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Selling my house - so conflicted about EA/price/reduction/etc!

(44 Posts)
PoochiePie Tue 07-Mar-17 13:30:07

Sorry for the long post... TLDR at the end!!

I'm currently 6months pregnant, and my husband has accepted a job in Scotland. Meaning we have now committed to moving from Cornwall to Scotland - and hopefully before my due date in June! It's not ideal but we felt it we didn't do it now he would be trapped in his (very unfulfilling job) for a couple of years. I am very, very stressed about all this.

We have only owned our house 6months, as it was a new build and despite exchanging a year ago, the builder did an excellent job of messing things up and things were delayed by 5 months.

We bought our house for £206k (it was listed at £212 but we haggled them down) back in January. It's a 3 bed detached in Cornwall with garage and drive, and large gardens (compared to everything else on site). It's also stone fronted so won't have bleeding render. On this estates new phase, a 3 bed semi/terrace with a postage stamp garden and no garage is on for £200k - and obviously they are offering incentives for the less desirable hard to sell plots. There are no 3 bed detached available, and these are rumoured to be £220k plus when they are released. The other alternative is a 4 bed detached at £245k. Floor space wise it isn't much bigger than ours.

- ours is listed at £220k and we would take offers (although I can't make a loss after fees) as I just want to be settled in Scotland early enough, and I need to have enough to buy again otherwise I'll then have to pay my mortgage provider our ERC of £4.5k.

So we had 2 agents round, one from an 'online' company, and one the local EA who apparently represent the developer in their new build sales. They claim to have a list of 'interested' people that wanted this type of house but didn't get it.
- online EA is £1100 all in including rightmove premium listing and accompanied viewings.
- traditional EA would be about £3600 but conditional upon a sale. They also require 12 weeks of exclusivity.

We hired the online one, as DH company refused to offer relocation, and we just couldn't sacrifice that much of our deposit in addition to fees etc. Our mortgage provider will not let us let rent the property out, and things will be very tight renting in Scotland (Glasgow) and paying mortgage here - esp when mat pay dwindles and then nursery fees in the long term.

I'm now wondering if I should just pay for the traditional EA, eventhough im not convinced they will really have that much of an advantage, and I didn't really like the traditional EA (the owner).

Things putting me off my agent:
- My DH thinks his photos are unflattering.
- I think his ad isn't as great as it maybe could be.
- we had a viewing request that ended up not going ahead. I requested feedback from said viewing and only found out at the next viewing a week later that it never happened. I felt he was a bit coy about this.
- I emailed him 2 days ago with changes to the ad (i.e. Added info about ceramic/porcelain tiling, integrated appliances etc), and photos of our garden, question about reducing price and have heard nothing.
- they don't give viewers any paper of the property after viewing which I think traditional EAs do. Our garden is damaged from our dogs and I'm considering paying for it to be re-landscaped when we leave. That could be helpful info to give and I'm considering making these myself..
- I saw him do a viewing and it lasted literally 2 minutes... maybe I was expecting more but I didn't feel like there was much enthusiasm. Just 'here's the kitchen'.

So TLDR:
1. want to go to Scotland on mat leave in 7 weeks and be with my husband/do antenatal classes etc. Feel like house sale possibility is dwindling.
2. should I pay an additional £3600 and hire a traditional EA as I don't think mine is great. That will make taking offers on the house more difficult as it would eat into a deposit and fees on something else.
3. house has been on market for 14 days, had 4 viewing requests (1 cancellled as had an offer elsewhere, 1 didn't manage to arrange a viewing and has now gone quiet, 1 flaky viewing clearly just being nosey, and 1 serious one this weekend I've heard nothing back from yet). Am I being too hasty? Should i reduce the price slightly?

smile

Zampa Tue 07-Mar-17 13:35:16

Having recently been viewing houses, I haven't enjoyed using the online only estate agents. Arranging viewings is difficult, giving feedback to the vendor is awkward and they don't seem to have a way of reaching out to purchasers away from Right Move. As a result, when it came to selling my property, I chose a traditional agent despite the £££.

Have you thought of renting your home out temporarily? You would have 18 months until you had to sell, in order to avoid Capital Gains Tax.

Zampa Tue 07-Mar-17 13:36:34

And your home looks lovely but the photos are dreadful ...

Bluntness100 Tue 07-Mar-17 13:40:18

It looks lovely, I think you done not bad in viewings, personally after two weeks id persevere longer, people do use right move to see what's available. The agent can't be blamed for flakey viewers.

Zampa she said the mortgage lender won't let them rent it out.

PoochiePie Tue 07-Mar-17 13:40:47

zampa thank you for your honesty! Is there anything particular about the photos? I feel like I can't comment to the agent on them being rubbish when I can't put my finger on what I'm complaining about...

PoochiePie Tue 07-Mar-17 13:43:34

zampa yeah we can't rent it out, as we were first time buyers so made use of the help to buy scheme. If we were moving for a military deployment we would be allowed, but as it's just relocation we can't.

SquinkiesRule Tue 07-Mar-17 13:43:51

I'd go with a local EA if you need to get moving.
If it isn't sold before Dh new job starts maybe he could rent a room and you stay in Cornwall till it sells.
Have you had any viewings with the online agents?
We looked at one house with an online agent and to be honest it was difficult, they tried to book us in to see a hose in the wrong end of the country with a similar address and then kept badgering us after we had given feedback and weren't interested.
We had great viewings with a local man who seemed to have all the homes we liked in his listings for some reason.
And yes the pictures aren't great.

SquinkiesRule Tue 07-Mar-17 13:45:31

The pictures look dull, turn all the lights on and try again. Different room angles maybe?
Some of the staging wizards will be along to tell you soon I'm sure

PoochiePie Tue 07-Mar-17 13:53:53

squinkiesrule - he started today and is renting a room in Glasgow now. That and travel home etc is basically the same as us just renting a house at the same time, so we will have to do that if it hasn't sold by the time I go on mat leave.

Those viewings were all via the online agent - although only 2 of them actually took place!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 07-Mar-17 13:54:32

The photos look a bit like you're selling the items of furniture rather than the whole house.

It's a nice house in a lovely part of the UK. How much better is the job in Scotland? I'm not sure I'd be moving quite so far at all TBH.

Most properties around here seem to sell with Purple Bricks. I'm not sure how "user friendly" they are, but the end result seems fine - the houses sell and people move. And with budgets being tight for you, saving that extra £2500 could be key.

JoJoSM2 Tue 07-Mar-17 13:54:32

I've always used an online agent called Property Eagle, they cost less than yours and I thought they were excellent (we did own viewings, though). I think your local agent would have a conflict of interest and would push buyers to secure the new builds so that he can have further contracts with the developer in the future.
I would use the online agent - everyone looks online for a place anyway. Except for maybe the 75+ buyers but they would get a bungalow rather than your house, anyway.
I think your house might take a while to sell purely because it seems that the estate has been available for a while now and there just isn't that much uptake with houses still available.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 07-Mar-17 13:56:50

Ah, I see DH has already started work in Glasgow. Staying put isn't really an option now then - that would be quite the commute!

SnowGlobes Tue 07-Mar-17 13:59:15

It's early days so I'd be reluctant to reduce. IF a local EA had buyers lined up then those buyers would be checking Rightmove and see your house and view through your online agent. However, it's only 2 weeks so maybe those 'lined up buyers' haven't been on Rightmove yet or your local EA is bluffing? You could suggest that your local EA brings those buyers around in next couple of days and take it from there.

Kiroro Tue 07-Mar-17 14:40:13

House looks nice, nothing at all that would put me off viewing.

Photos don't really do it justice but they are; bad either. Maybe just ned to be retaken with the lights on.

Np photo of the garden?

I do hate the way developers cheap out and can't be bothered to fully tile around the bath area and don't give you an overhead shower in the family bathroom.

Semaphorically Tue 07-Mar-17 14:46:54

The photos really aren't good. The angles they've chosen and the camera position (not hard against a wall) make the house look smaller than it is. Also the colours look unfriendly, which makes me think the light balance is wrong. Were they taken on a phone?

InformalRoman Tue 07-Mar-17 14:56:16

I don't like the wonky photo of the outside, but most of the internal ones look OK on the whole. Would like to see a picture of the garden as well though (even if it is looking a little tired).

Don't forget you'll be paying slightly less stamp duty in Scotland - for a £210k house it is £1700 in England & Wales & NI, and £1300 in Scotland.

If you need help with houses in the Glasgow area, the MNers on Scotsnet will be very helpful.

witwootoodleoo Tue 07-Mar-17 14:58:45

Does it have a shower? If so it would be good for the pictures to show that. At the moment it looks like you'd have to put a shower in which is off-putting in a new build

Lilmisskittykat Tue 07-Mar-17 15:00:33

If I've read this right you have owned your home for 6 months after paying 206 for it and it's increased in 6 months by 14k?

Have you made improvements in this time that reflect the massive jump in price? If so I would list the enhancements.

A buyer can see what you paid and might well be put off by the fact you are moving after 6 months (I accept it's for genuine reasons) it would flag with me without being able to speak with a proper estate agent as to the reason why and I'd also want to know why it's 14k more than it was 6 months ago.

Current house searcher buyers advice

Kiroro Tue 07-Mar-17 15:27:57

On pricing

I'd also want to know why it's 14k more than it was 6 months ago

Does seem a bit toppy, UK average p 4.5% y-on-y in Feb 17, that s a six month increase to £210 not £220 unless your area is much better than the UK av?

Also people don't really like 'second hand' new builds when they can have a new new build although you do say there are no new new builds available.

You got it with help to buy which made it more affordable to you - this won't be open to people buying your house (I don't think?) so this reduces the pool of purchases.

I can't make a loss after fees
With such a short time between buy and sell I would be prepared to take a bit of a hit maybe.

nougatsquirrel Tue 07-Mar-17 15:31:44

Online agent is OK if its a popular development that sells fast. If not, traditional agent may add some value.
In the past, we negotiated a traditional agent down to 0.9% including VAT with higher percentages for higher sales prices and they were on a 5 week contract with 5 days written notice on top. I would 3-6 traditional agents round some local some regional etc to get a good range of pricing and offers. Avoid sole rights and stick to sole agency and get a viewing list to avoid double commission in the future. We joined the home owners association for £45 to get advice on all of this. Well worth it.
Good luck!

heffalumpshavewrinkles Tue 07-Mar-17 15:38:20

It's a nice house. You're up against the 'new' new builds and show homes on the estate though. And yours looks a bit like a magnolia box. Buyers will see how much you paid for it and will very likely expect a discount on that as it is no longer brand new sad You say the garden is the best feature- you need to get a photo of it online ASAP, and looking as amazing as possible with an eating area. I think they can photoshop the grass and you can explain to viewers you will get it returfed if dogs have ruined it?

Inside you need to sell your AMAZING lifestyle. Look very carefully and copy how the developers do it on your estate. If yours is the only 3 bed detached on atm you are in with a chance...

Kitchen diner- declutter (top of fridge etc), blind in kitchen, herbs on windowsill, nicer pot for plant, centralise table, feature hanging designer style lighting over dining table. Fresh flowers.

Bathrooms- new coloured towels and expensive looking bottles, remove your storage units from bathroom

Master bedroom- redecorate with wallpaper feature wall, white bedding with textured throw and cushions on bed, take down the picture above bed, declutter on top of wardrobe and bedside tables, consider removing or replacing chest of drawers for more luxurious dressing table, have expensive looking bag somewhere

nursery put an attractive and tasteful wall sticker on the left hand wall, fit a roman blind.

Lounge move the swivel sofa so it's at 90 degrees to main sofa, move the main sofa away from the wall then move the sideboard to the TV wall and put TV on it, get a bigger desk and put it in front of the window. Get a nice rug and coffee table to zone the seating area. Get a really big dramatic light fitting (ikea good for this and cheap!)

I see no reason to not go with online agent, but definitely take better photos and make it very clear you will accept an offer. Good luck!

PoochiePie Tue 07-Mar-17 15:47:52

Likmisskittykat & kiroro
Re: pricing. The sale price of this house type was £212 a year ago, but because we bought off plan and early bird at that, and were chain free that's why we managed to get it down. As far as what we have done to the property, essentially carpet, tiling and laminate (as opposed to vinyl which most others have) and turfing the whole garden - which incidentally will need to be replaced thanks to my lovely dogs...
Personally I would very very happily accept £206+4.5% - £215k, and EA both recommended listing at £220k because we know people will make offers, and I don't like doing the offers over thing as I know it would put me off.

The issue being that I really can't find much that is in a decent area of Glasgow, and with garden/parking that I will have enough of a deposit for after fees if I was to accept £206. The knock on effect of that will be that I can't get a mortgage, and then have to also give 4.5k to my mortgage provider as an ERC. In which case I may as well just pay for the house to be empty.

I completely appreciate your comments on the fact that it is a large jump, and a buyer won't have access to HTB. I wonder if I should reduce the price, but lots of people suggest that looks bad in itself, and that they would then expect to make an offer below that anyway?

Oblomov17 Tue 07-Mar-17 15:57:13

I don't like the wonky first picture. I like the first picture to be if the whole house, face on.

After that, I think the photos are ok.

namechangedtoday15 Tue 07-Mar-17 15:57:47

I agree, the photos aren't great - and what is to the left hand side of your house on the 1st photo - is it a warehouse with parking? It looks like you're incredibly overlooked.

I also think that the fact you're selling so quickly after buying will put a lot of buyers off - lenders are sometimes reluctant to lend on houses where the vendor has not owned the property for 6 months so people may struggle getting a mortgage.

Also, I agree that people attracted to that estate will want brand new, where for an extra few thousand pounds, they can get incentives / choice of kitchen & bathroom fittings etc. Your house will have been lived in, and will therefore need to be cheaper than the other offerings on the estate. I think you need to reduce your price.

I think it depends what is more important for you - if the traditional EA can stop the stress by getting the house sold, get you with your H in Scotland and starting to settle there, that would be worth the price difference between the online agent and the traditional agent.

PoochiePie Tue 07-Mar-17 16:01:23

Thank you nougatsquirrel! I did wonder if I could potentially haggle them down a bit but didn't realise this was something that could be done...

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