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House won't sell? Post a link and ask MNers what they would do!

(66 Posts)
WutheringFrights Mon 15-Feb-16 13:20:11

There was a thread in chat earlier about a house that wouldn't sell.

I'm in the same predicament and wondered if people would use a thread for asking honest opinions about houses they are trying to get shot of?

So here is my house

Does anyone have any opinions on what we could do to make it more attractive to purchasers?

Would you put furniture in it - our EA said not to bother as it wouldnt make a huge difference.

Gets tumbleweed ready in expectation that this is a really rubbish idea...

StandoutMop Mon 15-Feb-16 13:24:27

Get better pictures - no. 10 is of a piece of carpet. Appreciate rooms are small, but the photos emphasise that. Round here all photos are done using wide-angle lenses so you see whole room (and as a by-product, rooms tend to look more spacious).

Personally furniture, or lack of, wouldn't bother me, but general wisdom is buyers have no imagination, so if there is no bed in a room, they can't figure out where it would go. So I think I would if I were you and could do it relatively cheaply and easily.

LizzieMacQueen Mon 15-Feb-16 13:28:21

The photos would look better with furniture in the rooms. Even if you stage it for one day for new pictures then I think that'd make a huge difference.

specialsubject Mon 15-Feb-16 13:29:50

i don't think I'll be alone in leaping on this!

it looks lovely and well done up, and clearly gets a lot of sun. Can't comment on the price as I don't know the area. Any viewings? Any feedback? It is obviously small but presumably your price reflects that.

1) get the agent to fix the rightmove listing so it isn't full of question marks on the dimensions.
2) don't worry about furniture, you've given room sizes.
3) bathroom photo not good - shows long string but no shower, which apparently you have.
4) where do people park? Could the description mention a quiet street, near to local x and y, if true of course?
5) which way does the garden face?

Finola1step Mon 15-Feb-16 13:31:05

I like the back of the house and the garden. The front looks a bit drab in comparison. I appreciate what your ea is saying but I think you are missing 2 big tricks. If you put furniture in, you can show how the conservatory can be used as a dining space next to the kitchen. Also, I would show how the space under the stairs could be used as a mini study.

ChristmasCabbage Mon 15-Feb-16 13:32:33

It's a lovely house especially the garden, OP but some of the photos don't do it justice. Agree with PP, wide angle lens needed here.

Photo 3- the big black wire in the alcove is off-putting and makes me think the house isn't finished off. Also, box in the pipes going up your wall. Again, just makes it look unfinished and something I'd have to do when I've moved in.

The bathroom looks like it needs gutting and starting again. The loo and sink are horribly dated and the bath looks flimsy. I'd replace with a cheap simple white suit with a shower screen and shower over the bath and some modern matching floor and wall tiles (personally I like travertine).

SevenOfNineTrue Mon 15-Feb-16 13:36:01

My first port of call would be to see if the house was still competitively priced when compared to other similar, local properties.

Secondly, are your estate agents any good? They should be being proactive if the property has stalled and is not receiving viewings.

SoupDragon Mon 15-Feb-16 13:40:23

I would probably put basic furniture in so that people can see that you can fit those things in and where they could go. There's nothing really wrong that I can see. A previous poster is right that the front looks drab by comparison to the rear - the kerb appeal is low which is a shame (and tricky to rectify when you are right on the pavement!)

wowfudge Mon 15-Feb-16 14:00:20

I agree with everything special has said. Get some of the photos retaken - that one of the living room with the aerial cable is awful; it detracts from the fireplace.

I would add that it is a bit bland and there are no window treatments. A quick look on Streetview shows it faces the pub car park. Is that correct as it looks as though it's on Ditton Street? A little confusing if you are not local.

It's the cheapest two bed property on the market bar a park home. I can't help thinking that if you were a first time buyer you'd want curtains or blinds, the appliances included, etc. Perhaps list what the modernisation has included?

JT05 Mon 15-Feb-16 14:08:54

Everything everyone else has said, plus I'd borrow some house plants for the conservatory to soften it.

Some hanging baskets or window boxesfor the front?

People like to imagine the lifestyle, pretty cottage life.

shovetheholly Mon 15-Feb-16 14:12:41

Awww, what a sweet house! I love it! You get lovely light and I really like your neutral decor

Some ideas

- Definitely agree with PPs that whoever shot the house deserves to be shot themselves (with a gun not a camera!).
- Put something to the left of the front door on the outside - maybe a wall-mounted planter in a bright but not garish colour. You can always take it with you when you move!
- Get rid of the wire on the shelves in the front room from the picture. Maybe fill the grate with pinecones and put something on the shelves (unburned candles from IKEA that smell lovely?). Try to put something homely-looking on the surfaces in the kitchen too - even if it's just an empty bread bin and a few canisters. Sometimes you can do as much with suggestion as you can with furniture.
- Lose the picture of the stairs in the front room!
- Paint those fences a subtler colour - Wilkos do cheap versions of Cuprinol-shades, including a nice light green colour that would look great with that light-coloured stone.
- Agree with a PP that putting a table in the conservatory is a good idea - you can dress this with lovely plates.
- Think about putting a bed upstairs, with beautiful neutral-coloured linen and some blankets to take with you.

WutheringFrights Mon 15-Feb-16 14:17:36

Thank you all for your feedback.
I'm so used to that wire that I don't see it, but you're right it does detract from the fireplace.
Bathroom, it is quite a dated suite. But we decided that keeping everything clean and white would make it look fresh.
Photo 10 - so funny - I'd never actually looked at it and though that it's just a picture of carpet but now that's all I can see! It's the 2nd bedroom - we used to have a toddler. a baby, a wardrobe and chest of drawers in there so it isn't teeny but it definitely isn't shown at it's best.
It is, sadly, opposite the pub car park. It was an empty restaurant when we bought the house 7 years ago. It isn't a noisy pub though but I think it possibly puts people off.
Parking is an issue, plenty of on street parking and also a local warehouse but the EA isn't allowed to tell potential purchasers that as it's done on a very informal basis.
Appliances are included - didn't realise it doesn't state that.
EA moved offices just after xmas so it's being advertised by an agent in the next town over - we really should change that shouldn't we. We barely hear anything from them.
Thanks for your comments...I'm going to have to get proactive!

NotJanine Mon 15-Feb-16 14:29:30

It looks like it has loads of potential. I agree with the other comments about the photos - they're pretty poor.
Are you having trouble getting viewings or is that the viewings aren't generating any offers?

If you can I would suggest adding at least some furniture and accessories to give it a bit of character and 'sell the lifestyle'
I think focus on the downstairs as that is what visitors will see first and will mostly influence their opinion. People may think that the front room is too small to fit a sofa in. Stick a load of books on the shelves. If it's a working fireplace make it look like it's about to be used. The kitchen needs a bit of livening up - put something up on that end wall and maybe some fancy branded gadgets or goods on the worktops. Turn the conservatory into an actual room.

BTW the way that window opens in picture 8 looks dodgy. Can it open fully?

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Mon 15-Feb-16 14:31:37

I saw your link on the other thread OP and I was late to that one, repeating a lot of what'd been put before, so this time I won't suggest what you could do in each room, but would observe the following.

Beautifully sunny photos, but that combined with the house being empty indicate it's been failing to sell and has been on the market some time.
This leads to buyers thinking one of two things. First being 'what's wrong with it?' and secondly 'it'll come cheap as they must be desperate by now'

You haven't said how many viewings there've been and what feedback has resulted?
If there haven't been many, then advertised like this it isn't appealing to buyers. No matter what the Agent tells you, empty looks bleak to most people's eyes and not everyone has good vision. There are some small room dimensions there, so people need to be guided as to how they could make the most of that space. The other aspect to that is creating a 'lifestyle' that appeals and that people are going to want for themselves.

I don't know if it's your former home, or an investment property, but the golden rule either way is not to look at the house or the advertising with your eyes i.e. failing to see things that you're used to, you absolutely must look with a super critical eye of a stranger. A stranger with £X 000s to spend smile

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Mon 15-Feb-16 14:38:29

I forgot to say also that I'd be particularly unimpressed if an advert had gone live on line and it hadn't been proof read and corrected. That demonstrates a shoddy attitude by the Agent's staff, sorry.

specialsubject Mon 15-Feb-16 15:48:17

if there is on-street parking mention it - not to do so implies that you can't park outside. No need to mention the 'deal' with the warehouse.

and yes, no excuse for not bothering to proof-read. It DOES matter.

Sunnyshores Mon 15-Feb-16 17:09:29

I dont know re the area and prices, but I think it looks a lovely house and in good condition. Bland maybe, but for sure youd get worse remarks if you chose a colour instead. It doesnt have to compare to a £000 apartment in London or a same price 6 bed house in darkest Wales, it just needs to compare favourably to its local rivals.

Who have you been told will most likley buy your house? First time buyers, investors, elderly couple downsizing? How quickly are other properties selling?

NobodyNose Tue 16-Feb-16 10:44:10

The first photo (and therefore the one on the initial search results) is of the conservatory. Which would made me not even click on the property and therefore not even see rest of the photos (some of which aren't great).

It is a pretty little house - get the front of the house as your first photo for a start.

AgathaF Tue 16-Feb-16 13:26:19

Cute house but awful photos - as already said several times over. First photo should be of the front of the house. Is it possible to put a window box on the front to brighten it up a little?

I think houses always look better dressed, so if it's possible to get even just some of the basics in, then do that. Curtains as a minimum would help. Not keen on the shelves, or the wire, in the front room, although they look so much worse because of the poor photo angle and lack or wide angle lens.

ChelseaNannyTree Tue 16-Feb-16 14:03:37

I would question your estate agent! You are paying them to sell your property and it looks as if they are struggling...?

What is your estate agents statistics like for selling a house like yours? You can find this out at

Regarding to staying with the same agent: I would use home staging, put items back into your house so people would know how it looks & how they could picture themselves there!

superram Thu 18-Feb-16 17:47:01

I would be concerned that your neighbours seem to have built an extension in part of your garden? Why does the fence start along the back of their extension-could this be a boundary dispute?

Whatdoidohelp Thu 18-Feb-16 17:51:35

If your not willing to furnish it could you at least do curtains and blinds. They can be expensive and might tempt a buyer especially if the house is at the top of their budget.

I'd be very tempted to furnish it. I know you have given room sizes, but a lot of people don't really 'get' dimensions (especially when they're not on the floorplan, a personal pet hate). But I think furniture can be especially important with relatively small rooms where it can be really hard to imagine, especially from a photo, how the space could be used...

Your staircase also looks a bit odd on the floorplan, like it goes straight into your bathroom wall.

LittleBearPad Thu 18-Feb-16 18:44:04

Start with a better first picture in fact get new photos generally. Bin picture 10 it shows nothing
Get rid of the wire on the shelves in the sitting room. It's messy and would concern me about other rubbish wiring.
Are the ceilings low? The photos seem to make them look it
The last photo is really nice
Where's the door on the floor plan for bedroom 1?

MerryMarigold Thu 18-Feb-16 18:48:23

I remember looking round our new house when people had moved out, and we were going to move in next day. It looked so small compared to when we looked round, full of furniture. I remember feeling extremely disappointed. My friend had exactly the same experience and I had to tell her, it's ok, it will feel bigger when you see your sofa there and realise there's a lot more room than you thought. So, it does make a difference and I think actually makes a house look bigger when there's furniture in there.

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