This has been our family home now for the past two years and having finally received the settlement for my divorce back in October we wanted to invest it and move to a bigger home.
We would like a house with its’ own garage and driveway and four bedrooms, a downstairs loo would be good but not compulsory and I would like a nice big kitchen so I can cook and follow homework at the same time when the time comes. A garden bigger than our present one would also be very welcome. (I quite like the idea of starting a small vegetable plot…)
But lucky old us, we’re in the middle of a recession – the worst since the second world war. And the property market is veeerrrryyy slooooooww.
We had the property valued in October ’09 by 4 different local estate agents and all but one came up with a figure between £180 – 185k. Another agent quoted £175k and I crossed him off the list there and then, well – if I can get more I’ll try…right?
Their fees ranged quite a bit the most expensive was £3000 and the lowest ended up at £2000 incl VAT. So it made sense for us to go with the lowest. A second agent came by and asked what would it take for us to go with them and on mentioning the fees, he said he’d match them. They were the better known agent and so I was tempted. The next day I phoned the 1st agents, to inform them of our decision to go with the second agency and the guy was very upset, I felt dreadful so I told him I’d stay with them and phoned the second agents to say I couldn’t do it to him. C’est la vie.
We were placed as Property of the Week in the local rag and listed as a premium property on rightmove.com so with all in place we sat back for the punters to come rolling in….and they didn’t!
In the first 5 weeks only one viewer came by and that was the owner of the property we had placed an offer on. She had two teenage boys and was downsizing after her marriage breakdown and our property was too small for her.
At the beginning of December, we were contacted by the second agents again as in order to process our offer on one of their properties we had to have a sale. With a bit of persuasion we managed to get out of our 10 week contract and move on to a joint contract where both agents would represent us. I had the feeling that there was a bit of animosity between them, covered up as ‘friendly competition’ in front of the client ie. me.
Both promised the New Year would bring many buyers and so far we have had two viewings booked with one, today’s, being cancelled due to the snow and train connections being affected (the lady is coming from London)
We had a visit a couple of weeks ago from the manager of the second agents himself! He looked around the house and advised lowering the price by £10,000. Why? I asked,’ You and 2 other agents gave us a quote of £180 – 185k’…
‘Yeah that may have been to get the business…’ He rambled on about getting more for your money on Riverview Park (an area close by) but I wasn’t getting it. We told him we weren’t ready to drop so soon and would revise the situation in February.
Last weekends’ viewing was unproductive as they found the house too dark and too small. For the small there’s not a lot I can do but for the dark I shall be turning all the lights on and leaving them on until they leave the house.
Now I have this project in mind I want to see it move along quickly and after a quick look on rightmove.com I have noticed another 3 properties go up in our area all priced around the same mark. So confidence rebuilt I hope to have news soon of many potential buyers.