How can I improve our look?

acheavacciMarch 22, 2013

I am looking for advice on how I can improve the show of our house. Once it stops snowing and melts my agent will retake the exterior. It is going on day 52 and one offer fell through so itâÂÂs back to the drawing board. There are two comps within two blocks of mine. One has been on the market one week less than ours and the other just went on the market two days ago. My MLS is B422677. The comps are B425572 and B423175. Thanks in advance. Ann Marie

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Sorry, rookie mistake, forgot to add the link to website and do not know how to edit. AM

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 1:48PM
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It looks very nice. I agree that new photos when the snow melts may be helpful. While I think the white is very pretty, I bet it looks better against the contrast of green! Just a couple of suggestions, it looks like it is staged well, it is very tidy! However I think moving out a couple of pieces of furnture may make it look more spacious. Specifically the chair in the entry way, the table in the family room between that room and the breakfast nook, the hutch in the dining room , the table at the far end of the living room, and all but the dresser with the mirror and nightstand in the master. While your rooms aren't particularly small, I think that this will make them look roomier. I would also paint the wall in the master to a single color. The wall with the windows appears pink on my monitor, which may turn off your male buyers! New window treatments that reach the floor just on either side of the windows may also highlight the view. Is the dining room pinkish too? Maybe a quick coat of paint there as well?

I must say that I was a little shocked by the taxes, but I guess that is the "bonus" to living in Kansas (haha).

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Right now even though the comps just went up, the pictures of the leafy green foliage make me think their listings are really old, or re-listed. So, your snowy picture actually looks more current (but probably will not in a week or so, so good call on the retake).

Th house at #46 is a 4 bedroom, although a tad smaller than your house. You could lose a sale just on that extra bedroom. Nothing you can do about that. However your lot is much larger, so that is definitely a plus for you.

I am not a fan of 25 pictures. Why come see your house? I have already seen it all online. And if I don't come see it in person, how can I fall in love with it the second I walk through the door? Sometimes less is more.

But, if you must have 25 pictures, and the outside is being retaken, these are the two I see as the worst offenders:

In the dining room, I would remove the personal pictures and remove the stuff on top of the hutch.

The bedroom picture with the flash in the bathroom mirror should be retaken, this time close the bathroom door or at least make sure there is no flash reflection.

If you are up for bigger projects (probably not all that necessary), repainting the children's bedrooms the same tannish color as the master and repainting the dining room (also looks pink to me) would top my list.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 5:42PM
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i disagree about the number of photos. I personally hated it as a buyer when sellers didn't use the maximum number of photos. More information was always better. I found it frustrating to have to make an appointment to go see a house (an hour and a half drive for me) just to find out what the master bathroom looked like or to find out if the utility room had room for a freezer in it.

I knew that there were certain things that were important to me and I would check the pictures for them. If the house wasn't going to work for me better for me to know it and not waste my or the seller's time having a showing.

Conversely, if a listing had a lot of photos it could make me more enthusiastic about going and seeing the house. The house we ended up buying had a lot of photos and so we went and saw it. There were some maybe houses that we just never got around to seeing because we just didn't know if they would work because there weren't enough photos.

It is a different world now than it used to be and I don't like to waste time going and seeing in person what could be provided to me by photos. So, I want to see photos of all the rooms and of the outside front and back. For large rooms, I want to see multiple views from different angles. I don't want someone deciding to put in 10 photos and leaving out the utility room or a bathroom or even a secondary bedroom.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Do you think a picture of our walk in closet is worth it. It has custom shelving and rods?

Hopefully it will become sunny and dry up. I was planning on staging the deck with patio furniture.

If I do remove the cabinet between the dinnette and family room, how should I stage the wall?

The dining room is a dusty rose (also considered pink to some ;0). Is the color that bad? I am glad that I have fresh eyes looking at this. Painting is simple, so I will do that.

The agent says replacing the flooring is hit or miss. Some pple will rip it out regardless of age. Does anyone have any opinions?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 7:50PM
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kats_meow of course a buyer wants more photos! Heck a buyer would like every nook and cranny photographed so they never had to "waste their time" getting in a car and looking at houses for sale. For buyers, 100 photos isn't enough.

However a seller wants less photos exactly so that buyer will have to view the house. Photos are not the be-all-and-end-all (as we all know), and usually (but not always), the more bodies through the door the better.

The seller wants "enough" photos to entice, but not so many that the potential buyer has seen the entire house and dismissed it as less than perfect.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 7:58PM
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acheavacci have you recieved any feedback from the people who have viewed your home? Is there a pattern to the dislike? Or are you getting a general "it is fine?"

As far as replacing the flooring, yes, I agree with your agent - people will rip out anything they dislike and replace it. Make sure what you have is clean and in good repair. When we purchased our primary home, there was white carpeting throughout. It did make the house look better at showing than a darker carpet would have looked.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 8:06PM
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xamsx - Yes we have had 19 showings. Most of the feedback was good. Nice layout from most. The flooring was one of the negatives. The kitchen has original 12 yr vinyl. The other negative was the basement. Even though finished it is only 7 feet, not 8 feet like newer houses. The other two comps also have 7 ft basements. Another is the roof but we are replacing this once the weather warms a little.

We have cleaned our carpets and they look okay. The hardwood is three years old. Agents have said that the price is fair. I think that the next course of action is to lower the price. It's just hard to swallow since we have to spend $7,000 on a new roof.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:03PM
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However a seller wants less photos exactly so that buyer will have to view the house. Photos are not the be-all-and-end-all (as we all know), and usually (but not always), the more bodies through the door the better.

Speak for yourself. I have sold several houses over the year and I always wanted as many photos as possible. As a seller I don't want people coming to see my house and wasting my time if there is something that a photo would show that would rule out the house for them.

I also remember that as a buyer I had a limited amount of time to spend looking at houses and so I had to prioritize the ones I would look at. Some houses were sort of on the bubble and a lack of enough photos to show the features important to me would put a house farther down my list to view and if I found something else in the meantime then I wouldn't see that house. As a seller I don't want someone putting my house down the list for that reason. Frankly I always assume that if someone doesn't put up the maximum number of possible photos that it is because there is something wrong with whatever rooms are not pictured.

OP - I usually have recarpeted on selling a house if the existing carpet is worn. A neutral new carpet is attractive to most people. They may end up eventually tearing it out but it is a plus that it doesn't have to be done immediately.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Some thoughts I had as I looked through the pictures of your lovely home:

Before taking your updating your listing photos, I would take down every family picture from the walls, mantle, table tops. It's difficult to image yourself in the home if someone else's pics are there.

I would also remove all of the toppers from the windows this will let the windows look larger, and the rooms brighter, and they're something that are very "taste specific" and people who don't like them *really* don't like them and it may affect their feelings about your home.

There are also a lot of random wooden things/cabinets/stands on the floor (near the front and read entries), I'd go ahead and pack those away now, they seem like visual clutter.

The clock over the doorway in the kitchen may be useful, but is strange looking.

Honestly, I'd also retake the exterior shots so that the above-ground pool is not showing. If I were a buyer I'd view it as a negative, not a plus: as in "that's going to cost me time and money to tear that out".

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 6:17AM
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I would look at some of the paint colors as others mentioned. Many has a hard time seeing past it if there is too much of it that they don't like. Dusty rose and pink tend to be very taste specific colors. Also any colors such as these are often considered very Girly just as there are some colors that are considered overly manly. Best to stay away from either of those to appeal to the most people.

Might want to take a look at the Benjamin Moore color palette that Pottery Barn uses. It appears to be appealing to the masses.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Your house looks very tidy and clean.

Here is what I would do, take it for what it is worth.

I would paint the kitchen, nook and dining room the same color as the family room.

Get some large frameless paintings on canvas or large mirrors with black frames from Home Goods or Ross or groupings of the eBay botanical prints below and replace your family pictures and small pictures with them.

Put the black chair in the LR and the rattan chair in the entry away,

Spay paint the gold pulls and knobs in your bathroom with black or orb.

Remove the little shelf over the tall dresser and replace it with a picture or mirror with a black frame. The floor lamp in the bedroom looks like it is in the way.

I like these inexpensive prints, botanicals are very taste neutral and there are lots of reds that would be great in your rooms. You can go to a craft/hobby store and get the widest black frame and precut mat.

Your house is really great, I love the outside.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inexpensive botanical prints on ebay

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:21PM
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The house looks lovely. I agree to replace the photos with some prints and changing the wall color in the dining room. Otherwise, nothing jumps out at me.

I would leave the flooring unless it looks bad. Whoever buys the house will change it.

Is there hardwood under the carpets?


    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Nothing on yours but when I went to look I typed in the wrong MLS # I typed in 422667 and boy what a difference. That one is very dark, and a bright red room. It was hard to see the rooms. Yours is so much better. That persone needs all new and better pictures and were several other problems.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Agree with "remove all of the toppers". The floral and lace can look girly or give a country vibe to the house. You have nice big windows so show them off. It will be a cleaner, more spacious, brighter look.

I like the greenish color in the kitchen, but then in one of the photos of the eat-in breakfast area it looks like a blueish color. I'd take that photo out. It doesn't represent the true color if someone is flipping through the photos quickly they will think there are too many paint colors shared in one space-kitchen, family room, breakfast area. You have a lot of different paint colors in the house and not everyone likes that, so adding a new paint color that's not really there doesn't help.

The dusty rose color in the dining room and master bedroom bothers me. If I was someone who wanted move-in ready and did not want to repaint, I would pass on the house.

If the pool is in good condition I would love it, but the yard doesn't appear to be fenced in. That would make it a liability issue for me. If it is fenced in make sure you show that in the photos.

Remove the clock over the door. It drawers the eye there and makes the room look shorter.

You have lots of family photos. At least remove the ones in the dinning room. It seems like an odd place to display them. Others may disagree, but the nice wedding one over the fireplace doesn't bother me.

If you have time repaint the kids room to match the family room. Not everyone will have a boy and a girl and so these will be rooms that buyers will need to potentially repaint.

Everything looks clean and in good repair. You were brave to put it on here for scrutiny so I hope it pays off. You've gotten some good advice with several easy, cheap, quick, changes that would make a big difference. If it helps your comps have some things they could do to improve as well, so decor wise I think you are all pretty equal. Best of luck for a quick sale.

This post was edited by Homeblessings on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 0:41

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 12:36AM
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Agree with everyone on repainting -- prioritize the dining and master, and consider doing so for the pink girl's room.

I personally wouldn't update the flooring, unless it's looking so bad that it's distracting or makes people think your home is run down, when it otherwise clearly is not.

I would not spray paint the pulls!

Also, I'm not sure that I would re-roof unless it's something that needs to be done urgently. I don't think you'd get that money back, and I'd rather offer it as a credit post-inspection. But this is also coming from someone who bought a house with an unattractive but not old roof, and I wish I'd just gotten the darn credit! ;)

Finally, and it's such a nit, I'd get rid of the bookcase in the master and move over the circular table to be a "real" nightstand. And get rid of the toilet seat cover.

Okay, and this really is my last point -- as a buyer (and a looky-loo, ha ha) I love lots of pictures, so I definitely wouldn't recommend reducing the number a lot. I really appreciate listings where I can get a sense of the layout and how the rooms relate to one another, which is hard to do in just a handful of photos.

This post was edited by StellaMarie on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 14:01

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Compared to the other two houses, what makes your house stand out? I would showcase that.
Are your laundry room or garage selling features?
Show the built-ins in the closet.

In addition to removing family pictures and window toppers, I'd remove the fake flowers, and the fuzzy toiled lid cover.

New paint in the dining room
Remove the floor lamp in the bedroom.
Maybe more neutral bedding in the bedroom.
The paint color of the kids' rooms wouldn't bother me. In fact, they seem to be the most updated.

I would look at a Pottery Barn catalog and see what ideas you could steal from there on the cheap.

I would also recommend to post on the Decorating Forum for advice on quick and inexpensive staging ideas.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:33AM
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