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If you were a buyer, would any of these things put you off?

(26 Posts)
naturelover Tue 26-Aug-08 09:54:28

Our compact Victorian cottage is in pretty good condition overall, but I'm worried that buyers will be put off by certain scruffy elements:

- woodwork could do with a fresh coat of paint
- lawn is a bit sparse
- back and front doors need replacing
- stripped floors could do with another sand & coat of varnish
- presence of buggy, high chair, toys, general clutter (though I am tidy)

On the upside:
- new kitchen and bathroom
- new windows
- new boiler
- neutral colour scheme with wooden floors
- bigger than average garden for the type/location of house

I daresay it will sell if cheap enough... let's hope we can get enough to make the jump to our dream house!

Please share your top tips for selling in the current market. Thanks

GooseyLoosey Tue 26-Aug-08 09:57:51

Yes the scruffiness would put me off unless I was being sold a development prospect. If I was being sold a house I could just move in to, I personally would want it to look pristine.

Is there stuff you could do to tart it up without spending much money (like painting and re-seeding lawn)?

janeite Tue 26-Aug-08 09:59:25

Presence of buggy and stuff not a problem, though if you can declutter a bit, I would.

Doors - so long as they're not truly dreadful, I'd leave them, as buyers might want something different anyway.

Woodwork - deffo give it a coat of paint.

Haylstones Tue 26-Aug-08 10:00:45

None of them would put me off but we always buy properties that need a bit of work done to them as we like to have it just the way we want and it would be a shame to change something if there wasn't anything wrong, just not our taste. Just keep it clean and tidy; the main thing to put me off is dark, dirty, smelly houses [shudder]

claricebeansmum Tue 26-Aug-08 10:00:52

Nope - but I would be looking to negotiate on price.

NomDePlume Tue 26-Aug-08 10:02:02

Shabby front door would put me off, first impressions and all that.

Paintwork would put me off subconciously

Lawn not so much, most people will have made their mind up by the time they get to the back garden anyway.

claricebeansmum Tue 26-Aug-08 10:02:32

"the main thing to put me off is dark, dirty, smelly houses [shudder]"

So you would not have bought the house we have then. Painted dark brown throughout (including ceilings) in 1970s and then two smokers lived in it....hmm

But as I keep telling myself, it WILL be beautiful!

Fimbo Tue 26-Aug-08 10:02:44

Do you drive? Could you stick the buggy in it (just for viewings?).

RubySlippers Tue 26-Aug-08 10:03:01

having bought a house which needed A LOT doing i have to say scruffy woodwork wouldn't put me off, but i would haggle

cece Tue 26-Aug-08 10:03:08

TBH when we were looking a bit of clutter wouldn't put me off but resanding the floors and painting the chipped woodwork would make me put in a lower offer.

Also DH and I used to look at each other and dread looking at houses with a new kitchen/bathroom as quite often we didn't like them but because they are new you don't feel you could just rip it out and start again. However, if I did like them then it would be a bonus.

grouchomarx Tue 26-Aug-08 10:13:21

wouldn't put me off at all too much if I really loved the house. But I think I am much less fussy than the average buyer and tend to turn a blind eye to stuff that gets in the way of my vision of perfection!

However, if you can then probably touching up the woodwork a good idea, making the rest of the garden look good even if you can't improve the lawn (is it too late to plant grass seed?).

If you could afford to replace the front door I think this would be the one to go for as it makes a big impact and an unkempt front door might make me suspect that other things weren't in as good condition as they seemed to be. And I would declutter as much as possible - if the house is small compact then any amount of kid's stuff is going to make it look overcrowded.

Could you just cover the most obviously needy floors with a rug?

noddyholder Tue 26-Aug-08 10:44:06

nothing would put me off if i loved it.The dark brown house sounds like the sort of thing i usually buy and they do become beautpful-eventually!

naturelover Tue 26-Aug-08 15:57:10

Thanks everyone!

We bought it as a wreck and plan to buy another wreck and in some ways we prefer to put our own stamps on houses (plus it means we can afford more space/better area if we can put up with living in squalor initially).

I think we will do the doors and tidy up paintwork, but might not have time to do more because we have found our dream house and need to get this sold quickly (we hope) in order to proceed.

Good idea re putting buggy in car for viewings. I think I will also box some stuff up for the loft this weekend.

fishnet Tue 26-Aug-08 16:50:36

when we sold ours we had two cars crammed full of crap and a garage full of boxes every time we had a viewing just so that people noticed the house rather than the clutter. It worked for us.

I'd put down some grass seed since you don't know how long it might take to sell and in the meantime every day is getting you closer to a better lawn.

Touching up paintwork takes no time at all. You don't need it to be a masterpiece just good enoug that it doesn't put buyers off.

And bear in mind that the majority of buyers in a real position to move will want a discount off the asking price even if its reasonably priced anyway. its a psychological thing in this sort of market.

MrsMattie Tue 26-Aug-08 19:10:50

Our Victorian terrace was a bit scruffy in a kind of Boho, frazzled parents type way (clutter, scruffy paintwork and wooden floors, practically dead lawn in garden, nothing styled or 'show-homed' about it at all!) - sold very quickly regardless, but the climate was different then (last summer). Location had a lot to do with it, too.

We did make some effort to de-clutter, but it was more 'hide stuff under beds / in cupboards' than proper sorting out!

noddyholder Tue 26-Aug-08 19:14:39

I have viewed a lot this last few months and tbh condition is not that relevant in a falling market.Don't over do it and waste your time Get rid of clutter etc to maqke the rooms easy to move around etc and clean bathroom and toilet but I think atm painting etc is a waste of time Location and just getting people in the door are more important

Lauriefairycake Tue 26-Aug-08 19:15:03

I would not notice any of your list.

But I am not a reliable person to ask as I deliberately buy shite- holes that noone wants so i can make it mine smile

MuffinMclay Tue 26-Aug-08 19:53:03

Lawn, clutter - not in the slightest.
Other stuff - yes these days (don't have the time to put it right), but wouldn't put me off if I was child-free. I'm guessing that if it is a smallish house your target market might be childless couples, so that might not worry them at all.

New windows, boiler, kitchen are a big plus though.

artichokes Tue 26-Aug-08 19:58:13

i have looked round houses that feel very "worn" and the generally tired feeling has put me off a little. it is fine if you are asking for less money than similar houses that are smartly decorated, but on the whole i noticed people ask for the same amount as other similarly sized and situated houses as if decor is unimportant.

notcitrus Tue 26-Aug-08 22:23:36

Could you throw a bit of paint over the scruffiest parts?

When we sold our last place, having done up about half of it and left the rest that was in good nick but in dodgy 80 pastel colours, the agent recommended moving certain items of furniture to make it all look as spacious as possible (and piling loads of stuff in the larder and loft), getting the kitchen squeaky clean, and buying a pale neutral throw to put over our crap ugly sofa.

Apparently if people see battered furniture they assume the house is equally in poor condition, and they really aren't good at estimating the size of crowded rooms - so decluttering really is vital.

We found it annoying that almost all the houses meeting our requirements had already been done up beautifully, so we couldn't afford them, or a developer would pay more than us to do them up. Luckily we found one that developers thought wasn't worth the effort having been converted to have a granny flat, which we were happy to take on and rent out, but we were actively looking for shabbiness!

wombleprincess Thu 28-Aug-08 11:47:58

front door i would say ... first impressions and all that. i am convinced that it was that and shuttes which sold our house.

lalalonglegs Thu 28-Aug-08 13:48:31

It's the price that will sell it not absence of pushchair/state of lawn.

makeminealargeoneplease Fri 29-Aug-08 16:01:28

When we were selling our tiny cottage whenever we had a viewer I would go around frantically shoving stuff under the beds/cot,in cupboards - and shoved gently placed dog in the car! (With the windows open! don't worry!!) The clutter and baby stuff definitely makes a difference to the overall look, especially in small property. Fimbo's right definitely shove the buggy in the car, (along with high chair, big toys etc etc) good luck!

expatinscotland Fri 29-Aug-08 16:03:37

i live in a Victorian cottage.

it has single glazing and is very traditional.

from this experience, i'd take a new kitchen/bathroom, double glazing, new bioler and bigger than average garden ANY day over what sounds like a few cosmetic things that need to be sorted out.

woodstock3 Sat 30-Aug-08 23:06:40

paint the woodwork (doesnt cost much and makes it look looked after)
bugger the lawn and the highchair/toys - if it is a family house selling to people with kids they will be used to plastic tat, and their children will wreck the lawn anyway (speaking from bitter experience grin)
BUT clear out any other clutter ruthlessly as it makes the rooms look smaller. especially move the buggy out of the hall (if that's where it is) as it instantly makes it look like a squeeze

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