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Gurgle

Sealed Bids? Seriously ?

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An elderly relative is in the process of selling up in Norwich to move into a home. She lives in a Victorian 2 up 2 down with a downstairs bathroom and a small garden. It's a nice place for 1 person, structurally well maintained, albeit needing a complete redecoration.

Anyhow the agent reckons he has 8 people queuing up to buy and is planning on doing a sealed bid process offers over £200k. He is saying it will sell for £220k.

I really hope he's right for her sake as she needs as much as possible to cover the home fees but I'm pretty sceptical personally as there are plenty of properties on the market as far as I can see. I worry she's just too late given the recent negative press. The only positive for her sake is that east anglia appears to be an exception in some recent stats I've seen.

What's the point? Well, one of 2 things is wrong in my opinion. Either, the agent isn't telling the truth on the level of demand, flying kites to get the business OR people are more stupid than I can imagine to fight over such overpriced property in an area which isn't exactly the richest part of the country. It is a nice town mind.

My opinion the place is worth about 70k, certainly that's about what I'd expect to pay in a balanced market. I'll keep you updated on what happens.

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How personally close is this relative to you? One thing you can be sure of, is that a greedy EA will make the situation extremely stressful. Sounds like the elderly relative doesn't need that right now. My elderly neighbour was offered the 'sealed bids' process for her previous home but declined to do it and ditched the agent, reason being that she didn't want the rampant greed to make the experience even more stressful. They were signing praises and telling her she could get "£20k more" by plotting people against each other but she's old school and doesn't do things like that.

I went in for a sealed bids house a few years ago, when I was looking to buy last. The vendor was 83 and in the end she decided to not sell and wait for the inevitable; an EA later told me this was due to the stress of it all making her ill. She had people knocking at her door offering cash to avoid the process, Eastern Europeans turning up at 9pm asking to look round etc.

So it depends if you think the relative should go through with it. Selling a house is stressful enough at any age, personally I'd advise him/her to stick the traditional method. At the end of the day sealed bids are subject to survey and it could all fall through just as easily. Even if it's cash bids only, there are no guarantees. You also get people (like me) who now avoid going for them out of principle. I'm pretty sure they'd find a nicer buyer - if that's their concern - by going traditional too.

Edited by spunko2010

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Thanks for the advice, it's really useful. I think she is looking to sell as fast as possible. She has someone very sensible helping out with this so I will pass your experiences on. It might be that she moves out before selling anyway as now the decision to go has finally been made she wants to get on with it. She can afford to do that fortunately. She's already been persuaded against keeping the house and renting it out due to the stress of dealing with all the problems and agents. She's already struggling on her own, hence the decision to move, so renting would be unnecessary hassle and stress in her condition.

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An elderly relative is in the process of selling up in Norwich to move into a home. She lives in a Victorian 2 up 2 down with a downstairs bathroom and a small garden. It's a nice place for 1 person, structurally well maintained, albeit needing a complete redecoration.

Anyhow the agent reckons he has 8 people queuing up to buy and is planning on doing a sealed bid process offers over £200k. He is saying it will sell for £220k.

Sounds like she's selling exactly what I've been tracking for the last 3 years in Norwich. Victorian 2/3 up 2 down. If the house is in pristine condition with fully modernised kitchen/bathroom etc in one of the premium roads, then it will attract more interest. Sounds like it needs "work". All I'm seeing in my price range at the moment is kite flying followed by reductions, and any houses that look dated and/or need work, are sitting around for months unsold. Norwich buyers don't seem as keen on buying dated properties in a hurry as they do down South. Unless the price is adjusted downwards accordingly.

To echo Spunko, sealed bids won't be getting any business from me as it's WTF/LOL at this moment in time, and smacks of greed.

I'm amazed that the agent has 8 people queuing up to buy. The Victorians I track aren't flying off the shelves. And, yes you're right, there are plenty of properties on the market.

3 floors, 3 bedrooms plus the loft room, close to the station, move straight in condition, just been dropped by 5k to 190k because it's not shifted anywhere in a month.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-41263638.html

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The last sealed bid process i was involved in attracted only 3 bids in the end and went for only 5k over guide, i bid 10k under guide, as has been said, most people are turned off by the idea of not knowing what the other bidders are.

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3 floors, 3 bedrooms plus the loft room, close to the station, move straight in condition, just been dropped by 5k to 190k because it's not shifted anywhere in a month.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-41263638.html

The layout of that is atrocious though - third 'bedroom' off the second bedroom (although I suspect they're only listing that as a bedroom because the loft room cannot legally be called a bedroom), the front door opens directly into the living room and the only toilet is downstairs and directly off the kitchen. It's probably more space than a childless couple really needs but it would be difficult to make it a family home. Maybe you could fit in a shower room or just a toilet between the two bedrooms but the plumbing would probably be a nightmare, the 'third bedroom' would be an easier place but that would only work while the kids are young. It's the sort of thing that people would only buy in a rising market.

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Remember that the EA is likely lying about the interest too. The last sealed bids process I entered, the agent said there were 9 proceedable bids, in the letter I received after it said there were 6, and later after that another agent for the same company said there were only 3.

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The layout of that is atrocious though - third 'bedroom' off the second bedroom (although I suspect they're only listing that as a bedroom because the loft room cannot legally be called a bedroom), the front door opens directly into the living room and the only toilet is downstairs and directly off the kitchen. It's probably more space than a childless couple really needs but it would be difficult to make it a family home. Maybe you could fit in a shower room or just a toilet between the two bedrooms but the plumbing would probably be a nightmare, the 'third bedroom' would be an easier place but that would only work while the kids are young. It's the sort of thing that people would only buy in a rising market.

The OP is telling us about his relatives 2 up 2 down victorian house with a downstairs bathroom, that needs some updating, that an EA claims will go for 220k at sealed bids because 8 people are lined up. I linked to a larger house, needing no work, that's just been reduced after a month due to there being 100s of identikit victorian houses with typical layouts for sale in Norwich. I was illustrating a point, rather than suggesting this place was perfect. Interesting comments though, as all the things you find atrocious wouldn't bother me as a solo buyer. Hopefully that means family buyers won't bother me in competition and I know what to go for now.

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Someone I work with put in a sealed bid last Thursday, didn't win. Today they had a call saying that the winner couldn't proceed so offered it to my colleague but she said she's lost interest in it given how badly the bids process was conducted, taken the shine off etc. Just a small anecdote but proves nothing is guaranteed.

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if i see such a listing it puts me off as a buyer, but then IF the demand is there in the market, it stops people messing about with low offers in theory they should offer what its worth to them + the "hype" might make them add more on top

But it simply depends on what else is out there at that price range and how desirable it is

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The OP is telling us about his relatives 2 up 2 down victorian house with a downstairs bathroom, that needs some updating, that an EA claims will go for 220k at sealed bids because 8 people are lined up. I linked to a larger house, needing no work, that's just been reduced after a month due to there being 100s of identikit victorian houses with typical layouts for sale in Norwich. I was illustrating a point, rather than suggesting this place was perfect. Interesting comments though, as all the things you find atrocious wouldn't bother me as a solo buyer. Hopefully that means family buyers won't bother me in competition and I know what to go for now.

My point is that the loft conversion probably doesn't add any value when there's no real scope for an upstairs family bathroom. The house in the OP could well have a different upstairs layout which means that you could feasibly make one or both of the bedrooms a bit smaller and put in a bathroom.

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So just to close this off, in the end they went with "open house" rather than sealed bids. Received close to asking price offer one week later and just completed.

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