' rather than clearly stated.

Would work better for me as a viewer. There are still some grammar erros/missing words in your description too.

Good luck though - the pictures are much better and I wouldn't change them any further.....

Ahhhh! - where's your bathroom? No picture means problems/work/no viewing.

Tau Wed 06-Mar-13 08:03:18

The bathroom is perfectly fine and functional, but also boring. I tried taking pics of it, but honestly, that wouldn't be a selling point... so sadly it'll have to do without bathroom pics.

I like the idea of features/bullet points.

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