Friday, 9 December 2011

How (not) to sell your house

I don't know about you, but I thought there were various rules you followed when you want to sell your house. Not that I am any sort of an expert as I have only ever sold one house, and I can't remember but I probably wasn't even around to sell it at the time (being as how I was living elsewhere and the selling of the house was part of the divorce settlement business).

Anyway I thought that part of the deal was that you made your house look as attractive as possible, etc, etc - which used to include roasting a single coffee bean under your grill to make the house smell inviting, but that may have gone by the board now, Terence Conran having moved on, as t'were.

The point is that 'the Americans who live over the road' are trying to sell their house, having found another one that they think they like better.

Well, good. Eighteen months ago the man of the house (lecturer at University) had scaffolding erected in front of their house and spent several months renovating the front. This didn't include the month of August when they go back to the States to visit family, but he renewed the soffits, painted the whole of the front, window frames, etc ... except for the front door surround. This stayed resolutely unpainted, even after the scaffolding had been removed.

And then the house was put on the market. I should say, at this point, that not only did the front door surround remain unpainted but the front garden dividing wall was also unpainted. This wall is in extremely bad condition. It is a brick wall with painted render. Except that all the render has either fallen off or is threatening to do so. This makes the wall look mega-crap.

Last week a "builder" turned up and started work on the front door surround. It has now been taken back and re-rendered and is clearly waiting for it to dry. But nothing has been done about the wall, which is in all honesty a bit of an eyesore.

The other strange thing, to my eyes at least, is that the toilet overflow (which discharges to the front of the property, roughly over where the bin is, which accentuates any noise made) - well if no-one has used the toilet in the last (I haven't measured the time needed, I'm not that much of a nerd), but if they haven't used it recently then it drips - quite loudly.

Now I don't know about you, but if I was looking for a property to buy (and I look in the estate agents' windows on the way to the shops most days, and it is noticeable that certain properties, at least, haven't moved for months) then there are certain things that would put me off. What do you think?


  1. It's surprising that people don't step outside, as it were - whether literally or not, but be dispassionate - and see what a potential buyer would notice. There are eyesores that, after a while, I cease to notice, but someone else spots at once. You'd think an estate agent would have a tactful word, too.

  2. I think buyers make their mind up between the front door and the kitchen. The smell of over-burnt bean is probably putting people off.

  3. When I sell my house (which I will, one day) I will only entertain buyers who are capable of seeing through gthe cheaply remedied superficial blemishes to the structural soundness and aesthetic glory of it. At least that's what I did when I bought it. So there.