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HELP!! Tarting up house before selling

(30 Posts)
BloodyUserName Tue 20-Jan-15 17:15:09

We have a mortgage offer, we're viewing houses to buy. But.....our house is seriously tired. We haven't decorated in ten years so we need everything painting and all carpets fitting asap.

Any advice? Cream paint and carpet job?

Should I replace the faulty hob (there is a knack to it) and dicky fire?

What about the cracked bath panel?

How do you get tradespeople out in a relative hurry? (It took me three months to get a chap out to sort out a loft panel) or should I just brace myself for a lot of painting?

I am panicked and any advice would be very welcome.

Thank you

reaches for wine

PurpleWithRed Tue 20-Jan-15 17:18:03

If yours is the sort of area where houses get snapped up quickly I'd just price it sensibly and flog it warts and all.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Tue 20-Jan-15 17:19:18

Have you had any estate agents round to value yours yet?

If not would be an idea to see if they think doing the tarting up will be reflected in your asking/selling price......

RaisingSteam Tue 20-Jan-15 17:31:47

Do you have missing carpets or just shabby? Professional cleaning can make carpets look new. Also paintwork might wash up ok perhaps just freshen main rooms. Main thing is tidy and sort of looking ready to live in. Newly decorated not to your taste is worse than tired.

mandy214 Tue 20-Jan-15 17:38:48

Just one point - an EA will always say its not worth doing / improving etc. Just by way of example, if your house is on for £300k and you're paying the EA 1% of the sale price, they get £3,000 if you get your £300k. If you did all the replacing of carpets / decorating etc, maybe you'd get £320k (am just plucking figures out of the air). That makes a £200 difference to the EA's commission. If you get £310k, it makes £100 extra.

BUT, the EA will have to wait whilst you do all that work - a month maybe? 6 weeks? Would he rather have £3000 now, or £3100 in 6 weeks hmm?! Therefore as always with an EA don't trust what an EA tells you because they simply want your house on the market as quickly as they can so they get their commission faster. It makes no odds to them if they make an extra couple of hundred quid, whereas for you it could mean a difference of thousands.

Do your own research and be realistic.

lazydog Tue 20-Jan-15 17:48:12

Ooh BloodyUserName - we're in the same boat and wrestling with the same choices. We've been here 9.5yrs and not changed anything except painting the walls of 2 bedrooms and the bathroom. We want to make it look less tired since we aren't in an area where houses sell quickly, but have our eyes on a particular house that's really nice and if we take too long tarting this place up, we're more likely to miss out. I've no useful advice, sorry, but I will be watching the replies you get with great interest!

Mymumstillreadsmymail Tue 20-Jan-15 18:09:10

Every house I have ever seen I have always wanted to redecorate anyway. Personally I would just have a really good spring clean of the whole house. Make sure there is no clutter and it is clean.

Eastwickwitch Tue 20-Jan-15 18:10:35

I really wish someone had given me Mandy214's advice last year.
Our house was in a desirable area, the agent said it would be 'snapped up' and told us not to bother decorating.
He put it on at an over inflated price, we had quite a few viewings but the feedback was that it was scruffy.
We're having it decorated now but I feel that we've missed the boat for a new property in the village and we'd stuck to our guns about a realistic price.

BloodyUserName Tue 20-Jan-15 18:27:28

Thank you all so far, a lot to think about - I think a freshen is definitely needed, carpets were crap when we moved in (we were young and poor and just never got round to anything). A week off work, a load of magnolia and a cheap carpet (with fitter) might just spruce it up enough to make it feel better. It's a popular area for landlords but they'll have an eye on profit so I don't think that'll help us much - unless we take a hit.

specialsubject Tue 20-Jan-15 18:35:06

replace the bath panel - cheap fix and instant reduction of neglected look.

faulty hob; if selling with the house, be honest and say it is faulty.

dicky fire: if that is gas, get it sorted NOW. If electric, remove it.

fix maintenance issues, make sure it is weatherproof.

bought our house with inside due for redecorating. So what - we'd have done it anyway. What matters is that the fabric is sound and the outside has been maintained. Kerb appeal!

petalsandstars Tue 20-Jan-15 18:55:45

Definitely declutter and I would do magnolia all over and cheapish carpets. Ring round for quotes asap or diy the painting it will make a difference to first impressions and definitely first time buyers if applicable

BloodyUserName Tue 20-Jan-15 19:01:47

It is weatherproof (we redid the roof when we bought it) - it's a sturdy, solid house, just a bit tired.

Lovely little terrace, lovely little decked back garden (South facing).

We will be upfront about anything that is broken but I'm thinking £2000 to get it saleable, it may pay us back - it may not but hopefully it'll go quick.

How do you get a tradesman to come when he says he will?

BloodyUserName Tue 20-Jan-15 19:04:47

I should also say thank you - you've all been really helpful.

ArtyBat Tue 20-Jan-15 19:23:20

Op - try mybuilder.com I've just placed a specific job on there that I need doing asap.
You can write out exactly what you need doing and send the details to tradesmen you 'shortlist' on the site. although the job can be viewed by all the other trades persons too, and they're able to message you back.
You can also view their qualifications, photos of jobs they've done so far, and read feedback from previous customers.

I've already been contacted by 2 of them, and I only posted the job this afternoon.

Mintyy Tue 20-Jan-15 19:32:09

Don't fill the whole house with cheap carpets! New buyers won't appreciate them at all.

I think the house being squeaky clean and fresh is really important and I would definitely replace the bath panel.

I went to view a house last weekend, a house we were prepared to do a complete overhaul on. But it smelt of dog, a not particularly well dog, when the owners didn't actually have a dog sad and I just couldn't wait to get out of there!

It was 2pm when I left and I hadn't eaten all day but I couldn't quickly go and buy a sandwich from the bakery next door as I had no way of washing my hands and I couldn't eat, even though I hadn't consciously touched anything in the house! It was extremely off-putting.

christinarossetti Tue 20-Jan-15 21:00:41

I would replace/mend obviously broken things eg bath panel, price up mending the cooker, but it may be cheaper/less hassle to just include its dodginess in the Fixtures and Fittings, but mainly focus on decluttering and cleaning.

If you've budgeted 2K to do the house up a bit, then you can paint and put down cheap carpet if the old carpet is particularly gross. The vendors may rip it up immediately, but equally likely is that they'll be impoverished FTBs who will be grateful that they can 'just move in'.

It's usually easier to find tradespeople to do bigger jobs like painting a whole house white than fixing a loft panel. Try a Google search for 'painter and decorator' using your post code and see who comes up.

strongandlong Tue 20-Jan-15 21:33:41

We used mybuilder.com to find a decorator for exactly this job. 2 guys painted almost the whole house in a week for ~£500 (not inc paint, but that didn't cost much) it was amazing. (South Wales prices, I'd guess it would cost much more in London/SE).

If I'd have known how cheap it would be and how much difference it would make the feel of the house, I would have done it much sooner.

We also replaced the carpet on the stairs/landing, where it was particularly crappy.

We sold very quickly, and I think it made a big difference that buyers felt they could move in without having to do anything.

ixos Wed 21-Jan-15 08:37:38

Yes, yes, to painting walls. Makes an enormous difference. Please not magnolia though - terribly dated and peachy. Go for another creamy off white. Clean carpets. De-clutter. Dress beds. If you don't do the above I think you will lose buyers (who lack imagination ) who will think 'massive project'

mandy214 Wed 21-Jan-15 08:59:18

Eastwickwitch thank you. Hope you get your sale smile

BloodyUserName Wed 21-Jan-15 17:17:48

Thanks again everyone, I now have a plan (and am going to get onto the recommended websites).

I feel much less panicked now and will get cracking!!

overmydeadbody Wed 21-Jan-15 17:36:54

Step away from the magnolia. Terribly dated and like a rental property.

Get it all painted white. Clean and simple and an easy colour for new buyers to paint over.

Cedar03 Thu 22-Jan-15 13:14:22

We sold our house a few years ago with a tired bathroom and kitchen. We were advised not to replace things that were OK just out of fashion (like an avocado bathroom). We repainted everywhere had the carpets cleaned and repainted the kitchen cupboard doors as they looked drab and old. This made a real difference (they were melamine or similar not wood).

It is the obvious problems that need sorting more than anything. We looked round one house where the owner went on about garden design but failed to mention the obviously rotten window frames - including a hole in one window. If she'd said that she was getting it fixed we might have considered it more carefully.

Sidge Thu 22-Jan-15 13:21:46

Bear in mind that viewers may be put off a tatty property with broken fittings, broken oven etc.

If basic things haven't been maintained then the viewer is wondering if big stuff hasn't been maintained either and they may have to shell out thousands on making a property safe and liveable.

Of course a buyer can instruct a survey but if a place is really unmaintained-looking then they may not bother even with a second viewing, especially if the place is priced high.

Paint wise avoid magnolia - go for a light, neutral colour in one of the not-quite-white ranges. Jasmine White is lovely.

BauerTime Thu 22-Jan-15 13:29:16

Is do the bath panel and the hob as saying a gas appliance was knackered would make me wary. You can get a cheap hob in b&q for £100 and £50 for a gas safe registered person to fit it.

I'd leave the carpets and just clean them professionally unless they are thread bare or incredibly grim.

If you are going to paint then don't paint over wallpaper but yes to freshening other walls with cheap cream paint and give all of the woodwork a good scrub with sugar soap. I wouldn't paint the walls white as might show up the skirting etc

BauerTime Thu 22-Jan-15 13:32:28

Oh and in regards to the fire, again if it's gas sort it or get it taken out.

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