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Selling an empty house

(20 Posts)
NotMeNoNo Fri 27-Oct-17 20:45:07

A relative of mine is needing to sell a house only recently bought due to a change of business circumstances . They are not moving in so it will be empty . It's a nice 4bed detached in a village, 10 years old.

Whilst its a lovely house its looking a bit dated- tired wood effect kitchen, feature large pattern wallpaper etc. Flooring is OK. It was nice enough with the previous owners furniture but I think it will look a bit sad when empty.

I'm inclined to think it's worth changing kitchen doors to a light painted shaker and repainting the more colourful rooms back to neutrals, a bit like a high end unfurnished rental or new home.

If you were househunting would you consider an empty house if it looked newly refurbished rather than abandoned? Staging with furniture isn't really possible but I wonder if it's worth putting in curtains and lampshades?

If you were look

I just moved into a house I absolutely love (so far anyway) which I got a great feeling about when I first walked in to view.

It's Marie celeste level of abandoned.
Previous owner's stuff was everywhere.
There are lots of bits that need to be redecorated.

It didn't bother me. I want to put my own stamp on it.

Oddly the one thing that is quite recently decorated is the kitchen and if anything that put me off a bit as I can't now justify spending on it, but it isn't what I would have chosen.

Some people will be looking for their perfect house, ready to move in and some prefer to decorate themselves.

Angryosaurus Fri 27-Oct-17 20:51:26

Depends on the local market and their selling budget. Ideal would be new kitchen doors/redecorate/rent staging furniture. However this may be unnecessary or too costly. They could ask a local EA opinion.

lalalonglegs Fri 27-Oct-17 20:54:12

Imo, it would be worth spending a few hundred pounds painting over the feature walls. Replacing kitchen doors can really add up so I'd be wary of doing that - especially as the tiling and worktops might end up looking tired in comparison. Your friend should be aware that some lenders won't approve a mortgage if the property has changed hands less than a year before.

Ultimately how easy this house is to sell depends on the local market and how keenly priced it is.

JoJoSM2 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:54:52

I'd prefer an empty house - at least I'd know there's no chain.

However, there are some problems with it: people are more likely to notice the floors and walls, any small faults that they would ignore in a furnished property. It is impossible to give emotional buyers 'the feel' if there nothing there. You'll also need to make sure it's cleaned regularly, garden maintained, is warm and smells nice. A lot of people struggle to visualise spaces and size of furniture in rooms so they'll struggle.

As a 10-year-old property, it's more likely be in the bracket 'dated, but we can do it over time' rather than anyone regarding it to be done up and prepared to pay a premium.

Killerqueen2244 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:56:21

I think as long as the house is warm, clean and doesn’t smell damp then I wouldn’t be put off. There are people who struggle to visualise furniture in an empty space so you may find it’ll take a little longer to sell or you’ll get lower offers than you’re expecting.

AnaWinter Fri 27-Oct-17 20:59:05

If it is a doer upper leave it as it is. I don’t think you would gain what you spend back if the new owners will need to rip it all out.

NotMeNoNo Fri 27-Oct-17 21:25:15

It's definitely not a doer-upper and it would be undervaluing it to price it as such. It's still in nhbc guarantee (just). It's just that, (to me,) when there's nothing else to look at, the "features" really stand out. The kitchen is quite decent, nice splashbacks etc just the really dated doors. It's interesting about the mortgage.

NotMeNoNo Fri 27-Oct-17 21:27:58

Also it would be a case of spending 1-2k to freshen up and shift it rather than get a premium. What do property developers do about the mortgage when they buy homes to do up and sell after a few months?

FriendshipBraclet Fri 27-Oct-17 21:46:46

We recently sold deceased fil house. Over 12 months on the market with it left the way he decorated it on advice of estate agent. Decorated and changed agents, sold very shortly after.

JoJoSM2 Fri 27-Oct-17 22:06:27

I’ve never come across there being problems with getting a mortgage- seems a bit irrelevant to look at how long the previous owner had it.

Well, you could change he doors if you feel they let the kitchen down and make it look older than necessary.

Angryosaurus Fri 27-Oct-17 22:24:09

I think if it's for sale again within 6 months no mortgage company will lend. To do with money laundering I believe

MissDuke Fri 27-Oct-17 22:29:01

I personally like to see furniture in rooms as I am not good at 'getting' the room size otherwise. That may just be me though!!

I think she should ask a local EA as they will know the market so will have better suggestions.

ElsieMc Sat 28-Oct-17 17:29:47

My dm's house sat on the market 6 months and I was really worried about paying her care home fees after her death which were outstanding. It was a nice house, just dated. The problem was no viewings.

I changed agent and painted over the (blown) wallpaper. What a horrible job it was. It sold within three days with new agent but to be honest, the buyer did not care about the paintwork. He bought buy to let. He was buying good three bed houses with parking.

I didn't regret it, because it looked so much fresher and better and if I hadn't got lucky, I think it would have helped.

DancingLedge Sat 28-Oct-17 18:07:19

Depends on house.
Nearly empty house of elderly relatives - carpeted lounge/dining room looks ok empty-but come to think of it, did have curtains up.
Empty conservatory looked bleak. Putting 2 garden chairs and table at one end made it more homely, and , oddly, made it look bigger.

NotMeNoNo Sun 29-Oct-17 00:38:30

I think the local market is no better than average (north of England). Obviously price is an issue but it would look odd to be marketed below the price recently bought at wouldn't it?

Sunnyshores Sun 29-Oct-17 10:27:45

The problem is everyone is looking for a bargain and any 'faults' will attract lower offers. An empty house does tend to show off all bumps and blemishes. It also indicates a need to sell quickly and again will attract lower offers.

I would repaint, clean until it sparkles, make the garden neat. It really would be better to try and borrow some furniture to put in ie a kitchen table to prove you can eat in the kitchen (if applicable), a double bed in perhaps a bedroom that looks like it may not take one. Nice fluffy towels to make the bathroom look less stark. You can sometimes get free washing machines or fridge freezers on freecycle.

DancingLedge Sun 29-Oct-17 11:15:53

OTOH, the EA selling elderly rellies house said, "ok, looks like a 'granny house' , but it's clean, and looks well maintained. You won't increase the value of eg changing the kitchen, by more than it's cost you."
We thought, put in on, see what happens. First offer, they want K15 off , to cover proposed upgrade. Second offer = asking price. Sold 10 days later to first viewers ,for asking price.

SlipperyLizard Sun 29-Oct-17 17:23:50

We went to look at a house where the owner had clearly died or moved into a nursing home, random bits of furniture, medical bits and bobs and very dated decor. We didn't offer.

After no luck anywhere else I went back to see it, it had been redecorated and was empty, but felt like a completely different house. We still didn't offer due to location, but it sold v quickly after languishing for months.

Some people (like me!) have very little imagination, and if a place feels a bit dated and depressing, that will be my lasting impression.

BubblesBuddy Sun 29-Oct-17 23:35:28

It will all depend on pricing. Paint it but don’t do the kitchen. Some new owners might like it as it is. If the market is sluggish then price to sell. Often houses this age don’t have brilliant bathrooms either and will need external decoration too. Where do you stop? It will appeal to someone for the right price.

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