The six-bedroom house that just won't sell: why?

The lounge

This house in Crosby, near Liverpool, boasts six bedrooms and is in an attractive and popular part of Merseyside. However, after 13 months on the market, the price has been cut dramatically from £350,000 to £300,000.

And sadly it's all too obvious why.
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There's nothing wrong with the price. Properties sold in the area in the last two months include a 7-bedroom home which fetched £499,999 and a four-bedroom property which fetched £400,000. This is one of the cheapest properties in the area with this much space, so there should have been some interest at the higher price.

Clutter

The problem is that the interior design is very specific to the owner's taste. It seems they have embraced the concept that more is definitely more. Almost every inch of the home is filled with ornaments, cushions, silk flowers, an enormous quantity of delft pottery, and dramatic lighting.

The photographs on Rightmove show that even the front garden is home to a number of flourishes that stamp the owner's personal taste firmly on the property.

Take a look inside the house in the slideshow below

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The Liverpool home going at a knock down price
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The six-bedroom house that just won't sell: why?
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The couple have owned the property for some time and clearly collected a great number of ornaments that they are very proud of. It's just that they've got to the stage where every surface is filled with hundreds of pots, china hens, ornamental picture frames, clocks, statues, and an abundance of silk flowers colour-coordinated to each room.

And while there's nothing wrong with enjoying your personal tastes, it appears that potential buyers are having trouble seeing beyond it in order to get a feeling of what it would be like to live there without so much clutter.

Cruel

Pictures of the house have gone viral, and the Daily Mail has reported that the couple selling the property have been a bit hurt by some of the comments posted online.

It may come as a small consolation to the couple selling their home, that looking through Rightmove and mocking people's homes has become something of a national sport. Just yesterday we reported on the West London home which was a homage to purple - which has attracted every bit as much derision as the cluttered Crosby property.

But what do you think? Is this fair? Or should we celebrate the fact that we're not all wedded to the idea of white minimalism? Let us know in the comments.

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10 top ways to add value to your home
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The six-bedroom house that just won't sell: why?

Of course with all these things, the value it adds depends on the property you have to start with, and the kinds of improvements you make, but Which? estimates the cost of a new kitchen at £8,000 and HSBC calculates the added value to your property at £4,500 - which is a clear loss.

This has been done by 41% of people in the last three years, and 29% of people plan it in the next three. It's cheaper than a kitchen, and Which? estimates the cost at £3,000. This is roughly the same value that HSBC says it will add to your property - so you'll break-even.

It may be difficult, but getting your property ready for sale means depersonalising it. 

Clutter can distract viewers and more than half (60%) of the property valuers who took part in the 2012 HSBC Home Improvement Survey said that the number one way to increase a property's chance of selling quickly, and for a good price, was to de-clutter.

This has been installed by 31% of us in the last three years, and 15% plan it in the next three. Installing central heating is a disruptive job, and according to WhatPrice it will cost you around £3,235. However, this is the first of the top ten to actually pay off. Property expert Phil Spencer says it will add £5,000 to the value.

A quick splash of paint can work wonders on tired-looking walls, and sticking to neutral tones is the safest bet.

Keeping the colour scheme simple, fresh and inviting will help potential buyers to see themselves living in your home.

Some 18% have added one in the last three years, and 30% will in the next three. This is another huge job, but with more people struggling to move and deciding to improve instead, it's increasingly popular. The amount it costs will depend on an enormous number of things, from the area you have to work with, to the size of the extension. However, assuming you add a single room you could spend around £20,000. HSBC estimates it will add around £15,500 to the value of the property, so you are unlikely to gain as much as you spend.

According to Halifax valuers, loft conversions - which require lofts with a roof height of at least 2.4 metres - are a good way to increase the potential sale price of your home.

Be sure to stick to your budget, though. The average loft conversion will cost between £10,000 and £30,000, while HSBC's figures show that they typically add £20,876 to the value of a property.

Putting in new windows adds around £5,265 to the value of the average property and can reap big rewards when it comes to energy efficiency.

It is, however, sensible to ensure that your new windows are in line with the style of your property to maximise the added value - particularly as putting them in can set you back about £5,000.

Off road parking or a garage can be especially advantageous in areas where parked cars line both sides on the street.

Nationwide's figures show that adding a garage, which can cost anything between £8,000 and £25,000, can increase the value of your property by 11%.

Outside space is just as important as inside - especially when people are seeing your home for the first time.

While 63% of the HSBC survey expert respondents said that repainting or varnishing a front door would make a difference, only 23% of homeowners recognised this. Peter Dockar at HSBC said: "It is often the smaller jobs like painting the front door that can make all the difference when looking for a sale."
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