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Few viewings and no offers - it's the time of year, right?

(284 Posts)
Amethyst24 Mon 08-Dec-14 14:47:48

DP's flat has been on the market for a few weeks now with barely a sniff. It's a 1-bed in zone 3, in pretty good condition although it's been tenanted for a few years (tenants have now moved out). Was originally priced at offers over £250K but dropped now to £249.950. Seems on a par with others on the market in the area - competitive if anything.

So am I right in thinking that the market is just really slow at this time of year? We're considering giving the agents a week's notice in the hope that they'll make a massive effort in that time, then taking it off the market until the new year and getting valuations from other agents now we're not facing the issue of the stamp duty threshold.

Also wondered whether putting in a new kitchen might help (it's the only thing in the flat that is really dated). But then people would potentially be viewing it when there's work being done and it's a mess, and if the new kitchen wasn't to their taste it might put them off...

Any words of wisdom?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 08-Dec-14 15:52:02

Time of the year I suspect. Tricky to keep it empty though as presumably he still has mortgage payments to make?
Either give it a coat of paint, clean the carpets and give it all a good scrub; then retake the pictures or take it off the market and get it done over the next few weeks.

Re the kitchen - depends if you'll get the money back on it? If the same flat was tarted up, would it sell for �270k? The changes in stamp duty could work in his favour.

specialsubject Mon 08-Dec-14 16:35:38

the change in stamp duty removes the need for the odd £50 off.

remember taking it off the market and back on doesn't work now, five minutes on the internet reveals that one.

what's the feedback from the viewings?

museumum Mon 08-Dec-14 16:45:31

I'm not in London but yes, I'd say it's time of year. We're 'looking' but have stopped looking now till January.

museumum Mon 08-Dec-14 16:47:04

If you're aiming at an owner-occupier then I would be tempted to do the kitchen. As a young person in London I wouldn't have wanted to fit a kitchen in my first flat as was working too many hours and didn't know any trades people etc.

DontEvenPoint Mon 08-Dec-14 16:59:26

There has been a big change in the market I think since the summer, in London at least. We are in the 'burbs but where things were flying off the rails in the summer for offers over, people are now having to accept lower offers. Asking prices aren't really reflecting the change as people are reluctant to accept that their houses are worth less. We went on the market at the end of August, priced realistically, expecting to be inundated with offers within days but only had 2 offers in 3 months despite around 50 viewings, we ended up accepting about 40k under asking (about 8%), and the vendors of property we are buying accepted our correspondingly low offer. The other 4 or 5 properties of similar size/condition in the neighbouring streets which were all priced around the same as ours have all dropped their asking prices by between 5 and 10%. Sorry to be the voice of doom, you may have a totally different experience!

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Mon 08-Dec-14 17:02:33

the change in stamp duty removes the need for the odd £50 off

Under previous legislation surely it was once a price went over £250k that SDLT increased?????

I'd consider doing the kitchen - DS spent less than £5k on his (in SW19) and definitely increased the saleability factor! It had previously been a BTL before DS purchased it to live in, and his buyer's (similar young early 20s owner-occupiers) were impressed that no work was needed to modernise it.....

roneik Mon 08-Dec-14 19:23:09

Drop it at least 10% or chase the market down IMO

20% and you will sell within a fortnight
We are in the beginnings of a crash in house prices, no amount of tarting up will sell a property at peak prices in a buyers market

We\are not doomed just economically f@@ked as a country

Amethyst24 Mon 08-Dec-14 20:54:03

Thanks almost everyone.

I agree, the summer was bonkers - I sold my flat then and am still amazed how much I got for it.

The stamp duty was the reason for not putting it on at £260K originally.

His mortgage payments aren't huge but having the place empty isn't ideal, especially as we're losing the rental income as well. I think it probably will sell to a first-time buyer - it's that sort of property (in SW16).

I suppose if we took advantage of late-December sales we could get a kitchen for a few thousand - it's the hassle of doing it that puts us off as much as anything.

The main question is whether the market will stay this slow until the Spring, which is a possibility.

I'm not anticipating a crash in London, even though the market has slowed.

MsSampson Mon 08-Dec-14 22:37:35

It has just taken me three months to get an offer on a 2 bed in zone 2, and I had to accept about 8% under asking (which is still insanely higher than last valuation 18 months ago so not complaining). The agent said the market had slowed considerably since earlier in the year, but then theyve had offers on six flats in a week - last flurry before Christmas?

I think it could be worth taking off and on again; I was about to do that until the offer this weekend. Puts it back up the Rightmove searches in jan, and worth doing if you're doing work and having new pictures.

Is there any way of doing up the kitchen by just painting doors and re tiling splashbacks? We did that to DHs flat a few years ago and made a huge difference to interest. (disclaimer, I am also on maternity leave and watching too much Phil Spencer Secret Agent...)

chockbic Mon 08-Dec-14 22:38:47

Spring is meant to be the best time to sell.

Amethyst24 Mon 08-Dec-14 23:48:09

Here's the EA pic of the kitchen. It's a pretty flattering one tbh, but it's hard to see why people would be massively put off by it at that price.

(Also hard to see how one could improve it really, without ripping out and starting again...)

radiobedhead Mon 08-Dec-14 23:56:45

Museumum - why on earth would you stop looking until January? The OP, and yourself, say it's dead quiet. There's not a better time of year to buy. Everyone else will be shopping and scoffing mince pies - you'll be out there and able to get an offer in without (as much) competition. Why wait until there's more people looking? confused

radiobedhead Mon 08-Dec-14 23:57:06

ps where's your flat OP?

Amethyst24 Tue 09-Dec-14 00:05:17

It's in London, SW16, radio

Amethyst24 Tue 09-Dec-14 00:08:43

Sorry, specialsubject, feedback from the viewings has been nada - "not going to make an offer at present". So hardly illuminating.

radiobedhead Tue 09-Dec-14 00:13:42

Good luck op.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 09-Dec-14 12:27:05

Hi Amethyst24. Every so often someone puts a post in property that says "please take a look at my house and tell me why it's not selling", and they post the link to their home. At which point everyone weighs in and tells them to cut the grass, tone down the lurid pink living room etc etc.

I've had a look at flats for under �250k in SW16. There are 20 at present so it's not hard to find your boyfriends now that you've posted a pic of the kitchen.
IMO it's overpriced - there are much nicer flats on for the same money which have been freshly painted, new kitchens and carpets and are ready to move into. Some are further away but this has access to a large garden for example
www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-48962144.html?premiumA=true

This one is much cheaper and is a broadly similar style of apartment in terms of age/design. It's "dressed" to sell though.
www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-48730976.html

My honest feedback is that he either needs to reduce his price for a quick sale or make the effort to do a little work on it. I don't know that the kitchen necessarily needs replacing - regrouting the tiles might do but it all looks very stark, white but tired, and generally cold and unwelcoming in the photographs. There aren't enough photographs either. Is there a fireplace? Looks like there might be in the floor plan but no pic of the other side of the room or mention of the living room.

How many floors up is it and is there a lift? How long is the lease?

museumum Tue 09-Dec-14 13:47:43

Radio - because there's not much out there to look at right now and because dh and I need a holiday, not to spend a week off work trying to chase EAs and solicitors, ifas and banks who are all on holiday themselves. And because frankly anything on the market this week will still be there first week in jan.

wowfudge Tue 09-Dec-14 14:04:12

OP I've just done the same as TreadSoftly! Usually few viewings = overpriced and I'm inclined to agree with Tread on this one.

I don't think the flat looks tired though, it's just not very homely. It looks very much as though no one is living there and needs an injection of warmth and some decorative touches. The photo of the living room is taken at such an angle that the room looks cramped, but it's a decent size from the floorplan. And what's with the picture balanced on the head of the bed?

They do say you are selling a lifestyle, not just a property and, unfortunately, this looks like a crash pad rather than a home imo.

Amethyst24 Tue 09-Dec-14 14:30:13

Thanks all for the honest feedback. I do think it needs more photographs and a bit of TLC - it'll be a bit tricky to make it look lived-in now the tenants are out and no one is living there, but at least we can dress it as we like and it will stay dressed!

It's on the second floor, there is a lift and there's a long lease, so no major issues there.

BauerTime Tue 09-Dec-14 14:57:42

Im not sure of the market in SW16 so wont comment on price but I do think that all of the windows need either curtains or blinds, id personally put some boxing and then paint over the PVC bits of the walls to give you a window ledge and make them look solid and less 'local authority' (not being snobby, just think it will help). Hang the picture instead of balancing it on the headboard and generally try to make it look a bit more homely in the bedroom and lounge. Put a TV in and everything. Make the shower screen sparkle.

In the kitchen in particular id replace the kitchen worktop with something coloured/wood effect to break up the stark whiteness of it all, paint the white bits on the cabinets another colour or white, change the handles to something a bit more modern and remove the washing basket for the photo. Put something else there to inspire people how to usefully use the space. Also the floor could do with a re-vamp TBH.

If you are trying to appeal to a first time buyer who doesn't want to do any work then maybe fresh new (but cheap) carpet/laminate throughout.

Don't think you would need to spend much more than a grand to make it so much more appealing. anything you need to make it homely and lived in could all be your existing stuff or borrowed from friends etc.

Amethyst24 Tue 09-Dec-14 15:10:54

Thanks Bauer

The laminate was new when he moved in... but thinking about it that is 8 years ago now! Possibly it just needs a good clean, which should have been done by now anyway when the tenants left.

I imagine the picture, washing basket etc will all be gone now as they were the tenants'. Possibly we could get away with new floor/doors/worktop in the kitchen... but once you've done that you may as well do the whole thing! It's also a v awkward shape with supporting walls everywhere.

BauerTime Tue 09-Dec-14 15:19:31

I see from the floorplan that the layout of the kitchen is a bit odd!

a bit of paint on the black bits, new handles and a couple of cheap lengths of worktop wouldn't cost that much to do and I think it would really improve the look of that kitchen.

I personally hate laminate in bedrooms so that would put me off but maybe a big cheap Ikea rug and possibly one in the lounge would do the trick? Its not a great colour laminate is it? bit orangey.

TBH the pics just make it look completely deserted and unloved. Even a bit of tame colour on the walls might perk it up a bit.

Bramshott Tue 09-Dec-14 15:35:19

Mind you OP - at least you're not trying to sell this

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