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    • schooleydoo
    • By schooleydoo 16th Mar 17, 4:28 PM
    • 26Posts
    • 17Thanks
    House not sold yet- advised to reduce. Have I done the right thing?
    • #1
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:28 PM
    House not sold yet- advised to reduce. Have I done the right thing? 16th Mar 17 at 4:28 PM
    Our townhouse has been on the market for one month.

    We used the same estate agents that a friend used to sell her townhouse within a week. She had one open house that resulted in 4 offers and she got her asking price.

    They lived one street away and it meant there were at least 3 disappointed buyers on the estate agents books that were looking for a townhouse in our area.

    Ours is 3 bed and has an integrated garage. Hers was a 4 bed with garage in a block. Ours is 5 years old, hers 15.

    We have had 5 viewings and no offers. Feedback:
    x2 don't like the area.
    x2 don't like lounge/kitchen on separate floors.
    x1 wanted us to apply for planning permission to extend before making an offer.

    70 properties in our town have sold in this month. Our estate agent has sold nearly 20% of those and tell me that in February, they sold 36 of 43 properties they had listed and 34 of those at asking price.

    Today our estate agent admitted they were stumped and expected it to sell very quickly. They have marketed it well and it has been a "featured property" every other day. They do seem to have done everything they can. They then suggested dropping the guide price 10k to generate interest and then hoping to get enough offers to push it back up towards the original price of 300k. I agreed to do so but am now doubting myself.

    5 viewings in a month doesn't seem too bad nationally, but as houses are selling very fast locally, is disappointing.

    Taking less than 300k would hurt. We need to repay 30% back to Help To Buy and have already had a valuation submitted to them at 300k. If we take less, we have to make up the difference.

    We are in a mild hurry to move. My wife's maternity leave ends in one month and during her absence they have moved her office 20 miles further away. We want to close that gap by moving.

    Should I have dropped or held out?
    Last edited by schooleydoo; 24-03-2017 at 12:08 PM.
Page 2
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 17th Mar 17, 6:29 AM
    • 2,201 Posts
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    I defo wouldn't reduce again for a few months, see how it goes. To answer your q on if people say whether it's overpriced after viewing, indeed they do.
    Originally posted by Mickygg
    But if I read right the OP doesn't have 'a few months' - they're looking to move fairly quickly in which case getting people in though the door is going to be a key driver for sale.

    I'm not seeing the alignment between the desire to move quickly and the need to achieve close to 300k
    • Mrs36
    • By Mrs36 17th Mar 17, 6:48 AM
    • 115 Posts
    • 206 Thanks
    This is not the problem with Daimler Drive and their road is not better for parking. There are cars parked everywhere along their road as it's on the main entrance to the estate. They have laybys that are free for all and often double parked. They have houses and flats directly opposite them without drives but 2/3 cars to find homes for.

    Daimler Drive is not near the main entrance to the estate and is therefore much quieter. It has allocated offroad parking in front of our houses in a designated area, and non allocated parking spaces at the rear of our houses. We have a car in the garage and one on our drive right now. Most on our road don't use the garage as intended but do the drive. We also have a green in front of us, not more houses and flats.

    The layout of the 275k house is better, but it is smaller. It has no entrance hall, we have an extra bathroom and every room in our house is the same or bigger Sq M, not including our extra landing, bigger garden and garage that can be used as a utility room. We are on a quieter road, have front and back French doors with balconies on the middle floor and have no houses at the front or the back overlooking us.

    To me, with respect, it makes no sense for me to be considering offers at 10k less than theirs.
    Originally posted by schooleydoo
    Your perogative entirely of course, but nothing you've said there screams at me that people would want to buy yours instead of the other one for 15k more. Being on 3 floors rather than 2 is not for everyone (I'm not saying that this is the issue by the way, it is entirely personal choice)

    Once again, I agree with Cakeguts excellent advice (sorry Cakeguts, I'm following you around this morning ) If you have only had 5 viewings in a month then there is an issue. Hopefully the reduction will bring you more viewers.
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 17th Mar 17, 7:04 AM
    • 6,113 Posts
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    Things that come to my mind when I see your house.

    Intergrated garage will mean a cold bedroom.

    Small windows will mean dark rooms, made worse by next doors property sticking out and casting a shadow as in photo one.

    The rooms are very busy. I know the kitchen lacks storage as you're storing crockery out in the open rather than in a cupboard. On that note, why two dining tables? The nursery is cluttered, this makes it hard to imagen as a bedroom. The furniture in the study also makes it hard to mentally put bedroom furniture in.

    If you have young children, not sleeping on the same floor is a pain, it is also a pain that they have to come downstairs while you cook as you can't just keep glancing over into the living room. How much stuff in that toilet!

    Large green space, looks nice, but until I had visited several times I would be concerned about anti-social behaviour.
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 17th Mar 17, 7:06 AM
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    Don't apologise, brutal honesty is what I'm here for! I want to know what my house is worth, not what I think it's worth.

    300k came from, as above, previous sale of a house identical to ours, other houses currently for sale in the area, three different estate agent valuations and an independent valuation by a solicitor.

    This is what 275k buys you in our area -
    Originally posted by schooleydoo
    The flow of that property is much better. What does your price by where non-newbuilds are concerned?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 17th Mar 17, 7:46 AM
    • 16,681 Posts
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    I like your house better than the other with the bigger kitchen/diner. Hers doesn't have that, and it's not very clear where they eat but that tiny table taking a chunk of their lounge. I also like your decoration much better!

    However, her house feels bigger overall, especially the master bedroom. With the addition of the en-suite, which is quite large, it makes the room feels quite small and that would put me off. That added to the extra bedroom will make a difference.

    They say first appearance count for a lot, and clearly hers looks much nicer outside than yours. I expect this with the issue of the neighborhood will also have an impact.

    So: Not so appealing exterior, not as nice street, 4 vs 3 bedroom, smaller master bedroom, that will drive the price down.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 17th Mar 17, 8:01 AM
    • 1,064 Posts
    • 1,179 Thanks

    The area issue is valid. It is one of the reasons we want to move. It's a new build estate of around 150 houses. Some are social housing. Some of those are a problem. One in particular is about 50m from us and has gangs of youths hanging around outside with mopeds driving up and down etc.
    Originally posted by schooleydoo
    Indeed - I never thought I'd see the day properties in Dunstable were fetching those sort of crazy prices

    For many reasons, I decided to leave the area over 20 years ago to somewhere you could buy a smallholding with several acres cheaper!!!
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,222 Thanks
    Dec 2016 sale

    that is probably a close match, latest 3bed sale not too far from yours. 1/4m search on sold prices.

    here is the 1/2m sold in last year freehold.
    Sold in last year 1/2mile.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 17th Mar 17, 10:33 AM
    • 7,546 Posts
    • 4,281 Thanks
    I too would worry about the garage making the first floor cold unless there is good insulation. What does guide price mean? Some potential buyers may not make an offer because they think that it means you will not go below 290k.

    Ultimately it always comes down to price.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 17th Mar 17, 10:43 AM
    • 2,665 Posts
    • 7,142 Thanks
    Reduction was today.

    We got three valuations from three estate agents and an independent (paid) valuation from a solicitor. All came up with the same figure. An identical house to ours on the same estate sold in September for 295k.

    This townhouse is a few doors down with less floorspace but a different design (lounge/kitchen on same floor). It went on the market two weeks after ours, also advertised at 300k.

    300k seemed right to us a month ago but now not so sure. None of the feedback has been related to price, though would people actually tell you tha its overpriced?

    Ours does also, for some reason the floorplan doesn't label the ground floor WC. Just noticed that!
    Originally posted by schooleydoo
    I think having the lounge/kitchen on the same floor will actually command a substantially higher price. Your friend's house is a bit better presented for sale than yours, but its main advantage is the much better layout.
    • cashbackproblems
    • By cashbackproblems 17th Mar 17, 10:50 AM
    • 1,747 Posts
    • 682 Thanks
    Don't apologise, brutal honesty is what I'm here for! I want to know what my house is worth, not what I think it's worth.

    300k came from, as above, previous sale of a house identical to ours, other houses currently for sale in the area, three different estate agent valuations and an independent valuation by a solicitor.

    This is what 275k buys you in our area -
    Originally posted by schooleydoo

    you do realise estate agent valuations are always higher as they want the business.

    The true test is in the first few weeks when you top of the listings and most people will see the property.

    The market is only going to get worse/flatter for the rest of the year. The smart people sold last year pre-brexit
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 17th Mar 17, 2:17 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,241 Thanks
    How much social housing is there in your road compared to social housing close to the 4 bed? You can include shared ownership in both locations.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 17th Mar 17, 3:50 PM
    • 10,659 Posts
    • 8,898 Thanks
    Indeed - I never thought I'd see the day properties in Dunstable were fetching those sort of crazy prices

    For many reasons, I decided to leave the area over 20 years ago to somewhere you could buy a smallholding with several acres cheaper!!!
    Originally posted by bertiewhite
    Prices in neighbouring Luton have increased quite dramatically over the past year or two
    • franklee
    • By franklee 17th Mar 17, 4:01 PM
    • 3,642 Posts
    • 3,892 Thanks
    I think the kitchen being on the ground floor with practically no living space is an issue for anyone with young children. They would have to spend a lot of their their lives squashed in the small dining area of the kitchen rather than being able to play in the lounge. Once the children are old enough to be left alone on a separate floor then it works much better. Your friend's house has the lounge and kitchen on the same floor so works for all ages.

    Your friend's house is larger. having a detached garage isn't a problem for me as there is a pedestrian door into the garden so your friends can come and go to the garage as easily as you can. If anything her access is better as she can go to the garage via the privacy and security of a fenced in garden whereas your garage door left open gives access from the open drive/street.

    Her's has more kerb appeal. I do not like the wooded cladding look and that your neighbour's house sticks in front your yours.

    I do not like her sloping ceilings and black kitchen. The kitchen can be changed though.

    No mention of which way either house faces. If your garden is southerly or westerly then mention that. Any photos with sun on the garden? Use those.

    On price I would expect a four bed to be worth considerably more than a three. The garage adding living space it moot IMO as you both have garages.

    Yours mentions an Estate Charge - The Edge (Dunstable) Management Company Ltd 125.50 per annum her's does not. Are either of them leasehold, they do not say freehold.

    I would be equally ok with a five or fifteen year old house. However if the newer house area had a larger allocation of housing association I would prefer the older.

    You need to compare sold prices not asking prices as the other advertised at 300K ish may not be selling either - they may have based their price on your listing - which hasn't sold.
    Last edited by franklee; 17-03-2017 at 4:03 PM.
    • aahbarnes
    • By aahbarnes 17th Mar 17, 4:06 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    I would say you need to do some decluttering. The toilet with all the marine type accessories particularly.
    • schooleydoo
    • By schooleydoo 17th Mar 17, 9:11 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Lots of questions! Thanks very much for taking the time to look and everyone's advice/opinions.

    Declutter - absolutely agree. Hadn't noticed but the nautical bathroom is very busy. We can move the plates off of the kitchen unit for viewings if that gives the impression that there is a lack of storage to some people. Also declutter the nursery a bit.

    Cold bedroom above the garage. No. The insulation everywhere is extremely thorough and terraced helps keep heat in. Our garage being next to the neighbours garage who has a radiator the entire length of the adjoining wall helps keep it warm too (His dog sleeps in there).

    Friends house VS ours - agree the frontage is more appealing. The area is no better regarding anti social behaviour and parking is an issue there as she has no driveway or allocated parking. Kitchen/Lounge on ground floor is better for most but we have actually found cooking etc on the ground floor with our 8 month old on the top floor means we aren't disturbing his sleep. Also keeps cooking smells out of the rest of the house! Both houses are freehold. Service charge is until the road is adopted next year. There is marginally more social housing in our area. Our garden faces West, hers East.

    Yes most "smart people" sold pre-Brexit. We weren't one of those smart people and didn't expect the vote to go that way. My son was born on voting day so it wasn't the best time to move anyway. Another subject entirely.

    Outside of London, Luton and Dunstable have apparently seen the highest rise in prices in all of the UK in the last 12 months. Surprised us too. There's a new link road that meets a new M1 junction about half a mile from our house that opens next month. This may help us.

    Guide price means ballpark to me. Seems to work for them. They sell more houses in Dunstable than any other agent and all listings have a "guide price".

    Mrs36. I also agree with Cakeguts in that 5 viewings mean there is an issue. I recognised that and is one of the reasons I am seeking advice. I don't agree with their opinion that there are parking issues in my road however. I'm not entirely sure what that was based on.

    Here's the identical house that sold in Dec. We actually viewed this house before buying ours. We liked the cul-de-sac location. We disliked an identical house being opposite, blocking light and overlooking the each other as well as having no other parking options other than in front of the garage. It's also at the front of the estate, right next to the A5, rather than being set back in front of a green.

    Anti social behaviour due to the green's proximity actually isn't an issue. Its not really used. Anti social behaviour outside a couple of peoples houses is more of a problem!

    Price dropped yesterday and we have one viewing tomorrow. I'll declutter and get the agent to take some new photos after the viewing - as well as add the missing WC label to the floorplan. Anyone else have any ideas on how to increase appeal on the listing itself while the estate agent is here?
    Last edited by schooleydoo; 17-03-2017 at 9:18 PM.
    • dotchas
    • By dotchas 17th Mar 17, 9:57 PM
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    • 3,409 Thanks
    Your house looks lovely although I am not a fan of townhouses. The only thing I noticed is that your lounge maybe could have better pics as I cannot see where your TV is, making me think its a very small room.Maybe add some more pics as folk spend more time in the lounge than the loo! x
    I love bargains
    I love MSE
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 17th Mar 17, 10:50 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,241 Thanks
    In the description for your friends house it says parking and garage to the rear. At the rear of the house there is off street private parking for those houses.

    From what I can see of your design of house the parking space in front of the house is not long enough and so cars are all parked partly on the pavement. Some bigger cars fill the parking space and and the pavement.
    • ellie27
    • By ellie27 17th Mar 17, 11:13 PM
    • 1,067 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    As a buyer I always look at sold prices, and see this one untry=england sold for 229k about 5 yrs ago. Property prices where I am am are not that far off from what they were in 2012, so I would think 240k a good price. Ooops -that is your house. So, that would be another reason I would think it is nowhere near worth 300k. I know exactly what you paid for it, and I doubt very much property prices in that area have gone up that much in 5 yrs??
    • Lord Baltimore
    • By Lord Baltimore 18th Mar 17, 12:15 AM
    • 1,313 Posts
    • 1,305 Thanks
    Lord Baltimore
    Price dropped yesterday and we have one viewing tomorrow. Anyone else have any ideas on how to increase appeal on the listing itself while the estate agent is here?
    Originally posted by schooleydoo
    Fingers crossed for tomorrow's (today's) viewing!
    One thng missing from the listing is 'Freehold'. It's usual to specify this at the top of the listing and, to remove any doubt for potential buyers that the property might be leasehold (you pay an annual estate management fee that might imply to some that the property is leasehold so you need to be very clear that the property is Freehold))
    all your base are belong to us
    • melstar11
    • By melstar11 18th Mar 17, 5:48 AM
    • 255 Posts
    • 270 Thanks
    The two main things restricting the number of viewings are price and the fact the kitchen and living room are on separate floors. One of those you can't easily change. Good luck with today's viewing.
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