Dirty pants and washing up won't sell a house! | BBC Radio Solent's Lou Hannan

The wrong lighting, untidy rooms and reflections in glass.

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 11:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 3:01 pm
Lou's mum was warned her fridge magnets were putting off potential house buyers. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

They are all things noted by estate agents to avoid when taking photographs of properties you’re selling. I completely understand. But fridge magnets?!

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ll know that my mum is trying to sell her house.

It’s now been on the market for over a year. We rode the Brexit wave, then lockdown, and now we’re keeping everything crossed that the Chancellor’s Stamp Duty holiday might get things moving again.

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Having overcome these hurdles, imagine my surprise when the new estate agent cited the reason the house hasn’t sold yet has nothing to do with the economic climate, but actually my mum’s fridge magnets!

The photographer arrived to take the new images and the next hour saw them faffing around with scatter cushions, an origami creation with the end of the toilet roll, and arty shots of the kettle captured through a misty lens.

Imagine our surprise though, when she instructed my mum to remove her fridge magnets, stating that they would put a buyer off coming to see the house. Really?!

A mini replica of Blackpool Tower, 3D crab with wobbly claws and an ‘I’ve been to Tenerife’ sign would actually stop someone viewing a property?

I’m not sure about you but when I’ve moved in the past, I looked at things like location, size, and number of bedrooms, not what someone decides to stick on their fridge.

That said, I remember the long search for a house when I moved down to this part of the world some eight years ago. I must have looked at about 50 and certainly remember the ones with the unmade beds, washing up stacked in the sink, and even the one that had pants strewn over the back of the sofa!

The feedback you get from agents can be even more hilarious. Mum lives in a four bedroom house in Oxfordshire. The details clearly say ‘four bedroom house’ and have, along with the photos, a floorplan. One couple came to view it last week, arriving on bikes with a picnic hamper and flask attached, spent 10 minutes inside and complained ‘It’s too big. We’re downsizing and only want two bedrooms’.

At least they didn’t mention the fridge magnets!