Bathroom vanity? Am I worrying about nothing?

battyjacFebruary 3, 2013

We are getting our house ready to market. It's our first house, bought new as a spec home 10 years ago. We hired a general contractor and he powerwashed the house, restained the balcony decks, caulked the doors and windows, and will repaint the outside this week. He is also putting in a new frieze carpet with 8lb pad. We already put in new cabinets with pullouts and granite plus new laminate last year. We are painting the inside ourselves, touchups and painting the rooms that were still in builder paint. So the house is going to look really nice.

Last night I realized the faux vanity top in the master bath is permanently etched with rings from the soap dispenser and something else. Now I'm worried that buyers wouldn't want it. We have spent a lot on the rest of the stuff, we can't afford to replace the vanity and my husband already wants to ask more than the realtor suggested (but within comps) due to the fixing costs (plus very few of the comps have any upgrades).

Would people understand about a couple rings next to one sink in the master bath in a 10yo house?

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What kind of faux top? I would think no. They will notice, unless you have a dish there covering it up.

If it is a corian/faux marble top, can it be buffed out?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You can buy a plain jane vanity top for under $200, so don't let that small expense make you present yourself in less than the best light for showings.

However, there is a huge red flag here in saying that you want to ask more than the REA suggests, and that your husband thinks that you can get all of the money back that you spent on your personal decorating choices in increased "value" for the home.

Even on a mid grade kitchen remodel, say 50K, you only "get back" 70% of that tops in increased value for the home. So, spend 50K, lose 15K. And that's a best case scenario. If you spend that 50K on a starter home instead of a mid grade home, the dollar figures start to look even worse. Maybe 15%, if you are darn lucky. You do NOT "upgrade" a starter home in a starter home location into a mid grade home by putting in mid grade choices. You just over improved for the neighborhood and will have to eat that expense when it comes to selling time.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:00PM
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It's not a huge price difference. The comps are 180-220, the RE agent who is a friend and doesn't know our neighborhood well, thinks we should list at 192, the contractor (who does house flipping in our area) and my husband think $205. The only other houses with upgrades are asking 220 (and are pending). The ones pulling the value down are foreclosures in bad condition. We are spending $5500 now, that's all he wants back. It's a "master planned community" with all of the bells and whistles that entails plus the house only has side neighbors, there is a pond with fountains across the street, with a park next to that.

I'm not sure what kind of faux it is. Porcelain maybe? It's white/cream. Standard bathroom fare. They are small rings. We never use that sink and just typically wipe it down and put the stuff back. I wouldn't try to hide it, other than have the soap in that general area again. Or not if it looks cluttered.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:24PM
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I see a problem using a friend who doesn't really know your area. Get a local agent to give you some real data.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 3:15PM
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I don't have any advice about the vanity, but please don't use a friend as your real estate agent! It sounds like you'd be better off with someone who knows the neighborhood, but moreover - there's a lot of stress involved in selling a house, and you need to a) trust that the agent is giving you professional advice without any of the baggage/hesitations that can be brought into a personal relationship b) be able to fire your realtor or be upset with your realtor or question them, and that's much harder to do with a friend than with an outside professional, especially if you want to keep the friend.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:20PM
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try rubbing some vaseline in the etched area. It could bring back some original color and hide the scratches. I did it with formica that seemed ruined and the etched area was gone.

if that doesn't work, Lowes sells various polishes for different types of countertops. Polishes and sealants might help.

One of the above will likely fix your issue.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 9:55PM
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Thank you!!!! I have some vaseline, I'll try it tonight! When the area is wet you can't see it at all, but when it's dry you can. I joked to my husband that I could just wipe it off right before every showing. I wouldn't do that.

She's a friend but not a close friend. A casual friend that sold all of our other friends' homes whirlwind fast. It would get weird but not brutal if something went weird. My neighborhood is kind of weird but she is part of a big realty firm so I thought about asking her to ask one of the ones that does specialize here what they think but I don't know if that's just not done.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:35PM
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It worked!!!!! I couldn't find my vaseline so I used aquaphor, it's mostly petroleum jelly. It still feels rough and indented but you can only see it at an angle. I'll disclose it but it won't be noticeable for showing.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:16AM
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It's not a new home. No need to disclose normal wear & tear. If you list every little thing you think is wrong with the house people will think it's a dump before they ever see it.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:42PM
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You are worrying about nothing, and like daveho said, you needn't disclose items that are observable by buyers. It's a 10 year hold house, no one should be expecting perfection.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:09PM
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Please, do NOT disclose normal wear and tear!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 2:44PM
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ok, good to know! thanks!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:42PM
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