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Everything posted by Spark

  1. Now dropped from almost £500K to £360K. Not so extreme kite flying...
  2. There is no harm making a £140K offer to the builder. They are in business to sell houses and they will want to off-load it. They probably won't want to sell for much below what they paid for, but you don't know what they paid as it isn't coming up on the LR. They will probably have a minimum figure they will sell for and will tell you this if they don't accept your offer. When negotiating with builders they sometimes accept lower offers at the end of the month (or towards the end of the quarter), as the sales people have targets to meet. They may take a slightly lower offer just to make their quarterly figures look good. August is a slow month for house sales (kids on holiday etc) and if they haven't found a buyer by the end of September then they know they could be stuck with the house until the following Spring.
  3. Keep advertising your house and hopefully you will find another buyer. I accepted an offer from a cash buyer and they pulled out on me last July, after they decided that my bungalow was too small for them so I know how depressing this is! Fortunately I didn't have another house lined up to buy (as I'm emigrating to South Africa). If thinking of taking out a BTL mortgage and renting out your old house then you need to do some research. What monthly rental can be achieved? Multiply this by 11 (allowing for 1 month unoccupied per year) and then take this figure and divide it by the current value. Is this annual rental yield above 6%? If not, you are probably better going all out to find another buyer. Things are traditionally slow in August, as people are more concerned with looking after the kids during the summer break and arranging holidays etc. After the last aborted deal last year I didn't receive any offers until July this year when 2 people made an offer in the same week. I have signed the exchange documents and I'm just waiting for the buyer's to do the same!
  4. I would be more concerned about the insulation and damp proofing if a garage was converted into a kitchen. Garages just have brick walls with no cavity. Also houses have a damp-proof membrane but do garages? (I'm not a builder so not sure) I would be wanting answers to these questions: Has the bare brick just been plastered or have they added some internal insulation between the brick if they have plasterboarded it? Has any additional insulation been added in the walls/ceiling/floor? Is there a damp proof membrane? Also garage floors are at ground level, but the house floor is usually higher than ground level. Do you step down into the kitchen or is the flooring level with the rest of the house?
  5. Yes, this is to do with money laundering regulations. They usually ask for 2 forms of ID - usually passport or photo driving licence and a recent utility bill. This is to confirm you are who you say you are. Sellers of houses have to do the same thing!
  6. You could also have a look on Zoopla. Go to "Home value" and put in the required postcode. If there is any historic data, you will see a little red and white "H" icon. Click on that and it will show you an archived ad for that house (either a sale or rental). I think this goes back 4 or 5 years, so you might see some neighbouring properties that have archived sales or rental ads.
  7. This is a very small part of the UK...and when did PE2 become the centre of the universe?
  8. And this is non-standard construction. I don't think lenders would give a mortgage to buy this.
  9. £445,000 This is isn't listed as a semi-detached, but as a detached. I don't know how the EA got away with calling it a detached, as it is actually an end terraced house (as it is attached to the 5 almshouses that you can see on the right). End of terrace To be fair it is a small village with only 3 houses on the market. A 2 bed semi bungalow for £235K and a 4 bed detached at £685K.
  10. We were selling to the builder "as is" and not paying him to install the kitchen and bathroom. The back garden was also a mess, as we got 4 tonnes of topsoil to fill in 2 large koi ponds (and this wasn't even enough to completely fill them). The builder told us to leave the garden. After he pulled out he hit us with a bill for his work (although we only paid him half of the bill). We then still needed to decorate the house, landscape the rear garden and fully paint the outside of the house. The builder was getting a bargain at £200K, but he couldn't afford to buy it. Him and his wife were getting a divorce and he was buying the house for the ex-wife. In the end the wife bought a 1 bed bungalow. The £220K offer was halfway through the doing the renovations. The kitchen and bathroom had been installed, but the house needed some minor plastering and decoration carried out internally. The garden and exterior of the house had not been painted by then. The £230K offer was after the rooms had been plastered and painted. The exterior was painted and the rear garden was landscaped. So you are not comparing like for like. Even at £235K this bungalow is still cheaper than the 2 nearest bungalows. One is a smaller bungalow (in a bigger village 3 miles away) on a smaller plot with no view and this is on at £240K. The other one is a slightly bigger bungalow on the same sized plot with a countryside view in a small village 3 miles from us and this is advertised at £290K. Price isn't the problem for us selling this house - nobody has said that it is too expensive. We must have had it priced right at OIEO £230K when we had 3 cash buyers viewing and 2 of them submitting an offer. Most of the people buying the bungalows are retired people who are downsizing. Most of the people who don't like the place say that it is too rural (in a small village with around 100 houses and no shops).
  11. I tried to sell my house privately, but it wasn't that easy! Initially I "sold" it to the builder across the road who I got in to refit the kitchen and bathroom. He asked me how much I wanted on the 3rd day of work. I said to make me an offer and he said he would give me £200K. This was a bit below market value, but I accepted because I didn't need to advertise, get a HIP or pay EA fees. He initially said the offer was unconditional - buying our house was not dependant on him selling his place. He later said he needed to sell his place, so we waited for him to sell his place. Finally he sold his place but he didn't get as much as he thought AP was £325K and he accepted £292.5K. He pulled out of the deal in late August 2009. I then advertised privately on Gumtree, Tepilo and any other free websites that I found. I also advertised with an on-line EA that got me on Rightmove and Primelocation for £295 up-front fee. "Sold" my house again via the on-line EA in October 2009 to a retired couple for £220K. They were in a chain and needed to sell their house to buy our bungalow. Their buyer then pulled out and the chain collapsed. I was advertising the house in local newsagents, had a "for sale" sign made up, had magnetic for sale signs advertising the bungalow on both our cars. I also made my own website to advertise the house. I also placed 2 adverts in the property section of the local newspaper. Between August 2009 and April 2010 all this advertising produced: EA via Rightmove - 4 viewers and 1 offer. For sale sign - 1 viewer Vehicle signs - 2 or 3 enquiries, but no viewers Free websites - around 5 enquiries and 2 appointments. 1 viewer and 1 no show. 1 person wanted to rent our bungalow. Local paper and newsagents - No response I then landscaped the rear garden and got 2 EAs up to value the place in April 2010. Both EAs said to market it around £230K to achieve £225-230K. Picked the EA we got along with and he put the place on at OIEO £230K in May 2010. He found 5 viewers including 3 cash buyers. 1 person viewed our place twice along with another place, but they bought the other place. 1 cash buyer didn't like our place. The other 2 cash buyers made us an offer. 1st offered £220K which we refused and they increased to £222.5K. 2nd cash buyer loved our place and offered £230K which we accepted. The people then decided our bungalow was too small after 2 weeks and pulled out of the deal. By now it is the end of July 2010 - the EA contacted the 1st cash buyer again, but they won't respond to his calls. Changed EAs to another small EA in the next village who specialises in rural property in August. They suggest to market at £235K to achieve £230K. They have 4 viewing requests, but only had 2 viewers 1 no show and 1 cancellation. Perhaps we have just been unlucky, but we didn't manage to sell privately. The EAs get more people through the doors, but even they couldn't secure a sale. I think most of our target market (retired people) don't use the internet to search the free house websites to look for property. The people who made enquiries via the free websites were young couples who wanted to trade up from a flat.
  12. Keeping your original house to rent out seems to give a reasonable return. £500 per month rent on a £80K house is 7.5% gross yield. As for houses, option 1 is a "safe" option but I'm not keen on new houses (in England they have tiny gardens). I would be interested in option 2 as long as I had the time/money to renovate it. Option 3 is something I have always wanted to do personally, but I could never get the numbers to stack. I used to buy self-building magazines and looked for plots near me. All the plots were too expensive once you took building costs into consideration. I think it would cost you around £80 per sqft to build a house up in Lanarkshire. I'm assuming labour rates are still much less than down in England. So a 1000sqft detached house could be £80K. This isn't a huge house. BTW, do you know what is the floor area of the new build? I bet the red sandstone house is a large house on a decent plot.
  13. I agree about 1980s (especially late 80s) houses being terrible. They tend to have have small rooms (my flat had smaller rooms than some new builds today), plasterboard walls and some of them were still had tiny single glazed windows. My 1980s flat even had Economy 7 storage heaters. The kitchen and bathroom was really cheap - I ripped them out and upgraded them with 10 years. All houses have their advantages and disadvantages. I personally like late 60/early 70s houses because they have large windows and let in plenty of light. The one I bought has solid internal walls and a concrete floor. One problem with older houses is they sometimes used asbestos soffits and facias, but I had the asbestos removed by a specialist team before having the new uPVC soffits and fascias fitted. House are like everything else - they need regular maintenance in order to keep them from falling down. There are several 400 year old houses in our village and the next village. These are still here because their owners have maintained their structure over the years.
  14. Heating oil always goes up in Winter due to increased demand, so people shouldn't be surprised at the high prices now. Some dealers are taking advantage of the increased demand and loading their prices now (70p per litre as opposed to 40p when I filled up). All you need to do is make sure you have enough oil to see you through the Winter - it isn't rocket science! If your oil tank is correctly sized for the house, a full tank will store around 1 year of heating oil. My tank stores just over 1000 litres and I find I do use around 1000l of fuel per year. I always try to fill my tank in May, when there is reduced demand. Because of the reduced demand, heating oil is normally a bit cheaper then.
  15. I live in a small village in NW Essex. There were 4 houses for sale over the Summer. Substantial 5 bed detached with large rear garden overlooking farmland. On the main road through the village. This was the former village pub, so no garage - just ORP for 4 cars at front of house. Asking price £589K 3 bed detached Victorian cottage on small plot. On the main road through the village. Asking price £329K 2 bed semi-bungalow on a 110ftx38ft plot in a cul-de-sac. Views over farmland to rear. Asking price offers over £230K Substantial 4 bed detached on 0.75acres. Although facing main road, the garden is walled and the house sits well back from the road. Farmland views to rear. Initial price was £775K House 1 sold within 2 months of coming up for sale. The EA told me offer price was £579K. This wasn't a bad price and the house offered loads of space for the money. The seller of house 1 bought a house in the next village 1 mile down the road. House 2 also sold within 2 months. The seller of house 2 bought house 1. Don't know what it sold for. I'm the owner of house 3. I advertised and sold it privately in 2009, but the deal fell through on both occasions. The first person couldn't afford it and the second was in a chain that collapsed. I decided to put it with an EA in May 2010 and the EA gets 5 people to view including 3 cash buyers. 1 cash buyer offers £220K in June - we reject it and they increase to £222.5K. We reject that and it and they walk away. 2nd cash buyer offers £230K in July, which we accept. They are living with their Son and want us to move out within 7 weeks. We say no problem, but they then pulled out after 2.5 weeks! They decided the house was too small for them and had made an offer on a bigger bungalow 40 miles away. Changed EA and new EA said we were lucky to get full asking, as people just look at the price and automatically expect to take money off the price, even though it was offers over. The new EA only gets 2 people up between September and October. One person views as she wants to downsize, as she has recently lost her husband. She hasn't put her place on the market and our bungalow is the first place she has looked at. She says the bathroom and bedroom 2 are both too small. I can understand her saying the bathroom is small, as it is just 6ft6x5ft6. She is absolutely barking mad if she thinks bedroom 2 is too small - it is a small double at 10ft7x8ft4. Our bungalow is slightly larger than a typical bungalow advertised below £250K in the area. She would know what small was if she went to see this one in a village 3 miles away. There are bigger bungalows available, but the asking price is well over £250K. There is this one in another village 3 miles away that has 2 good doubles, but it is £290K (reduced from £310K). The 2nd couple came out from Hoddesdon and absolutely loved our bungalow and the views, but said they could live here because it was too rural! House 4 came on at £775K which seemed rather optimistic. They reduced to £750K then £730K and it "sold" at £730K. I was gutted when I saw this had gone - it is only 5 houses from our place and we thought that although it was a big house, it was way overpriced. It looks as if the deal fell through, our EA is now advertising it for £689K. I've been talking with our EA about the state of the local market. Apparently there is some demand for anything up to £200K (FTB territory). The market between £200-400K seems to be really quiet. Houses above £450K are really flying, particularly those around the £700K mark. This isn't just the EA blowing hot air - the big houses do seem to be selling. We had another viewing request for 10AM on Monday. The people cancelled at 9AM on Monday because they said the weather was wet and windy and they wanted to postpone the viewing for "at least 1 week". We are going on holiday, so told the EA we would leave a key with our neighbour and he would show them around if they were cash buyers. It looks like the viewer is an elderly woman and her family are trying to convince her to downsize to a bungalow. They are not in a position to proceed, so I've taken our place off the market over Winter and they can see it in January if they still want to. I think that I might try advertising privately again. I did have a website to advertise the house and was advertising on various free house websites. TBH I didn't get that good a response from the free websites - 1 viewer and 2 time-wasters. I did have it with an internet EA who got the house on Rightmove and Prime Location for an up-front fee and no commission when I sell. He said I could relist my place with him again for free, so I may do this in January.
  16. Age 42 and married with no kids. Bought a flat for £53K in 1991 (5% deposit and a mortgage of just over 4x base salary). Also made the mistake of taking out an endowment mortgage. I sold my pride and joy, a Renault 25V6i to help raise the 5% deposit and bought a banger. Unknown to me, my parents gave me £3K for Christmas 1990 so I didn't have to sell the car, but I sold it on 23/12/90 Was in negative equity for a good few years - the flats were going for £47K at one point. Wasn't bothered, as I was doing mad overtime and had saved up enough to buy myself out of the negative equity. Put the flat up for sale and tried to buy a repo 3 bed semi for £70K in 1995. My bid was the highest, but the seller went for a lower offer from a guy who didn't need to sell anything. Sold the flat in 1999 for £70K to a guy who bought it as a BTL. Bought a semi-bungalow in 2000 for £107.5K. Mortgage around 3x base salary, but this time went for a repayment rather than endowment. By 2008 I had saved enough to either clear the mortgage or use the money for a 30% deposit to get a repossessed flat. I took the riskier option and bought a £170K flat in West Thamesmead. The mortgage advisor seemed genuinely surprised when I said I wanted a repayment mortgage - he had assumed I would do an IO one! Secured a variable deal at base +0.69% just in time - they withdrew that deal and raised it to base +1.39% the next month! Tarted up flat and found a tenant to rent it within 3 weeks of getting the keys. The first couple to view the place took it and he got to choose the colour of the paintwork for the flat. They are still renting in the flat and said they are happy to stay there hopefully for another few years. We have also bought a 1Ha smallholding in South Africa, around 800m from the edge of Gordon's Bay. Our original plan was to move out there and build a big house on the land. Smallholdings are classed as agricultural, but you are allowed to build 2 dwellings on each plot (some people build more but they need to apply for planning for this). Our land (and another 200Ha around us) now looks like it is being rezoned as residential, with some at 30units/Ha, our place at 20units/Ha and a small shopping centre being planned for 800m away. We now don't want to build there, as our land is going to on the edge of a 4000 new housing estate! We refurbished our semi-bungalow in 2009 in readiness to sell it. Put in new kitchen, bathroom, internal doors and combi boiler with new radiators. The builder (a neighbour) made us an offer for our place a couple of days into the job. He said it was an unconditional offer and he would buy the place "as is" and do the work for himself. We now weren't paying him for the work, so he was only working on the place for 1 day per week. He then said buying our house was conditional on him selling his place across the road. We said we would wait until he found a buyer. Anyway, he didn't get the price he wanted for his place and he said he wasn't buying our place. We were then left without a buyer and we had to pay him for working on our house (although I only paid 50% of the bill). We advertised our house privately and found a buyer in October 2009 who offered £220K. Their house was sold STC, but their buyer pulled out and the chain collapsed. I put the house on with an EA and they got 5 people up including 2 cash buyers. The 1st cash buyer offered £222.5K in June but the 2nd cash buyer offered £230K in July, so we went with them. They wanted us out within 7 weeks, so we should have been completing in September. This buyer then decided our house was too small and they pulled out after 2 weeks. This left us really high and dry. Since then we have had another 2 people viewing, but no offers. The EA got in touch with the original cash buyers, but they are ignoring him - I don't know if they found something else or if they have decided to continue renting. I was contracting within the telecommunications industry, but I terminated the contract to get the house sold and arrange the move to South Africa. So I'm signing on just for my NI stamp and my wife is working part-time. We have been living off our savings for a year. We go on holiday to SA every year in November, so we are going out there for 1 month in a couple of days. We have taken the house off the market and will probably put it back on in January. We are now in house selling limbo - we cannot move to SA until we have sold our bungalow. The house selling situation looks about the same in SA - we viewed a house we liked last December (it has been for sale since before August 2009). We need to sell our UK house to buy this place. This couple want to down-size, as the guy has had a heart attack and the place is too big for them to maintain. They haven't been able to sell their place - they have had 2 people who wanted it but the banks wouldn't lend them the money to purchase it! I'll really need to get find work when I come back to the UK, as we've cleared out most of our savings and we don't know how long it will take before we get a buyer for our house.
  17. I didn't explain things well. I advertised my house privately after the builder pulled out in August 2009. I was looking for £220K for it at the time. Before I sold to the builder I was in the middle of sorting out the back garden - we had 2 koi ponds and I figured that these may put potential buyers off. I got 4 tonnes of topsoil to fill in the ponds and that wasn't enough to fill them in! The builder had given me a quote to fit a new kitchen and bathroom, as well as landscape the rear garden. I had accepted his quote. The builder then told me he would buy the house and garden "as is", in May so he continued to fit the kitchen in his spare time. He initially said the offer was unconditional - he wasn't relying on selling his house across the road. He then came back after a few weeks and said his offer was conditional on selling his house due to the credit crunch. We said we would wait until he had sold his place. He then told us he had sold his place, but they weren't buying our place. He had his place (a house with a separate annexe) up for £325K and he had accepted an offer of £292.5K. He was living in the main house and his ex-wife was living in the annexe. He was buying our bungalow for his ex-wife, but they couldn't afford to pay the agreed price and he pulled out in August. This was a triple whammy, because our house now wasn't sold, he wanted paid for the work he had already completed (he had just done the kitchen) and we had a back garden that was a shambles. We found another builder to refit the bathroom, but it now towards the end of August so I needed to get the place advertised. Our original asking price of £220K reflected the fact that there was still some snagging work required on the house (plastering/decorating work inside) and the fact that the rear garden was a mess. We "sold" the place to a retired couple in October, but they were in a chain and their chain collapsed. The rear garden was landscaped in May 2010 and then I asked some EAs to come out and value the place. The house was valued at £230K, because the snagging/decorating work had been completed and the garden looked tidy. We got 2 EAs up and asked them how much we could realistically expect for a quick sale. One said £225-230K and the other said £228-230K was what they expected the house to sell for. We put our bungalow on for OIEO £230K to discourage "lowball" offers. The fact that the EA got 3 cash buyers up and 2 of those were STRs suggests that it was fairly priced. The 1st people didn't come back with a counter offer - they walked away at £222.5K. Another cash buyer offered us £230K in July, so thought the deal was going to go through as there was no chain to break. This was a retired couple who were returning to the UK from Australia due to one of them suffering from health problems. They absolutely loved the house, but they were saying it was a bit small and they would need to sell some of their furniture (it was being shipped over in a 40ft container). They had a 4 bed place in Oz, but they said they realized they needed to downsize to come back to the UK (we are in a 2 bed bungalow). They wanted us to vacate by 06/09/10 as that was when their container was due in the UK. Anyway, they were coming up to measure for curtains etc and we had made arrangements for the neighbours to come in and meet these people, but they said they didn't have time! We got a call from the EA the next day to say that they had pulled out of buying our place because their table wouldn't fit in our conservatory!! They had made another offer on a 4 bed bungalow in Mildenhall - obviously got much more space for their money there because it is a cheaper area and it was 50 miles from their son (we were only 10 miles from him). So apparently their teak dining room table is more important than buying a nice house within 10 miles of their son! We never had any other people up in since then, so have now changed EAs this week to see if we can get some new people up. This EA is confident she can sell it for £230K and she is also letting us advertise privately with no fees if we find our own buyer. It is still being advertised cheaper than similar places nearby, although some places have recently dropped in price. One bungalow originally came on at £266K then went to £263K. They then dropped to £250K and it sold. Another has been up at £250K for months and they have now dropped to £240K. This is a smaller house on a smaller plot with no garage - one of the people who viewed our place said they looked at this other place and they said our place was better. They liked our bungalow, but aren't in a position to buy it yet because they have another bungalow that wasn't even on the market. They put their place up for sale after viewing our place, but it hasn't sold yet (their house and plot is smaller than our place but it is now up for £2.5K than what we are asking!) They bought a place in town last year (5 minute walk to High Street), but they find it too built-up and they now want to live in a quiet village. I've attached a photo of the landscaped garden. I don't have any "before" photos, but there were 2 large koi ponds in the area that is covered in the plum slate and there was a large filter behind where the sleepers are. The area had been roughly filled in with topsoil. I had 24 polished granite slabs laid from the front of the conservatory and past the garage. A new lawn was sown and the garden was generally tidied up. I put in a small pond with waterfall feature, to add some interest to the garden. The waterfall can be switched on by remote control from the conservatory. There are 4 copper garden lights operated via a lighting controller - these can be switched via a dusk to dawn sensor or via a timer. The unfinished garden was putting people off the house, as most of the viewers were retired and they didn't want the hassle of sorting it out. I'm not saying that sorting out the garden is worth another £10K, but my parents spent £6K getting people in to remodel their garden. The people used cheaper paviours and gravel rather than granite/York stone and it was a simple design with no pond. I'm not saying that the house is perfect, but it is cheaper than most places in adjacent villages. It is in a village where the average house price is around £400K. There were 3 other houses in the village that were for sale this summer - a 5 bed detached up for £589K and a 3 bed detached up for £329K have both sold STC. There is another 4 bed detached in the village that is still for sale, but they are asking £730K for it! You think our place will go for £180K now...sorry to be blunt, but I think you are being incredibly stupid!
  18. If the current owner did buy it in 2005 for around £14M, then that place is now selling for under half the original price! That means the place has cost the guy over £4K per day in depreciation. It suggests he paid a big premium for buying it from a celebrity.
  19. Hi confusedbuyer, Reluctant Heretic isn't replying, so EOT - End of terraced MT - Mid terraced
  20. Mr Sainsbury doesn't have to pay extra solicitors costs when you exchange your Rosé for white wine. I was also in the process of arranging removals for the day they said they requested that we vacate the house... If you are planning to spend £250K on a house you do lots of research and make offers on the one that meets most or all of your needs. It is unfair to say you are taking a house and then walk away and then offer to buy another one because that suits you a bit better. Committing to buy a house is a big decision, but this English system allows both buyers and sellers to walk away without any financial penalties right up to exchange. If the other cash buyer had come back and offered me more money I would have turned them down. As far as I'm concerned a deal is a deal, but that's just me. I've never been in a position where I have put an offer in for one house and then find a "better" house for less. Once I find a house I don't really look at other places.
  21. You have made quite a brave move doing this. Think the worst case scenario here...you move in to house 2 in 12 weeks time. Seller 1 has failed to sell and he knows that the guy that shafted him has moved in 2 doors down. The buying season is drawing to an end by then, so he is then stuck in his house until Spring. I would make sure my home and car was well insured. I'd also want to install CCTV (just in case this guy really gets wound up and takes his revenge on your car or house). Even worse, he may physically attack you or your family! You are braver than me! I can see this from the other guy's perspective, as I have been attempting to sell my home for over 1 year and have had horrendous bad luck. I decided to refurbish it last May ready to put it on the market. The builder doing the work (our neighbour across the road) said he wanted to our place after 3 days working on the place. He was splitting up with his wife and she was going to be staying here and he would move in with his new girlfriend. Anyway, we accepted an "unconditional offer" from the builder. The offer was about 8% less than we could achieve on the open market, but we figured it would be less hassle as we had no EA fees and didn't need a HIP (as we weren't actively marketing the house). Anyway, the builder then said he wasn't making any money on our job (as he was doing the work for his ex-wife) so he would only work on the house between paid jobs. He just worked a half day here and there whenever he had time. After 1 month or so he said buying our house WAS conditional on him selling his place across the road, due to the credit crunch. Anyway, we said we would wait until his place was sold. He finally sold his place in August, but got £32,500 below original asking price. His ex-wife then came round and said she wasn't buying our place - she couldn't afford it. She then ended up buying a 1 bed bungalow around 10 miles away. So we discovered we had wasted 3 months waiting for the builder and now had to try advertising and selling our house on the last week in August. :angry:The only good thing was we only gave the builder half the money he had originally quoted for doing the work! So we start advertising via an on-line EA, set-up our own website to advertise the house and advertise it on the free websites. We receive an offer (£20K higher than we were selling to the builder) in October from a buyer who has sold their house, but they are in a chain. This chain collapses within 2weeks and we back to square 1! We get fed up with trying to sell our home ourselves - idiots phoning up wanting to rent it for £650/month, other idiots making appointments and not showing, other on-line house seller websites ringing up wanting us pay to advertise on their site etc. Most people were put off by the rear garden needing work (as we filled in 2 koi ponds and the builder told us to leave the garden as is and he would finish it himself). We spend £2K having the garden landscaped and then we put the house with a proper EA in May who advises putting it at an asking price of OIEO £230K, £10K more than we were originally marketing the place for. The EA gets 3 cash buyers up (2 have STR and are renting and number 3 is moving back to the UK from Australia). So one cash buyer doesn't put in an offer as they thought the house/garden was too small. Receive 1 offer for £10K below the O/O price (i.e. our original asking price when advertising it ourselves) which we reject. They increase to £222.5K, but won't go any higher - we reject this offer. The people from Oz say they love the house, which is only 10 miles from their Son and they offer us exactly the asking price, so we immediately accept. They want us to move out by 06/09/10,which we say is fine by us. We instruct our solicitors to get deal done quickly and we think that they are unlikely to pull-out due to the tight timescales (as their 40ft container arrives in the UK on 06/09/10)everything is going through okay and they make a second appointment on Sunday to measure up and ask some questions. We immediately got the impression that they had cooled - didn't really ask many questions and they were saying their teak dining table wouldn't fit in the conservatory. We have arranged for our neighbours to come around and meet the new people - they say they don't have time as their Son is playing cricket! So we ended up having the neighbours round without meeting the new people. The problem was they had a 4 bed place in Oz and could only afford a 2 bed bungalow when coming back to the UK (well in Essex anyway). Get a call from the EA on Monday morning and I knew he was phoning to say the buyers had pulled out. They had found a bigger bungalow in Mildenhall - 50 miles from their Son. So they have decided their teak dining room table is more important than getting a nice house near their Son! Now I'm a Christian and I don't believe you should wish ill of other people and, despite being from Glasgow, I'm not a violent man. But after seeing what these people have done to us, I feel myself wishing that their container with their precious dining table gets swept off the container ship - this would be Karma in my opinion. I'm really hoping I don't bump into these f*****s in Tesco as I feel like beating the living s**t out of them! The guy is bigger and heavier than me, but I swear I'll take a swing at him if I bump into him in the street! As I previously said, you are a brave man moving into a house 2 doors down from somebody that you have shafted! On a more positive note, the other cash buyers have also been seen in our street on Sunday. Their Jaguar has been clocked at various times over the past few weeks. They probably got a fright when they saw the "SOLD STC" sign on Sunday, but the EA has contacted them to see if they want to increase their offer. They clearly like our house, but are reluctant to pay full asking as they are cash buyers. The fact remains that our place is still priced at £10-20K below similarly sized bungalows and is in better condition than most of the other places.
  22. They seem to be expecting £10K buyers premium on example one, unless the people who made the listing failed GCSE arithmetic.
  23. It isn't a case of taking £20-30K off the asking prices of all houses. Some sellers/EAs do have "aspirational" prices that may be £20-30K too high. Other people are more realistic with their pricing - they want to sell fairly quickly at a fair price. I renovated my house last Summer with the intention of selling it. The builder we got in made us what he said was an unconditional offer. He kept stringing us along for a few months by then saying the deal was conditional on him selling his own place. We waited until he sold his own place, but he got £30K less than he wanted for it. He then pulled out of buying our house in August. Anyway, we decided to market our bungalow ourselves (using an on-line EA to get it on Rightmove/Primelocation). We "sold" our bungalow again in October, but the buyer was in a chain and the second deal fell through. We were advertising our place for £220K , when similar places were being advertised for between £240-260K via traditional EAs. We had hoped that savvy buyers would realise that the place was well-priced compared with similar properties and would sell quickly. Unfortunately this hasn't happened and we were only having an average of 1 viewing per month. The final straw was when a totally unmodernised bungalow in the next village (3.5 miles away) came on with a traditional EA advertised at £220K and this sold within 2 weeks. We asked 2 EAs what they thought was a realistic value for our bungalow. Both said they could perhaps get £230K, with them achieving a quick sale of £225-228K. The place has been on for 3 weeks with one EA now at OIEO £230K and we have had 3 viewings. Interestingly, 2 viewers who have STR and are now looking to buy again. The 3rd person is living in another bungalow and I think they were curious to see what they were getting for the money. One of the STR couple loved our bungalow and they offered us £220K for it. We rejected this offer (as the first offer is not usually a "best and final" one). The annoying thing is we would have jumped at a £220K cash offer at any time over the past 9 months or so of selling it ourselves. They said they were not going to increase their offer so we said to the EA that he would need to keep looking for another buyer. We are now having to pay around £3K commission off the selling price to the EA, so we said no. The buyers came back with a counter offer of £222.5K after a couple of days. The EA said he couldn't get any more money out of them. We also rejected this offer initially and said to the EA that both parties should research the market for 2 weeks and then come back to review it. I am gambling on the fact that these people have recently started looking and will hopefully realise that our current asking price is competitive. I have looked on Rightmove and other bungalows of similar size/specification are being advertised at £240-260K. The other couple who were still in a bungalow had looked at another bungalow around 8 miles away that was advertised at £250K. This had no garage and only a single ORP space (we have a garage and ORP for 4 vehicles) and they said our place was better than that other place. Our EA is also advertising a smaller bungalow on a smaller plot (but within walking distance of town) for £240K (that is down from £250K). The EA also valued this place as being around the £230K mark, but it is being marketed at a higher price to leave plenty of room for negotiation. Our strategy was to market at a competitive asking price to generate interest, but to hold out for asking price or very close to it. So different vendors and EAs have different pricing and marketing strategies. Expecting a blanket £20-30K off EVERY asking price is unrealistic. Buyers need to do their own research on each house to determine whether the asking price is too low, fair or too high. Our place is advertised at below what Zoopla has valued it at, but is higher than the current mouseprice. The fact that it has been previously been under offer and we have another offer within 4% of asking price from a cash buyer suggests that our current asking price is fair. As frustrated buyer says, sellers will take a bit less for their own places if they know for sure that they will get the same discount on a place they want to buy. Unfortunately, this isn't guaranteed and some people may then find themselves as "unreluctant STRs". They sell their house at a fair price and then cannot find another house to buy at a realistic price. We plan to emigrate and have short-listed a couple of places that we like. We viewed a place that we really liked in SA in December. Most of the well-priced places have already sold, but this place is still available. The vendor is an ex-EA and has said several times that she is expecting full asking price. In South Africa the municipality re-values houses every 3-4 years. They charge rates as a percentage of the market value, so it is in their interests to value high! All houses in the Cape Town area were re-valued in August 2009, so the municipal valuation is a useful guide to whether a place is fairly priced or not. Most places are advertised at exactly or just below the municipal value. The best value I have seen is a place advertised at 82% MV (which unsurprisingly is now gone). The ex-EA place is one of the only places that is being advertised above MV. The MV is R1.5M and her asking price is R1.85M, so it is no real surprise that it hasn't sold yet. So I would need to take 19% off the current purchase price just to get it at MV. I don't want to pay more than MV, but there is still no guarantee that this woman will agree to sell to me even though I would be a cash buyer once I sell my UK bungalow. Buyers need to do their own research to determine how much a particular house is worth. Even RICS valuations vary by 10% sometimes, depending on the individual surveyor's opinion. DYOR and offer what you are comfortable with. IMO taking a blanket £20-30K off a place is a too simplistic a strategy for negotiating.
  24. Hi, I don't really have statistics on what percentage of asking prices are achieved at auction. I would say that an "average" house that goes to auction tends to be need refurbishment. If you look at the auction catalogue from a big auction house (eg Allsops etc), then they give a very basic description of the property. They do 1 photo of the outside and they tell you how many rooms it has (and they tall the length of lease if a flat) - that is all the information that is supplied. There is a programme on BBC1 called "Homes under the hammer" that follows 3 properties that have gone to auction in each programme. Some people attending these auctions don't even bother going to view the houses - they bid assuming it needs being fully refurbished. You can put your house on with a reserve, but the average auction house may go for 80-90% of what it would fetch via an EA. The auction house also charges commission that is equivalent to an EAs fees if the find a buyer. They also charge up-front marketing fees to cover their costs to have 2 or 3 "open sessions" where any potential bidders can come round to see the place inside. If you were thinking of selling a house at auction I would advise you to use a local auction house. I have noticed that the big auction houses hold their auctions in London. This is okay for people selling houses in London and the home counties. I've attended a few auctions in London and found the houses in London/SE had more bids and went for much nearer market value. The houses up in the North weren't as popular, so they may have gone a lot cheaper than they were worth (as any bidders would need to be really keen on a place to travel 300 miles to come down to London to bid on it). I'm in Essex and I looked at the local auctions (Dedman, Mullucks Wells, Countrywide etc) when looking for an auction property in the Essex/Cambs/Suffolk area to purchase. I found the places I liked all went for much more then I was willing to pay. I then went to Allsop and bought a place at auction there - I found a place on my second Allsop auction. If you were thinking of selling at auction it would be worth putting it with a local auction house. If you are thinking of buying at an auction you will probably find a bargain house if you attend one of the big London auction houses (especially if you find one located 100+ miles from auction). Using a local auction house means the local buyers will come round and view the place internally. They will then realise it is a good, clean place and will bid accordingly.
  25. I have been advertising my house privately since August and haven't had that much luck. I had "sold" it last Summer when the buyer then changed their mind and pulled out in August (after stringing me along for 2 months!) I put my house on www.121move.co.uk as they were the cheapest way to have it advertised on Rightmove/Primelocation etc. You pay £295+VAT up-front for them to take photos/make a floorplan and then advertise on Rightmove etc. They have found 6 people who came to view and 1 couple made an offer that we accepted back in October. Our chain collapsed when their seller pulled out of buying their house... I've also listed the house on around 10 free sites: www.tepilo.com - generated 1 viewer www.gumtree.com - generated around 10 responses to the ad. 5 were from other online EA's wanting us to register with them. 1 person contacted me asking if I would rent my house to them. I had 2 people from a BMV property club saying one of their investors may want to buy our house. 2 genuine enquiries but the people either didn't book a viewing or made an appointment to view and then didn't turn up! www.myownmove.com - no enquiries www.houseladder.co.uk - no enquiries www.notestateagents.com - no enquiries www.noestateagentslease.co.uk - no enquiries I also set-up my own website to advertise the house, with all the free sites pointing to this website (website has had 700+ hits). I made my own for sale sign and have magnetic stickers on my cars advertising the house. I placed postcards in various local shops, but these didn't generate any viewings. I took out an ad in the local paper (in October) and this didn't get any viewings. There are several problems with advertising privately: It takes a lot of time to list the house on the free sites and they don't seem to be used by many people People tend to ring up and expect to see the house immediately (or at least that day). I expected most viewing to be at the weekend, but most people actually request to see it during the week! We are selling a bungalow so most of the viewers are retired Viewing requests tend to dribble in - normally 1 every 14 days or so. If you are with a proper EA they normally get 5 or 6 people viewing the place in the first week. We are now seriously thinking about getting some local EAs out to value our place and put it with one if we don't sell in the next couple of weeks. I think the problem we might be having is our target buyer (retired people) may not be seeing our place online. My parents are retired and they bought their bungalow last year from an EA. They don't use the Internet and I'm sure there are loads of retired people who only look at houses via "real" EAs rather than searching online. That is the major advantage of the EA - they have a list of people on their books coming to them asking for a particular type of property.
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