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First time selling a house...tips please!

(12 Posts)
CarrieBo Thu 18-Jun-09 15:44:33

So, we've decided to move from our terraced first-time-buyer house to a 3 bed semi with extension potential. 2 EAs came round last night to do valuations, and both gave same value and same commission. The value is less than I thought, in that its what I'd hda in mind to sell at, therefore I expected the house to be marketted slightly higher. Which EA do we choose - the nicer one who listened to what's important to us, or the pushier one who I suspect would sell it much quicker, but poss for less money.
And then there's buying...how much under the asking price do we then offer on somewhere? There are two houses we're interested in.
AAAAAGHHH I'm new to all this and its giving me a headache already!

lalalonglegs Thu 18-Jun-09 17:32:54

Nicer one - why encourage the sharks?

CarGirl Thu 18-Jun-09 17:34:54

I would ask both of them what do they think you can do to improve saleability, see who gives you honest feedback.

goldenpeach Thu 18-Jun-09 19:33:21

It really depends on your house. I sold two houses so far. First one was lovely inside but not appealing location so I used a pushy estate agent to sell it. The second time we had a lovely house in nice location so we went for a posher agent. In Both cases the agents belonged to agencies who sold me the houses originally so they obviously knew how to shift them (and they gave me discount on their fee). In both cases houses were pristine inside, we redecorated prior to sale and they were presented clutter free which was quite a pain in the second house as we then had a toddler.

CarrieBo Thu 18-Jun-09 21:35:53

We are definitely in the nice house grotty area category!

brettgirl2 Fri 19-Jun-09 07:53:45

Firstly, getting the right agent is really important and sometimes it is worth paying a bit more. A poor agent means your house on the market for ages, leading to offers being lower because people think as a result it is too expensive. You obviously aren't happy with either agent because what you actually want is a pushy agent who will get the most money possible. I know what you mean about the low price agent, there is one of those round here too. I chose my agent based on who had sold the most houses round here recently and had two offers in a week. Last year with a different agent, who charged less commission I had one (poor) offer in three months.

We are nice house in slightly scruffy area, but there are advantages because it is better value for money and that is what some people want.

In terms of how much to offer I think it depends if the house is overpriced to start with. Look round a few houses and decide what you actually think they are worth and that forms the figure for final offer. There are a lot of people trying to sell houses however who are not accepting realistic offers, so try not to set your heart on one or two houses. Also, be a bit cheeky, talk about what you think the houses are worth with your agent. You might as well get some value out of their commission fee!

In terms of saleability you need to maximise the positives of the house (for example my house has a nice garden so we really bigged this up and made sure we were in it when people came round). Declutter yes but personally I think it is better if the house looks lived in and think some people do this to the point of the house looking stark.

CarrieBo Fri 19-Jun-09 13:16:08

Great tips thank you!

Just got the official quote in the post from the 'nicer' agent (the one who really listened to what is important to us) and there are two hidden costs - one is that their fee is +VAT which he didn't say at the time, and the other is that we can get the HIP at the price they quoted if we use their recommended solicitor. I don't really have a problem with that, its just that they didn't mention it at the time.
I really don't know what's normal and what's not!
Hopefully our house will appeal to first time buyers just like we were 6 years ago - its a street with a reputation, as a consequence you get much more (and much nicer) house for your money.

Rebeccaj Fri 19-Jun-09 13:57:03

Any agent's fee will be plus VAT, that's normal. The HIP is normally at a discount/free if you use their recommended HIP provider. Do you have a solicitor - is it worth using theirs?

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Fri 19-Jun-09 14:05:36

Its a seller's market - maybe you should ask them if they will consider being joint agents. We did this when attempting to sell our flat. Both agents agreed that the agent who sold would get all the fees, and that the fees would be the same as single agency rather than the additional agency fee. A proper formal contract was signed with both agents confirming what fees were applicable upon selling. They both then stood a chance of making money, instead of no chance at all. Estate agents are keen to make sales at the moment so they might be up for some negotiation?

(as it happened neither could sell it so neither got anything!)

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Fri 19-Jun-09 14:07:41

(it was also an incentive for both agents to work that bit harder, as they had the risk of the other selling first)

CarrieBo Fri 19-Jun-09 18:21:50

That's an idea that another friend also suggested today. i think we'd need to have had our house on the market for a while to go down that route, but its worth considering.
We were very happy with the solicitor we used last time, although I don't really have any problem using theirs.
I'm just desperately trying not to get my hopes up, coz at the moment its all exciting but the house isn't actually on the market yet. Its like ttc, you can decide to try, but you can't make it happen...

CarrieBo Sat 20-Jun-09 19:54:05

Decided to go with agent 2 - the one who was a bit pushier at the valuation. We viewed a house today with someone from that agency and were really impressed. Dh wants to try and barter down the commission, and we'll set the ball rolling on Monday...!
I'm scared and excited.

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