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How to sell a good house which is stuck?

(84 Posts)
dotnet Sat 12-Dec-15 17:16:20

Really nice 1930s 3 bed house with brick garage, back garden backing on to cricket ground, not overlooked. Well looked after, but we can't get sensible offers. I wonder if this is because it's a probate sale?

Drawback: bathroom is dated. My late aunt had the bath taken out; there's a shower though. Toilet and washbasin are light green, 1950s.

The kitchen is quite big and is in good condition. I think most people would probably leave the kitchen units as they are - they'd prioritise the bathroom - unless they had plenty of spare cash, in which case they'd probably update both.

Lots of houses in the street sell for about £140,000. The estate agent recommended £135,000 for ours. We got immediate offers of £110,000 and £110,500, but we turned them down as we'd had the idea we'd only go as 'low' as £125,000.

Since those early offers, though, the house has hung around for more than a year and just had 'joke' offers. The worst was £76,000! And more recently, from a speculator, £100,000.

This house deserves to do better than this - paintwork is fresh; mostly double glazed; good, oatmeal colour carpets downstairs.

I don't know if it's worth risking paying to get the bathroom redone.

Or can anyone suggest a way of pulling in more punters?

The house is in St Helens, Lancs., in a street of semis.

Thank you !

Varya Sat 12-Dec-15 17:20:07


JT05 Sat 12-Dec-15 17:24:04

I'd do one thing well. Either replace green bathroom fittings, or complete the double glazing.

FreeWorker1 Sat 12-Dec-15 17:29:39

"Drawback: bathroom is dated. My late aunt had the bath taken out; there's a shower though. Toilet and washbasin are light green, 1950s.

The kitchen is quite big and is in good condition. I think most people would probably leave the kitchen units as they are - they'd prioritise the bathroom - unless they had plenty of spare cash, in which case they'd probably update both. "

That's the reason. Its a complete tip and needs a total modernisation compared to the houses going for £140k. The electrics must also be shot as well as the heating system.

Everyone who sees it will automatically knock £15k off for the refurbishment of bathroom and £20k for the kitchen.

I advise you go and get quotes to see how much a refurb will cost and you will see what all you potential buyers are calculating when they look around.

Seriously, your problem is you are just not accepting that the house needs a lot of work. A 1950s bathroom says it all really.

FreeWorker1 Sat 12-Dec-15 17:30:53

It hasn't even got complete double glazing!

ftm123 Sat 12-Dec-15 17:34:22

Something estate agents around here do to properties which don't sell is remove then from the market for a couple of months then add them again. To the casual buyer they then look fresh to the market, and don't have the stigma of something "that there must be something wrong with". No idea if this works, just got told this is what had happy to a couple of houses I saw disappear and reappear.

momb Sat 12-Dec-15 17:36:30

Why not put up the rightmove link for completely honest viewpoints?

FreeWorker1 Sat 12-Dec-15 17:41:06

Something estate agents around here is overprice properties and then they sit on the market and the agent hopes to persuade the seller to eventually reduce the price.

The estate agency game is to get as many listings as possible. They dont tell sellers the truth about the value or saleability of their property The solicitor in a probate sale is also concerned about being sued for under pricing a sale.

Net result is an overpriced property.

Bearbehind Sat 12-Dec-15 17:41:46

I think the fact the bathroom hasn't been modernised in 60 years will ring massive alarm bells for any potential buyers- it's very likely nothing else has been updated behind the scenes eg wiring, boiler etc.

The house, in its current condition, is clearly not worth what you think it is- there's no magic way of changing that.

It's your choice whether to invest in refurbishing it and hoping it achieves a higher price or letting it go for the price the current market is saying it's worth.

The downside of the refurb option is that the risk might not pay off and, as it's not your property, you might not have the cash to fund it.

SoupDragon Sat 12-Dec-15 17:45:11

It sounds like it's overpriced.

Knocking only £5k off the price of a modernised house in the street is ridiculous.

SoupDragon Sat 12-Dec-15 17:46:19

Bathroom, kitchen, double glazing, re-wiring...

4yoniD Sat 12-Dec-15 17:56:52

you had a couple of people go in around the same figure. This tells you something.

I looked at a house on for 500k. I offered 450k as that is what it was worth. Estate agent told me 2 other people had already offered the same figure. All of us were turned down. A year later I saw it was still on the market, now for 400k and still not selling (part market turn down, but mainly as the property was unoccupied and part of it in bad shape - it needed work, and got a lot worse sitting around for a year).

Take less money or do work. Or stay put. No magic fixes for most of us.

VagueIdeas Sat 12-Dec-15 18:02:08

Agreeing with everyone OP, it's overpriced.

I'm sure if we could see photos, the entire house will be in need of modernisation - wiring, plumbing, radiators, boiler, kitchen, bathroom, carpet, bedrooms. To think you can command only £5 less than the average house on the street is unrealistic.

dotnet Sat 12-Dec-15 18:04:13

Hi SoupDragon - I think the £5k less than many of the other houses was because the house has no neighbour to one side AND it backs on to the cricket ground - nearly all the other houses are overlooked from both sides and from behind.

But I think what you say about the bathroom may be right.

£20k plus £15k for kitchen and bathroom - no I don't think so; only if you are a plutocrat likeFreeWorker1 (only joking, FW1).

I'll maybe take time off, get myself up there for a fortnight in the spring and pay for a new bath, basin and toilet and get them installed.

It feels like a risk though - Our thinking when the house first went up for sale was, £125,000 would be acceptable because about £10k would bring it up to scratch, and the buyer would be quids in.

SnowflakesandChampagne Sat 12-Dec-15 18:08:32

Which rooms aren't double glazed and how old is the boiler and electrics? These things would scare me off a house even if it appeared to be well looked after.

Lweji Sat 12-Dec-15 18:09:38

It may not cost that much to update the house, but people don't like the hassle.

Also not sure about the shower. Families often like baths. And I'd install a bath with a good shower system.
Updating probably won't cost you that much and it might get it sold.

FreeWorker1 Sat 12-Dec-15 18:11:41

dotnet - seriously. You strip a kitchen back to the walls and refurb with plumbing, tiles, units, appliances, replaster, paint and lighting and it will not come to less than £20k.

Maybe a bathroom is £10k but this house will need a bathroom plus an extra toilet to making somewhere to make it attractive - that's another £5k. Really any first time buyer which is the target market for your house will be stretching and they will not have anything left to do more than paint and carpet.

Seriously £10k will not even touch that house. Do you know the state of the roof, electrics, plumbing, heating?

The survey could show up all sorts of issues.

If someone offered £115k rip their arm off.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 12-Dec-15 18:11:50

You're having a laugh with the price.

I can link to any number of immaculate ready to move into and don't need any work 3 bed semis in St Helens for £130k and less.

SoupDragon Sat 12-Dec-15 18:19:32

Our thinking when the house first went up for sale was, £125,000 would be acceptable

And yet the posters on this thread and every person who offered on the property disagrees.

neonrainbow Sat 12-Dec-15 18:29:30

Could you do a quick job on the bathroom? I ripped out the previous bathroom in my house, back to bare walls and floor, then replaced the window and ceiling - did most of the work ourselves, cheap white suite from B&Q with some upgraded tiles and the whole bathroom was less than £3k including completely tiled. We are about to do something about our kitchen which is to say, repainting the cabinets, replacing the worktops and floor and painting the tiling. If you were able to do something like that, then relist, then maybe it would make it more attractive as a family home? If there is space for a bath definitely worth putting one in.

dotnet Sat 12-Dec-15 18:38:06

Ooh - I'm only asking for advice; don't rip me to pieces! We are thinking how to do this... it's funny really, it is certainly a house you could move into and do nothing and be perfectly comfortable if you'd spent every last penny on buying it. Then you could upgrade as and when you had the money available. Does everybody expect to move into a showroom house?

I suppose it is sort of hurtful - I'm over emotionally involved I suppose -because it has been so well loved and well maintained by my late aunt. Anyway, enough of that. Lwejiseems to understand where I'm coming from, anyway...

Yes, something may well need to be done. Here's the link:

munchkinmaster Sat 12-Dec-15 18:42:17

Kitchen 10k, bathroom 4k, rewire 3k, replumb and boiler 4k, 2k on windows. That's 24k and a pile of hassle to bring it up to date. And I've been pretty conservative on pricing that.

dotnet Sat 12-Dec-15 18:42:39

neonrainbow - thanks for your post - it wasn't you to whom I was saying 'don't rip me to pieces'!

If I were on the spot, yes, it would be great to get things done as you suggest - that would definitely be best. AND you are realistic about pricing as well.

I'm beginning to think a trip to St Helens and a stay there of a couple of weeks, is going to HAVE to be the solution.

munchkinmaster Sat 12-Dec-15 18:43:07

I never saw the link. Prices not based on it. Will look at it now....

munchkinmaster Sat 12-Dec-15 18:45:07

It's a lovely house, full of potential. I love the original doors and stained glass but I'd want 25-40k to do up properly.

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