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EmmaRoid

Observations On Selling

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Trying to sell a 2 bed flat bought in 2005. Its been fine for us for 4 years but we want something bigger. We've been owner-occupiers here but the flat is prime BTL-fodder and the numbers stack up poorly (6% gross yield) rather than horrifically. So what's been happening? Its been on the market for a couple of months and we've had a total of 6 viewings, which is about 6 more than I initially expected. 4 quite early on and then a couple sporadic viewings more recently, the much fabled Spring Bounce?

My Observations

  1. There is definitely interest in buying property in this area at the moment but they are being very fussy (very much a buyer's market)
  2. There are always lots of flats on the road for sale but very few entries on the likes of nethouseprices - things are very slow to sell.
  3. So far, all the interest has related to someone coming to study at the university and the person or parents wanting to buy for this reason. If I can believe what I've been told by an EA (not mine) established BTL landlords are not looking to pay these prices - chasing repos only.
  4. This would suggest that the amatuer BTL speculator (MEW, buy, subsidise tenant) is dead
  5. 5 out of the 6 "families" who've viewed have been Chinese or Asian. Would I be prejudiced if I made the assumption that these are 'cash and assets' cultures?
  6. The reason given each time for no further interest is the second bedroom doesn't look big enough to rent out, so all sums relate to renting a room out.
  7. Single bed occupancy of a rented room is seemingly out of the question
  8. As for all of the above, they don't just want cheap they want nice finish, no work needed, perfect proportions, good location AND cheap etc.
  9. We've not even had a low ball offer yet, I think there's still a long way to fall before a bargain price becomes an over-riding attraction.
  10. My own EA has said that some people (sounded like potential FTBs) were now looking at repos in worse condition nearer the city centre for a bit more money and talk of "adding value" etc and other Homes Under the Hammer cliches. Either way its a sign of city centre price falls rippling out and eventually those crash-proof sub-urban family homes will be hit too.
  11. I've pushed the agent a couple of times now as to what we can do to make it sell and not had any tough love over our price/layout etc so I think they're shit and they were the best of a bad lot.

C'est la vie.

As a humour(less/ous*) footnote the ground-floor BTL flat below us with no balcony, awful dark dingy layout, same small 2nd bedroom, no storage space and my heavy footed wife in the flat above that I wouldn't even touch with a stolen **** has been rented out for 3 of the 4 years we've lived here. The void during the second year coincided with it being sold so it might even have been intentional. All the time there were a load of far nicer rental flats empty along the road, go figure.

*delete as applicable

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Either way its a sign of city centre price falls rippling out and eventually those crash-proof sub-urban family homes will be hit too.

They already are. As we all know, no place is "crash proof". Those areas weren't "boom proof" during the years of cheap credit and near-zero deposits, so they aren't recession proof when the opposite factors come into play...

Sorry to hear about the slow rate of progress on your flat. If you don't mind me asking, what price are you looking for compared to your purchase price in 2005? Are you prepared to accept a loss? Do you think a sharp price reduction would help shift it?

I guess the Uni. market is a strange one. A bit slow at the current time of year, but I guess it's bound to pick up once students/parents get over their Summer Hols. and start thinking about the new term. Maybe your luck will change in the next couple of months? And maybe that's the time to get aggressive with price (and other sale tactics) to try and get shut of it. The one great thing about Manchester is the shear size of the student population (went to UMIST myself), so hopefully that will be your salvation.

You say the flat below has always rented well. Maybe that's an option for yours, just so you can try live in a house somewhere else (if my memory serves me correctly that's what you were looking to do)?

I guess if you are really determined (desperate?), the auction rooms would shift it. Shudder to think about the size of "hit" you might have to take, but then you could always set a reserve to protect you to some limited extent. I guess it really boils down to how desperate you are to move, and how strong your finances are over the next few years to cover the hit.

Cheers,

Nomadd

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Well, its priced at 2005 prices but 2005 was the peak. We paid a little less than that as it was shall we say 'looking sad' and now we'd happily take what we paid. Fortunately the local comedy agent makes us look more reasonable. Unfortunately the wife has a rather high bottom price in mind so I am not hopeful. We sit and wait, got another viewing lined up.

Ultimately if we don't shift it, we'll rent it out and rent a house elsewhere (see good rental locaton thread). We've no desire to be absentee landlords (wife has experience of this) plus the emotional attachment to our home. We're not under any pressure and we need to live somewhere, so we will wait for a while.

Not looking for sympathy just trying to offer some selling anecdotals :)

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Another viewing but no one's taking the bait. Not even when Manchester is the 46th best city in the world to live. Whatever tyour thoughts about recovery, some people are itching to buy. I know, a fresh lick of paint and some laminate will work. Got my summer jobs sorted.

Some friends bought a house in 2003 (I think) have been trying to sell for well over a year. Have reduced the asking price a couple of times but interest has picked up recently. They've knocked back an offer just above what they paid (a risky strategy) but its worked and they've accepted an offer for enough more to be worth it.

Houses hanging ont he market for over a year then selling quickly? There's something in the air...

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