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Unable to sell house

Hi there

We've had our house on the market for. about 3 and a half months and have had over 20 viewings but no offers. 

The estate agent valued it at £195K but given the state of the market/mortgages it went on for offers in excess of £180K. 

After Christmas it was reduced slightly, albeit not by much - offers in the region of £178K but despite continued viewings, still no offers. 

We've spoken to the estate agents on at least five separate occasions about what the feedback has been and each time they have said that it just hasn't been to each individual potential buyer's personal taste which isn't something we can really do anything about. 

I spoke to the estate agent earlier this week (different person who I had previously spoken to and who has apparently carried out some of the viewings). They said that in order for us to sell it we need to replace all of the bedroom carpets (3 bedrooms) and the carpet on the stairs and landing, replace all of the internal doors, install a new shower and a new bathroom mirror as well as deep cleaning the bathroom and de-odourising the house as there is apparently a pet smell and once all that is done, the price needs to be reduced to £175K and if don't do any of this then we have to reduce it to £170K. 

The house however has been vacant since September 2023 and it was re-painted throughout an off white colour and we had it deep cleaned (all done by professionals which we paid a fair penny for)  before it went on the market so we are a bit skeptical about the alleged smell and needing to deep clean the bathroom. We checked it over after it had been deep cleaned and it was absolutely spotless and no sign of any smell, but apparently that is no longer the case. 

There's a couple of issues, firstly, the issue with the feedback being it's not to buyer's personal tastes for the last 3 and half months but now it's being said that there's all these issues. 

The second is cost, if we reduce to £170K we won't break even on what we paid for the house and what we invested in it (new kitchen, external wall insulation etc) but if we do all the work the estate agent has now told us we need to do and we reduce it to £175k again we won't break even. 

New internal doors throughout including labour and materials is about £800 - £1000. 
New carpets including installation we have worked it out to be roughly £500. 
New electric shower plus installation looks to be about £200-£400 
A further deepclean will be £200-£300. 

I guess we are just really struggling with what to do. 

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Comments

  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,143
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    ProDave said:
    If it genuinely smells (and the pet owner will swear it does not because their nose is used to it) and the carpets are tatty (probably where the smell is coming from) then remove the carpets and leave bare floors.  Then scrub it again.  Get a fresh person, a friend perhaps, to go and look and ask them honestly, does it smell?

    I would not fit new carpets, the new owners might not like them or might want something else. Ditto the shower etc, clean as best you can, any sign of mould, diluted bleach is your friend.

    This is precisely what I was thinking. Get someone fresh and whose opinion you can trust to get in and look at it with fresh eyes (and nose) and get feedback. Not just for the smell, but for the whole house. 

    There was one house that we looked at that was very nice, except that it had a smell (and black mould). The smell of a house can easily be off-putting. 

    And, personally I think that the feedback could be accurate in this case. It's not been to the personal taste of buyers so far, and it might be a matter of waiting for the right buyer to come along. 
  • MorningcoffeeIV
    MorningcoffeeIV Posts: 1,887
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    Hi there

    We've had our house on the market for. about 3 and a half months and have had over 20 viewings but no offers. 

    The estate agent valued it at £195K but given the state of the market/mortgages it went on for offers in excess of £180K. 

    After Christmas it was reduced slightly, albeit not by much - offers in the region of £178K but despite continued viewings, still no offers. 

    We've spoken to the estate agents on at least five separate occasions about what the feedback has been and each time they have said that it just hasn't been to each individual potential buyer's personal taste which isn't something we can really do anything about. 

    I spoke to the estate agent earlier this week (different person who I had previously spoken to and who has apparently carried out some of the viewings). They said that in order for us to sell it we need to replace all of the bedroom carpets (3 bedrooms) and the carpet on the stairs and landing, replace all of the internal doors, install a new shower and a new bathroom mirror as well as deep cleaning the bathroom and de-odourising the house as there is apparently a pet smell and once all that is done, the price needs to be reduced to £175K and if don't do any of this then we have to reduce it to £170K. 

    The house however has been vacant since September 2023 and it was re-painted throughout an off white colour and we had it deep cleaned (all done by professionals which we paid a fair penny for)  before it went on the market so we are a bit skeptical about the alleged smell and needing to deep clean the bathroom. We checked it over after it had been deep cleaned and it was absolutely spotless and no sign of any smell, but apparently that is no longer the case. 

    There's a couple of issues, firstly, the issue with the feedback being it's not to buyer's personal tastes for the last 3 and half months but now it's being said that there's all these issues. 

    The second is cost, if we reduce to £170K we won't break even on what we paid for the house and what we invested in it (new kitchen, external wall insulation etc) but if we do all the work the estate agent has now told us we need to do and we reduce it to £175k again we won't break even. 

    New internal doors throughout including labour and materials is about £800 - £1000. 
    New carpets including installation we have worked it out to be roughly £500. 
    New electric shower plus installation looks to be about £200-£400 
    A further deepclean will be £200-£300. 

    I guess we are just really struggling with what to do. 


    You wouldn't necessarily expect to break even, depending on how long you've owned it. 

    You don't get to add on the cost of things like a new kitchen to the selling price.  It just makes it a bit more attractive to buyers 
  • Bailey1980
    Bailey1980 Posts: 105
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    ProDave said:
    If it genuinely smells (and the pet owner will swear it does not because their nose is used to it) and the carpets are tatty (probably where the smell is coming from) then remove the carpets and leave bare floors.  Then scrub it again.  Get a fresh person, a friend perhaps, to go and look and ask them honestly, does it smell?

    I would not fit new carpets, the new owners might not like them or might want something else. Ditto the shower etc, clean as best you can, any sign of mould, diluted bleach is your friend.

    RHemmings said:
    ProDave said:
    If it genuinely smells (and the pet owner will swear it does not because their nose is used to it) and the carpets are tatty (probably where the smell is coming from) then remove the carpets and leave bare floors.  Then scrub it again.  Get a fresh person, a friend perhaps, to go and look and ask them honestly, does it smell?

    I would not fit new carpets, the new owners might not like them or might want something else. Ditto the shower etc, clean as best you can, any sign of mould, diluted bleach is your friend.

    This is precisely what I was thinking. Get someone fresh and whose opinion you can trust to get in and look at it with fresh eyes (and nose) and get feedback. Not just for the smell, but for the whole house. 

    There was one house that we looked at that was very nice, except that it had a smell (and black mould). The smell of a house can easily be off-putting. 

    And, personally I think that the feedback could be accurate in this case. It's not been to the personal taste of buyers so far, and it might be a matter of waiting for the right buyer to come along. 
    I guess the issue is is that we paid to have the entire house  professionally deep cleaned, including the carpets after we and everything we owned was removed and in the previous five times we spoke to the estate agent, including, other members of the team who had done viewings we weren't told any of this so it's come as a shock that these are issues that haven't previously raised have now been raised. If we'd known earlier we might have been able to go back to the company who deep cleaned the house. 

    The person at the estate agent I spoke to this week said we don't stand a chance of selling it unless we replace all the carpets, shower etc even though I raised that it still wouldn't be to buyers tastes. 
  • ProDave
    ProDave Posts: 3,614
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    Care to post the sales details, we won't be able to smell it, but might otherwise judge the condition.
  • justwhat
    justwhat Posts: 607
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    Hi there

    We've had our house on the market for. about 3 and a half months and have had over 20 viewings but no offers. 

    The estate agent valued it at £195K but given the state of the market/mortgages it went on for offers in excess of £180K. 

    After Christmas it was reduced slightly, albeit not by much - offers in the region of £178K but despite continued viewings, still no offers. 



    There's a couple of issues, firstly, the issue with the feedback being it's not to buyer's personal tastes for the last 3 and half months but now it's being said that there's all these issues. 

    The second is cost, if we reduce to £170K we won't break even on what we paid for the house and what we invested in it (new kitchen, external wall insulation etc) but if we do all the work the estate agent has now told us we need to do and we reduce it to £175k again we won't break even. 


    I guess we are just really struggling with what to do. 

    The valuation is a guess, the price is what they THINK a buyer is willing to pay. 
    So treat it as a ball park figure. 

    As for what you invested ill take a guess , you never strictly speaking made your choices based on purely as an investment.  Your wants and lifestyle choices may have been a factor and that does not add value too the property, but does cost money.

    So you are hung up on 2 things that are artificially inflating the value of the house. 

    Hardly anyone is truthful with there feedback for various reasons.

    Are you willing to post a link to the house?




  • Bonniepurple
    Bonniepurple Posts: 557
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    I think the estate agent is telling a few porky pies.  It might smell a bit - shut up houses often do.  Get a few long lasting diffuser air fresheners.  Is it priced in line with similar local properties? Have those been selling or are they stuck?  Equally, if there are several houses up for sale in a short street people might start wondering if there are issues with neighbours or a massive new development.

    I personally (without having seen the place!) would change the estate agent before changing the decor.  

    FWIW, last time we sold we apparently had a viewing where the feedback was it was on a busy road.  Given that they were local and knew the area I take this lack of knowledge with a pinch of salt!
  • housebuyer143
    housebuyer143 Posts: 3,167
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    If a pet has peed on the carpets then amount of cleaning gets up the smell it's soaked into the underlay. My mum would swear her house didn't smell but I always smelt dog when I went there and at one point there was a strange nasty smell which was only resolved by removing the offending carpet.
  • Bailey1980
    Bailey1980 Posts: 105
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    If a pet has peed on the carpets then amount of cleaning gets up the smell it's soaked into the underlay. My mum would swear her house didn't smell but I always smelt dog when I went there and at one point there was a strange nasty smell which was only resolved by removing the offending carpet.
    None of our dogs ever peed on the carpets. 
  • Bailey1980
    Bailey1980 Posts: 105
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    Photos of the house
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