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House selling and time wasters

(69 Posts)
Vintagejazz Thu 11-Aug-22 21:39:33

We're selling a house at the moment and we spent ages getting it ready today for a viewing at lunchtime tomorrow (specifically requested as they would be travelling down the country on Fri evening and would miss the open viewing on Saturday)
We were informed at about 6.30 that they've now decided to travel tomorrow morning and will just come along to the open viewing next week.
I told a friend who sold recently and she rolled her eyes said she had a few people waste her time like this when she'd bent over backwards to accommodate them.

Do people not realise the work that goes into getting a house viewer ready, especially when b there's people living in it?

Razzamatazz Thu 11-Aug-22 21:51:58

My sympathies. I think I had about 33 viewings, and four of those were rude no shows during that eighteen month period.

I knocked myself sideways cleaning/tidying, hiding all the pet stuff and putting the dog in the car etc only to wait like a lemon. After 30 minutes I'd ring the agent to be told they'd 'just' received a call cancelling, or just not know why they didn't show. I did have an agent who did the viewings for me, but they were a sole agency and not always available.

When I missed a good lunch with old friends for a no show I stopped being as obliging, and only allowed viewings when it was convenient.

And as for the work for a viewing, I'm sure they know if they've recently sold themselves. Just don't care.

Doodledog Thu 11-Aug-22 22:05:05

My sister is selling, and she's had similar problems. She has a video of the house on the EA's website, along with a clear description and a floorplan, yet still people say the rooms are too big, or the location is not what they are looking for etc, when everything is very clear before they get there.

It's infuriating, and because of the location of her house she thinks that people treat it as a day out.

SueDonim Thu 11-Aug-22 22:14:31

We sold earlier this year. It was a huge amount of work to get it ready, because we’d lived in it for 25yrs and raised four children so there was a lot of sorting out to do.

Most people were fine but I could see when one older couple got out of their car that they wouldn’t be buying. The man was hirpling along barely able to walk so I knew that they were non-starters for our home with stairs and lots of outside steps.

They proceeded to tell me that their current home had a bigger and better kitchen/garden/lounge/bedrooms and then to top it off, said that actually, they were looking for a bungalow! 🤯

Luckily, plenty of others were interested and we sold in ten days. It only takes one! 🤞

Georgesgran Thu 11-Aug-22 22:20:33

That reminds me of selling our first home in 1982 - a chap sat in his car watching me wash up. He turned out to be a prospective purchaser, but was also looking for a bungalow!
We viewed a house with a man in the bath and another where the husband told us the story of his wife’s affair with the decorator, hence the sale and offered to sell us the house and a litter of Labrador puppies in the barn on a handshake!

SueDonim Thu 11-Aug-22 22:23:17

We viewed a house, many years ago, that was being sold because of a divorce. The owner told us how he’d driven a car through a massive plate glass window at the offices where his wife was having an affair with a work colleague! 👀👀👀

Grammaretto Thu 11-Aug-22 22:39:07

We would have the house all viewer ready and nobody would come so one Saturday morning we decided to be lazy and not bother to tidy away the children's toys and debris from the night before. The curtains were still closed when the doorbell went and I threw on some clothes to answer it.
That couple bought the house saying they liked the fact it was "lived in".

Grannybags Thu 11-Aug-22 23:03:36

Many years ago when our house was for sale , after having a good look round, someone said "I've always wondered what this house looked like inside"

They had only come in to be nosey!

Spice101 Fri 12-Aug-22 01:39:44

We pretty much only have open viewings in Australia - or at least in Victoria. These are set times and run by the Estate Agent. It is preferred that the owner is not present but there is nothing to stop them being so. The open viewings run for half an hour. Private inspections can be arranged if people are unable to make the open inspection.

NotAGran55 Fri 12-Aug-22 06:08:34

Why do you spend ages getting ready for a viewing? They are buying the house not all your stuff in it. General tidiness and housekeeping are enough for me.
I bought a property that was absolutely rammed full with furniture, ornaments and assorted piles of junk and had to imagine the spaces without it.
No-shows are another matter though!

My husband once viewed a tenanted property with an agent and the tenant was still in bed 😳

grandMattie Fri 12-Aug-22 06:18:06

Makes me SO glad that I’ve got a buyer for our house before putting it on the market. They’re happy to wait even though I’m not planning on moving until late spring!

M0nica Fri 12-Aug-22 06:34:54

NotAGran, I quite agree. it is 25 years since we last sold a property, but apart from a quick look round to make sure the loo seats were down that is all i do before a viewing. People have always viewed houses we have sold 'as is'. We have never had a problem finding buyers.

You have only got to watch a house programme, or read threads like this to realise that, for example, your house may be immaculate, but if a buyer doesn't like the living room curtains they may decide not to buy, to realise how flimsy and random the reasons for buying, or not buying a house can be.

Gymstagran Fri 12-Aug-22 06:44:20

When I had my house on the market I had all of these; no shows, too big, too small, didn't like the decor, brought the whole family little ones bouncing on sofa running up and down stairs, walking mud into carpets- despite providing overshoes. I also got to the stage where I only allowed viewings that were convenient for me. I did have an estate agent who were supposed to do the viewings but often requests were when noone was available, ie evenings and weekends. I was so glad when it was sold.

Razzamatazz Fri 12-Aug-22 07:01:12

This thread brings it all back! I remember one woman that came with her elderly mum, a very keen 'cash buyer' from Barnes, according to the EA. I used to live in Barnes and was excited to meet her as she'd told the EA she had a flat in Barnes she might negotiate on in part exchange. She was awful, very hyper, racing around with her phone in the air, videoing everything, I found it quite disturbing. She said she was going to turn my house into a B&B and have a garden centre in the lower garden. Her Mum had a 'turn' in the kitchen, so I left her there with a glass of water, and said I'd show her daughter the garden.

We were in the lower garden and suddenly the mum appeared teetering at the top of the 18 steps, shouting for her daughter, I was so scared she'd fall. Looking back, I wonder if this was a con so the Mum could have a private nose. She rang the EA later on that day and said if she offered, which she wasn't, it would be a 'cheeky' offer due to the renovations needed. Another forty minutes wasted!

M0nica Fri 12-Aug-22 07:20:52

When my MiL moved near us, she bought a flat in a big Victoian house that had been divided into flats in a very rudimentary way and DH sorted out the finishing, bathroom, kitchen etc.

When we were selling the property after MiL's death, a woman came round and said quite openly that she had looked at the unconverted flat and just wanted to know what we had done to it and then spent half an hour walking round a one bedroom flat criticising everything we had done, from the colour of the bathroom suite, the choice of decor to wanting to know what we intended to do with the furniture and was any of it for sale.

It was quite clear that she never had any interest, before or after conversion, in purchasing the flat (nor of buying any furniture, even if it was for sale).

Marmight Fri 12-Aug-22 07:21:13

I recently spent a week gradually preparing my house ready for the market but it was worth the effort. It went ‘live’ last Tuesday. I had 3 arranged bookings for Friday, 2 silly offers that evening and an upgraded offer from a very keen buyer which I accepted on Saturday! Quickest sale ever, but now waiting with fingers crossed for their surveyor’s report and mortgage acceptance. They have a cash buyer & there’s no chain at my end. My last property took 6 months to sell. It was a big 5 bed Victorian house by the sea. One viewer, an ancient university lecturer arrived 2 hours late, smelled of dreadful BO & cheap perfume, took over an hour to view, opened every cupboard and drawer and then announced that it was far far too big and what would she do with all the rooms! (I made an inappropriate suggestion 😡)
There’s no rhyme or reason when it comes to property selling.
Good luck with your sale Vintagejazz!

Vintagejazz Fri 12-Aug-22 07:28:09

M0nica

*NotAGran*, I quite agree. it is 25 years since we last sold a property, but apart from a quick look round to make sure the loo seats were down that is all i do before a viewing. People have always viewed houses we have sold 'as is'. We have never had a problem finding buyers.

You have only got to watch a house programme, or read threads like this to realise that, for example, your house may be immaculate, but if a buyer doesn't like the living room curtains they may decide not to buy, to realise how flimsy and random the reasons for buying, or not buying a house can be.

Which is exactly why I want it to be as tidy and inviting looking as possible.We badly need to get a good price so are making our best effort

M0nica Fri 12-Aug-22 07:40:06

Vintagejazz I fully understand your need to get the best price, I just do not think that the condition a house is in, assuming it is reasonable tidy and doesn't need WORK, has much to do with how much people will pay. A run down house that just happens to be exactly what people want because of its location/access to schools etc will get a better price than one on the same estate in perfect condition but in another school catchment area.

When DD bought her house, its perfect ccondition meant she nearly didn't view it, but the size, style and location were exactly right so she did buy it, but the style of the house no matter how perfect was emphatically not her style and we helped her rip up the carpets the day she completed and start redecorating the next day. Within a fortnight the interior was entirely unrecogniseable.

karmalady Fri 12-Aug-22 07:49:09

Suedonim says that it only takes one and that is the mantra to remember, the process of selling is very stressful, keeping the house clean and tidy. I did not have any no-shows, I did have a very good estate agent. The worst thing is when you actually get a buyer, when they have said that they are a cash buyer. They may have had enough evidence of that but some don`t want it to be all cash after all and then they tack on a mortgage,which eats up time

The legal questions after getting a buyer are horrendous and very searching, might need paperwork going back ten or more years. You have to be patient and let people in, that one person might well be the one to buy. Grit teeth and go with the flow

Katie59 Fri 12-Aug-22 08:17:45

If you get the agent to allow viewing to those with proven “funds” that will cut out most of the time wasters. An increasing number now auction the property to get a quicker assured sale and only serious viewings.

Vintagejazz Fri 12-Aug-22 08:31:19

I don't mind time wasters coming along to open viewings. The house is ready and on view anyhow and a crowd can create a buzz.
But booking an individual viewing and then just cancelling at the last minute is putting lots of people out: the estate agent, the vendors, people who might have made themselves available to babysit the vendor's children, people who've allowed you to switch appointments or take a couple of hours off work etc
It's just so selfish and rude.
Anyhow I expect I'll just have to swallow hard for the next few weeks

Fleurpepper Fri 12-Aug-22 08:46:30

Grannybags

Many years ago when our house was for sale , after having a good look round, someone said "I've always wondered what this house looked like inside"

They had only come in to be nosey!

Oh, yes, we had several of those when we sold our last house!

Razzamatazz Fri 12-Aug-22 08:47:56

Good luck Vintagejazz, I hope you have a selection of offers to choose from after your open day.

Sparklefizz Fri 12-Aug-22 08:50:33

I think these house buying programmes on TV have encouraged people to make ridiculous and often insulting offers. They view properties way above their maximum budget in the hope of getting a massive reduction.

Razzamatazz Fri 12-Aug-22 09:10:00

I agree Sparklefizz. I used to watch these programmes and the presenter's face when people mention a ridiculous 'cheeky offer' is priceless. I'm always glad when the seller comes back with a counter offer. I think the antiques shows where they haggle money off from shop dealers are also a poor example.

I'm a Londoner living in the north, and when I found my prospective buyer was also from the south, realised he thought he was going to get my house cheap as chips as they say. His 'negotiation' was very ugly and my friend and I thought he couldn't afford it, he wanted money off for almost everything. He has now listed his listed building planning permission consent and is spending at least £500K. And I paid for his damp/timber survey because the EA said 'poor X has already spent so much money on his survey'.