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House nearby been on market over a year. What to ask EA

(25 Posts)
goteam Mon 22-Feb-21 20:53:32

We are looking to move from 2 bed flat to 4 bed house and would love to stay in our local area but its expensive. Have just realised that a house we regularly pass en route to shops is still on the market after well over a year maybe closer to 2, it was reduced a year ago and still not selling. This is zone 2 London where property usually moves very quickly. I have been keeping a close eye on the local housing market for years so know this.

It seems competitively priced and photos look decent enough, if tired looking decor. It is a three story 4 bed end terrace right at the top of our upper price (and that's if we make a cheeky 10% lower offer)

I'm going to call the estate agent tomorrow but are they likely to be honest as to why it isn't selling? I'm guessing it's something structural or damp (common in Victorian end terraces). It just doesn't make sense that it hasn't sold by now. It is on a street/ in an area where many houses have been divided into flats and those that stay houses usually get snapped up.

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shavenraven Mon 22-Feb-21 21:40:29

Are you able to post a link?

I was interested in viewing a house that had been for sale for quite some time last year. When I really started looking into it I realised that further down the road was a recycling plant and just behind the property was a train line

There were three other properties in similar situations. One had a petrol station behind it, another had been under pinned and the third had a street light and bus stop directly outside, the driveway was also shared but not mentioned in the listing

EA's are often shady. If the price was right the house you mention would have sold a long time ago

user1471538283 Mon 22-Feb-21 21:46:34

I would ask what the interest has been like. Has anyone got as far as the survey. Is the seller open to offers. What is the seller's position.

I had my eye on a bungalow and despite my repeatedly asking for a viewing it never happened and it had been on the market a year. Then all of a sudden it was reduced and sold. I think the EA was saving it for someone.

babychange12 Mon 22-Feb-21 21:48:14

Price is probably too high
Japanese knotweed potentially
Vendors who are in cuckoo land who want to sell at sky high prices

goteam Mon 22-Feb-21 21:50:55

@shavenraven I dont really want to post a link as it may be outing. I live a few streets away and know the area and there is nothing like a recycling plant or train line. It's a lovely leafy area near a park, nice shops and cafes, good schools etc. Its a dead end too so no through traffic.

@user1471538283 I will ask about interest so far. Think the owners have moved out which makes me even more suspicious....

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goteam Mon 22-Feb-21 21:53:01

@babychange12 Japanese knotweed is a good call although pretty sure that's easily treatable.

It's not overpriced. If anything slightly under priced.

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lastqueenofscotland Mon 22-Feb-21 22:05:30

I’d suspect something about it has made it Unmortgagable

sst1234 Mon 22-Feb-21 22:24:55

Either the vendor is deluded about the value of the house or there is something that keeps coming up on the survey everytime someone tries to buy it. Either way, it’s overpriced if has sat there for a year. Make sure you negotiate hard.

Comefromaway Mon 22-Feb-21 22:28:42

My street is lovely and a really nice area but the house next door hasn’t sold because of a mine shaft in their garden. (It’s just the right distance from my land not to affect our house).

Can’t imagine that being an issue in London though.

BlueCowWonders Mon 22-Feb-21 22:30:13

Sounds like you might end up wasting money on a survey as I'd assume other potential buyers had pulled out. I imagine it's difficult to get the facts from an estate agent who by definition works for the seller

PurplePansy05 Mon 22-Feb-21 22:32:41

Did they make any significant alterations without planning permission? Is there an unresolved ongoing dispute or a legal issue? Is the property and land around it for sale or is there something dodgy going on with title deeds? There could be lots of reasons, not only structural (but that's quite likely).

PurplePansy05 Mon 22-Feb-21 22:34:07

Another issue, risk of flooding?

londongirl12 Mon 22-Feb-21 22:49:35


*@babychange12* Japanese knotweed is a good call although pretty sure that's easily treatable.

It's not overpriced. If anything slightly under priced.

It's not easy to get rid of at all

GrumpyHoonMain Mon 22-Feb-21 23:38:41

Is it possible it’s a listed building or there are restrictions? Some zone 1 and 2 property can’t be extended or changed in any way which makes doing any work really difficult and expensive.

TinyGlassOwl Tue 23-Feb-21 07:48:14

If Japanese knotweed was easy to get rid of it wouldn't affect potential house sales in the way it does. It's a nightmare.

A Victorian end-terrace in Z2 that hasn't sold for over a year is likely to have some serious issues.

Still, no harm in enquiring.

Nonamesavail Tue 23-Feb-21 07:50:45

We have one 2 doors up from us thats out of our budget, we rent...but its been up nearly 2 yrs and defo not over priced. I really don't know why.

DottyWott Tue 23-Feb-21 07:51:32

If it’s Japanese knotweed the mortgage con may refuse to lend on it, take the decision out of your hands (unless you are a cash buyer)

mumwon Tue 23-Feb-21 08:22:23

is there an aerial photograph on the maps? maybe there are some plans nearby (you can look up local government planning for free). Flood areas can also be looked up. Look up houses next door when they sold & their pictures. Check roof & not all rooms & areas will be photographed. Lack of central heating - is it mentioned or not - access across garden for neighbour etc

mumwon Tue 23-Feb-21 10:52:38

thinks - maybe it belongs to a divorced couple & they can't agree on selling or price or someone has died & several people have inherited it & can't agree
or previously others have offered but building soc or other institution won't loan full amount

Jarstastic Tue 23-Feb-21 11:43:10

Have a look for records of older sales online and changes to the house, then cross check with planning online. Unfortunately I can’t find building regs online. However, there is a house we were very interested in and unusually not sold in an area houses are moving fast. It is overpriced but before we decided what to offer we asked a few questions about the work that had been done by the current owners in the last 5 years. The house is being marketed as immaculate, highest standard etc. They have done it themselves with no building regulations and don’t see an issue. Apparently surprised we would ask questions. They did admit that the loft bedroom had no planning and isn’t technically a bedroom, which the agents said was news to them, but it continues to be promoted as a bedroom.

Rainbowshine Tue 23-Feb-21 11:48:51

It may well be something underground like @Comefromaway experienced, it might be an old quarry, tunnel or sewer. Just remember that the EA’s job is to act for the vendor and get as much money for it as possible, so don’t trust that they give you a full picture of the situation.

ArosGartref Tue 23-Feb-21 11:51:46


mumwon Tue 23-Feb-21 14:23:34

Oh or possible subsidence more visible from back or front
look out for cracks that are go through the wall ie visible from inside & out
if you do view it
the smell - damp or (shudders) rats
woodworm in floor boards
roof (take binoculars & small step to stand on to view roof & chimney
(has the inside bit of chimney been removed?)
no inside bathroom
or tenant that still lives

JackieWeaver4PrimeMinister Tue 23-Feb-21 15:57:33

Could you ask the neighbour? Possibly then you'll also figure out if it's due to neighbourly problems! I asked the neighbour to the house I went for why it had been on the market so long, and she gave me the whole story and I went for it. I am in the North though and we regularly chat in the street etc.

goteam Tue 23-Feb-21 18:57:37

Thanks everyone. I spoke to the EA who said that one of the problems is the original asking price was too high and it has been reduced by around £100k every 6 months in the last 1.5 years. Offers have been put in but not accepted. I told the EA our highest possible offer and he said they have refused higher offers so we aren't going to view it. He did say it hadn't yet got to survey stage but he thinks the decor puts people off and for the price point people want a house that's ready to go.

So we won the taking it further but could to hear peoples views.

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