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Just how presentable / clean does your house need to be for viewings?

(24 Posts)
TuliPot Thu 20-Apr-17 19:24:27

We've been on the market for a month now and have had the grand sum of three viewings. Pointless viewings too as all viewers have just gone on the market themselves so nowhere near proceedable.

We have two small children including one with SN and one weaning so we have the standard pain of having to turn around a tip each time we get a viewing.

We have another two lined up for the weekend and once again DH and I are clashing on how mad we need to go to get it spotless and presentable. I do have a tendency to go too far but DH would literally walk out the door, adamant that it makes no difference to getting a sale or not.

Tonight we are clashing again as our tulip pots out the front are dying and look very sorry for themselves. If we were staying I'd just let them die and have all the goodness go back in but we are selling and I think they look to scruffy so I want to clear them out and put something fresh in. But MN jury, does it really matter? How far is too far and what is not enough?

I am hating this process and we still have so far to go.......

(NC as can see me becoming a regular on this board and don't want to end up outing self)

SandyDenny Thu 20-Apr-17 19:27:59

I know it's irrational but I prefer to see a house as clean and tidy as it can be, anything else would be a negative for me as in my mind I'd have to tidy it up.

Could you empty some cupboards so you can sweep all the stuff inn when you have a viewing?

Ecureuil Thu 20-Apr-17 19:29:52

We're currently renting and our landlord is selling so we're essentially being thrown out.
I still make the house spotless for viewings! Not sure why. I think it's because I don't want anyone to think I live like a pig!

DesertSky Thu 20-Apr-17 19:39:36

I know it's not easy with children but it depends on how desperate you want to sell. First appearance is important - I had 2 young children and a very young baby when our house when on the market - I shipped the older kids to granny's before a viewing (as husband was working away!) and scrubbed it from top/bottom and made sure presentation was the best it good be prior to a viewing - we had 2 offers for full asking price within a week. Our next door neighbour (despite having an extra room but same layout etc) took many months to sell theirs which was on market at same time - I'm sure down to presentation so it does often make a difference.

majorfwp Thu 20-Apr-17 19:40:01

We sold our house 18 months ago. At the time I had a 5 year old, 3 year old and a baby of 5 months. It used to take me two full hours to get the house ready for viewings, including packing all the baby stuff (baby chair, high chair etc) into the car so it didn't look cluttered.

My view was I wanted the house to sell so I did everything in my power to make that happen. Huge pain in the ass though, good luck!

wellhonestly Thu 20-Apr-17 19:43:46

Not so clean it smells of bleach, but as a viewer I would expect it to be tidy, hoovered and bathrooms/ kitchen sinks etc clean.

First impressions count a lot (it's apparently called "kerb appeal") so anything the viewer sees as they come up the path to your house has to be in good nick - no peeling paint, and I'm afraid no dying plants! If you don't want to replace, can't you just put the pots away?

TuliPot Thu 20-Apr-17 19:48:46

Thank you for reassuring me I am not mad to think it's important. We've had a really good declutter so it's fairly easy to do a good clean before each viewing but I don't see the point in the inside being immaculate if the outside looks a bit dreary.

DH is coming round to clearing the pots and refreshing, I used the analogy of not wanting to buy a £200 top of it was all crumpled and looking uncared for.

So should we give the garden fence a paint?! That's looking a bit sorry for itself too.

Shortdarkandfeisty Thu 20-Apr-17 19:57:56

Oh I'm interested in the answer to this too, we have estate agents here valuing tomorrow and our house is immaculate but the children are very fed up with my screeching about not dropping stuff and keeping it tidy

badgercat Thu 20-Apr-17 19:58:32

I hid as much stuff as I could in every cupboard we have, all the clutter we live with went. Kitchen was spotless (was our main selling feature) and every room was hovered and fresh flowers in the vases. Husband wouldn't of bothered picking his pants up off the floor if he'd been left to it 🙄 Anyway, we had 7 viewings and an offer in the first week.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 20-Apr-17 19:59:56

Some viewers really cannot see past decor etc.

If a house wasn't clean they may also assume that it is not well looked after (eg. repairs, maintenance etc)

anotherBadAvatar Thu 20-Apr-17 20:00:59

Could you do an open day? With DD and DDog we figured we weren't going to be able to keep on top of the general tidying.

It meant we could fully "stage" the house - fresh flowers, carpets cleaned, pillows fluffed etc just once.

It really paid off - 23 viewings, and we got 6 offers the following Monday, eventually selling well over the asking price. <stealth boast>

(This was on a 3 bed semi by the way, so nothing fancy house-wise).

Shortdarkandfeisty Thu 20-Apr-17 20:02:12

Yes to garden fence I think, it's going to be something seen straightaway

I've been working on the principle that if our house looks unkempt or uncared for then buyers will wonder what else we haven't looked after or maintained. So for example we have repainted a ceiling that was flaking and we have filled cracks in the wall but we haven't re painted ALL our front windows, just the one that was flaking. Plus the front door.

Shortdarkandfeisty Thu 20-Apr-17 20:07:00

We have

de cluttered enormously, 2 skips worth
Carpets cleaned
Windows cleaned
Bedding ironed
Garden wedded and lawn mowed
Window with flaked paint repainted
Couple of radiators repainted
Sealant in bathroom re done
Removed most large or personal pictures although left small ones
Fresh flowers everywhere
Re gravelled the drive
Deep cleaned everywhere which took 3 people several days
Touched up paintwork where it needed it
Prepared a document with further info, e.g. Paint colours used etc
Emptied garage

TuliPot Thu 20-Apr-17 20:08:35

We've just not had that much interest sadly. Have been assured house presents well although have asked for some tweaks to a couple of the pictures so can only assume it's price.

Market evidence of recent sold prices support the asking price but I think the market is falling for our type of house hence being a bit 'meh' about the viewings lined up, both people this weekend with properties to sell. We are buying in same area and I think you aren't really looking that seriously if you aren't under offer yourself.

That said I sign up to the house spotless for every viewing, sadly DH not so much.

Spudlet Thu 20-Apr-17 20:09:25

Our house was filthy when we viewed it. The vendor ended up taking £12.5k off the asking price.

So, depends if you're willing to lose that much money really.

Shortdarkandfeisty Thu 20-Apr-17 20:09:50

I'm thinking that if our house doesn't sell at least it won't be because we didn't present it as well as we could, we have definitely done our best. I even bought a new ironing board cover as the board is handing on the wall in the utility room and it looked tatty. It was only seven pounds so worth it

TuliPot Thu 20-Apr-17 20:13:46

Food for thought short, thank you. All been deep cleaned, windows done, sealant replaced etc. I'm scaling back the quality of the fresh flowers now though!

The two jobs that are nagging me are the fence and a bit of lining paper that's come away, everything else looks as good as it can (short of replacing and kitchen def on the dated end now)

Speaking of dated kitchen, agent assured the kitchen doesn't sell a house (in our type of property / location) but I'm not so sure. What's the MN consensus?

Shortdarkandfeisty Thu 20-Apr-17 20:25:50

I think a kitchen needs to either be

as someone wants it but I bet this doesn't happen often or
With obvious possibilities, e.g. the bones of it are good
presentable

So I would never re do a kitchen purely to sell but I would make it as presentable as possible

People have different tastes so no point in putting in modern high gloss just to sell, someone could rip it out immediately anyway

SparkleSoiree Thu 20-Apr-17 20:26:22

Kitchen and bathrooms are important to me as they cost money to do up or replace.

Great idea further up about open days. We did that a couple of times. Not much interest first time around so adjusted the price to create interest then the next open day got lots mire interest and ended up with 3 couples bidding from the Monday onwards for it. If you're motivated sellers your price needs to be attractive.

First impressions do count and anything that looks grotty, unloved, old or broken rings bells in potential buyer's minds of money that needs spending and that means effort plus cash which means reductions in offers.

Check out your competition locally too, look at their photos and see how yours compares in price quality and value for money. Ensure you're competitive in those areas.

Good luck!

TuliPot Thu 20-Apr-17 20:28:48

Thanks sparkle, I'm convinced needs to have a bit of a reduction even though definitely competitive already.

MrsELM21 Thu 20-Apr-17 20:29:26

We kept ours spotless when we were selling, we had 2 very young DC at the time and simply piled a Zafira to the absolute limit with all of our stuff every time we had a viewing and hid it round the corner! Much easier than actually tidying up each time and we sold with 4 viewings, it wasn't even that great a house!

namechangedtoday15 Thu 20-Apr-17 20:37:15

I agree with Short - unless you're looking to sell to an investor / BTL, presentation is key I think. It shows you're bothered about the house and will give the impression (even if you haven't) that you've looked after it. I think if you can't be bothered to stick down peeling wallpaper or clean windows etc, you're very unlikely to have treated windowsills / checked gutters etc etc.

Also, as far as the kitchen is concerned, they do sell houses. Always remember that an estate agent wants the house on their books as soon as possible so they get it sold and get your commission. They will very rarely therefore tell you to do major works before putting it on the market. Also, if they're charging say 1%, and your house is worth £300,000 for example, they get £3k. If you get £320,000 because its got a lovely new kitchen, they get £3200, so its peanuts to them. They want the house on the market now

We sold with 3 year old twins and did as a pp suggested - made it absolutely pristine and priced it right. 6 viewings in 3 days and 5 offers within a couple of thousand of the asking price. Those 3 days were horrendous keeping it immaculate, but didn't have to do any more viewings after that.

Hs2Issue Thu 20-Apr-17 20:37:45

We sold last year and house was immaculate for photos and viewings - had 4 first weekend and 3 offers on Monday afterwards. It does make a big difference to how people perceive property has been maintained and how much work they need to do. I do the typing in an estate agents and it does seem to make a difference.

MaisyPops Thu 20-Apr-17 22:43:46

We're looking and I'd happily buy a house that has all the signs of a family. Preferably "a family lives here but we've done a mad tidy up of sling books on the shelf and toys in any box we can see".

If there's lots of clutter it can make the house look small.
I don't care about how it's decorated. I'm more annoyed at paying more on houses that have been tarted up for resale value because they're asking for money off me for decoration that I'm going to redo anyway.

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