Katie
I actually like to see a property clean and painted with neutral colours. I don't really want to spend too much time in a property covered in flowery wallpaper or dark dingy colours. I prefer to move in and do a property over a long period of time, I would have to rush out with the paint tins if a property was orange, yellow, pink and purple. lol Get the paint tins out and make a property look clean and neutral before selling.

John King
I can shed some light Jeremy.. Your property was massively overpriced. If another valuation was 40,000 below, you should have taken that one. Even that agent would know you would achieve less than that. You do have to be realistic in this market, prices are falling in most areas, so price to sell and you will do just that. 2 viewings in 2 years is pitiful, I think you are a deluded fool to be honest, anyone thinking their properties are worth tens of thousands of pounds more is nothing but deluded.. But then you must know that already, no need to shed any light on your question really. When I sold my house I made it perfect and priced lower than any other property of its type on the market. That is how you get that buyer. Price and a lick of good old paint.

Betty
To Daniel and all. If your neighbours are in the wrong, don't move. A man or indeed woman has to stand up for themselves, for their basic rights. To be moved out is to allow a bully/tyrant their own way, this should not be. One has to stand up to this sort of thing, the world has changed so much, and we need to stand up to wrong doing, not run. My input to a property being spruced for sale is this- Cleanliness is next to godliness, as my dear old mam would say. Also a little clear-out is a good idea; youngsters don't like to see old clutter, they like everything to be minimalist, so some clear away is good. I sold my bungalow recently after it has been re-decorated by a professional with magnolia and white gloss paint. This went down well with viewers. The feedback was to say it looked clean and like a blank canvas. This seems to be the Norm these days. To anyone suffering with inconsiderate neighbours, don’t move away unless it is a last result. My husband and I fought silly bullies and got our home ack. This was many years ago and I found our sanity and dignity was kept, it would not have been if we ran. This great country was not built with cowardliness, we fight and we keep our dignity. Chin up folks, we still have a good country. Enjoy your home whether perfect or flawed, it is a privilege to own one’s own home. This should be what all strive for when they work hard for their living! ,

Clarence Worley
I think the asking price is the best way to show your property. If the price is right, everything else is just a bonus.

Jane
This is to Daniel. If you can't sell your home the traditional way, through an estate agent, try selling at auction and set a reserve. Failing that, you could sell to a company who buys property for cash. I don't know how much less you would get selling through those ways, but look into it if you really want to move. Also look at renting your property and moving elsewhere if you can afford to do so, you might find the rent you get for your home will pay for another.

Jeremy Kyle
I put my extended property on the market after spending tens of thousands of pounds on it. I got several estate agents to value and took the highest valuation. Needles to say it didn't sell, in fact I didn't get more than two viewings in two years. If I put the property on at the lower valuaton of 40k less, I wouldn't have felt I was making enough money for all the trouble I went to in extending etc. So why don't people want to pay for the work already done for them? I thought it was worth the money, the estate agent did too. So what went wrong? Can anyone shed some light?

Gillian M
When I view a home, I do not care about decor or cosmetic changes needed. What is important to me, as with any other sensible person, is the structural condition of the home. I look for leaks, I look at the condition of the roof, the pointing etc etc..... Any cosmetic change needed is not a going to put me off if the property is the right size in the right location. I think most of the advice is to please first time buyers or very lazy visionless people indeed. A property is worth what it is worth, I doubt decor can make you much money really.

Kerry Smyth
Price is the most important factor when buying or selling. When the price is too high, you often don't book an appointment to view, or if you do, you feel it must be perfect considering the price. So when it isn't perfect, you don't consider it. Price is number one, number two is location, number three is the property being in good order. A well looked after property, even if dated is still desirable. Good property sells, new builds at high prices are the worst. There are so many new builds you struggle to find a well-built house with character. I cannot see the justification in a highly priced new build, unless it has been built by a good builder and is a one off or perhaps one of just a few in a nice location. Prices need to fall further yet, they are still way too high in some areas. There's way too many awful properties at high prices, some have tiny plots and I can't imagine how awful that would be with children. I don't knw where the prices come from, but they can't be realistic.

Stuart
All these groovers stop overpricing and start moving instead of grooving!!!

Lee
Over the past 2 years I have spent 35k on my house updating bits and building a conservatory and we are now looking at selling. We had the property valued before the work and after as we want to sell it and for the 35k spent its now worth........exactly the same as it was 2 years ago! I think if you are going to spend money on the house before you sell it do the cosmetic things, make it look clean. We have viewed over 30 houses and about 25 of them were untidy unkept and with clothes lying around on the floor, skid marks in the toilet, cobwebs as long as your arm we looked at eachother and thought "No way" If its like that when they are trying to sell it what other monsters are waiting for us when we buy it? Alot of people forget its the first impression a nice kitchen even if it is basic a clean kitchen and bathroom will not create a negaitve same as a kept garden. Make it look like you have enjoyed living in the place! Most people will buy a house and look to put their mark on it anyway just tidy up the clutter and let people see the space!

Daniel
We can't sell our house because of bad neighbours who never stop causing problems so the police stay involved. No matter how low a price you put on our house, it would never sell. So most advice on here is irrelevent to us. I haven't found anything to help.

Mrs Ann Betts
I find your advice very helpful about selling my property,the only thing that isn't mentioned is,how much it is going to cost me to sell my property with you.I am very interested in finding this out as soon as possible,I am going to put my first class property on the market.

Candy
My advice to those with cheaper properties is to only spend the bare minimum. E.g. fresh neutral decor, carpet if badly needed and a general tidy up. Large spends like a new kitchen will only end up costing you. For those with properties with a larger price tag, a top spec new kitchen and bathrooms is essential to put your property at the top of people’s wish lists. The little things do count, like a property being clean and tidy. But the price needs to be well considered, you need to be competitive, so looking on Rightmove for similar properties in the area will help you gauge a better idea of what asking price to set. Nothing will show you the price you are likely to achieve better than sold prices, so always look at the difference between asking price and sold price so as not to be too disillusioned when offers come in. Good luck.

Dennis P
To those who say "my house is so wonderful, like a show home, it is perfect and smells of flowers, has en-suite, garden with koi carp pond!" Then ask why isn't it selling? Because it is overpriced!!!!! OMG if I had a quid for every time I heard some home owner bleet on about how great their property is and how it is the best and how they know the price is right etc etc et, I'd be a rich man...and I'm not! Put the right asking price on your property and it will sell, if it isn't selling, why ask what is wrong? PRICE PRICE PRICE, not much else matters, not decor, not kitchen, not much.

Callam
If you improve one room in th e house, it should be the kitchen. But do not spend money on a lower valued property if the market is slow. We spent 5k on a new kitchen to sell and we could not make the money back. We were offered the same as before we had the kitchen. If your property is a higher valued property I think a good new kitchen would make a difference, but on cheaper properties, keep the updates to new paint and some clearing away of clutter. It seems spending money to sell, leaves you out of pocket sometimes.

Dan
@Jean S, of course property is worth what it is worth, but Jenny didnt suggest that a lick of paint and some silicon will make your house more valuable. She said that a house that needs complete refurbishment may be worth half of a finished property. This is not unrealistic depending on the properties rough value. There are 2 separate things being discussed here. If you want a sale full stop you need to price realistically, not just for a quick sale. However, tarting up with paint and other bits and pieces may be what clinches the sale at the end of the day. It's not going to increase property value though, agreed. Yet if Joe Bloggs goes to see several houses and likes 2 of them equally but one needs a bit of time and money spending on it, which ones he gonna go for if they are both priced the same? In this respect you could say the small jobs which make your house look its best DO increase your properties value, by not making you have to drop the price to get the sale.

Peter
I agree with the advice to tart a property up for sale in part, but I don't agree that it adds value. I looked at three properties recently, all very similar and on the same large housing estate. Each one had its own merits. One was painted in cream colours and looked very clean and nice, another was a little more dated in decor, the last one had a brand new kitchen. The one with the new kitchen was too expensive, I know what kitchens cost and I would rather choose my own. the cream house was nice, but the garden wasn't as interesting as the one with dated decor, therefor the one without a new kitchen or cream paint is the one I choose. Paint is not going to add value, you just might please a lazy person with no vision, but watch how few and far between those fools will be this year. We all know what things cost, we all know how to get a good deal and we all need to learn how to put a home together and not pick one off the shelf from a greedy developer. For goodness sakes, get real! Paint, diy shop kitchens, it is all going to be soo last year darlings!

Jemma
I sold my house after dropping the price by £20,000. I didn't want to do this, but the market kept falling and more and more properties were going on at lower values than mine. I didn't want to drop to a silly low price, some people on the street lost their homes and the values sold at showed they were distress sales. I stuck to my guns and got asking price. I did a little spruce in the garden, but that was it. The state of the house was quite good already, so I didn't bother changing decor or carpet. It goes to show that if you price right, not too high or low, you might find that buyer. I think it takes more time to sell these days, expecially if your kind of house is ten a penny.

Trent
Dan. Half the price of a finished property is ludicrous. If that were so, we would all buy unfinished properties. I see properties sell at auction above what they are worth, when you take into consideration how much work needs doing to them. You can be lucky, but most of the time, if it is cheap...it is a shack. You need deep pockets to bring a shack up to standard, sometimes it leaves you out of pocket. so this rubbish of a tarted up property being worth double that of a dated one is BS!

Garath Gates
I would like to see all properties clean and tidy and most of all, free from tat. Chuck out your chintz, because nothing puts viewers off more than doily curtains and shabby sheek rubbish. Clean lines are best. If you have a dated kitchen, at least make sure it is clean and the paintwork is in good order. People can see through dated kitchens and bathrooms, as long as everything is clean and in good working order. Fix leaks and get rid of mould and any grime. It does pay to do some decorating, even if it is just to clean up a property, it can make a difference between selling or not selling. Most of all, clean everything and make sure your property doesn't smell of anything unpleasant, like old dog!

Sarah
Its all very well stating its all about location and price but it really isnt that simple at all. We are in one of the most desirable places to live in Worcester, have the house presented to "show home standard" and have been on the market since Feb 2011. Our house price is now on £8,000 less than when we bought it plus we spent another £8,000 buying more garden from the house behind (its a city house so only had a courtyard garden before) so we are already £16,000 down and that doesnt include the stamp duty paid when we bought or any of the legal fees that were involved yet we still havent sold only had ridiculous offers

Ed
There is only one factor and one factor alone that determines if your house will sell. PRICE. You house can be located on the intersection of a motorway and an airport runway and it will still sell if it is priced correctly. I have bought and sold 4 houses in the last decade and am currently renting whilst looking to buy. I have made an offer on a house which was clearly overpriced and had sat on the market for 9 months. I offered £440k vs an asking price of £500k. The developer (it was a one off new build in a conservation area) refused the offer point blank and at Christmas withdrew the house from sale. It now sits empty with the heating on tickover. The agent said it would never sell for hal;f a million and thought my offer was sensible. Developer thought otherwise - arrogant fool. Wake up and smell the coffee vendors. Us buyers are not stupid, and there are very few of us out there now who will pay over the odds for a house. I'm pricing in a 10% drop over the next 12 months so if you want me to buy your house, you'd better have factored that in. Think like a buyer. If you believed prices were set for further falls, why on earth would you pay anywhere near full asking price in the current market? Deluded fools. I'm quite happy to sit tight with £175,000 cash in the bank until someone is prepared to accept what their house is worth. If it takes a couple of years, so be it! I'd rather rent for a bit than overpay for some average shoebox.

Polly J Harvey
I read through the posts here and took the advice to spruce up my apartment for sale. Most of the advice was to decorate in neutral colours, clean or replace carpet, tidy and clean a lot. I changed the carpet as it was floral and most people hate that these days. I painted in neutral tones, staying away from magnolia, just to make the place look more homely. I tidied away all the clutter and cleaned it till it sparkled. I couldn't afford a new kitchen and bathroom, so I just added nicer accessories, cleaned the grout and replaced the silicone seal. This made the two rooms look much nicer, I even added a posh toilet seat, one which closes slowly, so does not slam. Oh and I sprayed around with a beautiful vanilla room spray before viewings. When viewers came in I noticed a difference, viewers used to walk in and I could tell they weren't impressed. Each viewer remarked on how well kept the apartment looked and how lovely and clean smelling it was. I could not believe it when I recieved an offer from the third viewer and then the first viewer too! I took the higher offer and have sold for just under asking price. Definitely stage your home for sale, it does work!

norma sherwood-miller
your comments give a lot of food for thought, but it is very easy to say price down market when you know the property is worth more. so you sit tight till prices rise.

Warren
If an agent can get 2 people interested in a purchase then providing they are both in a situation to buy that will almost certainly clinch a sale at the asking price. It seems to be in the blood to "must have" if there is competition. A location can be perfect but it doesn't always work for everyone - if there is no work in the area, getting to work would be a problem, not suitable for children, animals, the infirm, too large/small a plot, no neighbours, too many neighbours. It takes 2 to tango and the people desitined to be sitting in your house might only just be starting to market.or have not sold their own. The agent may well want to reduce the price in order to revitalise interest and also to get the job done and the property off their books to gain targets and commission. It is very important to constantly compare like with like ( if possible) and the3 recent sold prices in the area for similar properties. An experienced and trustworthy agent who keeps in touch and informs of marketing activity is invaluable as is a good brochure and main web photo of property. One needs to feel confident in the agent's appraisal and not feel that they will "bottom drawer" it when they have no-one seeking the property type and details. Their photographer needs to see beyond the lens of the camera for the best room presentation so that the delivered photograph is uncluttered and shows the room to ts best advantage and angle to entice people to want to view the property. Now that previous "sold" pricesof a property are common knowledge it is easy to be beguiled into thinking that a current asking price is way over the previous mark without allowing for the fact that expensive extension work may have been carried out in the interim and that purchase price tax, solictors' fees and agents' fees were all paid in addition to the bought price. The duty and fees one pays hardly make a move worthwhile in under 10 years and also allowing for inflation/deflation to alter valuations.

Pinky
Well we have a problem as we have extended our detached home and we have 4 double bedrooms, ensuite to master bedroom plus family bathroom with power shower all freshly carpeted downstairs kitchen diner leads into a huge conservatory which can be used all year round plus we have a beautiful drawing room (for those who don't know what this means I guess you call it a lounge like in a pub!) plus a large garage. None of the other houses in our road have this so how can we guess the price???? we keep the house very clean and although we do have two dogs you wouldn't know it as we air the house regularly and use room fresheners. Estate Agents have said that they have never seen such a well presented house so why doesn't it sell. I can only guess that the parking may be an issue. We are close to town and schools but off the main drag. We have taken it off the market for now and will probably try again in the spring. Go luck to all you buyers and sellers out there something has to give, people have to live somewhere and hopefully it will be mine/your home soon!

martin
The problem is entirely caused by sellers being unrealistic. I would be quite happy to sell my property for a lot less so long as I can buy for a lot less too. But no one wants to budge which leaves me in the awkward position of selling for less but buying for more. Which of course I am not going to do, hence no move. Perhaps we a re slowly turning back to the 'good old days' when a house was for life and not just a fast buck for christmas.

Will
House prices will fall further this year, not counting areas in high demand including London. Most parts of the country will see prices fall further. So it is imperative that sellers think about making their properties look their best. The advice to clean and tidy away clutter is the best advice you will get. If you can, also redecorate rooms with strong colours, a clean light look is best. Bottom line is a well kept property will sell before the messy or unkempt one. Take the advice to make your property look more appealing to buyers, it is the correct advice. Most importantly, price to sell. Don't put a high price tag that you won't get, it is pointless going to any effort if your pricing is wrong.

GeraldineB
I've sold my property because i was realistic about the price. However the person I'm buying from is not being reasonable and haggling over the cost of getting her damp problem fixed, If you buy a car and find out the clutch needs to be changed it would be unreasonable for the garage to expect you to pay for it, so why do buyers expect purchsers to pay half to get their homes fixed u for sale? Its so frustrating. Should be a buyers market but some people are just pigheaded and there isnt a lot of decent property about at the moment.

Clive Osborne
Having personally bought, sold and rented many properties over the last 25 years I can honestly say that if you have the right price you will get viewings. But if you have the right price and clean and stage properly then it will sell. It is worth contacting a professional stager if you have one in your area as they won't advise you to spend money that isn't necessary but can really help make your property stand out from the others who can't be bothered. Not all estate agents make good home stagers either!

dee cee
We are considering selling up and moving to a new area some good tips and we will list it on rightmove also.

Mark Evans
Location, location, location is what matters! If your property is not in a good location, eg. little/no work in the area, or little in the way of amenities or has a high crime rate, you can't ask a high price, not before the crash, not now certainly! Well, lets just say you can ask, look silly, but you won't get! Stage your property all you want, but still only expect market value, which will be less than what most estate agents will put it for sale at. Too many properties went on the market last year at stupid prices, now they are sat there still, with egg on their faces. This year I hope to see a change in attitude. The market will move if people get real and smell the coffee. Your property is not worth as much as you think it does, and no one cares about the stupid staging unless it comes with a cheap price tag. I have sold thousands of properties, and I have had to educate thousands of deluded people about pricing. If they don't listen, they don't sell. Another agent will take that delusion and its property on and waste their time, but I won't. Selling requires a price tag which is appealing to buyers. Put a high price tag on your property and you might as well hang a sign around your neck saying "I want attention and don't really want to sell!" "Please mock me for being so silly!" 2012 is time for sellers to be realistic so buyers don't waste their time. Once prices fall, sellers won't be so easily let down.

Timmy M
We did a huge amount of work on our house to extend and then we staged it for sale, we thought it was the bees knees. Our agent put a high price on it and we really thought we would get close to asking price, but we were wrong. We couldn't sell, didn't want to reduce and our agent got slack and didn't push the property anymore. After a while we looked at what other people had done to their properties and what high spec kitchens and bathrooms they had, the overall finish was to a much higher standard than ours. And those similar properties were selling for less than we advertised ours for. So we thought our property was great, but others didn't view it in the same light. We still don't want to sell for less and just hope that one day someone will buy it for a price we can accept. Our advice to others is to look at your property like a stranger would, we get attached to our own properties and think they are better than they are sometimes. A lower asking price seems to be what gets you a sale.

Dan
@Jean S, of course property is worth what it is worth, but Jenny didnt suggest that a lick of paint and some silicon will make your house more valuable. She said that a house that needs complete refurbishment may be worth half of a finished property. This is not unrealistic depending on the properties rough value. There are 2 separate things being discussed here. If you want a sale full stop you need to price realistically, not just for a quick sale. However, tarting up with paint and other bits and pieces may be what clinches the sale at the end of the day. It's not going to increase property value though, agreed. Yet if Joe Bloggs goes to see several houses and likes 2 of them equally but one needs a bit of time and money spending on it, which ones he gonna go for if they are both priced the same? In this respect you could say the small jobs which make your house look its best DO increase your properties value, by not making you have to drop the price to get the sale.

John King
The advice to spruce a property up for sale is good, but unless you follow sold prices and price realistically, you only throw good money down the drain. Also whilst you keep spending money on a property which is so overpriced it won't sell, you don't have viewers to see your hard work. Price is almost everything when it comes to selling, and a little hard work from a very good hard working estate agent. You won't find many of these, you will find those with the gift of the gab who work hard to sell their most expensive properties. If you live in an ordinary property, one which you find on every estate in the country, price is what will sell your property, not decor or pot plants at the doorway. For those who don't want to accept the market conditions, stay put for 5-10 years and don't even consider moving. I know I won't bother moving in this market as I am downsizing and will be better off waiting. If I were upsizing, I would sell now!

Kell
OMG! I see properties which are described as perfect, new kitchen etc.. On viewing these properties, I see awful kitchens, just cupboard door changes and dated as hell. The asking prices of some properties are just laughable. If an estate agent can view some bog standard property and put the word perfect next to it, then god help us! We need a shake up, estate agents describe properties in such a way that they must need an imagination fit for story book writing. I hate to waste my time on rubish which I could have avoided, should the description have been honest. The poor people selling property and getting the feedback that their house/flat is dated and overpriced, they really need to change agents or get real on price. The descriptions are beyong belief!!!!

Jean S
Property is worth what it is worth, end of. Comments from people like Jenny are naive. People don't pay double for a pretty house, or half price for a house which needs work. Get real! Sensibly priced means just that. Don't listen to rubbish about tarting a house up and it'll be worth twice that of the house down the road because its grouting and silicone seal is new. Get an estate agents opinion and look at sold prices, everything else is bubblegum. The market is slow, not dead. Those wishing to sell like lightening, price low. For those who can't afford to sell too cheap, wait, it'll be a long wait but don't give up just yet. Doom and gloom people should just stay out of the property game all together, there will always be ups and downs. I see plenty of properties selling in my area, for good market value too. People have to move, so it just might take more time to find a buyer in tougher times. Good luck all and happy new year!

Mandy H
I must say that I am glad we don't need to sell at this time, I see so many properties go on the market at realistic prices and still not sell very quickly or indeed sell at all. The overpriced properties just sit there year after year, I don't know whether these people aren't listening to their estate agents advice, or the estate agents themselves haven't come to terms with the market conditions? I do think it is best to try to make your home appealing for buyers to view, although it is difficult to justify spending a lot of money on a property to sell, unless that property is in a fantastic area or is an expensive property to begin with. When we got ready to sell in our house in August 2010, the estate agent we were going to market with gave us the advice to start a little higher than we would likely achieve, and then to review that price every month or so. We knew up front that we would need to reduce the house price, after testing the market conditions. He was honest enough with us and we respected that. We are lucky in that we don't need to move, but if we did, we would know and accept that prices have fallen and we would go by sold prices and the sensible, realistic advice from a good estate agent. I wish those buying and selling much luck. All the best for the New Year. x

Keith Thomas
Micheal A.Peet. I don't know where you are from or what you think you are talking about, but I sell plenty of properties, in fact, I have sold more since the crash. I sell property for lower figures, but I sell enough. And rentals, well I see a lot of those sit empty unless they are very cheap. Everyone renting homes or owning them to rent is loony talk. You'll be talking upstairs, downstairs next. T.V is great entertainment, but don't be mislead, the reality is that property does sell for the right price. If an estate agent over values property, they won't sell. You think market value is what the estate agent decides? Wrong! Sold prices dictate what property is worth, the buyer decides. So when property doesn't sell in desirable locations looking all lovely, it is because the price was picked from the nostril, not even thin air. They don't sell 30,000 under value, they sell. People are forgetting that greed makes prices rise, now we can't all be greedy, we can only be realistic. Rent, but know that you are paying a home owners mortgage or for their expensive lifestyle. We are mostly wage slaves as it is, own your own home and have something of your own, something for the future...or you might as well burn money. That is what some countries are like, not Great Britain. Now let us get real, price to sell and sell. Never has there been market conditions where very type of property in every location sells for maximum price and quickly. We all remember the good old days, but we remember them through rose tinted glasses. Now is as good a time to buy and sell as ever, we all need to take the rose tinted glasses off first to see this. Nice Day.

jenny
Lets hope more houses come on to the market at a more realistic price, instead of the inflated, overpriced properties that were put onto the market in 2011 that just sat there looking very expensive indeed. They are the ones that did not sell, well built, clean, tidy properties priced sensibly lower got and will continue to get more interest and probably even offers on them. Its not rocket science. No one likes to lift the rug only to find lots of hidden unwanted surprises lurking, same with houses perhaps its time we all stopped making so much hard work out of it. Keep in mind clarity and transparency all round, rather than a cover up, and the sale is more likely to proceed to sold. A property that needs complete refurbishment and a lot of work may well be worth half of a property all finished and ready to live in to a good standard.

Alison.Sullivan.
Yes i found all these coments very useful indeed,we have just decorated and always done light colours i.e Magnolia.cream.and just had new lounge carpet,so we will be ready soon.we have;nt had much look with the price offered,so we are waiting a while,hopeing things will pick up.

Michael A.Peet
The biggest thing about selling any house,is first get the agents to create viewings.I know of several of my friends in different areas,who have had their houses on the market for nearly a year,and believe me,they are extremely desirable properties,excellently presented,and are at the agents agreed price.but most have had no more than one viewing.I am amongst those.I also know of three people who have sold in the past year,actually the word be given,as all sold at around 30,000 below their value.So,the real facts are,the market is still pretty dead,and will remain so,for at least another year,then will increase only marginally.2nd,The agents don't really work hard enough.Pay them a very low wage,but a huge bonus on sales.I have spoken to many estate agents in U.K.and they all admit two things.The can't sell any houses,well hardly.But if the have houses for rental,they have gone within 48 hours.This to me is how the future market will be,as on the continent. Proof-Watch "HOMES UNDER the HAMMER.

Pauline Mcdougall
As a buyer I find stained / dirty grout and mouldy sealant round baths and showers a massive turn off. This costs relatively little to rectify prior to putting a property on the Market.

Benn
Please just listen to what your agent says to do! That's what you pay us for!

Mrs Heath
I think people who are wanting to put an offer in should be checked that they can afford a property first before getting peoples hopes up then letting them down. This has happened twice to us now. England should do as Scotland have to check finances first or get an idea hpow much they an borrow before even looking and viewing peoples home. they are just timewasters.

Sal
I agree I put my house on the market at the beginning of the year, every time we had a viewing the wife and I would clean the house top to bottom tidy everything that wasn't fixed down general sweep of toys and odds and sods we had a couple of offers thought we could get more didn't and then the viewings died down,but after 5 months the next person to view liked it and offered us what we had previously rejected and it is now sold STC.

Sarah
I agree with those who say to stage a home for sale. I did this and it was hard work, but it did work and I sold my property. Before I decorated and changed a few things, viewers looked very unimpressed, I could tell even before the estate agents feedback. When I decided to try a little harder to get a sale, I looked at all the advice on the internet on how to prepare a property for sale. I painted every room in neutral colours, I painted all gloss work and changed carpets. I bought new curtains which I could take to my next address and new light fittings for the main rooms. I put flowers in baskets at the front and tidied up the garden and planted more flowers there. Before viewers came, I brewed coffee. I also put plug-ins one before a viewing, but unplugged them before the people arrived. I did have comments on how clean and fresh the property was. The buyer didn't even have a full survey done, they just did their own checks as they were a cash buyer, but I sold really fast and got a good price. This extra work does pay off, you can't expect everyone to see through your tastes, a lot of people viewing ordinary homes in ordinary areas are looking for a family home, so they need to visualise themselves there. It is much easier to visualise yourself in a beautifully done up property which smells fresh and clean, than one which is floral and dated and might smell dusty or of pet hair. If you rubbish this sort of advice, you alienate most buyers.

Timothy Parker
Great mix of advice on here. I think I'll take the advice to generally clean and tidy to sell. I might do a little painting, but I won't go overboard, it is not easy for everyone. I like the advice to hide personal stuff, I know I have too much of that, so I'll put a bit of it away. Also making the house smell nice is a good idea, I walk in and smell a musty smell sometimes, the house isn't damp, it just isn't aired enough. So hiding that musty smell will be another tip I'll take on board. I might wash curtains and have carpets shampooed too, it will all make the house more fresh for viewers. Thanks for all the great advice, my estate agent agrees with all this advice about staging, so I'll give it a go and let you know if I sell fast.

Tandy
I think you have to be careful not to go with just cream and white, it can make a property look clinical and bland. If trying to make the property more appealing to buyers, it can be better to show a more homely feel or a stylish look with a little bold colour here and there. I think the main aim is to show the property clean and tidy, any small jobs should be done that need doing like fixing a leaking tap or filling holes in plaster etc. A well looked after property is an appealing one, well it is to me. I walked away from dozens of properties which smelt musty, damp, looked dirty and unkempt, because I just couldn't see myself living in such a place. You never know what is hiding in a dirty place. I think you should clean a property like your life depends on it before showing it to anyone.

Richard Wilson
I overpriced property for years whilst the market was strong, and getting stronger. Then the crash happened and people didn't want to reduce. Estate agents follow the market conditions and try to keep prices high in an upturn, and low in a downturn. It is the way to make money. If you don't like the way estate agents work, try selling privately, it isn’t that easy. Most sellers want to be given a high value for their properties, this is how estate agents win instructions. Now people won't pay over value, we value lower, but not as low as the asking price should be. So after a few weeks/months, we ask the vendors to reduce. It doesn't always go down well, but you can hardly call the estate agent greedy when the vendor is actually the greedy one. Having a lot of properties on our books to compare, keeps the prices in good areas up, and the not so good areas eventually have to come to terms with the reality. When you show two properties of the same kind, but in different areas, viewers compare prices. If you have some over priced properties in a not so sought after area, but close to a better area, you take the viewers to both. They then see the higher priced property in the better area as a bargain. This is how it works, estate agents are a business after all. To know what your property is actually worth, you look at what they sell for. If the estate agent values you tens of thousands of pounds above…you are the ideal mug for the estate agents books. And a big silent thank you for allowing us to use your property to sell ones in a better area. If you allow us to price you realistically, then you will probably sell. Sorry if this shocks you all, but that is how the process works for estate agents who make it in harsh times.

Janice P
Mrs C has given excellent advice. A little effort goes a long way, but is not the miracle to sell over-priced property. We live on a nice enough street, ordinary but nice. We see houses go on the market at unbelievably stupid prices and never sell! Whilst houses priced realistically sell quite quickly. It isn't that there is a lack of buyers, it is just that buyers don't want to be in negative equity. So over-priced property isn't appealing to anyone anymore, because prices are not going up.

Mrs C
I have cringed at some of the comments on here, it isn't a contest. We are giving our opinion on what works when selling property. The nasty and personal comments are unnecessary and unhelpful for those trying to learn something. Some people have very successfully secured a good deal by making their home beautiful, it can work for some. We sold a property which was in perfect order, the buyer wanted a ready to move in home which was clean and decorated in neutral colours. We achieved asking price, but then we weren’t being greedy with price. We made a small effort which cost little money, and it worked a treat. It is important to consider the price cap on your house/street/area. A house in a certain area might only be able to achieve so much, no matter how much you spend on it. The property might only achieve up to one of the stamp duty thresholds. Take two similar properties for sale on the same street. One is priced at £299,950 the other one £265,000. The difference between them is decor, fittings and minor things which don't equate to that much. The highest sale price of a similar house on that street was £245,000. Every buyer with any sense will want either house under the stamp duty threshold. The very highly priced house might not get enough viewers through the door. People could be scared off by the price. Buyers are far savvier than they used to be, we have so much free information now. I know some will pay more for their dream home, but most are bound by price, what they can afford. Take in to consideration the area you live in. If it isn't highly sought after and commanding high prices, your beautifully staged home will never be worth over its capped price. There is usually a top value you can achieve on any given street or area. You need to do more homework than simply relying on what value your estate agent gives you, if you are serious about selling. For the record, if I walked into a beautifully done up home smelling or roses and ready to move in, it would impress me. But I would run a mile if it was overpriced. So the staging works a treat if you also have your price realistic, it pitches you above the properties with no effort put in of the same price that is for sure! Don’t belittle the advice to smarten up your home with a lick of paint etc. This small effort is appreciated by most viewers and as long as you also price your property competitively, you should stand a good chance of selling, even in a these tough times.

Jeremy
Believe it or not a lot of us are looking for forever homes, or homes we will live in for the foreseeable future. So first impressions do count. I like to walk in to a property and it smell good, not bad! I like a clean, not dirty property. I like decoration to at least look decent, colour or design is not important, but scruffy peeling paper and scuffed walls is off-putting. When you move in to a new home you want to unpack and put some jobs off. A very tired looking home should be priced lower than one which is clean and tidy. I would pay more for a home I could move straight in to and do nothing for a while, not a massive amount more, but a few thousand maybe.

Iain – estate agent of 40 years
I am rich Donald Brown, so yes I am proud of what I have achieved. My children went to University and have degrees; they don’t work at Morrison’s or McDonalds. Money makes the world go round and property is a good game to be in. So Donald, when you want a change of career, think about becoming an estate agent. That is if you want to stop worrying about how expensive property is, live in an expensive home you can afford instead.

John F
Why are people moaning about bad choice of decor, kitchen, bathroom, carpet etc? What's wrong with you? When you buy a second hand property, you buy another’s lifestyle until you move in and put your own stamp on the property. You work shy, lazy, visionless, can't be bothered minority are stupid and annoying. Property is bricks and mortar, you have a survey done to make sure there are no major problems and the rest is cosmetic. This house doctor nonsense is being blurted out like it is the only way to sell property. It isn't. Price well and clean the property, you don't need to do much more than that. The day I pay more for decor and another’s choice of kitchen is the day I die. It is ridiculous!

Mrs Minto
I couldn't sell my house for over a year. So I asked my estate agent their honest opinion of the overall state of my property and its general likability. An honest answer was forthcoming. The advice I received was to de-personalise, de-clutter, keep it clean and stick to neutral colours in all rooms. I bought some paint and bit by bit transformed my once character and homely house to what eventually, after a few months, looked like a show-home. I even bought new curtains and had carpets shampooed. I reduced the price by £5000 to keep it as low as other properties of a similar kind and within a month, I sold the house. The feedback from viewers was far more positive and the "staging" as people call it paid off. I went to a lot of trouble and hard work to make the changes and every viewing I cleaned and made the property smell beautiful. I even had comments on how lovely and clean the house was on viewings. It made me feel proud and I am now in my new home which coincidently was done up beautifully for sale, it saved me the trouble of doing all the hard work again. Take the advice to make your home as inviting as possible, because most viewers complain to the estate agent that the property wasn't in as good condition as they would like. It would seem people are put off by the smallest things, so in turn pay more for your effort. I didn’t have a new kitchen or bathroom by the way, infact my bathroom was that champagne colour and my kitchen dark oak. But the new paint, cleaning and general tidy up was enough. My estate agent advised me against having a new kitchen and bathroom as he didn’t feel I would make the money back, and might even make the wrong choice. So trust your estate agent when he or she gives you advice, it paid off for me and for the previous owner of my lovely show-home style property.

Patsy
I sold my flat after making it look like new again. It was a fairly new build, so didn't require much more than a lick of paint and some clearing away of personal items. I replaced family photos with pictures of scenery. I cleaned the flat till it was gleaming and changed light shades for more attractive light fittings. The only real expense was a new carpet, I chose a beige carpet and it made the space look bigger. I kept everything simple and clean. I sold after 8 days of the transformation, I had been on the market for 9 and 1/2 months with no offers. I recommend people put the effort in as it paid off for me, and in days.

Keith
I put my house on the market for what the agent told me it was worth and couldn't sell. I looked at what three other houses which sold for on my street in the last six months and found my asking price was too high. I dropped the price to five thousand over sold prices of similar houses and sold for five thousand less than asking price. You work it out. Don't waste your time on doing up a property, sell for what it is worth and buy another property for its worth. Asking prices are just that. You can ask, but you don't always get! Price is all that matters to buyers.

Charles S
To : Iain - estate agent for 40 years The banks are bankrupts, there is no money given out for expensive mortgages i.e. you need atleast 20% deposit these days. You can pretend otherwise but with no money available prices needs to be reduced or the sellers can wait forever. I am an estate agent (South East) and we have changed according to market needs as our business was suffering. We now advise our vendors to reduce the prices if they really wish to sell in this difficult market which will get more depressing. I hope our firm really survives this downturn.

Kelly Trent
Tanya has taken the words out of my mouth. I just hate done up properties that are rushed, cheap and not to most peoples tastes. I wouldn't pay for fittings and fixtures I did not like, I would know if a property was priced high because it has a cheap conservatory and plastic kitchen. I bought a property down the road from a similar one I had viewed at the time. The one I didn't buy was done up like a tarts boudoir, but was full of cheap tat. The windows on the conservatory were failing and it was just done up so badly I had to laugh. I bought the house down the road as it was 60K cheaper, I put a beautiful orangery on and had a stunning fitted kitchen and new bathroom put in. This cost me less than buying the badly done up house. So this house doctor advice works if it is a general tidy up, a clean and maybe a lick of paint just to make it look more appealing. But for goodness sakes, stop there, you waste your money beyond a minor spruce up.

Jake
Oh dear .. Carole .. another deluded seller I am guessing. By saying you want everything perfect, you are describing the way you think your home is and you expect others to see it through your eyes, then buy it at the ridiculous price you want. Nope! PRICE and LOCATION are all that matters. You can paint a house white, put cheap carpet down and spray it with perfume, it is still worth the same sum of money. Sorry to disappoint all you armature and immature sellers out there, these house doctor programs are there for entertainment and to make money. Even that annoying woman from the US lives in a gypsy caravan, she doesn’t take her own advice because she knows it is 99% rubbish.

Donald Brown
Iain - estate agent for 40 years. What do you want? A pat on the back or something? Im a homerowner who thinks that house prices are vastly over inflated. In part caused by people like you. And in part by the difficulty in obtaining a mortgage nowadays. Im not a property developer or an estate agent Im pleased to say. And I haven't been to a house auction in my life. But of course Iian - estate agent for 40 years you obviously know everything there is to know about house values country wide as well as your own little patch. Im surprised you are still employed with your cavalier/know it all attitude. But how you conduct ypur business is your affair. Good luck in your efforts to sell your overpiced houses. Though not that you'll need it as ,after all, you've been an estate agent for 40 years. An thats something to be proud of. Muppet!!!

Mike
After deciphering Donald’s post, it makes some sense. The right price is decided by the buyer and the seller coming to an agreement. There is no single right price to market property for. Cheap sells, expensive doesn't. How does one find the middle ground? Well it is a simple case of what one can afford to pay and what one can afford to sell for. Estate agents don't really know what price a property will sell for; they can only give an estimate. Don't get bogged down by those who shout “PRICE!” Just look at what properties similar to yours are selling for and pitch above that price by about 5%. Let the buyer haggle you down a little, but entice them in with a sensible starting price. Other than getting the price as correct as it can be, clean your home before selling. Not many people would want to walk into a filthy property, but the colour of walls seems irrelevant. People say “paint a property cream then people can put their own stamp on the property”. I can do this by painting walls red, brown, green etc after they were yellow or purple. It isn’t rocket science. You look at what needs to be done to bring the property up to your standard; decor is never a deal breaker. If I am wrong, I may buy shares in magnolia paint. WINK WINK

Max
I am a property developer, but at the moment, looking to relocate to a different area so am looking at properties that I want to live in. I look at, 1. The position 2. The floorplan 3. The price And that's it. If any of the decor suits my taste, then that is a bonus. When I read some of the comments I am surprised that so many people take into consideration decor. WHY?? As long as it is clean you can live in it. To decorate a room takes one man two days maximum. As for modern bathrooms!!!!!!!!!! Remember when everyone wanted a avocado suite? Your expensive bathroom will be out of date in 5+ years. Kitchens, for how long will your 'pillar box red' kitchen going to be the 'Must have' Be clean and neutral. Your purchaser can put their own stamp on it. (You can please all of the people... etc) My opinion, but its how I make my living.

Marie
What does, BUYERS INCENTIVE AVAILABLE ON THIS PROPERTY, actually mean

Logan Peirce
I do think a property should be cleaned before potential purchasers view. I also think de-cluttering and a good tidy up is a good idea. I have viewed properties which I have felt I couldn't see properly for the amount of trinkets and knickknacks on view. I think it is off putting to see too much of a persons belongings, you can't help but be put off really. I wouldn't be put off by decor that isn't my cup of tea, I know how to lighten or darken a room to my tastes, decor doesn't add value in my book. To see an all beige property would bore me, but I would still buy if the price, size and location were right. I doubt your show home style will now fetch a huge price tag, not in this market. I think it is enough to have a clean and tidy home for sale.

Jayne Anne O'Flynn
Jayne Anne Estate Agent In my experience I think that a clean home is particularly important. I do not agree that it is always essential to install a 'state of the art' bathroom or kitchen because some buyers will want to install their own designer kitchen and bathroom. How the kitchen and batroom is presented if more important and in particular that it is spotlessly clean. I always look at the entrance, whether it is communal or not. Some vendors do not give enough consideration to this, and I believe that they should. It is the first impression that really counts. The buyer will want to see more of the property if the entrance is inviting and feels like entering a cosy home. If the property has a garden I think that it is important to have it looking nice, even in winter. You get the buyer's imagination going when they are presented with a well kept garden. They think of summer and outdoor dining, having their friends over and the barbeque. Also, neutral colours are important throughout the home, giving light to the room/s. Clean windows I think are also important, and yet you would be surprised to know that vendors often leave their windows in a filthy state, and see nothing wrong with this. Sometimes I am asked to suggest what the vendor could do to improve their chances of selling. It is important that the advice you give is tactifully given so not to offend.

Mandi
With property prices falling and probably continuously for the next five years, a little work will pay off to get you that sale IF you are priced competitively. Property prices are going to fall, so you need to do your homework more than ever. To price competitively you need to look at what property is selling for, not marketed for, to get a better picture of your target price. Pitching your property slightly below other similar properties in the area will also help you get potential purchasers through the door. But unless you accept the way the market is and price competitively, all the staging in the world won't help you. Clean and tidy and PRICE! You can do zilch about the location you are in. You have to play up the positives and minimise the negatives in any way you can. Property does sell when it is priced right and that might mean cheap.

Chris Wiseman
Of course it raises the 'possibility' of a sale if everything is trim and well decorated. But it is not a correct statistical fact that it actually sells a property. I base this on two facts which are not in the seller's control. One, it is highly unlikely the potential buyer, while viewing, and therefore under the 'spell' of the clean sweet smelling home is going to agree and close the deal there and then and so back in their own environment their decision will as always be far more controlled by such influences as their own budget, the location and how much they think they can knock down the asking price. Second, as one comment here incorrectly says in my opinion, is that 'any decent property developer will tell you that's in reference to making your property in good order and pretty. Property developers both decent and less decent are property devlopers who exist because their SOLE motivation is based on beating down to the lowest price humanly possible in order to secure the greatest return on their investment. The fact that they are successful at all relies 100% on their ability not to influenced bywhat in their view is superficial trappings. None the less although it is preferable to offer a clean and tidy property, don't be overly reliant on it actually making any difference to the price. In fact during recessions, once the 'pretenders' fade away, you are only left with the most savvy of buyers who themselves have read all this advice, which tends to negate the effect anyway. In summary ...do it but don't expect.

Tel
House prices will fall in the next 12 months, they might keep falling for the next five years. so it will help to make your property more inviting, to be competitive, you need to price well and make your property look good. Ignore people who will tell you to fit a new kitchen or spend thousands to sell. You won't get your money back. The days of extending and spending to sell are long gone unless you live in a country manor or in a good part of London. Clean your property and fix things that are broken, make it look like you care and it will sell at the right price. People need to understand prices WILL keep falling!

Carole
I personally don't want to buy a house unless it is done up nicely. I want it to be clean, tidy and to a certain degree, staged when I view. A nice smelling home with lovely decor is worth more money to me. Those who say these things don't matter are either property developers or estate agents who only want to see property prices fall further out of greed. A house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, then don't expect much when you sell your stinky, dirty awful home. A lot of buyers have higher expectations, regardless of size or area. A ‘house doctored’ property will sell faster than you’re under priced hovel any day of the year. I have been an estate agent so know what I'm talking about. I would never buy a house which has been unloved, once bitten, and twice shy. They usually come with hidden horrors. Every property I had on my portfolio sold if it was beautifully done up, and for more money than the run down properties. It is proven that a beautifully staged property will attract more interest and a buyer much quicker than the gypsy caravan type of property. Clean, neutral, de-clutter, nice curtains, carpets and light fittings help too. All effort is seen on viewings and a lot of people would pay for an attractive clean smelling home. If you go against this advice, you are either lazy or want to lose money. Get cleaning and painting and staging or expect to be knocked down considerably.

Donald
Well this is a combination of stating the obvious and an over simplification at the same time. First question is what is the 'right prices'. This will be different for different people so getting the 'right price' is a lot me difficult than the article suggests. If they meant.... sell it cheap, that is a completely different this. The right price means undertaking research into the target audience. So did they mean right price or did they mean cheaply? The other over simplication is this very poor article totally excludes the funding aspect. In today's credit squeezed market, access to mortgages is a lot more difficult than 5 years ago. Therefore even if the property is set at the 'right price' there is the restriction of capital for potential buyers, thereby impacting the sale. Finally we have to consider the current economic climate and the reduced confidence, there are fewer people willing to enter the property market for fear of losing their job. So once again a property can be a the right price but the lack of buyers may result in a property remaining unsold. So, as a headline grabber, the article is effective, as an insight into property sales, it is a waste of time!

Daniel Mann
Donald Brown gave the usual ‘property developer’ advice, which only benefits sharks in the property game. For a start, no 'one person' represents all buyers, or sellers. The hints and tips given by sensible posters so far are helpful. You only have to look at the 'Top Response' to see how a little effort goes a long way when selling property. The responses which are unhelpful, like any which blurt out 'Price' 'Location' are pointless. It is not always location or price. We don't all have the choice to live exactly where we want, or get what we want for the price. Only an idiot thinks that way. I don't know why some posters get so irate at the advice to decorate and make a property look nice. You would be surprised by how many people want a ready to move in home. People pay for this luxury, the proof is in the pudding. Show two identical properties, one with new kitchen, bathroom, nice decor and a lovely garden, and the other with dated and an unloved interior and exterior. There would have to be a huge difference in price, and there never is! The comments of ‘price and location’ are all people are interested in come from those who are mostly sat in the auction room or hate to do any work to sell property. If you hope that someone will beat the door down to buy a filthy and dated property, even at a low price, you would be wrong at least 8 out of 10 times. Do the work, it pays off. Any decent property developer would tell you that. And any sane person who wants to make the most from the sale of their property would put in a little effort. Most buyers wanting a home, not just an investment, look for clean, well kept and nicely presented home, not a cheaply priced hovel in the perfect location. It is fact.

Peter O'Connell
When I view a property I am put off by bright colours and horrid bathrooms and kitchens. I just don’t want a renovation project, I want to move in to somewhere I like straight off. I don’t expect perfection, I’m not that particular. I just want a property that can be put to my taste in time. I just cannot see past layers of orange paint and wall paper put on in the 60’s. It might be short-sighted of me, but that is how I feel. I looked at dozens of properties marketed as well proportioned, immaculate, tasteful and so on….. They were all hideous! No taste, bad decoration, dark dingy kitchens which were worn out. I just don’t know what estate agents see when they write up the particulars? I think most properties should be described as ‘has potential’. Then the price should be dropped to reflect the sheer amount of work needed. I was sick to death of viewing awfully neglected properties that I almost gave up the search and bought a new home. Then I viewed a property which was well decorated, had a nice kitchen and bathroom and was cheaper than a lot of hovels I had viewed. I bought it, I had to offer more as there were three interested parties. I paid a little more than asking price for a home I could move in to, but it was still cheaper than most rubbish properties I had viewed. I can see that most home owners are lazy. They want, no, they expect a high price. I bet they then haggle to death when they buy another property and expect it to be perfect! When I sell, the property will be immaculate. I will put in the effort so I can get a good price and sell quicker. I would be embarrassed to show a home to viewers which was dirty, unloved and dated. Get working home owners, quit being so lazy. It is a buyers market, so you have to make your home stand out above the rest.

peter barlow
Its basic economics of supply and demand. The current problems are man made due to funding restrictions and a 'knee jerk' reaction to unwise banking practices. At the end of the day we are building less houses than we ever have and yet the demand is vast, hence why the rented market is booming. A house will always only be worth what someone is willing to pay for it and what someone is willing to sell it for. You need both willing seller and buyer. The current market conditions are fake and if you have the nerve and more importantly can cobble together any finance, you will be sat on thye best investment you can ever make. History shows that 'bricks and mortar' increase in value over time despite peaks and troughs. We are currently in a deep trough but being positive the peak will be all the better!! Trust me it will improve but we need to stay positive. negativity breeds negativity!

Paul
You have to smarten up your property for sale, in this market you would be mad not to. I wouldn't go as far as new kitchens and bathrooms or anything else very expensive. You just need to clean, declutter and paint if the decor is tired. There is nothing worse than walking into a lived in home and seeing that it is tatty and unkempt. I feel a little embarassed for the owners to be honest, to live in a mess is one thing, but to offer it for sale in that way is not good at all. Carpets should be cleaned if they are smelly, if they are tatty, replace them. A garden should be free of rubbish and clutter too, a few flower pots and nice shrubs can make a big difference. If you live in a flat, put flowers on a table, ones which smell nice. Have a pot plant, a healthy looking one to add life to a room. I just don't get why people say these things don't matter? If I smell a horrid smell, I walk. If the decor is peeling, I might walk as it could spell damp issues. If I can't see the rooms for clutter, I walk because it just looks bloody awful and I wonder what they are covering up. If there are stains on the carpets and holes in the walls, I might walk away as it looks like a lot of work and the filth and mess might mean there are worse problems. Just do the minimum so people can see a home, not a mass of work to put right.

Owen
Your property is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. A little spruce up helps to create a better impression, good photos get viewers in. But do remember when you have photos taken with a wide angle lens, the disappointment will hit the viewer the second they walk through the door. If your property is not selling, then your price is too high, probably by so much you stop getting veiwers in the end. Those genuinely trying to sell, market at the correct price, one which sells the property. The rest are time wasters. I’m sure we all know where to find magnolia paint, and most of us probably avoid that bland colour like the plague. Just price right and trust you agent when he/she tells you to reduce, they know what they are doing.

Tanya
I can't be the only one who doesn't want people to rush into doing a home up for sale. Most conservatories I see are cheap and lean-to the house, which isn't what most people would choose if building one for themselves. A kitchen is such a personal choice, the usual style of kitchen would put me off, so I wouldn't want to pay for someone else’s taste. Bathrooms are a luxury for some and some want them to be luxurious. So if you paint tiles and slap in any old thing, it won't add much value. The fashion is for chrome, but not everyone wants chrome. I do think if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just put a price tag on the property that reflects it needs some TLC, then we can make our own decisions.

Trinny
I would love a ready to move in to home, with nothing to do but unpack. Although I see that houses like that carry a high price tag. I would rather buy a house at a reasonable price and put my own stamp on it, than pay for what someone else has done. I must admit, a lot of houses I have seen which are very expensive, they are not done up with any real care or attention to detail. Most fixtures and fittings are fairly cheap, so this house doctoring is coming at a premium, one which is too high in my humble opinion. I think I’ll choose price over prettiness.

Iain - Estate Agent of 40 years
Donald Brown says "your property is only worth what someone buys it for!" So all our properties are worthless by this idiot’s standard. Oh please don't tell us, you expect all property to be a bargain, so people like you can pay under value. Well, I have news for you, my properties are worth they’re asking prices, or very near to them. So when I get a viewer like you who moans that the kitchen and bathroom and decoration aren't to your liking, I'll show you the door, which is probably the wrong colour for you too. LMAO Such a lazy buyer wants to buy at auction, then you will have a shock at what things cost when you come to put them right. Cheap property is cheap for the very reason you will have to pay through the nose to bring it up to standard. By that time, you will have paid as much, if not more for the privilege of buying cheap. Your property will be on record as one of the cheapest paid for on the street, and then when you come to sell, you will likely be asking a higher price for the work you have done. But that price will look moronic as you paid so little in the first place. Well delude yourself that property is worth nothing unless the likes of you and other cheapsters say it is worth, but whilst the market moves on without you, you'll be standing at auction about to buy a property with three different types of damp and subsidence. Good luck lazy cheapsters. I'm sure the market can move without you. Property is worth current market value, valued by estate agents who know the market. Price realistically, but don’t do yourselves down for the likes of Donald Brown. You have to be realistic, but also patient and wait for a real buyer, not the one with a property developer type mentality. Let’s face it, if everyone took their properties off the market in protest to this new ruthless attitude of the greedy few, they would have to pay an absolute fortune for anything!

Thomas
It seems to be a mixture of posts on here. Some people want properties to be staged and ready to move in, others are put off by this. I do think buyers need to be realistic though, some sellers can't do this work themselves, nor can everyone afford to have their property done up to some buyers standards. I have never had the luxury of a new home or one which didn't need much work on moving in. I have worked very hard on every property I have owned. So I think the property in general, being location and suitability should come first. As for painting a house cream or white to sell, this might work for some, but I do hope this is only to sell because a white/cream house sounds awful! Kind of like properties where people with SAD live. lol I think if I suffered from SAD, I'd buy a light box so I could have a homely home. I do think price is important, you don't get many properties selling for high prices now, not unless they are very special. If you live in an ordinary house, it should be priced by an experienced estate agent who knows the market and the area, and doesn't give high valuations to flatter people onto his/her books.

Donald Brown
My house is worth this much an my house is worth that much. Truth is if you cant sell your house its worth nothing. Its only worth what someone else BUYS it for. Sure you ( an your estate agent ) can VALUE your property at a certain amount. That dont say its WORTH that amount. An your idea of a wonderful kitchen, bathroom, decor etc etc might not be my ( or anyone else's ) idea of a wonderful kitchen, bathroom, decor etc etc. Ive got my own idea's about what looks nice and what doesnt. Great idea Carl R. Just tidy your house up an that will get the property market moving again. Wish I had thought of that. Or like Amanda says have some nice smells permeating about. Are these people for real! And how is it that SELLERS want as much money as possible for their house but when they become BUYERS they want to pay the least possbile. You cant have it both ways surely. Unless, of course, GREED rears its head. Which in most cases it does. LOCATION and PRICE. Thats all that matters. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

Jay
I agree with Karma S - the price must be realistic so that your property stands out amongst its competitors. Still far too many over-priced properties on the market, where Agents over-value just to get the instruction. It's no good just thinking that people can make a lower offer; if a property is marketed at a ridiculously high price then you are not even going to get buyers to view in the first place. Once the price is right, then it is important to de-clutter and ensure the photos of the property are taken with a 'buyer's-eye' - look at what's on worktops, cupboard doors/drawers should be closed, rooms neat even if decor is a bit tired - make it look as if you care about the property. After all, if the seller can't be bothered then why should the buyers? Look at it as a partnership between seller and Agent to work together to get the property sold.

Mike Davis
Someone was talking above about bad neighbours. An important thing to avoid is to get involved in any official procedures eg contacting your local authority. If you do this the issue is documented and when you are going through the selling process and you are asked to tick boxes and say whether you have had problems with neighbours, you would be legally obliged to reply in the affirmative (to do otherwise could lead to you being sued at a later date when your buyer discovers the truth). So if their hi-fi is getting on your nerves it's best to put up with it and - if it is very bad - start looking towards a move.

Vicky
We decided to take the plunge and put our house up for sale 3 weeks ago after seeing a house we wanted had been up for sale for about 10 months. We were told by estate agent that the advertised selling price of the house we wanted was very negotiable as the sellers needed to sell a.s.a.p.. With this in mind, we advertised our house (with a different estate agent) at a realistic price possibly a little lower than similar properties in the area that had been on the market for a while. We expected it to take ages to get an offer (we'd tried to sell 2 years ago) however have ended up with two offers one of which is the asking price. Great! However when we've come to put offer on the house we had viewed and discussed with estate agent, the price is not negotiable at all and in fact the seller wants 15,000 more than advertised!!! We are now in a position where we have a buyer for our house but no house to move to as we can't find anything similar in the area we want to be and the seller isn't prepared to budge at all! A few things the estate agent has said to us don't ring true and I get the feeling they're just after more comission. Starting to feel stressed.

Vicky
oops, sorry read the title of this after posting.....no relevance whatsoever. Sorry. Tho we had redone the ensuite, and put in new windows and door since last time house was on market!

Towers
Having been on the market since the summer with one agent (who after a lot of dead end viewings found us a buyer and then argued with them about the price so they got fed up and went elsewhere!) We changed estate agents to a more dynamic lot, or so we thought... - one viewing in 7 weeks (yes I know it's been half term and it's getting quieter and it's getting near Christmas, we've had all the excuses!) but we are constantly having to call them to find out any updates and feel really let down. We pull out all the stops to ensure that the house is immaculate, which is not always easy with two kids, assorted pets and a much travelling husband, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. We are told that we live in a 'sought after area' but we're struggling to see this with nobody wishing to buy our house. We want to move to a detached property with a slightly bigger garden. Our house is RTG with all glazing, external doors, guttering, bathroom, kitchen and boiler renewed and garden has been landscaped. The house is in good decorative order. We have dropped the price (not overpriced) and are now considering dropping it again. Trouble is, the more we drop our price, the less we have to spend on a new place. Is it worth staying on the market til the New Year when our contract runs out with current agents or take the house off the market now and put it back on the market in the Spring? Any help gratefully recieved.

Jane Bee
More houses will be sold when house prices drop to salary appropriate levels. Until then, no way.

Michael Punchard
In response to the comments made by Carl R i feel you are in a very small minority. To not buy a house based on the colour of the rooms is bordering on the ridiculous. What to look at when buying are things that cant be changed, for example the location or bedroom sizes. You can never account for peoples tastes so what you think is nice and neutral could be plain and boring to someone else. Kitchens and bathrooms are where money is going to get spent but i would never advise a clilent to redo either of these rooms because you may well not get the money back. Just price the house properly and it will sell. And I think it might take a little more than painting to get the market moving again, but im just an estate agent, not an economist

Gilder B
Oh for heavens sake, change filthy or brightly coloured/patterned carpets. I viewed two houses last week, one carpet was full of wrinkles, and it had not been laid properly, so it was only fit for the bin. Another house had a filthy carpet throughout and the asking price for high! You cannot have a dirty house; you cannot have a badly put together house if you are asking a high price. If you cannot sell, look at all the things buyers will turn their noses up at and get them fixed, or dramatically lower your price. Filthy homes do not sell at high prices, I certainly wouldn't pay for a badly fitted carpet, kitchen etc... Sellers need to put in more effort if they are to sell at the prices they wish for. Buyers are not impressed with bright colours, bad décor, awfully laid rubbish carpet, kitchens from the DIY store which are falling apart from day one. Get things right and get a good price. Otherwise just drop the price for all the hard work the buyer will have to do upon moving in.

Carl R
The worst put off when viewing is loads of family photos and general kids tat. I don't want to trip over toys and rubbish when viewing, I wish people would put some of it away. You look at bedrooms with hideous colours the kids have chosen, you are supposed to be selling for goodness sakes! Get rid of the awful colours like pink, purple and orange and put the staged family photos. Viewers want to see the property, not the show-case of family memorabilia. A definite no no is shocking colours on walls, I would rather see a house painted black rather than bright yellow, orange and babyish pink. I find that my time is wasted when I view several rooms in technicoloured nightmare coats of paint, it is too much work to put that kind of house right, as it would have to be done as soon as I move in. Who wants heaps of work when they first move in? I know I don't. I don't expect a property to be perfect, but I do want to be able to move in and do things at my leisure. Hell yes, I would pay more to have a move in ready property. Do some work sellers, there must be loads of buyers put off by hideous family photos, general tat and silly looking kids bedrooms. The advice to stage and clean and tidy away rubbish is so good, I wish everyone would do this. Surely the market would get moving then, when we can take the sunglasses off to view properties.

Karma S
We have bad neighbours so can't sell. But if we did go on the open market again, should hell freeze over, we would try to tick all the boxes for potential buyers. Clean, neutral and well kept the property would be. We would pay attention to the garden also, making sure it is well manicured and full of flowers. I can see that buyers want to visualise living in the properties they view, so it must be inviting and clean. But most of all, the price needs to be right, overpriced properties don't sell. But as estate agents say, properties that look too cheap don't often sell either. If you have a neighbour dispute, the price would have to be rock bottom. I doubt even a cheap price could sell a property next to problem neighbours. In this situation there are three things you can do. You save up and rent the property out and buy elsewhere, or sell to a cash-buy company, or you stay put until the problem dies down.

Poppy
Valerie Clarke spot on about location. If you are not in a location that commands high prices, your property price drops like a stone in this market. Our home was worth around £190,000 in the boom, now around £150,000. To sell at that price we wouldn't get a property in the right area, so it isn't worth selling. When prices were higher, there wasn't such a gap between the area we live in and the one we considered moving to. When prices dropped, our chosen areas prices stayed the same, or dropped very little. Yet our house price dropped considerably. Some can move up the ladder if wanting to live in a similarly priced area, but when you want to live in a better area, you can find yourself more priced out than ever before. On the subject of getting a property ready for sale. I personally would clean and tidy, but most of all price right. We could choose a new kitchen and décor that a lot of buyers might dislike, it isn’t worth wasting the money. I think if someone is interested in your property enough, at the right price, they will buy. No amount of paint can dramatically increase the price of a property. At the end of the day, if you don’t have to move, you choose the time that is right for you. And to a certain degree the price that is right, otherwise you move for the sake of moving.

James
The only thing that matters to me is PRICE! I couldn't care less about the paint job and staged show-home look. Who the hell wants to be in negative equity or have a house that is worth less than they paid for it? No-one does. So it is important in this market to bag a bargain. At least that way, when prices rise again in the future, you will make more money. Don't get me wrong, I don't like to see an unkempt hovel, especially dirty properties, but price it right and I would buy it and give it good clean with pleasure. PRICE PRICE PRICE. Get that right and you will sell. I viewed three properties which were all similar in size, but had a maximum of £50K between prices, the only differences were kitchen, décor and bathrooms. You could spend less than £20K and get the lowest priced property up to a better spec than the over-valued one. It makes no sense to pay huge prices for what is likely to be a cheap kitchen from the local DIY store. Do It Yourself! I would urge people to buy homes which need work and knock the price down. That way you get what you want.

Tanzi
No, property prices have fallen and for good reason...they were too high! There are a lot of greedy sellers, greedy buyers and greedy estate agents. These greedy few make life difficult for everyone else. We need to see property at affordable prices, so people can buy and sell without there being huge gaps in prices and confusion in general. We recently sold our property after pouring in a little money and effort on decor and a general tidy up. We stored much stuff we didn’t need and made the house spotlessly clean. We marketed at a realistic price, going by sale prices in the area and sold in three weeks of having it up for sale. We bought another realistically priced house and that is the way it goes…simple. Be sensible, your house isn't always going to go up in value, you take what it is worth and you buy a property you can afford. I don't know what all the fuss is about with high prices. You only want to see a high price when selling, it makes no sense.

valerie clarke
Location Location! Doesnt matter how much you reduce if you are not in a sought after area. I have been for sale 18 months, started at £189,900 and am now at 145,000. Five prospective purchasers and none can sell their own home, each within a 10 mile radius of me. The one first time buyer didn't qualify for a mortgage. Now the agent is telling me "You can be too cheap you know"! After they badgered me to reduce. Lets face it, until this government make it easier for first time buyers to get on the ladder we are all stuck.

Amanda
It is definitely worth making your home more appealing to buyers with a bit of staging. Some neutral decor, it doesn't have to be beige, just light and bright. A home being clean is one of the most important factors when selling, never underestimate just how inviting a clean and tidy home is, especially smelling lovely. I don't think it is essential to put new bathrooms and kitchens in, just take this into account when pricing your home, if those rooms are dated. New cupboard doors and a good clean can make all the difference. If the grout between tiles is dirty, use a grout pen to make it look clean and new again. Paying attention to the little things like filling cracks, painting ceilings, cleaning carpets etc, all make a difference. The buyer needs to be able to see themselves living in your home, it being clean, tidy, warm and inviting helps tremendously. Gardens are also important. A tidy well kept garden adds value. If showing your home at Christmas, make it look beautiful with decorations and lighting. Have Christmassy scents like cinnamon in the home. You can boil cloves in water to give a wonderful smell, the buyer will instantly feel at home, smells are important. Some freshly brewed coffee also works well. You do have to make an effort when selling, some houses sell themselves, but most need a little work. You don't have to spend a fortune, just a couple of hundred pounds can add thousands to the value of your home. Buyers need to feel they can move in and do things little by little. If you show a dirty and cluttered home with peeling paint, the likelihood is it won’t sell. Best of luck to buyers and sellers.

Ahmed
Theres nothing complicated about this at all. Certainly doesnt need a "property Guru" to tell us painting a wall and removing a vase is going to solve everything. There are buyers, and there are sellers, if the price is realistic the buyer will buy. If your property hasnt sold yet, guess what? you have priced it wrong. Whether the seller is willing to accept the real price is a different matter, but if you actually want to sell, then lower the price, I guarantee it will sell at a realistic price, theres nothing more to it than that. I personally wouldnt waste time with painting etc, people see through all this now, people are quite willing and prepared to go to B&Q and pick up some paint IF they bought the house at the right price.

Marcos T
I don't think sellers are greedy if they have put the effort in to sell. When you stage your home for sale, you spend money and do the jobs that need doing, so the buyer can move in and do very little other than unpack. This work comes at a premium. I spend thousands to stage my home for sale. New solid wood kitchen with granite work surfaces. New bathroom fully tiled with travertine tiles and as modern as it gets. New carpet and wood floors throughout, complete redecoration, including new UPVC windows. This work was needed to bring the property up to scratch, but it also adds value! I now have the best house on the street "spec wise" and it shows inside and out. I have placed it on the market at a far higher than average price for the area. But it will sell for more because it is perfect and nothing needs to be done, inside or out. If you want a cheap home, it will be a let down from start to finish, with poor workmanship and poor choices of kitchen and other expensive to replace items. You get what you pay for. The best is worth the money. Magnolia and cheap carpet doesn’t cut it really, well I don’t think it does, unless you live in a council property. My advice to people wanting to stage their homes for sale is to look at what other people have and upstage them. If you have the best house on the street, buyers will practically beat your door down to buy it. If it is mediocre rubbishy tat throughout, you won’t sell for the price you wish to achieve. Spend money to make money, it can still be done. There are loads of people who want it all and won’t settle for less, they pay whatever it is to get the perfect home.

Jenny
I didn't do anything other than tidy up and clean my house before I sold. I made sure there was no clutter or dirt. I priced correctly and the price was what sold it, not fancy curtains or beige walls. I could see what houses were worth by looking at sold prices here on Rightmove, so I knew to pitch it between 5-10% over the last sold price. I sold in two weeks of putting the property on the market. I knocked 10% off the price of the house I bought too, it seemed to be quite straight forward.

Shane M
One of the first things I look at when viewing property is the condition. I don't care about colour of walls, carpets or even a scruffy garden, I care about the build. I look at the roof, windows, brickwork, I check for damp. I look at the heating system, plumbing and look for any signs of leaks. I want property that has been looked after in the right way, not one which looks fancy, but has been home diy-ed by Barbie. If a property is structurally sound and doesn't need major work, then I pay a fair price. But price is important, I don't pay for someone else’s choice of décor and furnishings. to me a property is bricks and mortar, that is what I buy, not your lifestyle. You have to be mad to buy into this magnolia paint and cream carpet, it is nothing but papering over the cracks in my opinion. You don’t pay over the odds for some cheap rubbish. Look at sold prices of similar properties and see whether they match the overinflated price tag of someone’s home with a load of cheap tat on show. Properties that are staged to death leave me cold, you don’t buy what you see most of the time. Yu buy an empty box at the end of the day. Clean your house, de-clutter it by all means so people can inspect. But leave out the silly styling, unless you really live that way. I can usually tell.

John
If your house is marketed at the right price and shown off properly it will sell. Get great photo’s of you home, if your agent can’t take great photos do your own or get a new agent who can. No two things are more important. If your house is over priced it will show and if your photos are dark and taken at the wrong angle your home will look small and gloomy and no one will want to view.

Simon in Wokingham
Death, divorce, redundancy, retirement and relocation are the large majority of sales in the current climate, which is fueling the expectations of buyers and skewing the market for normal folk to just move like the good old days, because they fancy a change of scenary. We had an offer on our propery back in Feb this year 2011, but at the time we couldnt find what we were looking for so lost our buyer. We have now found somewhere and have spoken with the agents to re market our home, only to be told that to sell quickly we would need to take close to £100k less than 7 months ago. Im sorry our property hasnt gone down 15% but what has happened, is several people around us have either lost their jobs or have split up and in their hurry to down size they have told agents to just get the house sold at whatever price, which in turn makes ours seem expensive. Im not unrealistic but in a normal market, where finance is available and people feel secure that degree of change in house values wouldnt happen. The agents are partly to blame for being more interested in cash flow than stable pricing and buyers have also got to be realistic over what they really can afford.

Ann
I don't understand all these comments about "greedy sellers". To be honest, it shows a gross misunderstanding of how house prices are managed and by whom. I also think that all these buyers on here moaning about "greedy sellers" would do no different if it was them selling a house. The reality is that the Bank of England and the government are keeping house prices high to protect the banks and, in the case of the government, their election prospects. Blaming sellers for not dropping their prices is silly. If a house is priced correctly it will sell, and if that price is still too high for some buyers, then don't blame your fellow citiizen, blame the bankers and the politicians that keep interest rates low and don't actually make the cuts they keep saying they will make. Sellers who ask for too much money may be greedy, but it's of irrelevance to a buyer who is priced out of the market because clearly that seller is not in such an unfortunately position to be forced to sell at a very low price. If they don't sell, then they will stay put. In what way does that impact on a buyer? Some of the sellers on here are very silly and are living in la-la land....but ultimately they have a home they can afford and are living in it. To try and argue that by living in their own home they are denying a buyer a low-cost house is rather ridiculous and makes some on here come across as spoilt and petulant. Only until people are forced to sell because they are jobless and broke will house prices drop. That will mean that interest rates have gone up and the government actually make the cuts they keep promising. This will mean that some home-owners will simply be unable to afford their homes, which will be repossessed and the prices of houses will start to fall because the ex-home-owner wont give a monkey's about what price the house is sold for. They'll be more worried about where they'll live next week and how much a tin of baked beans costs. This may be good for buyers (and I am fully aware of the upsides of cheaper homes and the downsides of being a mortgage slave with high property prices) but I think those on here screaming about "greedy sellers" should remember that it is not the people that created this situation and for the situation to correct itself, a lot of families will lose their homes. I just hope that the buyers who take advantage of this situation (should it arise) never sell their homes for a profit....hmmmmm

Tricia
Property seems to always be snakes and ladders in our experience! We scrimped and saved to the deposit for our first house and just loved it - not because it was beautiful, it wasn't at all, in fact it was pretty awful, but hey paint is fairly cheap and it was fun to do, along with making curtains and blinds. After years of living there, we upgraded to a lovely 4 bed character townhouse and the neighbours from hell! He had pychiatric problems and damaged our windows and car, took a swipe at me one day and put the neighbour the other side in hospital (in a wheelchair now) but he couldnt be prosecuted, as he was not liable for his actions, with a low mental age - given drugs and set free in the community - be warned! We and two other sets of neighbours sold to rental companies, at a great loss (no one else would touch them) just to escape. The police advised us to do this, as they knew he would eventually kill, which he did of course, we heard later, but not before abusing a local child or two. Fifty thousand lost, all my mother in law left to us, but hey, its only money. We bought a fairly standard DETACHED house after that, I don't like it and it doesn't feel like home. We planned to move after two years (it wasn't quite finished when we moved in, so thought we could add some value to it) but its no longer worth what we paid four years ago. So now it a matter of holding on until retirement in eight years time and downsizing then - I hope to something cosy and friendly next time! Compared to living in the third world, we have a roof over our heads and a mortgage paid off at long last, but I think a lot of it is as much luck as planning or forethought, as with the rest of life.

william
Sold my house in may, to me it was very simple ,the price. I wanted it sold so the asking price was set to sell it and it did with no bother, i didnt want it sat on the market for years, yes i do mean years, just wish others would be more realistic ,but i dont think agents help, they put houses up for sale knowing they wont sell at these prices.

Lisa Holmes
Sold every house Ive owned at full (or close to) the asking price, until last year I also sold every house withing two weeks of marketing it!, I have no secret tips, only sound advice, I can only assume we sold so well because I am ultra houseproud, That and the fact that I am obsessed with cleaning! A clean/tidy house really does make a difference, sending subtle hints to your buyers that this house has been looked after, It really is that simple, If a buyer sees that you cannot be bothered to even pick your laundry up off the floor , then he will assume that you also have never bothered to do those essential home repairs,, Also a tidy garden helps, who wants to start weeding/clearing rubbish when they have just moved into a new home?. In a nutshell, I would say to anyone, show /tell your viewers the positives about the area/your home. If you really want to sell, then you have to make the effort, The attitude "oh well its up to them if they like it or not" just WONT do. Ive even heard vendors say "I'm not changing a thing just to suit someone else" This is all wrong, If a seller (while showing around a possible buyer) cannot be bothered to showcase his home and do all that he can to make it the best it can possibly be then he shouldnt expect his agent to get him the best possible price. Last but not least, A fresh lick of paint everywhere (even beige) works wonders, there is nothing worse that walls full of kids crayon marks/bumps/scratches/muck, it just looks absolutely terrible, Unless of course you are selling this house at a knock down price ;o). A word on Estate Agents, They are not all the same, some are great, some are lazy, its up to you to find the good ones, and don't be bullied by them, remember they need you more than you need them. Hope this helps. Lisa

Lisa
Anyone on here (particularly an agent) who tells you that you cannot sell your home at FULL asking price is LYING, I promise you that. And if its someone who is trying to buy a house but cannot afford one then they are ALSO lying. I assure you that I achieved FULL aking price for my house 6 mnths ago, and it wasn't that difficult, in fact we later recieved an offer of 5K above the asking price from a another buyer, so we then had TWO buyers who wanted it at full or above the current market valuation price! In total we had 5 seperate people who wanted to buy it. OK granted, we didnt get these offers as fast as when we had sold our past homes, it took months for these offers to come in, and it definately took a LOT more effort on our part (such as presenting the house perfectly all the time) But PLEASE do be patient and hang in there, I definately agreed that it is harder to sell your home at the moment, but everything is harder, not just selling a house, life is harder, we are in a recession!, the whole thing is harder! But that DOES NOT mean that your house wont sell, it will sell. do not listen to the Estate Agents, they just want you to reduce, to get a faster sale so that they can get paid faster, And dont listen to the people that dont OWN property, these people who call sellers greedy, they are just jelouse that you own your own home and they do not,.they also want you to REDUCE, ha of course they do, they want your house, they want it cheap and they want it now!, so that when the house prices rise (and they will ) they then have a nice little investment, a house that they bought on the downturn and sold on the upturn, I should know, thats EXACTLY what I did 20 yrs ago, In fact I did it 5 times! My advice ..................HANG ON to your home for the moment, dont panick, and above all else, done sell it for a song , you will regret it. If you can afford to hang on to it then do that, cut back on something else, holidays maybe, nights out, anything at all, work harder maybe ? , If you must sell then do so, but if you can wait then I would wait. ride the storm :o) Keep your house on the market, be realistic about the price yes, but dont be too needy, dont sell it too cheap, and present it the BEST possible way you can, spend every moment updating it, weed the garden, clean the windows, shampoo the carpets, declutter, make it smell lovely, try to love your current house, if the buyers see that you love it, then they will love it too! all cheap things to do, but ALL help to sell your home :o) Lisa

Lisa
I truly believe that its not sellers who need to be more realistic about the price they are willing to sell at, I think instead that its BUYERS who need to be more realistic about what they can afford. Also I am approaching 50 yrs of age, I started buying/selling houses at the age of 21, Almost 30 yrs ago I realised very early on that the way you "present" your house to your potential buyers is MASSIVELY important, Important in the outcome of what price you will recieve and how fast you will sell, At that time nobody (not even the house doctor lol) was doing the things I was doing to sell houses, such as decluttering/staging etc, I seemed at that time to just "know" all the best ways to sell my houses! I was a houswife (my husband a surveyor), I didnt intend for this house thing to become an income!, but between us we managed to "do up" and sell enough houses to make us mortgage free by the ages of 32 and 36! That was some time ago now, and Ive long since hung up my paint brush (magnolia of course). But I still see that the old tried and tested methods of selling your home still stand, I no longer buy houses JUST to sell for a profit, I actually live in them now, recently marketed my current home (we wanted something smaller for retirement) and YET AGAIN it did achieve the full market asking price :o). I'm sorry folks but the tips on this site about a fresh lick of paint/decluttering/weeding the garden/repairing that broken fence panel/removing the pets while doing viewings/ etc etc ., they ALL help to sell your home, but if you cannot be bothered to do these things or if you think that they are not important then thats fine, we wish you luck all the same. Lisa

Paul
We are in the same position as autumn, we can't move due to ever high prices in the area we wish to live in. To move from one area to another with similar prices would be pointless for me, as I would still have to commute to work. We thought prices would fall everywhere, how wrong we were! Falling house prices was music to our ears, as we want to move up the ladder, not to a larger house, but to a better area. But of course, better areas still hold their prices. Falling house prices might not be helping us to move, not yet. We hope prices fall further next year, then our chosen area might become more affordable. Our only worry is a lack of housing being available in a falling market. Houses like the ones on our estate are ten a penny, so dropping the price drastically is the only way to sell. But good houses in good areas are still carrying those large price tags, they seem to be almost immune from the market conditions. This should be the time to move up the ladder, but those in good areas holding on to the boom prices are going to price people out and potentially put more people in negative equity.

Justin Power
Price Price Price.

Tim
I did the opposite of make my home neutral for sale. I chose a bold kitchen with red high gloss units and a black bathroom. I painted in darker than neutral colours like black and white, reds and browns. Everything was very tasteful and of good quality and finish. Most viewers were a bit taken back by my choices, but one viewer squeaked all the way round. She had to have my house! So I ended up getting close to asking price, which was £10,000 over other similar houses in the same area. All because I chose to be brave with colour and style. Not everyone wants a blank canvas, some want a ready home with zest and style. We are happy and have bought something else to add our quirky style to. I think you either go with safe beige, or you push the boat out, make people remember your property over others in a positive way and you might get lucky like us. BTW, we bought a house with zero going for it in its current state, beige and boring. We knocked the price down drastically because it had an awful 90’s style fake wood kitchen and no real money spent on it other than some beige paint. It doesn’t work for everyone.

Mac
I can't be bothered with redecorating a whole house just to sell, a buyer can do that and choose what they like. I put some new carpet in the lounge-diner and did some gloss work, but that's about it really. I have marketed my house at a high price because I think that if you have spent a lot of money over the years, you should get it all back with interest. All the additions and work I have put in should be paid for. I don't see why my house should be devalued because of market conditions, I have paid for things which I am not going to give away. I agree that buyers are getting greedy, if you want my house, you have to pay for it. Go buy a cheaper house elsewhere, I bet it won't be as nice as mine. If it takes me months to find a buyer then sobeit.

Claire
People used to choose a home to live in for the foreseeable future. It had to be in the right location, have the right rooms sizes and be in decent order. By decent order, I mean not a falling down shack. Now people want magnolia throughout, white gloss, new beige carpet and a new kitchen and bathroom. Perhaps they want a garden which needs no work and a red carpet to welcome them at the door. Oh for heavens sake, it is about location and price. A home is meant to be work, people make their nest, just like birds do. you work at wht you want. When has life had to be so easy for all you layabouts? We just sold our house of 30 years. we made it clean and tidy. We priced right and that was all we needed to do. If we had spent weeks trying to make it a showhome, we would have only been out of pocket and exhausted. We have to now make our new home what we want it to be. No amount of magnolia and beige carpet would have helped us....we hate the rubbish! Just price right and let someone else decide if they want to live in a boring beige box. So sick of lazy people with zero vision. LOL

martin
I agree with the pricing strategy. I have had 4 valuations from a range of agents in my town. i already had a price in mind and the valuations ranged massively. I could tell the agent that simply wanted my house on their register and had no clue what so ever. 1 agent stood out by way of what they could offer, and they were a corporate company with slightly higher fees. I have spoken to friends who have sold in the past and they have told me that they are very good and very pro-active which is exactly what I am looking for, whats more they explained the reasoning behind their valuation of my property and did take much longer carrying out the valuation than the others. What should ido?

Autumn
Great lively debate here! We are not in negative equity so we are willing to accept less for our house, but we can’t find a suitable property to move to. We would need to live close to work, so this would require a change of location to make moving a worthwhile exercise. Whilst we happily accept property prices have fallen, and would market at a realistic price, we find many people don’t share our enthusiasm. In the area we are interested in, we have seen prices stay the same level since 07 and even rise in some circumstances. I know some people might be in negative equity and perhaps some have to downsize, so they are between a rock and a hard place. But many people just don’t accept prices falling. I actually think the lack of decent housing in some areas is pushing prices upwards. Estate agents and vendors are capitalising on the fact there is a lack of good housing in certain areas and this forces people to either pay too much or stay put. We will stay put for a while longer in hope that prices fall further, but this will only help us if the greed decreases in our chosen location.

mr money bags
I could not care less about clean, tidy and neutral. You could have the worst kitchen, bathroom, decor and passion killer pine wardrobes built into the bedrooms, it is price that makes me want to buy property. Price low, you'll sell your property, regardless of condition. I know there are a lot of lazy folk who want ready homes, but dah!!! You pay over the odds for someone’s bucket of magnolia and cheap carpet. Buy a property that needs work, knock the price down and get it just the way you want it. I don’t see why a cheap kitchen from b&q or wickes would worthy a higher price tag. I can buy magnolia paint, it costs a few quid from the diy store. I buy property to let, but also bought a house recently to live in. I have the top of the range kitchen of my choosing, amazing bathroom fit for my queen.....that is my wife. She only deserves the best. She nearly dropped down dead when she saw the property, but I asked her.. "do you want a mediocre house styled by someone who hasn't a clue, or choose everything?" She said "choose everything." Anyway, cheap property is where it is at, expensive property for paint and pretty curtains are expensive mistakes. Unless you spend a fortune on tasteful additions, don't expect a high price. It is far too easy to find out what property is really worth, just look at sold prices and you will see the asking prices never match the sold price. Don't pay over the odds unless it is the property you have to have.

Donny Blick
The most important selling factor, by a long way, is location. Followed by price. Nothing else matters to HOME buyers. Kitchens, bathrooms, decor etc can be changed over time. If you are just after buying a HOUSE to make a profit then other factors are taken into consideration. Unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on your point of view ) the housing market has colapsed. A fact that some house owners seem to be in denial about. Thats ok. Continue to delude yourselves that your house is worth (?) what is was when prices were at their peak. It will not sell. Its as simple as that. If you've bought a ( overpriced ) house these past few years chances are your going to be in negative equity. If you bought that house to be your HOME then does it really matter ? If you bought that house just to make money then thats tough luck. You've played the market. And lost. If you bought your house before the housing boom ( pre '04/'05 ). Then chances are you will still make a profit when/if you decide to sell. The size of that profit will be reduced ( unless you're greedy, which a lot of sellers are ). The average first time buyer has my sympathy today. Imagine having to save a sizeable deposit and then having to contend with ( still ) inflated house prices because sellers can't see that significantly lower houses prices would be a good thing. For everyone. But no. Seller greed takes over and the seller is still determined to sell as high as possible and make as much money as they can. Which ends up as nothing because they don't sell their house. An everyone loses out. So it seems that if you have a house in a desireable location ie where the buyer wants to live and its realistically priced ie what the buyer can afford, it will sell. If you haven't either of those things then your house will not sell. And no amount of magnolia paint, beige carpet etc etc will change that fact...

Telly
I think a property should be clean and tidy when on the market. Some new carpet and neutral decor can be a good investment. To those who think that 1st home buyers are greedy, that might be true of some, especially when they want the perfect home 1st time round. But remember that prices are so high now and wages are not keeping in line with inflation. I borrowed three times my salary, some are having to stretch much further, it is frightening really. I am currently trying to sell my 4th house, hopefully the last move I will have to make. I am marketing under everything else similar to my house in a 5 mile radius, very cheap! But the problem I have is to sell at this low price I will have to rent for a while because I don't see other people reducing. I need to afford the next property, I am downsizing so am not going to be left with much after I sell this house. I wish something could be done to make all property be priced realistically. I don't see people accepting the market falling, prices are reduced but by 1 or 2 %. I have dropped mine 20% and I think I will sell quickly. I just don't know what I will be able to afford though, I might end up in a park home if prices don't drop more soon. Come on people! To move we need to reduce price, if people keep holding out for high prices, a lot of us won't be able to afford homes. And those marketing at ridiculous prices, you won't sell, so what is the point?

Trent
Until everyone gets realistic on price, the market can't move as well. I want to buy my first home, but still find people advertise property at close to 2007 prices. If the market has fallen, I'm not seeing it. I can't afford 8 times my salary, I'm not greedy, I just can't afford the crazy prices in my town. I live where property prices are supposed to be cheap, but most home owners refuse to lower the price because they are the ones who are greedy. Why should a home owner get more than their property is worth, only to expect the next property to be cheap? If you are selling a first time buyer home, why is the price so high that first time buyers cannot afford it? I want all property to be priced realistically, it might be better if estate agents only take properties on if the vendors are willing to be realistic. I have to rent which is throwing my money down the drain. I want my own home, I want to work hard and pay my own way. But because of greedy home owners in my area, I can’t afford to get on the property ladder for years to come probably. I can’t save for a larger deposit because I have to pay so much in rent. It is a ludicrous situation to be in. Yet if property prices actually dropped, I would be paying for my own home now. It worries me, I have a baby on the way and I need to provide for him. Owning my own home would make me feel I have a way of helping him in the future, should he be in this situation. Don’t call us new home buyers greedy, we want to pay for our homes, not someone elses mortgage. We are priced out by greedy home owners plain and simple.

Kat
We would like to move and don't have any problem with prices falling and taking whatever our house is worth, but the problem is not many other people are facing this reality where we live. We look at house prices in and around the area we live and are shocked at how high the prices are. People are still expecting to achieve huge values on their properties. We can't move, because we can't find a suitable house, it is all coming down to greed. Greedy home owners are messing things up big time. We just want to find another house, we don't mind doing work on it, but don't want to pay 2007 prices, and have to modernise the entire house to boot. Why aren't people reducing and realising that the market has fallen? I see houses sitting on the market for years, what are the estate agents thinking? They should tell the vendors to reduce or get off the market. In some areas, people are not being realistic.

Graham
We bought in 05 for £220k. Tried to sell in 08/09, reducing from £246 down to £226. Sold for £213,000. We took our house off the market after the chain fell apart. Decied to do a few alts to make it better for the family, plus general maintainance. Added new outside lights to improve frontage. Zoopla estimate currently £239,000, but my own estimation is that it would only fetch £200/205,000. Waiting for Spring. Area we would like to move to is more expensive IE 280/300k for a similar size property. However every talks of a price fall being needed. If we could find someone willing to reuce a £300k house to 210K, we'd willing sell for £140k. It's all relative. Only those whove over borrowed need worry , and I do feel sorry for them.

Sarah Brown
WELL SAID DONALD BROWN !!

Maggie
The sad fact is, prices are kept higher than they might be by the lack of property on the market. Buyers can see through existing decoration to the potential in a house. If sellers have comments from viewings like; 'it needs a lot of work', 'the kitchen is too dark' etc., this does not mean that buyers are too demanding, it means that they are too polite to tell you your property is overpriced. Mortgage lenders are much stricter now, and will not be optimistic about future values when considering mortgage applications. Buyers are cautious too. It is understandable that sellers are unwilling to reduce asking prices, as of course it means the equity they have in their house is very much less than they thought it was a few years ago, and if they are hoping to move to a larger house, they may have to rein in their expectations. If sellers are serious about selling, they have to set a realistic price for the size, condition and location of the house.

Donald Brown
When are you stupid people going to realise that the housing boom is well and truly over. And has been for years. Why do people think they can still sell their house at ( or near to ) the peak prices of 2007? Do you really think that you can put a bit of magnolia paint on the walls, reduce the price by a few thousand and its going to sell? If there is anyone out there who still thinks that then DREAM ON cos it aint gonna happen. House prices need to come down 10k, 30k, 50k and more to have any hope of being affordable again to the average buyer. And to all you people who are going to end up in negative equity well its just hard luck Im afraid. Thats life my friends! Do you greedy/stupid house owners not realise we are in the middle of probably the worst financial crisis of the past 50 years. Simply, mortgages arent as easy to get as they used to be. And the people who can get a mortgage are being a lot more choosey in what they buy. And rightly so. Thats not being greedy ( as some of you seem to think ) its being sensible. When you get a seller who is deluded to think they can still ask a ridiculously inflated price for their house now thats greedy...

D Thomas
Elaine - I don't agree that 1st time buyers are greedy, but sadly we do live in a greedy world. Do you not consider that the current absurdly high level of house prices may also have been a product of that same greedy world, with some home owners suddenly believing they could use their homes like cash machines (and who are now waking up to the fact that they can't afford to sell at more realistic price levels because they need to recoup the money they've taken out of their homes - some, not all). I expect, like me, when you bought your first home, it was at a time when first time buyers were able to purchase their home with a sensible mortgage based on sensible income multiples (3-4 times salary) and not the ridiculously unaffordable loans that are needed today, following an unsustainable property boom. The average income in this country is around £25k, multiply that by the rate that you or I would have been offered, and it's clear how difficult it must be for a first time buyer to find a property that they can afford to buy in the first place (let alone be left with enough money to do the place up). Of course, there will always be greedy people - buyers and sellers alike - but not all first time buyers are 'greedy', most are just trying to get a foot on the property ladder and are no doubt dreaming the same dreams of owning their first home that we had.

Jenny
The comments from Elaine were cringeworthy, for buyers trying so very hard to buy is a frustrating business, if you do not wish to buy a new house then the choice of poor quality, even scruffy and or unclean property advertised is all too prevalent, if a property needs upgrading and or refurbishment then this should very strongly reflect in the guide(asking) price of a property rather than buyers wasting their time looking at property that looks reasonable in the pictures but in reality has had no TLC over the years what so ever, if wiring or plumbing or floors, walls and roofs have not been maintained to a high standard then it is no surprise that it probably should be reduced by £50,000 if not more, than a property that has had years of someone's time and trouble and expense poured into it, and these are probably just the people that will be prepared to reduce the price sensibly to attract a good buyer. It is not as you comment 'buyers greed that will chase people off the market' but poor over priced housing stock.

catmandu
It's pretty easy to see from the comments who has a chance of selling and who doesn't. Some people really haven't grasped the current realities. If your house has not sold in 2-3 months, then it's overpriced. These people who sit with their house on the market for more than a year yet still think their house is worth X because that's what an EA told them a year ago are just wasting everyone's time. EAs would not be doing their job properly if they didn't ask you to drop your price to a level that someone will actually buy it at. Prices will not be going up again for some considerable time - the longer you leave it on the market, the less it is worth. Even if you think you'll just refuse to sell it until someone stumps up the full price, your neighbours are likely to be more realistic - if they sell at reduced prices, it just makes your house look more and more expensive. Elaine - why are you complaining about not wanting to show your house to work "shy people" Presumably it's people who are working that would want to buy your house. Young people are not refusing to buy your house because they are work shy, but because it's impossible for them to raise the deposit required and service the debt on an overpriced asset. Helen Smythe - no one is asking you to sell your house "for nothing". Only to sell it at a price they can afford. No doubt you are selling for a huge mark-up on what you bought it for - despite that, you think buyers are asking for you to sell the house "for peanuts" - which is no doubt much more than you paid for it in real terms. Roger P - yes, some people might like your choice of curtains and therefore be happy to pay more for them. Same for your light shades. Most people though simply wouldn't care - these things are easy to put in after buying and a buyer would get to choose their own preferred type. It's certainly not going to add much to the value of the house.

Tim
We had our house valued by one of the big names on the high street. The Estate Agent hardly seemed interested when being shown round. He then sat down in tthe kitchen, got out his laptop and started playing the big I am showing various properties he had sold. It soon became apparent that he had arrived with a preconceived price. It was semi detached with 4 bedrooms. Subtle questions soon had this "bright" spark running his mouth off. This chain of Estate Agents did not pay him a high salary but his salary was made up by the commission from selling houses. OK pretty obvious Salesman setup but it is not. The product he is selling is not his so getting the best price is not in his interest. Getting the property sold quickly is. You may think I have got this wrong but he kept showing me properties in a vain attempt to dumb down my property. He seemed intent in dragging a property that was in the region of £280000 and £290000 below the £250000. This is not my wild estimation as I had studied the local market and even those estimates were the lowest we would go. We plan to sell next year and we are going in with a figure we choose. Yes it will be suck and see but we have done a lot to the house, knocked throught etc. For instance, how often do you see kitchen\diner when really it is a kitchen with a table in the corner or bang in the middle of the kitchen. We have a kitchen diner measuring 20ft by 10ft as well as 2 other decent size reception rooms. In long terms, a family home is worth paying for if it is done right.

A Sexton
I priced my house under all other houses in the area of its kind. I made it look like a show home with staging and neutral decor. I had much interest but no buyer in a year. I think the market is so slow that you need to accept that selling, now, might not be the right decision. I don't think estate agents know the market, let alone the rest of us. We are all waiting for property prices to drop further; you just don't know when the time will be right. I might try again next year when prices have dropped further, using the same tactics. I'll make it perfect; price it under in hope that I can up-size to something even better for less money. I do believe people are up-sizing well in this market; you just have to be lucky enough to find a buyer. I would also recommend that people rent, so they are chain free. Anything that will help you get a buyer in this market is best...for both sides really.

Homer
I don't agree with estate agents giving asking prices to get properties on their portfolios. Give a realistic valuation in the first place, and then everyone knows what property is worth. I don't want someone to play on my ego or tempt me with a high valuation, I couldn't care less. I care about selling my house in a reasonable amount of time. So why tell me my property is worth 20% above what I could ever realistically achieve? It wastes my time, wastes their own time and wastes the time of every interested party. I agree, price realistically..."estate agents!"

Burt
I agree with the several posters on here who say, Price Realistically. We struggled to sell my late father's house for 18 months. The agent had valued it at £210,000. In August this year we dropped it down to £180,000 at which price it sold straightaway. We should have had it on at that price from the beginning but not being resident in the area where the house was we were guided by the agent.

Elaine
When I was young and buying my 1st home, that house needed much doing to it. We didn't moan that we couldn't afford to do up the property straight away, we were thankful to have a home. 1st time buyers are greedy, because we live in a greedy world and that is how children are being brought up these days, to be spoilt and not appreciate anything. We spent every penny we had on our 1st house, just to buy it. It took us many, many years to pay off our mortgage and we took as long to get it just the way we wanted it. I'm astounded at Jennifer and other 1st time buyer’s views! Buyers want property cheap, buyers want everything just so, buyers expect sellers to paint, re-carpet, put new kitchen in etc. With all your high expectations and I want, I want, I expect attitude, you will see so little properties up for sale soon, because the greed will chase people off the market. I despair at today’s youth. You are lucky to live in a country where you can own your own home and get a mortgage to do so. Stop expecting everything in life upfront, work hard, make a house a home and don’t expect others to do it all for you. When I come to sell, I will do what I can to make the house inviting, clean and tidy. But hell would freeze over before I make it a show home for greedy little beggars who are work shy. I worked hard to make it my home, you 'buyer' do the same.

Helen Smythe
Oh dear, I painted my house various shades of neutral colours, like creams, milky coffees and did all the gloss work. This work almost finished me off, I am getting on a bit. LOL Well, viewers seemed impressed with the fresh paint smell and neutral decor, but pointed out all the other jobs that need doing. The bathroom is champagne, not white. The kitchen cupboards are too dark, *it is an expensive good quality oak kitchen*, but not modern enough for some apparently. Everything must be done to satisfy buyers it would seem. I am reaching pension age and widowed, I haven't the money or energy to make the house perfect, I just don't know why people can't see past a few jobs and see that the house is lovely. I live in a nice area, away from main roads, no noise, good schools, lovely countryside, my house is in very good condition and room sizes are good. The garden is great, a nice size and full of flowers and colourful shrubs. A proper mature garden with established trees and plants which look beautiful. I have spent almost everyday out there since I bought the house, I’m a keen gardener, so have the garden looking beautiful at all times. But this is all getting a little too much for me now. So you can imagine my disappointment when I could not sell in a year. Every viewer walked around saying it is lovely, then I got the comments about my dated kitchen and bathroom. I have looked at what other similar houses are marketed for in the area and dropped the price under everything, even houses that are nowhere near as nice, but this hasn't worked. I will not sell my home for nothing, I have to retire to my last home after moving from this one. I can't afford to take less and I am not being greedy with the price I am asking for. I have given up for now, I just don't know what people want or expect anymore, it is like nothing short of a palace or show home will do. By the way, I moved to this house 20 years ago and my husband put a new bathroom and kitchen in. We decorated back then and modernised much more than people are willing to these days. If we can do it, why can't others? I feel so dreadfully sorry for sellers out there in the same boat as me, we try so hard and do what we can afford, and someone walks in and expects you to do every little thing and sell the house to them for peanuts. I can see that there won't be a good choice of properties soon, people will be afraid of moving as they will be out of pocket and exhausted from all the work they have to do, only to find it isn't enough. I think I would rather fit a stair lift and forget selling. Even my estate agent thinks people are mad these days to turn their noses up at a little work, he can't understand what is happening. He says he has never come across so many greedy and lazy people in his life, it might be a sign of the times. How sad!

michelle
i have been trying to sell my house now for two years.i had 4 valuations done.i took the lowest value and put it up for 195000 .we did extensive renovations to it and spent a lot of money because at the time we had no intentions of selling it.we have been told by the estate agents that it is so slow in the area it has nearly come to a standstill.so we dropped it to 180000 to see if that would work.nothing still 4 weeks later.yet its a lovely house .4 beds ,neutral colours through.en suite bedroom on its own floor with a large seated balcony with extensive views over a horse sanctuary.it has two large doubles and a single to the upper floor with a very large bathroom with 4 piece.the living room is large at 20 feet by nearly 18 feet.what do you have to do to get something sold.the time has come to take it off the market and enjoy what we have.we only wanted to down size to a 3 bed and get rid of the mortgage.DONT BE FOOLED BY THE HOUSING MARKET IN DERBYSHIRE BECAUSE IT IS SLOW.if you dont have to i would say take it of because it gets you down.the estate agent said i cannot do no more,so be it.

Roger P
I put my house on the market and did a lot of staging. After a year of not being able to sell or get many buyers through the door, I painted a couple of rooms cream, had new cream carpet laid too. Another year on, I still couldn't sell. I dropped the price by about £6000 but it didn't do the trick. I don't know where I went wrong, the agent told me to reduce, but I didn't see why I should reduce again. He valued my house at a certain price, I went down around 2%, the agent wanted me to reduce by 10%!! I mean really!! How can that be? I was throwing in carpets, light fittings and curtains, so that would save someone money, wouldn't it? Wouldn't people rather pay more for a house with extras thrown in. Some carpet was brand new, curtains were alright condition and light fittings not too bad, better than a bulb hanging from a flex? I had done some redecoration to a couple of rooms, that would have saved someone a job. I don't get it really, I expected full asking price after I had gone to the trouble of staging. Anyone else had this sort of bother from estate agents, in them wanting you to reduce when you had taken their valuation AND done painting etc......? Its a liberty really.

Jennifer
I have recently purchased my first house. I bought a house that required a lot of attention as I have a good eye to see what can be achieved. I work in design and it is amazing how many people can't visualise how rooms can look with their own furniture. My partner cannot see things how I see them and I often draw him 3D visuals to see how a room could be, this would be a great tool for sellers or even Estate agents to invest in. Houses that appeal to me are spacious and clean. When I look on rightmove there are a few things that irritate me when houses are listed. I hate it when only one photo is shown even if the house needs a lot of work, I would like to have an idea of how much needs to be done before I go. I don't like it when they don't show a photo of the front of the house because the inside has been decorated to a high standard, this instantly screams in a bad area and asking for more than what it is worth. I think sellers should try and view there home like they are the buyer. A few hundred pounds could help make the sale. Such as re-paint walls where there are scuffs, buy some boxes and store clutter away, make the kitchen worktops as clear as possible and most important make the entrance to the house as nice as possible (clean the door and add a hanging basket). I understand that sellers don't want to drop their prices and believe first time buyers are greedy, but I want to give our side of the story. I live in an area where the houses are cheap and even I struggled to save for a deposit. Most are expected to find 10% or more, which for 100,000 you would have to save 10,000. Then there's the legal fees etc. That's why first time buyers want everything done as they can't afford to do up houses because it has taken them so long to save the deposit. They can't get a loan on top because the banks won't do it anymore. The amount of people that still don't understand that is amazing. Plus with the economy being so bad, peoples wages are dropping and the cost of living going up, it's becoming increasingly harder to save. Until first time buyers can start getting on the market again the housing market will stay as it is, we have to wait for the first time buyers to come up with the deposits and then the market will move again as it will help those to sell and move. .

UK is a corporatocracy
Do people really think when house prices go up it is them that make the profit? All they get is more debt to service. The percentage increase is not a profit it is just in how much extra you have to fund to buy the next house. Per £100k bought for, per £150k sold for gives a supposed £50k i.e. 50% "Profit". Per £240k buying for, means a £90k gap to fund from the £150k sale. However because of House Price INFLATION the £240k must also cost 50% more, i.e. it would have been just £160k without HPI Therefore without House Price INFLATION the gap would be just £60k (£160k - £100k) Therefore there is no 50% profit, it's just a 50% larger gap to fund (£240k-£160k = £90k compared to £160k-£100 = £60k) People downsizing think they have made money but their profit is in pounds devalued by the expansion of credit required to drive lending higher and resulting inflation. We now have inflation at over 5% so multiply £1000 by 0.95 and the result by 0.95, continue doing that and you see how little purchasing power your house sale money has after all those years paying your mortgage. Bankers are laughing at you because they got your pounds every week years ago when they were still worth a lot more! When inflation drops it doesn't mean prices have fallen, just that they are rising less quickly. Any inflation is a permanent loss of purchasing power Banks are lenders, the more they persuade us to borrow the more profit they make on the interest. House prices have risen because banks deliberately decided to allow people to lie about their incomes. If everyone refused to borrow more than 3 times main income plus 1 times second income - house prices would fall as would banker's bonuses. Women would again have the choice to stay at home and look after the children or work to buy some luxuries not just fund a banker's bonus via a larger mortgage.

Mandy Cookson
I agree with Mr. Knight on all of his points. The best post I have read on this forum yet. It is very important to stage your home for sale. Good curb appeal with a tidy garden, paintwork in good condition and flowers in baskets etc. When walking into a home, your first impressions stay with you, the smell of coffee or flowers is nice, no stale smoke smells or pet smells. Neutral decor with at most an accent wall, so people can visualise their own tastes. Not too much furniture or knick knacks on view, everything clean and looking it’s very best, that is what I like to see and I think most potential buyers feel the same. Showing your home in the evening is sometimes overlooked, it can be a wonderful time to show a home in the winter months. A fire on if you have one, heating turned up before the viewer arrives so the home is warm and cosy. A freshly brewed pot of coffee going and lamps on can show rooms really well. If you have a garden, think of putting in some nice garden lighting. I just love to see this if doing a night viewing, you really get an idea of what it would be like to live at the property. Seeing a garden in the evening with some lighting leaves a lasting impression. It is important to go around the property and do all the little jobs you might have put off before. If a little painting is required, this work will pay off. Doorways and doors which are scruffy and yellowing or just tired with chips and dents, address these small things as they never go unnoticed. I can think of a hundred little things you should look at, but as others have said, clean, tidy and neutral is essential for giving the best impression. The buyer does have higher expectations these days, we pay a very high price to own property so we all want to feel we are getting a great deal. A ready to move into home is what most buyers want. Even if rooms might need updating like a kitchen or bathroom, if they are clean and not falling into dilapidation, at least the room can be used until funds or time allows for such changes. Gardens are also important, tidying away toys, getting rid of rubbish, sweeping up leaves and weeding are all things you should do before showing your home. A few pot plants and some flowers in a small patio garden go along way. Some garden furniture on show is another good way of showing the garden as an entertaining space too. Whatever your property, from large detached house to a high rise flat, all properties should be shown at their absolute best. If you don't put in a little effort, you might not get the price you want, or even an offer. No matter what the market conditions, many people have to move. So don’t give up hope in finding that buyer or perfect home, people are beginning to come to terms with the change in market conditions, so pricing should get a little more realistic, making it easier for everyone to know where they stand and what they can afford. Best of luck to everyone buying or selling.

mandy Beardsley
Right house, right location, right price then it will sell. Other than that a house is only worth as much as someone is prepared to pay for it. Estate agents do tend to over value properties and give vendors a false sense of the real value of their homes. We have sold just recently and reduced our asking price considerably because we were realistic about its value and keen to sell. In these difficult times I would advise any motivated seller to do the same.

Bluenose
We have had my house on the Market for a month now with 2 agents but I am thinking of ditching the one as it has only brought in 4 viewings where the other has given me 7-8 and has a much more applicable footfall to the area my property is in. I am selling a 2 bed terraced it has a lease with only 58 years on so I am buying the freehold for £2k off the council so it can be marketed as freehold on completion. After a steady stream of viewings but no offers it seems clear that my price is right but the reasons we have been given for no offer ranges from location on a main road/opposite chip shop, 2nd bedroom too small, suspected damp in bedroom (now painted nice bright White as it was only condensation) and not adaptable for an elderly lady. The others have been positive but are either still looking around and being choosy or selling their own house or sorting out their finances. I am also having an open day next week with another local agent on a one-off contract who have secured at least 3 FTB's and an investor to come and look all at the same time. Other than that I don't know what else I can do! Aside from picking my house up and moving it down the road it is ready for someone to move into with no work to be done.

Gary
Early this year, we sold a cottage that had been totally renovated and unlived in since renovation so carpets, cooker etc were unused and no personal effects. we took a 14% hit on the original asking price but count ourselves lucky to sell at that, we still made a profit. The housing market is like any other, be it tiddlywinks or gold that is being sold, an item is ONLY worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. What someone is prepared to pay is governed by what they want to pay or by what they can pay. With the exception of very unique or specialist properties, if a property has been on the market more than a year, then the price is too high or the seller does not want to sell, it is rare that there are simply NO buyers. We have a significant investment in property but I would like to see house prices stabilise at an affordable level so at least our children can afford somewhere to live. Now would be a good time for govenment to bring in legislation to cap loan to earnings ratios ie simply make the 5x joint salaries loans illegal, capping at a 3x 1st + 1x 2nd would go some way to pegging house price inflation to salaries and stopping the boom-bust cycle that we have now. Currently we are in a bust cycle where no-one wants to buy as prices are falling so the price falls further, then, when there are enough people that NEED to buy, the prices start rising so all those that simply WANT to buy quickly jump on the bandwaggon and prices rise till no-one CAN buy so prices fall and it all goes round again. The economy was in artificial boom untill 2008 because banks were literally GIVING away money, we are now paying the price. The government, rather than filling the granary in times of plenty, spent money like water, in a bid to be re-elected, politicians more interested in their jobs than the common good. I don't blame the politicians, just the system. It is often said that politicians need to be accountable, but in some ways this is not beneficial, I could see some advantages of an electoral sytem that guaranteed a 3 way co-allition each time.

Sue
Hi, finally sold my investment property. Its been a marathon job but it is done. All you hear in the news is London prices are rising and everything is rosy but that is not a true reflection. Yes maybe millionaire properties maybe selling for record prices however there aren't enough millionaires buying outside central London. Our estate agent talked us in to a price which was simply overvalued. I believed the him and the hype with my flat sitting on the market for months. The break came when I got fed up with it all, changed estate agent and a big drop in the the price. Yes nice new photos and a big declutter too, it worked. I wish I dropped my price sooner. If I hung on to the original price much longer I fear I would of chased the market down. At least I have some equity left in my buy to let, I plan to use that to pay off some of my residential mortgage before interest rates go up. Being a landlord is not all it is cracked up to be and was very stressful. I'm also glad I got out before London prices fell further. Good luck to all those selling. x Sue I

Helen
Re read my posting Eric. It says PRICE REALISTICALLY .

NoseyBird
Hi there, I hope noone minds me joining this thread. I have had my 2 bed terraced house on the market for a month now with 10 viewings, 4 cancellations and only 1 second viewing but NO offers. My target market really is divorcees, FTB's and Investors. I am very competitively priced given the houses in my area that have sold but the disadvantage is I have 2 not 3 bedrooms and no off-road parking but this is reflected in the price by about -£10k on properties with the aforementioned. The feedback I have had has really varied from location (main road junction opposite a chip shop), no space to put a downstairs WC for an elderly lady, 2nd bedroom too small, query if master bedroom had damp (it had surface condensation which I have now wiped down and painted over in white). A BTL investor said he would have given the asking price if we had been a few doors down and not opposite the chip shop :-( The positive feedback has been both bedrooms very good size, nothing needs doing to it, one lady loved it but hadn't yet sold her house. The reasons for cancellation have seemed a bit suspect because they haven't rebooked and I wonder if the EA is pushing any old buyer into a viewing when they call about other properties then they have checked it out and found something they don't like from the outside or the pictures online? I went multi-agency from the start as the 2 EA were so different I couldn't choose. The bigger one has given me most of the viewings but the family run EA has also put 4 my way and their fees are better. We have also signed a one-off contract with another popular agent nearby to have a block viewing with buyers on their books of which 3-4 have definately agreed to. Other than that I don't see what else they can do differently as I am on all the websites and the feedback seems pretty good from the two EA I am with now. I think it may just be a waiting game but how long is too long after I hear of people in this situation months down the line but with a few less hairs to pull out over the hours spent prepping the house and general stress of it all!! The bottom line is I bought my house in a different personal circumstance 7 years ago and it suited me then so it must suit somebody now but in all honesty I was naive and did rush in not thinking about the resale issues of being on a main road opposite a late night takeaway :-(

Eric Pebbles
There are some property investors here(Helen, Keely L) who would not like the prices to fall as it will also impact the price of their portfoliios. We had a decade long boom dears and there is no credit boom anymore only bust. Reduce and sell now - instead of waiting for another credit boom. The banks can never lend at that same level as they did during the credit boom years - it is unsustainable as we all know. Liar Loans have just messed UK house prices and made them out of reach, now the sellers can not sell and buyers can not buy. The only way is to reduce the price and move on.

Suzy K
Hi, I believe in giving potential Vendors good advice on how to best market their property, declutter, re decorate any dark painted rooms to lighter shades, good first impressions ALWAYS work! Take a look at any local Show Homes or visit Ikea for inspirational ideas. Good photos, ideally with blue sky and keep a positive attitude! It's not all doom and gloom, people will need to move whatever the economy, due to death, divorce and jobs! Hope this helps.

Ben @ Hannells Estate Agents
To anybody reading these boards I would suggest reading Mr Knights comments below. Of all the posts on this site and any other site that talks about house prices, I would highlight his words as vitally important to anybody thinking of buying. With regards to investing in particular rooms, from experience in the area that I work in, it is far better to put the property on the market in its current condition and reflect this in the price that you are expecting to achieve. By spending £1000's on cosmetic improvements such as kitchens, bathrooms etc. there is no guarantee that you will even recoup the money that you spend on the property, let alone make a profit. It is worth making your property presentable and first impressions are vitally important. For the jobs that won't cost much but your own time, it is always worth thinking about such as touching up chipped paintwork, tidying up the front garden etc. By reflecting the current condition of the property and taking into account any work that may need doing within the asking price, you are likely to sell faster which will enable you to move on. Whether you are upsizing or downsizing, if you can put an offer forward when you are in a position to proceed, you will more than likely be able to secure a discount on the property you are purchasing anyway. In conclusion, if you are going to do work and keep the price competitive, this will definitely work in your favour but as soon as you increase the price, you take away the advantage of having the work done because a buyer has to pay more for the privildge.

R Ben
Keely L, you really are nieve, thinking that is a solutions, its simple that wont work, no doubt you will be one of those people who does not practise what they preach, you will want maximum for yours and not want to pay top money for the one your buying ???. Or would it not be easier to drop a little on yours and buy at a cheaper rate, because £ for £ you would be better off ? and a 1st time buyer can buy, you can move and the people you buy do as well, or be stubbon, no one buys yours you dont buy and no one moves Brillant

Cath W
I could not agree more with Keely L. We have had a summer of going out of our way to accommodate throngs of potential buyers who insist on seeing our home at inconvenient times. It is a period cottage on the hills in a famous beauty spot. Some of the feedback has made me wonder why they aren't viewing a show home on the local estate with thousands of identical properties. I have compared my home and it is at least £30k, probably £50k, cheaper than a 'comparable' home which is not on a hillside. So I'm not putting a premium price on the individual position, the amazing views and the large plot! I won't be selling at all unless I get the price I need and there is something worth shelling out an extra £100k - plus for. That's a lot of money, it better be a huge improvement in my lifestyle, or I an't selling!

Holly
Helen has made some good points. Even if you can't re-decorate or afford to do up your property to sell, you can de-clutter and get it clean. Depersonalise your home and make it as clean and clutter free as possible. Filth and stacked up personal possession are ‘POISON’ when it comes to saleability. If you can make your home more neutral, then do it. But if you can't for some reason then at least get rid of what you don't need and make rooms look larger. If you have lots of pets, put away toys, beds and litter trays. Small animals in cages should be removed before viewings, you might not be able to smell them, but others will. Dogs can smell, give them regular dry shampoos, so the property doesn't smell. These things matter, clean, tidy and smelling fresh. New kitchens and bathrooms aren’t essential for selling, just make the most of what you have, point out the good things and try to minimise the negatives. Just showing good quotes for work which needs to be done, or drawn up plans can help viewers see potential. And most of all, price realistically!!!

Rodney Trotter
Keely L - That is a wind up... surely!?

Mike Spring
We extended, put a lean-to conservatory on, painted here and there, new kitchen cupboard doors and bits and bobs to generally tidy up the house. We took the highest possible valuation thinking we would achieve it, now we are laughed at for marketing so high. Problem is we want the higher valuation, why would we be given this valuation if it isn't right? We have spent a small fortune on our property, is it too much to want our money back? I just feel disheartened by the other valuations, they are nowhere near the one we accepted and marketed for. We didn't even get any real viewers, I just can’t see how agents can get away with such inaccurate valuations. It is like they lied to get our house on their books or something. It has driven us to distraction!!

Helen
I followed the advice I had read i.e price realistically, smarten up and de clutter, let in the light, get good photos. Result - I had an offer within 12 hours of it appearing on the web site, and the offer was acceptable. Accentuate the selling points too e.g near main line station to local shops, or more affordable insurance if/as it is outside London. So many photos I have seen show living rooms full of family photos and personal items and bathrooms with stacks of loo rolls in view!! Potential buyers want to be able to imagine the home as theirs so you must present as close as you can get to a blank canvas

Keely L
I could not give a stuff what people say about sellers having to reduce, I won't! I will market my property for what I wish to achieve, and if it doesn't sell quickly, I'll enjoy living here anyway. I just think buyers are getting greedy, especially first time buyers. They want everything just the way they want it, when they want it. Well it doesn't work that way. I had to buy my home in a falling market, for near to asking price. I have worked hard for my home. I haven't moaned or felt hard done by, just because I had to pay my mortgage. I appreciate that I have a home and I don't think I should give it away to someone who wants everything bargain basement prices. I think sellers who have paid for their homes and work hard for their homes should hold out for what they need in order to move to their next home. If buyers want cheap rubbish property, they can go to auction. Don't let these greedy buyers stamp your price down. An estate agent values your home at a price you are willing to market for, why go down to a far lower price? Well, I wouldn't. All this nonsense about property prices falling further, they might do a little bit. But don’t hold your breath for huge price falls month on month next year. Once spring comes around, prices will go up, mark my words.

Mr. Knight
Gerard, if the seller had to pay stamp duty, this extra would be put on the price the property, just as the buyer negotiates the price down when paying stamp duty. Think about it. You pay whatever. And to those who can live at home, do that, but know that you are doing so in the hope that property will dramatically drop in price. This is a hope, not a fact. Estate agents and home owners will keep prices above what they should be; prices won't fall as much as people hope...that is the reality. Rent and wait for property prices to fall to what you want, throw your money down the drain. I know these times are tough, owning property costs you, but it should do. Nothing important in life is meant to come easy or cheaply. We are lucky that we live in a country where lending has enabled more people to own their own homes. I own my own home outright; I did this in 15 years, I was lucky to get on the ladder when I did. But back then people moaned about property prices and some of my friends never managed to get on the property ladder until it was too late. Some don't own their own homes; they throw money down the drain and rent. Others have big mortgages still. So don't play with a crystal ball, don't get your knickers in a twist about prices. A home is for the long term, it is an investment for your future. That is the way it has always been and always will be. Amateur investment heads waiting for property prices to crash and then boom...beware. I own my home, one of my friend’s rents = I have an investment for the future which will help me and my wife when we retire. My friend is still waiting, again, for the chance to get on to the property ladder. Do it, within your means, but do it because nothing is as predictable as you think. Own your home, strive to do this especially if you have children or want to top up your pension when older. Or stay at home with mom and risk getting priced out again, rent and throw money down the drain and be priced out at a huge cost. I don't say this as a seller; I don't even think about selling now, I say this as it makes sense to own your own home. Don’t borrow what you can’t afford, but be grateful if you can afford your own home, whether you would like more or not. There is greed and there is being ungrateful, both are unattractive attributes.

Asif
What a lot of sellers forget when marketing their modernised homes with conservatories and all that predictable tat, is that your home, like millions of other homes are exactly the same! Why do people think if they paint their home cream and add a conservatory, that they have some sort of monopoly over the market? I see thousands of modern and modernised houses a year in my job, they are 8/10 the same boring recycled rubbish interiors with cheap and nasty conservatories, not that many buyers are impressed with this cloning and house doctored style, or your fantastic homes would sell for the ridiculously overinflated prices they are on at. I agree that too many sellers are greedy!!!!!!!! They want to see their house/flat with a huge price tag on it, and they want other people to believe their property is worth that more than getting a sale. Well, be stupid with your pricing, be greedy, but don't moan when it doesn't sell. I sell property at prices they will achieve, if you don't like my valuation you are welcome to use an agent who will play on your narcissism. I don't delude, I sell. Not many agents can say that these days, they are stuck in 2007 when they were pricing property years ahead of their potential worth. Some thought the boom would never end, how naïve! You have to be realistic, property prices went too far. Look at the average wage and tell me property prices are low...get real! Prices need to drop more, not rise to match the overinflated egos of some home owners. If you want to sell, nothing is stopping you other than your ego. Price realistically and you will find a buyer, it really is as simple as that. Note that you might have to wait longer to find a buyer, but you will in time when your property is priced right. For those who can’t move until you get your ideal target price…seek a psychiatrist…you have issues.

JJ Halifax
I am in the industry, and the last thing ANYONE wants in honesty! People just wont accept their house is small/untidy/needs renovating or just plainly not the price they want. If an agent told a seller the truth, they just wouldn't get used! So a house goes on the market, for an inflated price, sometimes by luck it sells but most the time has to be reduced. This cycle is repeated over and over and won't change until we get a change in the system, or a reality check from sellers.

Ruth
I would like to respond to Anna, regarding the 'fantastic' system in Scotland. Yes, on the surface, it looks better - no gazumping, everything legally binding - however, we learned the hard way that this system is no better than the one you have in England. In October 2007, we sold our house to 'cash buyers'. They signed missives on the purchase in December, making it legally binding. Safe in the knowledge that our sale was secure, we concluded missives on the house we wished to buy. Everything was set to go through in January 2008, a month later. We later found out that our buyers wer NOT cash buyers - they were relying on a mortgage. They misled us, and there is no legal obligation under Scots Law for them to prove the source of their finance, nor did we feel the need to ask (neither did our solicitor advise us to do so). And because the missives are 'legally binding', giving us the right to sue in case of breach of contract, you cannot ask for a non-refundable deposit as you can in England (although in practice few people do). They delayed applying for the mortgage until the beginning of January 2008 - AFTER they legally bound themselves to complete the purchase - and were turned down for the full amount. They could not raise the final £15000 required to buy our house, and pulled out of the purchase. We put our house back on the market and tried to sell it quickly, but the market had crashed and no-one could borrow money. We lost the house we wanted to buy, which the vendors managed to sell, but because we'd signed missives and had breached contract, we had to pay a daily penalty until completion of that sale, which amounted to £3500. We paid it, but had to take out a loan to do so, as our house remained unsold. Eventually, after six stressful months, we withdrew our house from the market. Under the contract signed by our buyers they, like us in our failed purchase, were obliged to pay us a daily penalty and reasonable costs until the house was sold or withdrawn from the market. This totalled £7500. We still have not seen a penny of this. There is a two year time limit for court action, after which the missives can no longer be enforced. If you wish to take court action, you have to pay for it yourself. We were already out of pocket to the tune of £3500 and could not afford solicitors fees, which were exobitant. The time limit has now passed. This is the fallacy behind the 'legal protection' offered by the Scottish system - you have to hope your buyers will pay up under the contract they signed if they pull out, or be prepared to pay for a lengthy and costly legal battle if they don't. Unfortunately for us, the people we were going to purchase from could afford a solicitor, so rather than end up with a CCJ, an inhibition order on our house or asset seizure to pay the penalties (all possibilites under Scots property law), we paid up. Pity our welching buyers were not as honest. The ONLY reasonable way to protect buyers and sellers and make sales/purchases truly binding and risk free is to require an escrow payment - say, 10% of the property sale/purchase price - that is held until the sale/purchase is complete. If the seller pulls out, the buyer gets this money back. If the buyer pulls out, the seller keeps the money. This way, no one loses out and everyone has a vested interest in making sure the deal goes through. It would also make sure people sort out finance before viewing properties and cut down on time wasters. Unfortunately, it would require a shake up of property law and mortgage provision and is therefore unlikely to happen. I'm currently trying to sell my house again, and after a long chat with my new property solicitor, we are making the following changes to our missives - no legally binding agreement will be entered into until proof of the source of finance, down to the last penny, is forthcoming, and the two year time limt for legal action in case of breach of contract will be removed, both of which alterations are permitted in Scots law. The problem with the time limit rule is that it is part of the standard template for missives that most solicitors use and most do not think to remove it - this template was written when people pulling out of property deals was a fairly rare occurrence whereas nowadays it is sadly on the rise on Scotland. These changes may make our missives less palatable to buyers, but if they're wary of signing because of these provisions, then I'm wary of selling to them. I hope this is useful to others trying to sell in Scotland, and good luck to everyone trying to sell in this frankly disastrous market.

guitarman001
Only one way for house prices to go and that is DOWN. I'm a professional electronics engineer on above the average UK salary but no WAY am I buying into this market EVER if prices stay this way. Far too high in relation to income. Get back to basing it on 3-4x one income and 1x the other - basing it on 3-4x joint income is lunacy. Bad for families too as mothers don't spend quality time with their children, childcare costs make it less worthwhile etc. Average income = £25k so let's see houses going for ~£100k, THEN I MIGHT think about it... if you're lucky. Nope, I'll be staying at home and saving up to either buy when prices are low, or likely emigrate (as housing stock in the UK is TINY and of poor quality). How can prices go up with record private & public debt? Students graduating now with £50k+ loans. Wages that just aren't cutting it. What do you people THINK? That a one-bed flat will cost a million pounds in ten years' time? Get REAL! Do you WANT that for your children? Don't you realise that if you buy a house for £200k and want the one up for £300k... if prices double, the difference is no longer £100k... it is £200k!!!!! It is lunacy - YOU are worse off with rising house prices. ONLY the builders, banks and estate agents make good on this. I understand you don't trust pensions, but there are other investments you can make - a house as an investment is awful. Too long a time-frame in which bubbles can burst, it becomes outdated if you don't keep maintenance up, you are stuck in certain areas paying lots of money for decoration and the like and the chance of having awful neighbours. I feel sorry for the genuine people that were brainwashed into buying at peak. I was almost one of them - and I would have been financially ruined now. Friend of mine on £28k has a 35 year mortgage (!!!!) for £160k, single income and two kids - what sort of future is that? Do you people REALISE you'll be paying back almost DOUBLE the asking price due to interest over the term? Yeah, great investment... Don't listen to what others say - forget the media - use your BRAIN. Refuse to take part in the market else you can only blame yourself for your financial ruin. There is a big world out there - follow a different path or at least wait until the well-trodden path wont ruin you financially. I save a LOT by living at home. IF I ever decide to buy, it will vastly reduce the debt I have to pay over time. Think about it. I cannot IMAGINE having to fork out inflated gas/electricity bills, useless council tax, a mahoooosive mortgage costing £800+ a month... no thanks, not when I'm young and should be advancing my career. Supply and demand is a PATHETIC argument. The last decade was all down to MASSIVE LENDING by the banks - and it's stopped now because they aren't so stupid as to think property prices will keep on increasing. Think about it - if the banks have no confidence in the market, do you really think you should be buying in yourself? KICKSTART the housing market? What a LAUGH. This IS the kick that it needs. Everything reverts to mean in the end. The government is currently trying to inflate its way out of this mess by making the pound worth less - have you noticed the price of things going up in the shops? Ah, but I bet you haven't seen a corresponding increase in your salary!! We're in for a long slow market correction. IF I owned right now, I would be biting at the chomp to sell, take a 25% hit, who cares, as things are going to get MUCH worse. Do yourself a favour - housing isn't the be all and end all. Forget about trying to keep up the cool image. The majority are dumb, they don't understand things properly - your parents might say 'get your foot on the ladder, we did it in our day', but prices then were not 6-10x earnings. Why REJOICE when prices go up? You don't do that when food prices or petrol prices go up? It's insanity, you're losing more and more money every month trying to pay off this massive DEBT. And it's a debt until you pay it off. You're not a homeOWNER until it's paid off, I don't care what you say. I'm protecting myself, I've got my stash, and I suggest you do the same. If you have a house as a home then great. If you got into it because you thought you were going to see big gains, you've got another thing coming. People can't buy even if they wanted to. Get out and save yourself a LOT of money.

Double Plus Good
Fascinated with the comments on this site. I am a homeowner who bought in 2006. I fully expect my house is now worth considerably less. Great news as I can now up size when I sell as it is now so much more affordable. Obviously I made sure I had alot of equity in the house when I bought becuase it was obvious even back then that the market would implode at some point. This does assume of course that I keep my job..... We had the biggest credit binge boom in history and the cheap money has stopped. As a country and individuals we gorged on cheap loans, remortgaged huge amounts of money to spend on luxury holidays and fancy cars and lots and lots of cheap tat, stopped manufacturing anything anyone wants to buy (at the price we were asking to sustain unrealistic salaries and house prices), threw huge amounts of money on areas where people had no hope of ever finding genuine private sector wealth creating employment (or created hundreds of thousands of non wealth creating jobs in the public sector with wealth sapping future proof gold plated pensions which have no chance of ever being funded by the rapidly decreasing private sector) and generally lived massively beyond our means with no plan to ever pay it back except for believing that GDP will always grow and house prices will only ever go up. In short to compete with the rest of the globalised world there are only two outcomes: 1) Their living standards will have to be raised to ours (this is of course impossible as there are not enough resources in the world for everyone to consume as much tat as we do) or 2) Our standard of living will have to reduce (with all the untold misery that will accompany this especially for anyone wishing to ever retire) to enable us to become competitive again, to create real jobs and for people to be able to buy basics (including the hope of their own home at a sensible multiplier of income). This process has of course already begun with the devaluation of sterling. Unfortunately this has not yet worked hence print more money until it does. I am afraid the cry that someone in Government must do something will go unheard as at this point it is just not possible (or we keep printing money until it becomes worthless). I take no joy in delivering this news but any hope of getting peak price for your house is unlikely and if anything the market will be worse next year (unemployment is on the up and our sovereign downgrade is baked into the cake). Of course there will be people who do sell and the best of luck to them. It is just that the buyer numbers (genuine who have sold, got money in the bank or are FTBs) are considerably fewer. As has been pointed out most viewers seem to be unable to sell their own property. Good luck everyone (and please look beyone the main stream media for the genuine state of the world economy - every other week we are assured that are leaders have the solution and guess what? They never do. This week we are finally and definitely bailing out all the European Banks and that is the crisis solved. We shall wait and see. Personally I do not believe they will and have planned my future accordingly).

Natalie
To all of you complaining how much money you've spent on your home only to have to lower the asking price to sell it, let me ask you this: Did you spend the money to make the house more saleable in the future, or to make your lives more comfortable at the time? I'd suggest for most people it is the latter, in which case you've enjoyed the return on your investment already. If you spend money purely to add value, you get your house valued as it is, ask what difference the work might make, get a quote for the work, then see if it's profitable. My top tip for selling is make sure the house is clean and tidy when people view, declutter as much as possible (you're going to have to pack it to move anyway, so make a start) - the less clutter in a room the bigger it looks and the easier it is for people to see past your possessions and colour-schemes and mentally 'move themselves in'. If you don't feel confident doing your own viewings, then at least try to be there when they come and if you think you've got genuine interest offer them a coffee & try to bond with them - people do buy from people they like and it will give you a chance to deal with any concerns.

Gerard
The housing market is sick and needs a cure. I believe that the stamp duty should be paid by the person that has just sold the property, not the person that has just bought it. I also think that the Estate Agent should be acting on behalf of the Buyer, not the seller. That's my idea - what do you think?

Donald Brown
The ridiculously high UK house prices can be put down to one thing. Pure greed. Plain and simple. By estate agents and deluded home owners who think that because they've spent money on their house ( which after all is their home ) they are entiteled to recoup that money ( and a lot more besides ) when they come to sell their house. Who cares what the home owner has spent on their house ( home ) over the years on decoration, upgrades etc. It is , after all , for the homeowners benefit. An yet if I wanted to buy their house they would expect ME to pay for their past living costs. Then , of course , you have our much loved estate agents who seem to pluck a figure out of the air and decide that is what your house is worth. Strangely the higher the house price the higher the estate agents commision. In fact a house ( or anything ) is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. As a result of this greed over the years what we have now are houses that only a few can afford to buy. Where even the most basic house is beyond the reach of young first time buyers. Who can buy a house nowadays with a single wage ? Not many I would like to bet. In most cases it now requires two incomes to get on the housing ladder ( if you have a sizeable deposit that is ). Im afraid we have ended up with what we deserve that being stupidly high house prices. And Mr/Mrs greedy homeowner determined to keep them that way. PS I am a homeowner myself by the way !

Jade
I think people have to accept that some properties won't sell unless they are bargain price and other properties will always be able to ask what they like within reason. It can be down to where your property is located, whether it is unique etc... You can't bully people in to accepting less for their property; you just simply walk on by and choose a property with a lower value. I don't like the way people speak to each other on here sometimes, if people want more for their properties, that’s their business. If you don't like it then just ignore it. We would sell if we could get more for our property too, but as it probably won't happen any time soon, we don't market it. You can't blame people for trying; you have to remember people need to move on. So high prices on certain properties can be because they need that amount to move to the next property. I have seen some people get really lucky and get a good price in a falling market, so don't lose hope. There is sometimes someone willing to pay more, especially when there is less choice. When it is your property, you decide what to take for it, and if you can’t sell, then you decide whether to reduce or stay put. I don’t get why so many people are so angry about whether someone markets on, below or over a valuation, just move on and don’t get so irate.

Property Guru
To the Teesider - oops, NE property has collapsed recently, and isn't coming back for a LONG time. The reason your property isn't selling is simple. Let's work through it. Do you think it will sell for £1? Answer = yes. Do you think it will sell for £1,000,000? Answer = no. So... somewhere between £1 and £1,000,000 is a maximum price at which it will sell. If you want to find that price, start aggressively chopping your asking price. You'll soon find a buyer. Of course, you'll probably prefer to 'follow the market down', and end up dying in it. Your choice.

Moll
I'm a FTB, my impressions are the market is split in two If a house comes on at the right price in a good area it'll go within a week, regardless of how it has been 'staged' or if it needs gutting, right price right location it'll fly. The others are rubbish you usually find its one of four reasons for the sale: debt, divorce, death, or bad neighbours. In all cases the houses are priced high, and in the first three cases are in a bad state of repair. These houses sit there for years price goes up and down by a couple of thousand, and they change agents a lot. We now only look at new houses that come on, we know which houses have come on and gone off and come on again, we don't bother with them. As for getting a mortgage it was easy, but you don't get anywhere near what they would lend you before 2008.

Mr G
I am a would be first time buyer. I have a substantial deposit and decent income. I will not be buying now unless something very special in my price bracket becomes available. Many people on this thread have bought at the peak of the market and unfortunately stand to lose a great deal or even go into negative equity if they sell now. The reality is the housing market is not healthy. Many young people looking to get a first property are pricing out becasue a normal income i.e. 25k is far below what would be needed for many properties in many areas let alone getting a deposit together with food, utilities and rents having rising. Unemployment is high, inflation is high, economic uncertainty is high especially in the Eurozone. The fundamentals suggest that an upside to housing prices is unlikely. If you need to move it may well be the case that a small loss now is preferrable to a big loss later. Whilst you may have bought your property at a time when prices were rising 10% y-o-y there is no basis for anyone entering the market today to assume that capital gains will happen quickly, the latest RICS reports and auctions sold pricing over guide prices suggest that things are still moving slowly and there is not masses of free funding looking to bid on BMV properties. I feel sorry for anyone trapped in a home they want or need to move out from. But remember if prices fall the rungs on the 'ladder' get closer together and moving up becomes less expensive. If prices rise even more young people (now to be saddled with insane university repayments) will find themselves able to be FTB's and rents will rise further (to cover increased capital costs) . Over time prices will always go up thanks to our fiat money inflation system. But look at any 25yrs period of housing prices and there will always be at least one downwards period of at least a few years, no market only ever go up.

Graham Slough
Well folks, I don't need a mortgage, i have enough to buy my house outright, and you know what, I'm still not buying! Why? Because your houses are still too expensive, yes even if you have dropped by 50k, have a nice vase of the best twigs money can buy and even sploshed some magnolia around the gaff, nien, nadder, no!! Stop thinking just because alot of you were stoooopid enough to believe the speil that house prices only ever go up and you then were caught in the biggest Ponzi, housing bubble ever created, it's not my fault! Believe me when i say i was looking to buy a house in 2003, saw the prices and had a little think, i came up with the view you'd have to be stupid to get involved here, well you did, i didn't and now you'll be selling to someone like me :-)

UK is a corporatocracy
I don't understand why people think that rising house prices are good for the economy. Have you all been brainwashed by banks? Money invested in houses is non productive and would be better lent to businesses that create jobs High house prices = more mortgage interest and so more profit for banks. Do the maths. 1997 average house £60k, mortgage interest £55k. Now it's £160k the mortgage interest is £147k. An extra £92k per £100k house price. Why do people who think HPI is good always ignore the costs of servicing so much debt? People cheering for high house prices are willing a dreadful life of debt servitude on their children.

Lord Lucan
I think the government should be doing something to get the market moving and maintain prices and they should do it now. This will inevitably mean greater pain in the future, but I'm selling my house now, not in the future.

Chris Owen
Price, price, price. Risk is a function of price. The banks are still willing to lend on a lower risk basis i.e. lower price. At lower prices, the market will get going again. Some people made a lot of money selling to others who thought they were buying at a good price. House prices doubling in 4 years just tell you it was a bubble and many people bought on the wrong of it. I'm in the market for a house now. I put an offer in, it gets rejected, no problem, you're just saving me even more money when I come back 6 months later.

jamie
I'm in a position to buy outright, but I want value for money. Its a buyer's market, the days of the seller's market are over for a good few years. Cut the price to something sensible, and I might view. Kite-fly and I won't.

NoseyBird
I have had my house on the Market for 3 weeks now started at £82k and already dropped to £79,950 just to get more people through the door. I bought for £76k in 2004 and unfortunately will end up losing money after I have bought the freehold from the council as didn't realise only 58yrs left on it would cause a problem for potential buyers getting a mortgage on it! Not to mention the refurbed kitchen bathroom and garden and fitted wardrobes etc :( we have been and viewed properties and found they are really overpriced so at least we can negotiate on our next home it works both ways.

Eileen Quinn
I disagree that we sellers are greedy, i purchased my home in 2003 for £100k and spent money on double glazing, central heating etc and have now reduced it to o/o £107k and if you consider my mortgage payments over the years i wouldnt say i was being Greedy.

Jane
I imagine that most of the comments on this board are from disgruntled buyers/sellers who just won't accept the Market. If you are not pricing realistically you probably don't absolutely need to sell and it is a vanity exercise. I have just sold my great flat in London but I was aware of all the pitfalls ie thinking it was even better than it was. Clearly I was advised to put it on for an optimistic price but I regularly kept in touch with the agent and came down in asking price every 6 weeks or so during this falling Market so I was ahead of the game and eventually completed last week at 10% below asking price. Do not let your property languish for months on end. Reassess on a regular basis. The other tip is to look at auction prices. Savills and Allsops. The sales there seem to go at about 10-20% below estate agency prices. Many non investors are buying from there now so you need to compare with them now as ordinary people are buying from auction as well. Good luck!

JonathanR
Is there any way I can sell my current house at the 2007 price and buy one heavily discounted because of the crash?

James
Our house was on market for last 8 months but now we have finally decided to take it off the market. We just went by the valuation given by the estate agent but it seems he did not have a clue as to what is going on in the real market and I wonder how is he surviving. We will put our house on market again in two months but it seems we will have to take a price hit in order to move to a bigger house. This is the worst housing market I have ever seen in my lifetime and it will take a very long time to recover.

Richard
I think it is time that people realise that these high property prices are not a good thing. There is a generation which has benefited greatly by the growth in property prices and sadly all but a small minority of people do not even see that it is their children and grandchildren which are suffering as a result. Any object is worth what someone else is prepared to pay for it. Last year I was in a position to offer £210k for a property which was £15k beneath the asking price. The estate agent told me of the demand for this property and my offer was refused. Now the same property is still listed for sale at £190k. People need to get real, it's about time sellers realised that property is falling and adjust prices accordingly.

khalid
It is a tricky situation. Sellers refuse to lower price and buyers cannot afford to buy. As number of buyers increase, rents will be higher. A break even will occur and buyers would be forced to increase offers provided the economy improves and wages go up. Investment in housing market is not a good idea at present. Selling technique is to price it at the current market or may be little lower or you will be stuck. One should accept losses with the same spirit as they had when prices shot up. There are lucky ones and unlucky ones but IT IS YOU who will decide and time will prove your decision was right or wrong

ROBERT ALLEN WOODBINE
you can have your house priced right as i have but 4 other propertys in the same road have sold at a higher price than mine because the house ajoing mine is like a tip with rotten windows weeds in the guttering and a garden like a tip what do you do ?

Donald Brown
Wake up and smell the coffee. House prices have been vastlly overpriced these past few years. And still are. Yet home owners still expect to get top money for their house when they sell in the mistaken belief that their house is actually worth the money that some estate agent has placed on it. Its certainly not wrote in stone that house prices will always continue to rise. Thats the risk you take when you buy something ie. its value can go down as well as up. But there is some good news for you greedy homeowners. That is that the house you want to buy will have lost value as well as your overpriced house you are trying to sell. Happy hunting.

John Squibb
i Think that the UK Housing market is vastly & I Mean VASTLY overpriced and although thats not news i think the two side to the coin are people who bought years ago can sell at much cheaper prices if down sizing and people who bought at the top of the market cant do much at all However i am in Favour for a Major & I mean Major correction in the market and that is only Down im afraid and down big time, people who say no no no will never see prices at below such and such well take our house off and wait for prices to come back to sensible levels - REALLY do you REALLY think todays prices are sensible - just imagine trying to buy a basic house today as a single person first time buyer - you cant unless on huge wage its not about the deposit its how much a bank will lead based on your income - take five minutes to work it out and see if you could do it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

crafty teesside
I worked hard to get my home as it is. Invested money and time into it. I have had it put up on the market and had to reduce as i do want to move due to dissability needs I have had 2 viewers who love it but not in a position to put a offer in as yet. Why bother viewing??? So frustrating its very modern and just all been decorated to a high standard and offers more than most with a 6x4 conservatory and a loft conversion. Had many comments as to how lovely it is why oh why is it not getting any more interest. we will pay the estate agent plenty of money at the end of it. They give the spool get you into believing they will sell your property oh it will go in weeks of going onto the market, but dont seem to fufill there promises.

Anna
We need the system Scotland has to stop gazumping and gazundering. You go on the market and heartless people make offers on several properties, stringing you along and costing you money. When an offer is put on a property, it should be legally binding, no getting out without it costing you. Our government needs to do a hell of a lot to make buying and selling property easier. As it stands it is nothing short of frightening when you think of selling, it all feels so uncertain. I would not market my home until things change, it just isn't worth the stress. More needs to be done to help people on to the market and to help the whole selling process move easier. There are too many time wasters out there costing sellers a fortune in money and stress. Time for a change I think. If one of our government leaders had to try and sell their homes 3-4 times and got left in the lurch, they would make this change. They wouldn't like spending money on solicitors, planning their new home and booking the removal van only to find their buyer has walked away at the last minute. How can that be fair? For goodness sakes, if Scotland can have such a good system in place, why can't we in England?

Maizie
Have any of you considered using a professional "dress for sale" service? My property was on the market for months and I thought it was well presented, as in neutral and almost empty! My property didn't sell and as a last resort I called in a professional "dress for sale " company who walked me round the property and pointed out area's that would put a buyer off the purchase. In the days to follow i was given a full report of how to showcase my property with full details and recommendations for changes to be made. I followed the advice given and made all the changes. Cost me less than 1% of my asking price and the difference was amazing. I then changed my estate agent, my house was valued higher than the previous estate agent and sold within the month. I highly recommend it!!

Eric Pebbles
To: valerie clarke and others You want the goverment to step in and start giving cheap mortgages? This is exactly the reason why we are in this mess in the first place as banks were lending 125% mortgages. Over the period of time the prices will balance themselves, any intervention now will just make the downturn more severe. We had a boom so a bust will naturally follow - this is how any economy rebalanaces itself. When will people realise that rising house prices are not good as they will just push the younger generation in to more debt.

Jason
I see a lot of comments about lowering the price by sellers . what about the hard earned deposits and furbishings sellers have put into their houses throughout the years . Everyone wants a bargain these days . A house is not something you buy at a carboot . This is the first year our house have not sold , its off the market to get a breather now . we had plenty of viewings and interest but no offers - we even had someone asking us if the house would come with all furnishings if sold . Great ! buyers now want your sleeping bed as well what next. buyers know the market is slow and using this to get anything cheap as peanuts . my advise is if you are a seller and you know what your house is worth stick to it . you earned hard and spent your heart and soul making it a lovely home throughout the years , why sell it for peanuts . Im not saying it over price it , but look everywhere on the market and see what other selll for .if a buyer really want your house they will pay for it if its at a reasonable price . No point some estate agents turning around and saying knock the price 10 k 20 k coz it has not sold first three months. If they say that thats them trying to hit your pocket before you give them the boot and go with another agent .you just need the right person to come through the door, yes the slow housing market does not help but dont give it away for gods sake . Work hard at it and eventualy buyers will know that nothing is for peanuts .

Mr Estate Agent
Oct 10th, 2011 John In relation to John you're not paying the agent any money what so ever until you actually complete on your sale. There job is to try and get you a proceedable buyer and that price is not determined by you or your estate agent but by the people viewing your house and making offers it really is as simple as that.

Lorraine (Maidenhead)
We were tired of waiting as the the offers we were getting were very low compared to the estate agent's valuations. We decided to lower the price and change our estate agent as we really wanted to move before christmas. Our house was finally sold after being 14 months on the market. Loz

valerie clarke
I agree with everything you say Sandra and reducing the price doesnt always work. I have spent a ton of money on my property and reduced by over £50,000. None of my 5 prospective buyers could proceed, either because they couldn't sell their house or couldn't get a mortgage. It is time the government stepped in and insisted that the banks start giving mortgages and perhaps then the economy will improve all round.

Sally T
We spent a fortune over the years on our house, like most people do. When the market went down, we worried at first, but on viewing other properties we could see others had also spent a fortune on their properties. The market falling didn't make much difference to us as we were moving to a similar property through work. In fact we got a good deal, even though it costs to move house. Why do people feel the market falling is a bad thing? You house goes down in value, but so do other houses, so it makes little difference. If you are moving up the property ladder, it is even better when prices go down. I don't understand why people only want property prices to rise. If you have to buy another house, unless you need to down-size, it is a win win situation when the market is falling. Think of first time buyers, if the property market kept rising, not many people could afford their own homes. I firmly believe it is the single one most important thing to do, buy property. Rent and you throw your hard earned money in to someone else’s mortgage, unless you are on benefits and you don’t actually pay. Owning your own home is important, so prices going down helps people afford their first home. In 17 years we have paid for our home, if we rented, we would have nothing!! We were lucky in that we could afford a mortgage, if we were buyers later on in life, we would be struggling and would want prices to fall. I think everyone got greedy and only wanted to see prices rise. You need to look at the bigger picture, your house falls in price, so you find a suitable house which has also fallen in price…simple. If property was rising, it would be far more difficult to up-size. You may like the look of the sale price on paper, but you might not like the look of the sale price of the property you have just bought. Think about it! I want my children to be able to afford to get on the property ladder, not line the pockets of a landlord who needs to pay his/her mortgage. It is important to own your home, so prices falling from the ridiculous height they were at, can only be good.

sandra
i find it very strange that we have sold our house and awaiting completion date when the purchasers have asked our Estate Agent if we would allow a gas heating engineer into our house to check the central heating sysatem, we have had the Epc report which gave a good result, the heating system is in excellent working order and only 4 years old, has anyone else selling a property had this request we find this extremely odd !!!!!

liz
We've had about 20 viewings. We've reduced the price by 45K and added a piece of land to give extra privacy without increasing the price. We've had 2 offers both 50k below asking price. We have 2 couples keen to buy who cannot sell their current homes. So the saga continues- probably with us taking our house off the market for a few years. At the very least the government could help the housing market by reducing the ridiculous amount of stamp duty. Surely any stimulus to the housing market would be beneficial to the economy as a whole. How many other pensioners are trapped in large properties they would dearly love to sell?

Tracey
I agree with Sandra. My house was staged excellently for selling, but I purchased my property for a much higher price in 2006 than it is worth in today's market. House prices where I come from have dipped as low as to 1998 prices. I reduced my property by £10k in order to sell, and would have had to drop it a further £25k to have competed with neighbours trying to sell their properties at rock bottom prices. The difference is my neighbours purchased their properties years ago, so in today's market they have profited, but if I try and sell my home now, I would be in negative equity and would not have enough money for my next mortgage deposit for my next property. So tell me what happens to a middle age couple who are stuck on an interest only mortgage because they cannot afford to get onto the much more expensive repayment mortgage, and who cannot sell their present property in order to downsize. Well I will tell you, over the next 2 years you will see house prices take a further tumble, and many families like my own, becoming homeless because our government have not come up with a quick sure financial plan to kick start the housing market and the general economy and get the UK back on its feet. Housing Association Home Ownership schemes should be more freely available to people earning less than 60k to be able to own shares at no more than 25% so that they can manage their bills, have smaller mortgages and cheaper rents. Many of these schemes only take account of people working, living or with relatives in the areas where they wish to purchase. What about low to middle income families who just need to be able to live in their homes without fear of being kicked out and living on the streets. Come on Mr Cameron, we don't all live in mansions, please wake up and rectify this situation. It is already too late for some families. Please bring back Council houses and low rents not just for low income families but for middle income couples too !!!!

John
You say that it's my fault if my house is not selling-reduce the price....but surely that if what I'm paying an estate agent good money for,to give me an accurate valuation?

Andy
When i sold my house ,i followed the most simple of rules ,re-decorated very neutral to appeal to more people de-cluttered as this would have been necessary anyway before the move ,cleaned everything & everywhere internally & externally , ensured garden sorted for kerb appeal ,& priced realistically , result being sold in 2 day for full asking price .

sandra
I thinik the property market will be taking an even bigger dip. The financial pages in the newspapers forcast a double dip recession, people had had wage freezes, sales in shops are low, utilities have gone up, jobs are non-existent, mortgages are not freely available and buyers if any at all either are cautious or non-existant, I think we should not even think about moving unless absoutely necessary, first time buyers are the real starting point and as people cannot get mortgages unless with a substantial deposit etc , the government should think about creating a substantial way to kick start the economy including the house market.

Linda
We live in a Park Home,, Droitwich, Worcs; that we have just spent three years refurbishing at great cost. We put it on five k lower than valued and have now dropped another twenty k and all because we made the mistake of looking for a place before we had a buyer. We have not had so much as one viewing booked from our Estate Agents, the only people through the door, which I might add was only five couples, where because we had an open day. All those that saw loved it but they to cannot sell. The house we where after has been sold now,its been a frustrating few weeks and a shock after selling two houses over the last twenty years in 24 hours. Rather than be downhearted any longer we have learnt this is a long hard slog, so smile folks and enjoy your home we are I think in for a long wait. Good luck to all.

jenny
I do not generally concern myself as to the decoration inside a property, but more to the building itself being in a well maintained state of repair and good roof and no damp, decoration should not alter the true value of a property; location and sq. footage (internal measurement) should be our guide, look at as much information as possible when trying to buy, some internet sites for price comparison are better than others but they are a good guide, when you are seriously looking with nothing to sell and the means to purchase, it is frustrating to find out that others have been there before you, with problems that make it difficult to proceed with the purchase, so much time and effort, and money spent on survey, plus the fact that you will have a very limited budget to do all the things that you didn't know needed doing in the first place and all the time the vendor doing their best to meet their own needs and circumstances, while the agent crosses their fingers for a sale no matter what! And if its not to be, a lovely young agent cheerfully say's "put it behind you and move on we have this property when would you like to view it"? still in shock, as politely as possible (hopefully) you point out that it is nothing like you want, and its overpriced, as you leave, the agent explains it might have come on at this price but try in about 5 weeks and it will have come down a bit then. While you are crying out under your breath I don't want it in a few months time I want it now!!, you smile at the agent and say thank you and leave. The best advice I was given recently was 'remember that the price on the details is a guide price, just that, it is a guide, it is not rocket science, check comparables and keep at it". Do not give up.

Tina Y
What you have to remember when selling is that there are fewer buyers out there at the moment. This is partly to do with lending and funds, but some of the problem is people expecting greater price reductions in the future, so they wait to save even more money. Your house/flat might be just fine, priced right and ticks every box, but there isn't the supply of buyers there once was. Stick to your guns if trying to sell and know you will have a longer wait, or wait until the market improves/lending improves. We can't afford to take too little for our house due to where we need to move to for work, so we don't market our property. If buyers were buying in our area for what we could afford to take, we would go on the market. So you have to weigh up what you can afford, if that is unrealistic then you stay put.

Hazel
We finally manage to sell our 3 bed semi after it being on the market for almost 1year (Reading,Berkshire). It was a frustrating experience and we had to take a loss but we knew that we would be paying less for the property we would be moving into. My advice to everyone who has spent 6 months on the market is to reduce to their price significantly if they can, as no amount of cleaning/decorating will help. We are glad to move to a bigger house. Good luck everyone.

Donald Trump
Not expecting to achieve >10% more than 2007 peak prices would be a good start.

leonard
I'm afraid there is only ONE main reason why houses do not sell, even if the seller believes they've "already dropped the price":- They haven't dropped the price enough. It doesn't matter what you do to present your house or flat, or what perceived inducements you include. The fact is that the UK has a shrinking economy, inflation is increasing and the current very low interest, and therefore mortgage, rates will soon rise. There is no escaping this and there is no point in pretending otherwise. Houses will start selling just as soon as they are at the right price, and that price is way, way below what the fantasy price sellers currently "think" is right.

Liz
I agree 100% about bad 'improvements' done just to sell. Daughter's just had to rip out a truly horrible cheapest-possible kitchen whacked into a property just to help sell it - property needed total renovation anyway. Also, cheaply done tart-ups make you wonder what's lurking underneath, especially electrics and plumbing. Would rather do improvements myself and know they've been done properly, rather than pay a premium for someone else's. Even a relatively nice kitchen is never going to be precisely what someone else would choose. As for what a property's 'worth', it really is only worth what someone else will pay, not what it or similar sold for at the peak. Why some people can't get this into their thick heads defeats me.

W Smythe
We decorated and planted more in the garden in order to sell, but we were unable to go on the market. If we were to try and sell in the next year, what else would estate agents advise us to do in order to get a buyer quickly? We have a clean and tidy, neutrally decorated house. A large garage, new bathroom, white modern kitchen and nice garden. We don't have a conservatory, as we don't like them. But many people seem to want these additions, is it advisable to add one to sell, or just mention the possibility to potential buyers and let them choose which type they would like? There really isn’t much else we could do to update our home in our minds, but are always open to suggestions, as we may have overlooked something. Also, we had 3 estate agents valuations done last year, they ranged from £179,000 - £189,000. Given that the market has dropped since August last year, on the lowest valuation, how much would you say we would need to reduce at the moment, if marketing? Thank you.

mooney Tim
We built a large garage in order to sell. We didn't spend a fortune, just the minimum required, we sold our house quickly, and it was well worth doing. The new vendors are happy with the storage they now have. All potential buyers remarked on the lack of storage and small room sizes, so think about storage when selling, it seems to be a no.1 requirement.

Gemma
Thank You George and Estate agent for your comments, I think you're right in that if somethings been on the market forever and its dead cheap people might think theres something wrong with it. I think I'll wait for my contract to run out with the estate agency and take it off the market.. it obviously isn't working how they told me it would. They said they'd have to arrange viewings in 10 min intervals so buyers would see each other coming out of the door and up their offers! What a joke! 3 viewings in 2 months.... I've been advised to let it out but i don't really want to do that either, the house is like a ball and chain to me now and i just want rid - i'm living with my partner now so the house is surplus to requirements and im just thinking of going with one of these home buying places to get rid - i know i'll take a big loss with that but it'd probably work out the same as i'm still paying utility bills, heating, council tax etc.. nightmare! Anyone here want my house? ;)

Sue Cotton
I completely empathise with Mark. We are trying to sell a bungalow in what is always described as a sought after location which rarely come on the market. We bought it the day it went on the market 4 years ago for the full asking price. We've been on the market since March. It's in excellent order. w've changed agents, had better photos taken, dropped the price substantially and still no takers. Short of giving it away, I don't know what the answer is! We want to move to be closer to our grandson who is growing up so very quickly. As you say the market is a mess. We had an offer which would have been accepted but tt was withdrawn the following day as they had decided to stay put. Loads of viewings but no success. Cheesed off to say the least. On the plus side we continue to live in an amazing property - potential buyers don't know what they're missing! Hope you soon find yourself in a property suitable for your twins :-)

Steven
I chose the agent that I knew produced the most attractive sales particulars, as standard. Floor-plans, photography, layout, web-site, premium listing on rightmove and the appropriate comparitive information. I got it all. I also made it quite clear that I did not want time-wasters who were not in a position to make a purchase. I also insisted that I did the viewings. everybody told me that the market was poor, especially at my price bracket. It sold within 6 weeks. Dont be fooled by your Agent. Get them to demonstate the facts before you agree to anything. If yo think that your agent could be the typical "Jack the lad" then what will a buyer think? A huge thank you and well done to everyone at Karen Potter the Estate Agent.

Estate Agent
HI GEMMA, I'm an Estate Agent in Devon. Your property needs to come off the market with your current agent, and you should do a let over winter on it. Place it back on in the spring when the market picks up. At xmas the market goes quiet, with only investors around, I doubt you are in our area with the price you are selling for (That would be somewhere in the region of 125k here). Pick an estate agent that is on Rightmove and take a premium listing and showcase (the showcase is the 3 boxes at the top, you will appear first before everyone else) We sell these packages with extra large newspaper advertising as well, and the vendors that have paid for these packages (believe me, the company do not make any money out of them, as Rightmove and newspaper advertising is expensive!!) experience more interest that a standard listing. There are agents who will say those things are free with the instruction, but you MUST check what you are signing first! If it says you get free Premium Rightmove - you'd have to pay a withdrawl fee if you leave that agent. Get new pictures done when you re-launch, and change agents. I wont say who I work for, but we're a national company, and we use all the main websites, rightmove is the leader, so dont pick an agent who doesnt use them!! Take care, and good luck

Mark
Very frustrated with the whole situation. We love our house but since we have had twins it is too small and we cannot extend or go into the loft. We have had the house on the market since May and have dropped the price to 120K. This is 10K less than we paid in 2004 plus we have spent 15K on the house since purchasing it. Since dropping the price four weeks ago we have had two viewings but things seem to of gone dead again. I don't mind taking less than we paid for our house as we are trading up and can probably take a decent percentage off the asking price of the house that we buy but it is the lack of viewings that worries me. The house is in an excellent location and when I look at the competition it is all similar houses in very dodgy areas or slightly bigger ex social houses again in dodgy areas. We have done everything we can to make the house appealing, we've dropped the price (15K), decorated rooms, taken better pictures but still here we are. I'm now just waiting for a housing developer to build some new houses in a decent area and I'll part exchange. I know we will get a terrible price on the part ex but at least we will be able to move to a bigger house. I do not think there is anyone out there right now in our area who can pay anywhere near 120K for their first house and anyone trading down cannot buy the house either because they cannot sell their house. From what I have seen first time buyers are paying 80K and so are investors. What a mess the housing market is in.

George Hartshorn
Hi Gemma, I run an Estate Agency. Here's the scenario for asking prices: ASKING PRICE WAY TOO HIGH: No viewings or enquiries. ASKING PRICE SLIGHTLY TOO HIGH: Some viewings & enquiries but no offers. ASKING PRICE AT CORRECT LEVEL: Good Level of viewings and then offers received. ASKING PRICE SLIGHTLY BELOW MARKET VALUE: Surge of interest & offers (often the full asking price is achieved) ASKING PRICE WAY BELOW MARKET VALUE: This can sometimes have the effect of putting buyers off as they assume there is something wrong with the property. The above scenarios are typical when a property is FIRST marketed. However once a property has been on sale for several months, it will tend to go stale. The initial surge of competitive interest is lost. The property becomes unloved and unwanted and buyers assume that there are faults with it. It would appear that your property has indeed become 'stale' and although you are now on at a competitive price, buyers are suspicious. My advice is to take the property off the market until the new year, then get 3-5 new agents in and ask for realistic valuations. Tell each agent that you have only invited them alone to do the valuation, this way they are less likely to over-value in order to simply win your business. Ask to see their evidence of recently SOLD prices and go with one that gives you the best explanation and offers the best comparables. DON'T simply go with the highest price. Also check how good their photography and marketing is, do they try hard with the presentation of their properties or do they simply take a shot of the front with their mobile phone? You don't need an 'Express' Estate Agent to sell your home in the current climate, you just need to get the price and the marketing right from day one. Best of luck Gemma!

karen daniels
i have had my house on the market for six months but all that my estate agent keep trying to do is get me reduced it more and more which is leaving a bad taste in my mouth arent they supposed to help you get the best possible offer for your property let not force you to give it away i feel has if they only encouraging me to do so to benefit them. I dont know whether to stay with them or move on with another agency because i know for a fact they have under valved my house and i dont know why..

R. Leen
Vendors could consider the benefit of part exchange with someone already on the market. Someone with a 2 bed may be looking for a larger property while someone in a 4 bed with family grown up or getting divorced may be looking to downsize. "Yes but will I have to compromise?" Generally as soon as we buy, we want to put our own stamp on it as very rarely is what we buy exactly what we want. At present it appears that part exchange is generally reserved for purchasing large new properties (larger and usually more expensive than what a vendor already owns) . While this may be just what some people want there does not appear to be a service to help those who wish to downsize. The desire to P/EX can usually be added to property details to let people know that you would consider this.

Gemma
I have had my house on the market for 13 months now! it is a 2 bed grade 2 listed cottage with many original features. It started off at 115k and i had a fair few viewings but no offers, then i reduced it to 105k after 6 months. Again, a few viewings but nothing to write home about.. then, getting very desperate to sell (as im not even living there but still paying bills for it) i went with an express estate agency who have reduced it to 85k. I have had even fewer viewings than when it was more expensive. 85k is well under what it's worth but i'm wondering if , when folk look on rightmove they type in their price search and my house just isn't coming up? I just don't understand. It seems the more i reduce the price, the fewer viewings i'm getting! Can anyone shed light? confused..

June Corkin
All I would like to know is how do you get someone to view your property?I have an local estate agent and my house is in a prime position and a much wanted area. I have one viewing in one year,

Garath Gene
As someone thinking of selling up last year, I know that property prices have gone down quite a lot in value. We decided to stay last August, but were ready to go with different cream decor and new carpet to sell. We have gone and done what we wanted to do now, but would have done things differently should we have decided to market the property. Neutral decor and new carpets would have been all we would have done to sell, as our home is clean and tidy anyway. I think a little bit needs to be done when trying to sell. I know not everyone wants to decorate or have new carpets just to sell, but it does make a difference. In this market I wouldn't advise spending too much money on alterations, just have your home looking its best. Add some curb appeal and generally tidy and fix things you have put off fixing. Price your home competitively, but not cheap, and keep an eye on the prices of similar properties being sold in the area. If other people are reducing price, you may have to too. .

Ian
My question to the Estate Agents out there is this. When a seller approaches you for a valuation with a view to placing their property on the market do you; a) Ask them what they think it is worth first before you say what you think it is worth? or b) Value it and give them the result? Having done that, is it the case that most sellers are offended when you tell them it is not worth what they think it should be? The reason I ask these questions is because it seems to me that a lot people regarded the hugely inflated house prices during the boom as 'Money in the Bank'!! and now they feel they are losing that money, which of course they never ever had in the first place. Houses are for people to live in and not to make money from. I wish I had a pound for every time I have heard someone say "Can't beat bricks and mortar" in the context of investment - Well not any more buckwheat! Just like any other product, houses should get cheaper as they get older, after all they are NOT antiques! The average house should cost 3 X times the average wage (say £20k - I wish!) plus a 20% deposit, just like it did in the old days. I make that about £80k and from that deduce that at the bottom end of the market house are roughly £50k - £70k or more OVERPRICED. (The higher up the market the more they are overpriced) Of course I feel very sorry for anyone who bought during the boom and are now forced to sell through circumstance, because they are the ones paying for others greed (including their own at the time). On a last note of doom & gloom - the pain has not even started yet! Borrowing above repay ability is what has caused the financial crisis here and throughout the world. The unheard of low interest rates currently in place will go UP, if not this month or year it will happen within this Government's term and then the housing market WILL see the massive crash that is well well overdue. Wake up and smell the coffee. If you need to sell then sell as cheaply as you can afford to & get the sale now before it's too late - if not then put up & shut up!!

Rosemary
A neighbour of mine once put his house up for sale and the agent told him it would fly. I asked him how much it was up for and was horrified to find it was £115K (many years ago) I told him to amend the asking price to £145K it may not fly but it will sell. Surprisingly he took my advice and listed it for sale at £145 buyers beat a path to his door and he eventually sold for £155K. It is criminal that agents can take this much control. Our local agents now reduce any new build price because the buyer may have part exchanged their property. Many didn't but they discount this. They are controlling local prices with outright bad behaviours like these. They need the sale and they have never given two hoots for the client who actually pays the bill. I once sold my house within 24 hours, six months later I am still waiting for action. I complained to the agent that nothing was happening. He told me to stop complaining nobody else was beating a path to my door. I said not surprisingly as you do not advertise it anywhere including in the shop. It then turned out to be his sister in law and brother that where buying the house. When I told him I was aware of this the sale proceeded. So we need to be educated in the pricing of our own properties and not dependent on estate agents who I no longer have faith in. My last house sale went through despite the agent failing to tell me the owner of the house I was buying had pulled out. So my house was sold and I had nowhere to go. I could have pulled out of my sale too but then I am reduced to the bad behaviour of others and letting my buyers down. Rule number one you must be in control of your own main asset not the local estate agent.

Susan
It's all very well to say ''Lower your price' , but please remember that there are a few of us who cannot afford to do so. After all, each and everyone of us would be quite happy just getting the price that the house is worth ! I am a pensioner trying to sell a house that i would love to stay in but cannot afford to do so. I am selling to invest for retirement and that amount just dwindles all the time. Having had two aborted sales because the buyer could not sell ( and they did lower their price by a lot ) it is so frustrating. I now have another buyer who cannot sell after reducing their property by £10,000 !!! Where does it all end ? Why can't everyone just expect to get and sell a house for it's 'real' value, it's all relative ...... isn't it ???

Helen
I have just sold at the same price I bought my property for in 2005 with many agents telling me that realisticially this is a correct value and that many people are simply insisting that their properties are marketed at inflated prices because the media pitch is that there is an increase, albeit slow, month on month. I did not go through an agent in the end so did earn more out of the sale and by lowering my price and secured a no chain quick sale. I might have taken a chance and hung on in there for a few months more to get a higher price but chose a cash buyer as I have noticed some chains are collapsing due to mortgage problems v valuations v inflated prices. Since I sold a couple of months ago I have watched other prices coming down so believe I will make up any 'losses' by buying cheaper before long. Lucky to have a pre let flat to live in temporarily but quite enjoying the low bills, lack of housework and gardening for a change giving me more time for my family and going out, now just worried about leaving my money in the bank ! My theory is that special properties in special locations will always sell and command a premium, the rest will and actually need to come down to allow the next generation to afford to live in them and run them. My generation (late 50's) often used the property market vafriations and fluctuations shrewdly to actually earn enough of a living to retire on over and above meagre wages, this really is not possible now unless the market collapses.

scott
chris is talking rubbish your estate agent is responsible its their job you can only lower price so much before you can no longer afford to sell

Mrs Warton
This debate has made me laugh so much; I really enjoy reading through the different posts and differing opinions. There is no doubt about one thing...property prices have fallen and many sellers can't accept it. It is a buyers market now, you either price your property to sell, or it sits there cold. I'm so glad we don't need to sell, but if we did, we would price our house a little under what other similar properties are marketed for. I think you have to price competitively to get viewers through the door. Anyone not selling or getting viewers through the door, the advice to reduce price is correct. You either accept the fact property prices are going down, or you don't try to sell at all.

Graham
It always makes me laugh when estate agents tell us that properties are over valued. I'm sorry, who exactly does the valuing, the gas man? As to any house will sell quickly if it's priced correctly, amend correctly to cheap and underpriced. It's a buyers market with enormous choice. Some houses will sell quicker due to location that's all.

John Jeffreys
We sold our house recently, after two months on the market and about 14 viewings. I did all the DIY jobs that I had been putting off, spent three days tidying the garden, had two coats of fresh paint put on the hall, landing, kitchen and dining room and shampooed the carpets. Total cost £1000. I took all the photos myself using my digital SLR and a tripod. I then priced the house at 5% below valuation (Scottish system so all done as part of the selling process) and sold for 8% below. Outside the SE of England, if you are not prepared to price reallistically you are wasting everyone's time. On the other hand If your pictures, presentation and price are right then it will sell. So if your house is in good order and the Rightmove entry looks appealling, rather than moaning to your friends and family about how the market's dead, why not cut your price by 5-10%? John

Garry
An interesting debate.My experience in the so called depressed north east seems to contradict the trend for falling prices, or is it the case that agents are partly responsible for the fall in prices by deliberately undervaluing house to acheive sales. My house is a 50s detached 4 bed. The first agent who called placed a value on it which frankly amazed me.He contended that the house was only worth 30% less than its valuation in 2008. I threw him out of the house. Agent No 2 was more optimistic and valued the property at about the same as the 2008 value but warned me that it was unlkely to acheive that. I completely disagree and put my own value of 12% above the 2008 price on it and asked him if he would market it at that. He did. 3 months later I have had 2 potential buyers stuck in chains and 2 more with offers over the 2008 value and after a deal have acheived 10% over the 2008 value. Agent No 1 is the biggest agency in my town, and achieves the highest rates of sales monthly of all the 5 agencies. At what cost to his clients? The stack em high and sell em cheap philosophy is most definitely driving prices down.

David Preston
"your house is only worth as much as someone is prepared to pay" ........what a load of rubbish,its worth what you paid... i certainly wont sell for less id rather keep it than GIVE IT AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Last year, I bought a handful of beans. I paid £100,000 for them because the man from whom I bought them told me they were magic beans. Now that I am selling my beans, all those nasty buyers won't offer me what I paid for them, claiming that my beans are not worth anywhere near £100,000. Of course they are worth £100,000 because that's what I paid for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nick
Personally I am finding it very hard to buy as; 1) There are very few properties on the market and 2) Those that are for sale are generally overpriced (by which I mean they are asking for the same price they paid at the height of the property boom even though the market has fallen significantly and they have clearly made no improvements to the property). In response to a couple of points people have raised I am a first time buyer and found getting a mortgage surprisingly easy. I have also found most agents to be pretty rubbish - they just send you details of every property they have whether it's what you asked for or not and generally they don't know anything about the property when they show you round.

Mandy
I agree with MrRee. The housing market, in good areas, doesn't suffer the same. In 2007-2008 we would have been looking at close to £200,000 for our home the way prices were going, now we would be lucky to get £160,000. We are in the North, so prices have dropped further in some areas. But I have seen that certain areas seem immune to the reductions. In my opinion, house prices going down is a good thing. But then we are not wanting to move, if we did, we would be worse off as we don't need to up-size. So the market falling isn’t good for everyone, or at least can be part of why some people stay put. But I do feel it is essential that prices fall further to help those starting out as first home buyers. For anyone needing to move, it is important to accept that prices have fallen, and price your property right, otherwise you probably won't sell. I think estate agents are trying to tell people this now, but too many refuse to listen and then get upset when they can’t sell. The market has changed, so we have to be realistic. To Yorkshire Lad. If you type in ‘negative equity fact sheet’ into Google, you will find some good advice. There are options. One option is renting your current home out until house prices are stronger and renting a property in spain for the time being, if funds allow. Another option is to take out a loan to cover the shortfall if selling your home for less than the mortgage. There are other options, have a talk to your mortgage provider and see if they run any schemes to help people in negative equity. Best of luck.

Mike
Muhammad P Sept 20th: "my property is worth more than what some estate agents and greedy buyers want to pay in my eyes. so if you want my property, you pay what I want" and "Greed takes over in this world all the time, estate agents are greedy people sometimes. Avoid the greedy and dishonest ones like the plague." Are you being intentionally ironic?

Mike
bettyb Sept 20th: ""your house is only worth as much as someone is prepared to pay" ........what a load of rubbish,its worth what you paid... i certainly wont sell for less id rather keep it than GIVE IT AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" No, the logical truth is your house is worth what YOU paid for it to YOU not to anyone else. Can I suggest that you don't put it on the market and you can pretend for ever more that it's 'worth' more than it really is.

Yorkshire Lad
We bought our house in 2006 after borrowing 8 times my salary from Northern Rock. It has been on the market for almost a year now with not even a single viewing so far. We just went with price suggested by the estate agent and now he is just asking us to reduce it even further which we can't afford to do as the banks wont let us sell at a lower price. What should we do as we really want to retire to Spain. Rodney

MrRee
Fact is - people are still buying over-priced properties and the world keeps truning. I have been waiting for the crash, it hasn't happened .... with sellers not forced to sell and cheap money in abundance - there will be no crash at all I have come to the conclusion. Three years ago I predicted a 50% fall in prices ... we have barelt seen 10% in the south - nothing to write home about. The property market is immune to any kind of financial crash - of that there is no doubt. SADLY!

Gavin
Asking prices are still far too high, till sellers get realistic then many of us first time buyers with hard saved deposits will continue the buyers strike. Other first time buyers will simply be priced out with the higher asking prices. Many sellers are deluded with their high asking prices thinking they can get close to the peak bubble prices of 2008 despite actual selling prices being far below that level. Other sellers are trapped in negative equity and can't drop their prices waiting for rises which are highly unlikely. They will be stuck on the market for years. The sold properties will come from deaths, divorces, job relocations and the increasing numbers of buy to let investors being repossessed. House prices will continue to fall back to normal levels, sellers are going to be forced to be realistic. Waiting to next spring to remarket won't help.

melly h
There is all this talk of up-sizing, what about those who want to down-size? They are the ones who can't afford to take a hit on price. So whatever people say about reducing price, some have to stick to the price they need, or they can't afford to move. There will be less choice on the market as time goes on. Think about that, when you can't find the right home because bargain hunters have offended everyone off the market.

Murray
When viewing properties on-line on websites such as Rightmove, the first thing that prospective buyers look at are the photographs. Therefore, when deciding which Estate Agent to choose to sell your home, take a look at their photography. Good pictures will definitely help sell your property in the shortest time possible! Look and see how many estate agents have rooms with walls sloping outwards - 90%?

James
With prices moving down it's the ideal time to trade up. You should be able to get a bigger discount on the larger house you want to move to than you have to give on yours (because of the percentages). But, you have to be prepared to see the big picture and not be afraid to price below other similar properties to get a buyer.

Brett
I'm a buyer with money to spend, but i'm not paying prices which are historically high. Drop your prices or I wont be buying.

Dave Lord Foxhole
The market is so obviously on the slide now, and the gap between asking prices and Land Registry sales is widening - 'the delusion gap' as it's called. If we are VERY lucky, we may get ONLY another 20 - 30% down, and fast. If our luck doesn't hold (and the BOE, Condems etc are doing everything in their power to ruin it) we may suffer a 15 year death-of-a-thousand-cuts like japan. In that circumstances, we may not see 2007 prices again till 2025 or later. Most people, when trading, go bust because they don't understand stop losses. Sell now, and lose a little, or hang on for grim death, and lose a lot. I know what I would rather do, and that's why I'm happy to have offloaded my semi to a 'greater fool' who can't understand that half a million is rather a lot of money, even today.

wert goulde
house sellers think nothing of asking a buyer to take a huge loss on an over valued asset but never accept the same loss themselves without ecredulity.

Nick Stone
Bettyb, with that attitude you may indeed have to keep your house.

Muhammad P
I wouldn't sell my property for what it would achieve in the present market conditions. Although estate agents have fed me porky pie prices for my property, I don't believe they think I would achieve these prices, they just want to market the property and then ask me to drop the price. I think a lot of estate agents are dishonest and collect properties to advertise, just to make themselves look busy. In actual fact, estate agents are suffering great losses, I have little sympathy for bad ones. When prices go up, I'll think about moving. But obviously that will be in about 10 years time because the market isn't going to improve any time soon. So estate agents, don’t be so sore when people actually like their homes enough to not take a low price, there are still a few who will, you’ll still make some money. I just think those trying to sell need to know what price they are likely to achieve, not hear a price plucked out of the estate agents head which is far beyond what you can realistically achieve. As for doing a property up to sell, I wouldn’t do that in a million years, I would only make my home nice for me and my family. If viewers didn’t like it, they know where to go. Ludicrous to expect people to think your idea of good taste appeals to everyone. Magnolia paint, bland rooms and the oh so obvious staged look appeals to only one type of buyer, the one who lacks vision, imagination and is lazy. Estate agents used to sell property, whatever the condition. Now we see a new breed of estate agent, the lazy type. They tell everyone to re-decorate and spend money to sell. Get off your lazy backsides and do some work to sell property! If you need the vendor to do all the hard work, you are not worthy of your title. And get real on price! Estate agents, when you get real on price…we’ll all follow suit ok. You set the bar high, people are only trusting what you have told them. So if you don’t like people wanting higher prices for property, price everyone down and quit confusing the market…..you have done it to yourselves. And the last thing I want to say is to sellers out there. When your agent values your property, ask them to explain how they have come to that figure. Ask them if they expect you to get close to that figure or if they expect 10% will be knocked off that asking price. If they can show you properties they have sold similar to yours recently and prices which are not far from what you will be marketing for, then fair enough, choose that agent. But if they just talk a load of old rubbish and won’t show you proof of any sales and you suspect all they have is the gift of the gab, show them the door. A property is only worth what someone is willing to pay...really? Well my property is worth more than what some estate agents and greedy buyers want to pay in my eyes. so if you want my property, you pay what I want. Sellers need to stop allowing estate agents to bully them into submission in order to get a quick sale. Greed takes over in this world all the time, estate agents are greedy people sometimes. Avoid the greedy and dishonest ones like the plague.

Carol Dodson
After a really bad experience with a certain agent, we had offers and then changes of minds and general time wasters until a lovely lady who fell in love with our home and put in an offer which we were really pleased with and we had found our ideal property everything looking really good, solicitors paperwork in place and then the devastating phone call for what ever reason our lovely lady had withdrawn her offer heart broken and stressed out we took it off the market, but we will have to bite the bullet and put ourselves through the horrible ordeal all over again next spring which we are absolutely dreading to STRESSFULL may just buy in Scotland !

bettyb
"your house is only worth as much as someone is prepared to pay" ........what a load of rubbish,its worth what you paid... i certainly wont sell for less id rather keep it than GIVE IT AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Evans
I know people who market their properties at a higher value just because they think they can fool people into believing their property is worth it. When no one makes an offer, they look stupid. Estate agents 'some of them' are having a hard time accepting that the market has fallen, they still market property at silly prices. They don't sell much, don't make as much money as they would like. Then other estate agents sell loads of properties because they price them right. There are many deluded and narcissistic people out there marketing property at prices they will never achieve, their estate agents are playing up to their illusions of grandeur and making a loss on advertising them for nothing...it is spamming the market and wasting buyers time. Get your price right, or wait till the market improves, or don't sell at all. You're a mug if you believe your highest valuation or you have to put the price you want in the mind of the estate agent. To get your property on their books, many will tell you what you want to hear, buyers won't, and they’ll laugh your particulars into the bin and buy the same type of property down the road at a cheaper price. But don't take my word for it, look at sold prices and you will see what your property is really worth, just like everyone else can. Sad but true, there's no pulling the wool over buyers eyes when all inforamtion is free and available 24/7.

Terry C
Some estate agents think you will believe anything they say to get you to put your property on the mark et with them, how naive! Once you give a value, the vendor wants close to that value. all bad estate agents do is throw their clients in the direction of a better agent, one who speaks the truth. I have had my house valued by three agents, one valued it at a silly high price, another valued it at such a high price, for a moment I thought he must have had a crash on the way here and bumped his head. The third agent valued it 10,000 higher than the last similar house sale on our street. The lower valuation would get our house sold, no doubt! But it isn't enough for us, so we willingly and happily stay. But it was good to sort the wheat from the chaff for future reference. The funniest things about getting those three valuations was the one who valued our property the highest, did so with another property which festered on the market for over two years with no interest from anyone...some don't learn.

Almond M
I work for an online estate agency. I try to value property as realistically as possible, but occasionally I give a higher valuation to those who I can see want it or need to hear it. This might seem like I am marketing property which will not sell, but in actual fact, I either pursue the vendor to reduce the price once I have them on my books and the property isn't selling, or I use their property as an example and to make other similar properties look like a bargain. But ultimately the more properties you have, the more you sell. The higher priced properties help sell the properties valued lower. Having similar properties priced very differently means you get more viewers persuaded to view properties they never thought they would be interested in, because you have several in the same area and they might as well see them all.. right! And a cheaper property after an expesive property viewed gets the imagination flowing. Cunning yes, but being an estate agent is business first, being nice second. If you want to sell, you accept the market conditions and you price to sell. Those who want to stay put for more money, don't market their properties. The ones in-between are time wasters, I waste no time feeling bad for using their properties as an example of how much better other properties are for value for money.

Sanjay
Simple solution. Get real and drop the price by at least 10%!

Terry
I am a cash buyer looking for property in Lancashire or Mirfield west yorkshire. The bottom line as far as I am concerned is price followed closely by price and then shortly after that its price. I dont care about decor or conservatories or garden layout. The right house at the right price. I am not stupid I know property values are falling and will continue to do so. I am not looking for an investment When I buy I expect the property value will still decline. This affects the price I will pay. These days a house is a place to live not an investment. Price it accordingly.

Mike Smith
Our house has been on the market for a while now and initially interest was good and positive. However the information clearly states we have a downstairs bathroom, originally the house was a 2 bed with an upstairs bathroom. Previous owners changed it to what it is today. Why do people not read basic information and waste our time with comments like we didnt know you had a downstairs bathroom. Read and digest before viewing.

Bryan
Had our house on the market for 18 months. A 4 Bedroom property in Shepherds Bush, completely refurbished to a very high standard. The original Estate Agent set a price of £ 725,000. Plenty of viewings but no offers. Having already purchased another property I decided to take a loss on the value of the property and dropped it drastically by another £ 130,000. It was now the cheapest house in the West London area, with a two-bedroom Flat two streets away going for £ 55,000 more and 3 bedroom houses 50 yards away going for £ 150,000 more and both in worse condition, Still I wanted a quick sale and wasn't concerned that my house beat the pants-off all the local competition by at least £ 1000 per sq metre. What a mistake! The weirdo's were coming by the barrel full offering even less then the bargain basement price advertised. So, I'll be putting it back up by £ 200,000 next year and buying some of those British cushions you see in the magazines. I've noticed that people need to pay very high prices to believe they're getting a good deal, the more you lower the price, the more people think theres something wrong with it.

Estate Agent
Your house is only worth as much as someone is prepared to pay.

Estate Agent
Jade.H There plenty of mugs out there. Stop kidding yourself

derek
We've been looking to buy a family house (3 kids) and frankly the asking prices in central south england are a joke. People are asking for more than anything attained in 2007.. houses stay on for 18 months or more, changing agents every 6, and losing a thousand here or there, then go for rent. Occasionally one comes up at a sensible price and is quickly sold.. the rest just sit there. To sell: 1. Value your house yourself by checking the sold prices here on rightmove, adjust for the fact that the ones that did sell were larger/smaller/larger plot/different catchment etc., do not price much more than a touch above your valuation (5% above absolute maximum) 2. Having got a realistic DIY valuation, THEN get the agents in. Don't engage an agent who substantially over values your property... it's easy to say something's worth lots of money, much harder to get it, if you don't ask enough you'll be inundated by vewings and offers.. in which case just let them bid it out. 3. Remember prices are way too high, with anemic wage inflation buyers who take on a lot of debt are going to be struggling to pay it for well over a decade and possibly struggling right up to the final payment, most know this and are offering (or not) accordingly, don't be greedy. Also if you rent out your family home now rather than accepting reality, when the government gets it way over planning policy, you'll see the vast valuations cut down to size, so if you own two houses as a result of refusing to accept reality now, you'll end up with double the loss. Remember it only costs £200k to build a 2000sq ft house. anything above that is the land value and is subject to rises and falls, many average houses in 1996 were valued at little more than their build value... it will happen again, we just don't know when.

geoffk
It really is about price....some people can not get that the market has fell a lot outside London. Also a lot seem to want buyers to bail them out of debt with prices higher than 2007,not possible i am afraid as the market is now in freefall with properties overvalued by 30% compared to what they should cost long-term.. Buyers must be careful of the homebuyer scam.because it is just allowing builders who can not sell to offload houses that are priced too high and the only way they can get rid of them is by the homebuyer system.. Do not fall for the scam that it is otherwise negative equity will become your best friend..be careful the sharks are out there waiting for you to take the bait.

sue m
The truth is it has nothing to do with houses it the lenders who are controlling the market. As they were the ones dishing out our money to high risk borrowers getting ahigher rate of return or so they thought. As we all know adverse is bad credit,but that did not stop their greed. It wasn't their money they were gambling. Why do you think they are restricting their lending for new mortgages and interests on your savings so low. Although they are insured against repocessions they have passed the concequence of their actions on to us. We are paying the price something the British people are well known for the great stiff upper lip yes shut up and put up. Just remember without our money in these banks and building societies they wouldn't exist. They still get their fat bonuses while we get a grain

Carole Mardle
I have the most wonderful railway station for sale in Mid Walesand although I say it myself it has been restored to a high standard and looks wonderful, the views are stunning, it has a beautiful garden and the price is good. But - I find that people won't look at it because they think trains are running past all day which they don't . I think people shouldn't make rash negative decisions about a property they may be interested in without finding out more about the thing that puts them off buying it.

Wendy
We have had our house on the market for a few months now. The evaulations from the 2 were vastly different but the 1 agent admitted she came in with a value in mind without even seeing the house. She revised it slightly. Since then that agency have been advising that it is market opion the house is too highly priced and we need to drop by around 25k on a 170k asking price. What I find most confusing is how it can be market opion when they have not bought anybody to see the house. I feel it is more that they want a lower price so they can get a quick sale otherwise they are not really interested in marketing the place The 2nd agent has been advising us to keep the price as the market has been very quite in our price range. They feel as soon as they get someone through the door to see what they are getting for thier money, it will be sold quickly. When I look at other houses in our price range in our area, they arwe also still for sale so my feeling is the 2nd agent is probably right that we should stick to our price which is open to realistic offers

Chris Hayes
Feeling fustrated by estate agent claiming they value properties low to attract people in postion to buy quickly.One example,property advertised at 69,950,offered asking price to be told " well it was valued higher than this this and they are looking for something in the high 70s low 80s".Complete waste of time.

Lucy P
I agree with Nick Stone on all his points. As a property buyer I loath to see badly thought out extensions and home improvements. I would rather buy a house which needs updating and pay a little less than one which is overpriced and done in bad taste. We look at many houses and just can't find one which hasn't either been ruined with mediocre updating or is priced too high, which means we can't easily afford the updates which the property will need. Conservatories with polycarbonate roofs are noisy when it rains, they stain and look awful. No heating means you can't use it all year round which renders the extension useless for much of the year. I personally wish people wouldn't rush to put additions on their properties which are badly thought out, or badly done. Garages should be able to accommodate a car or at least be used for storage, when they are converted, you put off most buyers. Another shocking addition can be the vendor’s choice of kitchen. Shiny cupboards in vibrant colours or dated/cheap looking fake wood etc... Why pay to have a new kitchen that won't appeal to most buyers? The buyer does not want to pay for expensive mistakes. This might sound harsh, but it is the reality! We see so many badly done up properties at high prices we feel we will never find the right house. My top tip would be to leave well alone unless you can afford to have things done properly. Conservatories should be heated with solar control glass. Kitchens should be neutral/white/cream, never fake wood. Bathrooms should have white suites and decent quality fittings. Gardens should be tidy, rooms well presented and clean. If decorating, neutral shades are best or go for, or one accent wall if you like more colour, then it can be easily painted or wall papered over. Just don’t decorate your home like a gypsy caravan in all the colours of the rainbow. When extending, don't take up a small garden if it is a family home, kids need space to play and a lot of people are keen gardeners. Extensions with unusable or pointless rooms don't add value, they end up as storage areas and wasted space. Better sized rooms add more value than too many tiny rooms. If doing a loft conversion, leave it to the professionals, dodgy loft extensions with a ladder are not appealing. Bottom line is sometimes less is more. Too many people are extending and home improving in a buyers market, this puts people off. Not many buyers want to pay high prices for other people’s choices when they are bad ones and no up to standard. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! And if you do, do it well or don’t bother. A competitively priced property that you can put your own stamp on is far more appealing than someone’s bad taste and illusions of grandeur.

Nick Stone
I am not struggling to sell. I'm looking to buy. In my experience, many sellers have no idea what effect their 'improvements' have on the value of their homes. If you want to sell: Do not imagine that a upvc conservatory will add value. If you must add a conservatory, please don't site it outside the main sitting room window where it will block light and spoil the outlook. Be very careful with extensions and do not just hand your brief to a builder unless you have a keen architectural eye. Extensions need to take account of the over-all aesthetics of the house. I viewed a house recently where the owners had put in a beautiful kitchen with vaulted ceiling. The problem was that they only had two bedrooms and to create a third would have meant extending over the kitchen and ruining the vaulted celiling. A loft conversion will not add value unless it has been done properly, ie proper heating, insulation and access. It isn't simply a question of boarding over and telling people you have five bedrooms instead of three. Bear in mind, too, that not everyone wants a three-storey house. Do not convert your garage to an extra room without thought. Even if most of us don't keep cars in our garages they are very useful spaces for storing garden equipment and junk.

Jade.H
Well we are optimists; we love our home, but are preparing to sell in the more distant future when property prices increase. We feel property is always going to go up, if not in 1-2 years, it will in 5-7 years. So we do this ourselves, and would advise others to do the same if not in a hurry to move. Do your property up a little bit at a time. Decor, new carpets, new bathroom and kitchen if they are dated and then when the market is hot, market it in good condition. But the bare minimum is required really, especially when it is a sellers market. If we were to sell now, we would want £100,000 more than what we paid for the property 12 years ago, that might not be realistic at the present time, so we play the waiting game. In the time it takes for us to get the price we want, we might not want to move, so we don't feel there is any need to take a silly price for a property we love. I believe people should stick to their guns on the price they wish to achieve on their property, if not in a hurry to sell. Taking a large hit on the price might be alright for some, but it isn't for everyone. Also consider extending and altering your present home, rather than selling. You might not make money, but you might find you then have the ideal home without having to move. I have faith in the property market and fully expect that prices will rise again in the not so distant future. Until then, if we have to, we will extend rather than sell for peanuts.

Ben
We are about to put the house on the market and are buying a new one at the moment. Having looked at more houses than I would care to think about, I would say the following: Clean and tidy. Lick of paint Do the "hassle" jobs (but relatively inexpensive) that will put fickle buyers off. In particular replace old/worn carpets and fixtures/fittings. Make outdoor spaces clean and tidy Repair any dents, cracks, imperfections Don't spend thousands on new kitchen/bathroom but do make sure they are presented as well as possible Remember, it is a buyer's market out there. You have lots and lots of competition. So make it look as good as possible and make sure that you are realistic in what you can hope to get for it. As a final point, one of the other commenters is right. The two biggest costs in terms of doing up a house (both financial and hassle-wise) are the kitchen and bathroom. If these are sorted then great. And if you are going to do either, stick to safe, neutral designs. In the kitchen you can put new doors on the cupboards, and new worktop on, relatively cheaply, so if you are doing it save money on cupboards and worktops and spend it on good quality appliances instead (Bosch, Miele etc). Same goes for bathrooms, buy cheap(er) bath sink etc and spend the money on a really good shower and really good taps. As a final, final point, remember location, location,location. People will look at your house primarily because of where it is. If you're going to be showing people round try and understand who and what they are from the agent beforehand (if they're any good they should know this). Focus on good points about the area that are relavent to the people looking round when chatting to them. Final final final point (sorry) - AGENTS. Some are good, most are at best mediocre, some are truly appalling. I have worked in professional consultative sales for 15 years. I am shocked by how bad most agents are. As a minimum they should qualify all potential buyers (who they are, current situation, requirements, reason for interest etc etc). My advice is to get a friend to make an enquiry to see how closely and well they are qualified by the agent. Get them to book a viewing as well and do it. Then you can see how the agent operates through the process. If the agent fails to qualify them and fails to follow up quickly (I would say within 48 hours at most of viewing) consider getting a new agent.

John
According to data from the Land Registry and National Statistics, the current house price is 5.8 times the average salary, compared with the average since 1930 of 3.4. Therefore a 34% fall is required merely to return to the long term trend, ignoring the markets tendency to overshoot in either direction. As ever, anyone using borrowed money to purchase above the long term trend is taking on significant risk. Historically, the property market has taken some time to resume steady growth after a period of deflation, in 1992 it took 3 years, 1980 2.5 years, 1977, 1970, 1955 & 1948 1 year, 1934 4 years, enabling potential purchasers time to wait for prices to stabalise for a period before committing to purchase. This is borne out by the appalling mortgage approval figures from the Bank of England - the best guide to future house prices - which are running at 50% of the average over the last 15 years. Given the fact that about 50% of potential purchasors have been priced out of the market, the only really meaningful strategy by house sellers to attract purchasors is to accept that you are sitting on exceptional, unsustainable, gains and to offer your property for significantly less than comparable properties in the area.

Beccles
I've had my property on the market for almost a month now and find the hardest thing is to make my agent advertise it in the local press. We have three newspapers in this area, all with property sections. Sadly, my house has yet to appear in any!

j.preston
its no good kidding ourselves things are not going to get better,due to irresponsible bank lending over the last 10-15 years property buyers got to thinking that prices would never stop going up.well now they are definitely at least 50% too high for the average salary earners who make up 95% of the market,so the only way to sell before large interest rate hikes is to cut present over valuations by at least half right now because government in its wisdon cannot see a way out of the present financial mess that they and previous governments have allowed to happen.o.k. there will be losers who have bought at the peak prices,but they are doomed to loose anyway so why prolong the problems let common sense take over and not politics.

Rachael G
August 2010 we sold our house in 2 weeks. It sold because it was immaculately presented and we put it on the market at a competitve price (ie £5,000 under the valuation of three agents and £10K under Whitegates' estimated valuation). Add to that the fact that we sold it for £5 more than we paid for it in 2004 (ie we didn't benefit from the perceived house price rise / didn't manipulate the market). Houses aren't selling because people are being greedy. People are being greedy because they paid over the market price for their house and are either now in negative equity or break even.

E Parsons
We managed to sell our property to a neighbour’s relative. They had been interested in our property for some time but were too scared to ask if we would consider selling to them. They eventually plucked up the courage and they now have their family closer to them, and we have moved closer to our family. Before they asked us whether we would like to sell to them, we had done much decorating and work in the garden, so they chose the right time to buy, whilst most things had been done. They only needed to put their stamp on the property. You never know who might be interested in your property, for its exact location! So asking neighbours if they know anyone looking for your sort of property could save you going on the open market. I'm just glad they asked us, as we wouldn't have ever thought of moving in this market, yet it went through beautifully fast and worked well for everyone concerned.

Ron W
In response to Tracey J : Reduce your price is the simple answer you should have had a lot more viewings in the time you've been on the market.

Tracey J
We are with two agents,. the first since Nov 10, the second April 11. In total we have had three viewings (2 didn't like the area and the other was an investment buyer who wanted to put a room in the loft) 4 other viewers booked and never showed (via our 1st agent) and they never got hold of them afterwards which led us to think the viewers never existed in the first place. Anyway what can you do to your house to make it more saleable if you agent/s cant get anyone to view it! ( we have spruced up, painted walls, re-turfed and planted garden etc) Very frustrated with the whole process.

Norman
A bit of a different view if I may be so bold. We have sold many properties, we don't follow the usual 'house doctor stuff' we study the market and price correctly. Selling property isn't rocket science, you do the bare minimum and you price correctly, then you buy a correctly priced property. Too many folk are hung up on new kitchens and bathrooms, new knobs and cream carpet. Just price correctly and keep the property clean whilst marketing. The market isn't where it was a few years back, but then you can always look back in time and see peaks and troughs. Your property goes down in value, so do other peoples properties. Just price yours correctly and pay what you can afford on your next property...it is that simple. If you can’t sell for the price you need to move on, then don’t move. Staying until the market changes is best for some people. We bought an auction property during the last crash, we couldn’t afford a ‘house doctored property’, but we made it home for us and made a lot of money when we sold it. Don’t think just because property goes up in price, you get priced out. That is not so, you put more effort into your search and you can find a real gem, whatever the market conditions. I think people worry too much, sit back and let it happen, when it happens. Selling is stressful enough without worrying what every viewer will think of your shag pile or net curtains. Anyone with half a brain can visualise their own tastes in a property, you don’t buy another’s lifestyle, you buy bricks and mortar. Hope this helps the young ones out there stressing too much over the little things, little things aren’t worth bothering over. Us Brits don’t need life coaching and house doctoring, we need to use common sense, that is all you need.

Richard Renda
Kitchens and Bathrooms are the main focus from a buyers perspective I believe. As they are long term projects and relatively expensive to replace or update in relation to other minor cosmetics that may need to be done in a prospective purchase. Spending a sensible amount getting these rooms presentable is recommended. Make sure there are no cracked tiles or mold. Make sure that paintwork is up to standard and clean. If at all possible finishing touches such as modern lighting and fixtures, for example cupboard handles, taps etc are little things that will be noticed. We have recently sold our property after re-grouting the bathroom and kitchen tiles, and replacing light fittings. This made the wet areas look fresher and to my mind, a more attractive feature in the house.

Dennis M
We were thinking of moving just over a year ago, so did a bit of decorating and work on the garden, but we were put off by neighbours who don't want to see us leave. We think it is important to have your property very clean and tidy, no clutter! When looking for another property the thing we disliked the most was dirt and general clutter around the place. It is good to put your own stamp on a property, so nothing like outdated rooms or decor put us off at all, it was just off-putting to see dirt and so much clutter that you couldn't see rooms properly, or what the clutter was hiding. We would be moving to an area where property is a little cheaper, so we are best staying until the market improves slightly. You want to upsize when the market is like this, or downsize when the market is better. So thanks to our lovely neighbours, we might save a few bob by staying several more years, until they can bear to see us go. Good neighbours, the number one reason to stay put! And such a great selling point!

Harold
I assume that Mell Sean is trading down in size, not up. If you are looking to buy into the market as a first timer or after a period renting, or are wanting to trade up to a better place, surely low prices are what you really need, unless you are already over-borrowed? Why not trade up now whilst the price gap is small? Waiting for your 'preferred value' will just see your next house further out of reach. Or am I being short-sighted?

ivanandminx
Seems to me that everyone focuses on kitchens and bathrooms - and I am sure that these have real impact. But my top tip is focus on the garden. It is what really grabs my attention when I am looking online and I have had a lot of interest in the property I am selling due to the emphasis I place on getting the garden looking right and making sure the photos reflect the hard work I put in.

Mell Sean
We tried several times to sell, different agents, different prices. We changed decor, carpets and generally spruced the house up, but to no avail. Other people in the road have sold for lower prices since the crash, and some rent their properties if they have to move, we would do neither of those things. So we will stay until there is a considerable rise in the property market, which will probably be years away. I do think spending little money to sell is best, in this market people offer low, so no point in wasting money. I wouldn't advise spending too much time and energy worrying over the little things either, buyers will buy if it is the property they want, regardless of minor details. We always use Rightmove to check prices, it is the best property site on the net. I'm sure in the future we will find our new home on Rightmove, but until then, we are enjoying our lovely home until the market improves and we can sell for a decent price, as long as it takes really.

sylvia bilboe
Although I have not yet sold, we looked at a few properties and the first consideration is where it is, the rest is size of rooms and do they have the sockets and windows. But the biggest thing is do you like it when you first walk in, if you cannot see yourself in the property then it is not the one for you.

Dean
As a homeowner it's really had to spot problems with your own home - when you walk past a crack in the wall everyday you stop noticing it, but others walking into your home for the first time spot it straight away. I had problems selling last year until I asked a friend for constructive* criticism on my house (constructive* being things I could change - 'you need to build a conservatory' wouldn't be constructive). He brought his girlfriend over and she listed everything she didn't like, from the path up to my front door having stained patches, the electric box on the side of the house needing a lick of paint to the place being cold on arrival (I like to keep the heater off whenever I can but I'd never considered that a warm house feels more welcoming to viewers). I DIY'd my way through the list, and within 6 weeks received an offer and sold. I think my problem was lots of small niggly things that I'd lived with for so long adding up and putting off buyers. To sellers: I hope this helps. To Rightmove: Keep up the good work, your site is fantastically user friendly and the best experience for a homebuyer. I sold my last house after they enquired via Rightmove, and I bought my current house after finding it on Rightmove. One very happy website user Dean

Daisy
We changed carpets, curtains and decorated with more neutral colours. There wasn't a main room we focused on, we did a little in each room. I completely disagree with those who say a new kitchen is the top priority. One mans idea of a tasteful kitchen is another’s absolute nightmare. You should never spend too much money updating a property unless it is a high end property. White bathroom suites and modern kitchens appeal, but your taste might not be your buyers taste. We viewed a property with an updated kitchen which we thought was awful! The vendor kept mentioning their new kitchen, it put us off and we didn’t make an offer. Clean, tidy, neutral and presented well. You can’t go wrong unless you price too highly. As for taps, I'm a woman and can change taps, it isn't a deal maker or breaker for most.

Giles
We made our main reception rooms nice with a lick of paint and beige carpet. We found a buyer very quickly, but we were realistic with our asking price. If we had re-done the kitchen and bathroom, we would have wanted that money back when selling, so with a higher price tag, we would have been over what other similar properties were on at in the same area. These days you can buy a great new kitchen for very little at well known DIY stores or kitchen wholesale places. Bathrooms don't have to cost a fortune either, most people know this. To get to choose your own kitchen and bathroom is more desirable, along with the lower price tag. I know our viewers all said the same thing; they wanted to choose and not pay for what someone else chose for them. We successfully sold, so just re-painting and re-carpeting sold our house.

Claire
When viewing house, kitchens are the most important part of the property. I recently viewed a beautiful house with lovely big rooms but it all went downhill when we entered the kitchen - it put us off straight away. A few coats of paint and new cupboard doors could have made a world of difference!

Reg
I gave the whole house a fresh lick of paint and a thorough declutter, it was liberating if nothing else. In terms of specific investment I had a new bathroom fitted as I always believe the kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms that a buyer will tend to notice the most - any other rooms in a house are effectively empty boxes. I couldn't afford to spruce up the kitchen so simply gave it a lick of paint put in a few new items and removed lots of the tatt and gadgets that had built up. By the time I'd finished I almost wanted to stay there so it certainly seemed to have the desired impact (fingers crossed I achieve a sale!).

Rob
After trying to sell for two years and having no luck, we took advice from the second estate agent when he came around to value. A fresh coat of paint did the whole house the world of good!! I was under the impression that whoever bought it would want to paint it themselves and so had never bothered - how silly! We also installed a new bathroom suite - it looked fantastic and was commented on a lot by viewers. My advice would be to invest the money not in the tub, sink or loo but in the TAPS!! Buy posh taps - it really makes a difference. We got an offer two weeks ago, thanks to the changes we made as advised by our estate agent - he was brilliant and we can't thank him enough. We have only just started to look for a family home and what do I look at first? The bathroom taps!!!

Julie
We have tried to sell our town house on a yacht basin three times since the bank collapse in 2008. The first & third time the sale fell through because the buyers could not get a mortgage, the second time (which wasted four months) the couple were not serious about buying but just involving us in their domestic dispute! Each time we have reduced the price by 10k. Now I see no alternative to letting it; it will let in a week.

Julie
We are happy with our agent. We had sold last year in August but our buyers pulled out in November (we later found out he never intended to buy) so we swapped to an agent who mans the office 7 days a week until 7pm. We took their advice re price (bearing in mind the flatlining of the property market) & had several offers in April. We accepted the most enthusiastic couple but they have tried 5 times to get a mortgage had 2 valuations & dropped offer price by 10k! so the house is back on the market with little/no interest. The only houses selling are "bargains" & any buyer needing a mortgage is really struggling. Our agent is as fed up as we are.

Diana
We didn't focus on any particular room, but we did take the decision to rip up all the carpets and get new ones put in. It didn't work out overly cheap, however we figured that noone would really want to see our dog chewed carpets either! It was really amazing actually how different the house looked after. and how much newer! Though it did cost us some money initially, it was well worth the investment!