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Lack of viewings, asking price and the stress of keeping the house tidy! Who wants to chat?

(16 Posts)
NoonarAgain Thu 07-May-15 14:07:08

I had my first heart sink moment today. 4th viewing in just under 5 weeks. the sun was shining, the house looked immaculate. i was feeling hopeful...they said the garden was not big enough but loved the house. another said they loved the house but had wanted to alter the outside, but realised this would look odd when surrounded by very similar houses. another said it was too far from the village. another didn't want a north facing garden (imo the garden is large enough to not suffer too much from its aspect as we have sun til 6pm at least and there is a west facing roof terrace too).

Our 2 previous homes sold immediately, but this house is in a quieter area. as we're in the South East and it's a 4 bedroom detached, it is reasonably expensive- not in the price bracket where homes seem to fly off the shelf, so to speak.

I'm getting a bit sick of trying to tidy up before work in case of last minute viewings so I just told the agent I'd ideally like 24 hours notice on my work days.

I know this sounds a bit irrational as its been a short amount of time, but I feel like I'm never going to sell. I'm bloody sick of this already! how on earth do people manage when their house is on the market for 1-2 years!?

I'm wondering also wondering if we should drop the price again at some point. we dropped it from 675k to 645k a week ago and have had 3 viewings arranged since then. I knew it was too expensive but the EA wanted to put it on at that price. I'm wondering now if we should drop again. suppose for argument's sake we would accept 625k, should we be asking closer to that?

any thoughts? anyone want to chat?

Fedupofallthemud Thu 07-May-15 14:28:21

We are in a similar position but 5 months in! We had a couple doing 2nd viewing this week but not heard from them yet. Nothing booked for this weekend yet but people seem to leave it till last minute to book viewings! We have had a reasonable number of viewings but due to uncertainty in oil industry people haven't been wanting to commit to buying.
Market locally (NE Scotland)is very flat and nothing over about 300k moved in 1st quarter. There does seem to be a bit more activity now but it's still frustratingly slow.
We are on verge of taking it off market and renting it out instead.
Probably not what you were hoping to hear!! grin

NoonarAgain Thu 07-May-15 15:04:09

no wonder you're fed up! renting is not an option for us, as we want to be able to buy something more centrally located in our current area, so need to release those funds.

are you living in a perpetually tidy home, or have you given up trying? maybe you're naturally tidy, lol!

evilgiraffe Thu 07-May-15 15:50:23

We're in a similar position, OP - house went on the market about six weeks ago bit no offers yet. Granted the asking price is quite high, but all viewers so far have not mentioned it as an issue. So far it's been "we don't want a house on an estate", "we're spending more on a bigger house instead" etc. So don't look at a terraced house on an estate if you don't want that sort of thing!

We are trying to keep the place pristine, difficult in a two up two down with a crawling baby, but easier than a mad deep clean when viewers are imminent!

Still, we had people looking yesterday and more tonight, so fingers crossed...

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Thu 07-May-15 17:37:08

We were in the same position last October - five weeks in, four/five viewings and a period house that was expensive compared to other (much smaller, non-renovated/extended) properties for sale in the immediate area - then out of the blue our EA called with a viewing. We'd just dropped the price slightly so not altogether unexpected, but we were beginning to lose faith that we'd achieve a sale in time to complete before Christmas.

So, we actually did the viewing as our EA was short-staffed and from the moment they walked in I kinda knew it was sold. At the end of the viewing they made us an asking price offer, without waiting to speak to our EA.

We were ecstatic - this was a slowish moving area in the SW and other houses in our price bracket (mid-higher £££ for the area) were taking twelve months to sell. It also meant no more struggling to keep the place pristine.....which with two dogs and a stream in your garden is not an easy feat!

We'd also had the stupid feedback - bathroom too dark (it was the second brightest room in a two hundred year old stone house with small windows, two of which were in said bathroom!) and two many trees in the (very large) garden, none of which were remotely close to the house btw.

So don't lose heart OP - I know it sounds cheesy, but there's a buyer out there that's meant for you and who will fall head over heels for your house the way ours did. It just takes a little longer when you're not selling a lower end property IMHO.

NoonarAgain Thu 07-May-15 18:03:56

Evil and raph, thanks for sharing your experiences. I think you're probably right, in that you just need the person to view.

Since the price reduction we've had 4 more viewings booked within 6 days, compared with 2 and one cancellation in the preceding 4 weeks. So...would that indicate that price wise we've probably got it on at an ok level? Since my OP I've had one more booked in for tomorrow, btw.

Maybe houses in my are need to be real steal or really special to get even more viewings in this price bracket. Our house is detached, light, modern, contemporary, spacious, mostly refurbished and homely. But it's a 60's house and many people prefer period.

Any thoughts of whether it's better to have a lower asking price or be prepared to accept a lower offer ( even if the end figure was the same eg on at 645 and accept 625 or on at 630 and accept 625). I guess the first option would give the option of trying to get a bit more... Anyway, If we reduce price a second time, though we would look like fools!

Good luck with the viewings, evil!

NoonarAgain Thu 07-May-15 18:05:10

'The right person' I meant- and congrats, raph, btw!

yongnian Thu 07-May-15 18:20:43

We are selling for very very stressful reasons I won't go into here and it's been vital for us to try and keep the extra stress associated with selling to a minimum so here's my top tips:
EAs are doing our viewings and we've basically asked them not to pass on feedback apart from 'the cash is on the table' because frankly, most of is stuff you cannot change....so it just rankles hearing it...under enough stress at the mo as it is, so have done this to just try and reduce it all down to manageable. Might be worth considering? Also it buys us time to prepare for viewings as EAs are not as instantly available as they'd expect us to be if we were doing it.
I also only tidy/clean to our normal standard on a daily basis and then bust a gut if we get a viewing. (and sit back and admire when we go home after the viewings finished so that we get some pleasure from it) But we've done loads of clearing/jobs/declutter ing /deep cleaning prior to going on the market anyway so that helps enormously time wise.
We've also set ourselves a time limit for a first reduction and a time limit for how long we're prepared to be on the market for and are so seriously desperate to move, will take a knock if need be.
We're also prepared to rent out if need be and have put wheels in motion for this as a plan b, most likely to become plan a if it goes on much longer.

Fedupofallthemud Thu 07-May-15 19:39:32

noonar no definitely not normal tidy!!
It's really hard, we've also had some really stressful family stuff going on which makes it even harder.
We just feel like people are mucking us about which is why we're preparing to take it off market.
Just about had enough!

evilgiraffe Fri 08-May-15 14:11:47

The first of the two viewings this week said "oh, we work in Town A, and the house is in Village B, the traffic is too bad for the commute" - I mean, WTF?! Why bother coming to look at all? Time wasting idiots. At least viewers #2 are more promising. Fingers crossed smile

NoonarAgain Fri 08-May-15 15:11:51

oh evil, so frustrating isn't it? i felt like that re the comment of being surrounded by similar houses...umm...that's what street view is for!

however, i do agree with what i read on another thread, that people basically just view in the hope that they may be willing to compromise on some things if the house just 'feels right'. however, if its not got the right feel, they respond by citing the more practical details rather than saying personal things like 'it lacked a homely feel' or whatever.

no feedback from this morning's viewing yet.

fedup, i'm trying to enjoy my tidy house for its own sake but it is waring. no viewings for the weekend yet though.

Esmum07 Fri 08-May-15 15:31:33

First of all, don't panic! We had an election yesterday, people will always hold back until after an election because they need to try to pre-empt what may happen to their savings, jobs etc. I think (hope) that things will pick up for you now it's out of the way.

Do you show people round yourself or do you leave it to the estate agent? I always did the showing around. The estate agent knew nothing about my house. If you do show it round have a think about what you're saying. If the garden faces north there's no point in denying it so can you come up with reasons why north is good? You must enjoy the garden yourself - why? What do you love about your house? Can you get that into your conversation? I had a tiny kitchen in my flat - I loved it because everything was in reach so I said, when I showed people round "here's the kitchen - I love it because everything is in reach" (did not mention the small size!) So if there are any negatives like that can you turn them into positives? If there's a small room does that make it easy to keep clean or is it cosy in the winter? Have a look around your house with viewers eyes. If you were seeing it for the first time what is a turn on/turn off? Play up the turn ons and find something good about the turn offs.

As for the price. If you're not getting 'too expensive for what it is' as feedback I would leave it for a little while longer. If you drop too much too quickly you will get the silly offers flying in as they will see you as desperate. It also means that you can tell the agent you're open to reasonable offers. At your price a reasonable offer (if I heard that as a viewer) would encourage me to come in at £20K plus off the asking price then negotiate. If you drop too low you don't have wiggle room. So be careful.

Oh and it never hurts to test your agent...the owner of a house I ended up buying a number of years ago had wondered why she wasn't getting many viewings so she did a little test. She went in on the day she knew the agent she had been dealing with was off and asked for details on properties that matched her one - location, number of bedrooms, wanted a newer house etc. And they didn't get her house out of the filing cabinet! So the proverbial hit the fan and within a week I was on my way to a viewing...I recently rang up about my sister's house as it had not had visitors for a while - same thing occurred there. A house can get stuck on a pile if new properties come on as it's easier to market a house new to the market than one which has been on the books for a few weeks.

Fingers crossed for you. I've bought and sold 6 houses so I really feel your pain! Good luck!

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Fri 08-May-15 16:12:39

Noonar, I do agree that some people think that there'll be a good chance they'll view and a place will feel right, but the reality is it doesn't for whatever reason. We had a couple like that - when our EA gave the feedback after conducting the viewing it was just obvious that these people were always going to have an obstacle to buying.

When we dropped our price our EA said we should get offers within 5k of asking price as it was now priced both realistically and competitively and that thiscwas what was happening in our part of the SW. Not only did viewings increase, but we had an AP offer within days.

Agree with Esmum07 that it might be an idea to get a friend to mystery shop your house. We didn't try this - although it was on the cards if we hadn't received the offer when we did - but what we did find was that whenever we contacted our EA to see if there had been any interest (and remember we were only on the market five weeks in total, so not months like some poor sellers), it seemed that a viewing suddenly materialised. So I'd email them asking the q, and a couple of hours later they'd call to book a viewing, as if it spurred them into action......most likely mere coincidence though!

Fingers crossed you get an acceptable offer very soon x

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Fri 08-May-15 16:13:31

this was!

NoonarAgain Fri 08-May-15 16:27:06

ah, thanks esmum for your detailed helpful response. i'm not doing any viewings myself as I've never been asked to, tbh. wouldn't be opposed to but i want people to look around and be honest rather than having to try to be overly polite/ positive.

i do have faith in my agent, actually as dh knows him well and i know they are well thought of locally and really trying to 'push' our house. having said that, raph, on the 2 occasions when we've had a slightly down beat convo with the agent's right hand lady, it has been followed up within hours by a viewing booking. this has prompted dh to joke that she's ringing round all her pals to create the illusion that we have prospective buyers!!

Andcake Sat 09-May-15 07:16:25

Every ea I've spoken to says things have been slow due to election. I have noticed it where we're looking to more to as well with things I thought would be snapped up ( or I would have snapped up if I was under offer) still on the market.
I hate the election result but now uncertainty is out the way let's all hope things pick up.

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