Home is on the Market Officially Now

Zoe52April 15, 2013

Finally got my home listed and on the market! My Realtor has had quite a bit of time to prepare and get people over. He had three weeks prep time while we were gone. He also had a sign up before we listed it for 2 weeks. Friday we listed the home on MLS with no showings until today. I would have thought with all having all that time that someone would have called by now. There were two open houses yesterday in my neighborhood by the same Realty company. One of the homes is within visual distance from my home and my signs were up for them to see them. This home is listed roughly 100k less than my home but it is a lot smaller and has a smaller lot and has never been updated so it still has that 70's look to it. However, the second home in the neighborhood is listed $39K over mine. Since today was the first day for showings, I had expected at least one client to come through it. And here it is 8:00 pm and no calls from my Realtor to ask for showings for tomorrow. I am already bummed that noone has come through yet. My home is spotless and noone is coming to see it!

My home is on the MLS and apparently alot of the other online home sites like zillow and Trulia have already picked it up. (I suspect that the Realtor didn't have to list them there, they automatically get listed, but I am not sure about that) I checked out Craigslist and there is no posting so I made one up and sent it to my Realtor to post it after they asked me for a phone number. I know it should be his job but I am impatient! I don't want to be sitting around for months waiting for a buyer. Not sure how much it helps but the more exposure I get the better. I sure hope he doesn't get pissed I did his job for him!

Today at work my husband emailed some people he knows at work and told them he would give them a finders fee of 1K if they found someone to come through and buy our home, but they should contact our Realtor directly for him to show the home. They know it is a solar powered home so it might help sell it to some of the techies there.

The Realtor (Re MAX agent) said he would hold a brokers open in a few weeks. I suppose he wants to see if someon buys it before he has to lay out money for food. I may ask him to move it to next week if I see NO buyers through here this week.

I am having second thoughts now from hiring an Independent Contractor. Maybe I would have more showings with a company person. What do you think?

So how long is too long to wait for a buyer?? It seems like too many homes are on the market here already.

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"So how long is too long to wait for a buyer??"

Your buyer may come along next week, next month or at Christmastime. No way to tell.

Getting impatient after 1 day will do you no good.... relax.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:20PM
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Boy, you are going to drive yourself crazy. Relax. Here is how it works, most of the time...
The agent puts the home in the MLS on day one. It can take several days for all of the third party vendors to update and for your listing to show up. Any potential buyer that has been set up on a listing search will have your listing sent to them. Even if they open the email up on day two, they still have to get with the other spouse to look over the listing, decide when their schedule allows them to maybe come take a look, another few days to find an agent to show them the home...
Most of my listings take at least a week or two before the showings start flowing. (Unless it is priced at a large discount)
Another thing to prepare yourself for... At any one time, there are a certain # of buyers in the "buyer pool" that match your home's criteria. Let's say it is 10 buyers. These are the buyers that will "flood" to your home over the next 3 weeks or so. You will get more buyers during this time than any other time during the listing period. After this group of buyers views your home over these first few weeks, you then have to wait for another buyer to filter into this buyer pool and to locate your property. This is why during the first few weeks of a listing, one sees an influx of buyers and then after this influx, the showings slow to one every now and then. You have exhausted the original buyer pool, that is always out there at any given time, and are now waiting for single buyers to wade back into the exhausted pool. They generally do this one at a time.
This is why it is so important to be priced right at the begining of the listing, because it is the time when the most buyers will see the property.
Hope this kinda makes sense. Some of my sellers look at me like I am crazy when explaining this to them.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Being priced right is what generates traffic. Location is the primary determinant of being priced right. Do you have a link to your listing? You'll get lots of impartial feedback from total strangers who won't tell you empty platitudes about something that can't be changed about the house as feedback because they don't wan't to tell you the truth.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Traffic on a new listing is best projected based on market conditions and selling price. Where are you and how is your price relative to comps? The two properties you mentioned don't sound like comps.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 10:49PM
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This post was edited by zoe52 on Mon, Dec 9, 13 at 16:02

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 12:37AM
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First, relax. Every time you sell a house, the market is different. What happened last time will not happen this time.

You said your house is well above the average price for your area. That means a much smaller buyer pool. That means fewer showings are likely. It may take awhile before that first showing. I fully expect when we sell our current house in the next year or so we will go for months without a showing. I expect it to take a couple of years to sell because it's at the top end of the market and because we are located outside of the main town (same schools though)

Regarding this question: "I am having second thoughts now from hiring an Independent Contractor. Maybe I would have more showings with a company person. What do you think?"

All agents are independent contractors to the best of my knowledge. I'm not aware of any instances where a single agent is an employee. All of them are independent. Exceptions might include a licensed assistant or team members that are paid a salary. Those exceptions are few.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 6:16AM
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I have to agree with everyone else. You definitely need to relax! You will never last this entire process at the rate you are going. You need to make sure you are priced with the comps in your area. Your realtor will know your current market analysis (CMA) and you really need to listen to them with pricing. Don't price high in hopes for room for negotiation. If someone is interested, they will make an offer. If your house is as "unique" as you are making it out to be (solar) then it will take a "unique" person to want it. Be patient...it will sell in time.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 11:37AM
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If you want a quick sale, then price it about 20% under what you "think" it should sell for. That should take you into the next downward pricing bracket and increase the pool of buyers.

Buyers do NOT want to pay for your personal home improvement projects, even if they are "supposed" to pay you back later. Like the solar. If you are pricing the home high because of the cost of the improvements, it's a mistake. Price it at what it would have sold for minus those improvements. They may help you to sell faster, but they really do not add all that much to the home's "value". That's TV talking, not real life.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Two out of three Realtors placed our comps above 500K. We went with the ReMax agent who suggested the price we are at which is almost 100k less. If we had wanted to get our money back we would have gone for the higher price. Even then we wouldn't have gotten all of it back.

We bought the home in 1984 for almost $200K then and have lived here all that time. Our home never went up in value as others did in other areas before the market crash. Mostly because we live in NY State and our taxes are high. The high taxes suppress the values of homes here compared to other areas.

However in spite of this we have redone every room in this house and then some. So the house is in mint condition and updated.

The new roof and windows needed to be done. We do not expect money back from these projects. We just hope it helps us sell our home faster. The solar power cost 40K and it is already paying itself back. Our electric rates went up 109% this winter and our total electric usage was cut in half. I suspect this will be worth something to someone because our home is large.

As for the rest of the features we have added.. such as a gas fireplace insert and remodelled bathrooms we have been enjoying them ourselves and wished we had done the gas fireplace insert sooner.

Overall I was hoping at least one person would come through because it was a new listing. I am still waiting and there have been no calls.

I am a bit upset that our Realtor hasn't even called since taking the listing. I suppose he has done more than list in in the MLS but I wish he would communicate with us as to what he IS doing.

In the meantime, we are hoping this weekend will bring a few people by since the weather will be in the 60's and sunny on Sunday. One can only hope.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 12:44AM
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Zoe, it's been only 2 or so days...
Give the agent a week or two to see how the marketing goes. More than likely there is not going to ever be a swarm of buyers.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:37AM
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Has he scheduled an open house yet? If not, you could ask about doing that. That will generate some traffic. Your realtor is obligated to check in all the time on what he "is" doing. He will be in touch when he has something to report back. Aside from listing it online, putting a sign in your front yard and possibly listing in your local paper, there's not much more he can do. Hang in there.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:38AM
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How does your listing look? Is there something in the listing that might make buyers decide to take a pass on seeing it in person? Does the solar part spell out the savings? Is your house close to an undesirable area of some sort that when looking up the address on a satelite map people may decide they don't want that. Ie what it backs up to or is next to. Busy road, pig farm, gravel pit, .....

Although you say you've updated the house - how does that updating compare to the general masses expectations in your area? Ie does your updated style fit with the general buyers idea of updated? You mentioned all cherry built-ins. Is that what is popular in your area? In my area that would not be considered updated, but rather something from the late '90s to early 2000's and at this point a bit dated - realize this is all about local perceptions of buyers. I'm not saying your house is dated.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:47AM
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I'm be the lone dissenter here. Waiting a few weeks for the broker's open seems a bit odd to me, but practices are obviously different from region to region.

The statistics my agent showed me said that the most traffic comes within the first couple weeks of the home being listed. But I have to imagine that's due to the agent's effort to get the word out. I would ask your agent what he is doing to market your home right now besides listing it on the MLS (and you're right...Trulia, Zillow, and the others pick up the feed). His commission isn't for listing on the MLS. Heck, there are discount brokers who do that for cheap. His commission is pay him for the work he's doing to promote your listing.

Our condo listing went up on a Monday. The broker's open was Tuesday. We had four showings the first week and six the second week. One offer came during the second week and two came at the end of the second week.

Not saying my experience is typical, but just showing that the broker's open is kind of a "kick off" event in my mind.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 12:38PM
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This post was edited by zoe52 on Mon, Dec 9, 13 at 16:00

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 3:23PM
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zoe52 after looking at your pictures my advice would be: a good professional stager and a better professional real estate photographer.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:23PM
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I'm sorry, but the house that realtor.com pulled up looks very dated to me. I can't see the others in the link as it is not working for me to compare.

All the wallpaper, the master bath tile, carpet in master bath, the kitchen layout and the refridgerator all look dated to me. Actually they would have looked dated to me about 10 years ago. It may be a different market and that is the norm in how things look in your area.

You might want to de-clutter some more too and reduce some of the pictures. Specifically those pics showing the blue couch as the main feature where you don't really see the room. You want to show the rooms - not the furniture.

Also is there a reason the bed is at an angle. It could serve as a red flag to buyers that you can't furnish the room normally. Even if you can.

OK I used your zip code and it looks like you are competing with a bunch of new construction in your price range. Those that will be updated and have all the latest even if sq ft is less. It will be a harder one to sell even with more sq ft against that. People really seem to like new.

The others do seem like they need updating too even though some of theirs are from different decades and yours happens to look from a later decade it is still not todays decade as far as updates go.

Unfortunately it seems like where you spent your money wasn't on anything that will add to the price much, but it is good you realize that and got to enjoy them yourself.

Kitchens and Baths tends to be what sells a home. Why not show the bath that is up to date that you mentioned remodeling recently?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:28PM
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I think you need to look at the listings and question why would somebody choose yours over this one. Ie consider you are the buyer.

Ie why should I choose your house over this new construction home. It is short 600 sq ft, but I can live with that as everything will be new and I get to make choices.

Then talk to your realtor about how he will market against that competition and what you can do to help.

This post was edited by lyfia on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 16:34

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:33PM
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Deleted Posting

This post was edited by zoe52 on Mon, Dec 9, 13 at 16:04

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 5:49PM
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I have looked at the link you provided and agree with the posters above. Your house looks very nice from the outside, but while it may be well built, it also looks quite dated, e.g. the bathroom bathroom with the wallpaper and the carpet. People who look at the pictures will realize that they have to spend time and money to update it.
Also, looking at Zillow for your house, the house is estimated at 100K less than your asking price (unlike comparables). I'm not saying that it's correct, but anybody who googles your address, will get this information. Also, it may be useful to compare with the comparable properties to see what they have that your house doesn't and vice versa.
Try to think who your house might appeal to and then describe it as such. Is it private, great school district, what are its advantages, and then show that with the pictures. Right now, the description doesn't really agree with the pictures.

Some other suggestions to make the house look more updated that are relatively easy fixes:
Get rid of the swag and wallpaper border in the kitchen.
Get rid of the valances in the living room. Post on the decorating forum for advice on furniture arrangement and updating. Everything is arranged around the perimeter.
Same with the room with the blue sofa (what's that spiral stair in the back?
The deck looks really depressing; also kind of close to the neighbors. Take new pictures.
Restage the area of the picture taking form the loft (?) down. It couldbe a really cute reading nook with the window seat.
BR. Center bed in front of windows and take a picture from further away.
The wallpaper and carpet in the master bath have got to go.
Depersonalize and declutter all bedrooms.
Consider repainting the orange front doors.
I really think you should post each room on the decorating forum and ask for advice.
Show your basement, exercise room, and landscaped backyard.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 6:29PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The dated kitchen, with a bad layout and no ventilation (or is that a downdraft. That's just as bad.) would be a complete deal breaker. I wouldn't even look at the house without having to lowball it if it were market price. I'd take 50K+ off for that right there as it would cost that and more to give it a better workflow and bring it up to date. You should at least remove that wallpaper border and swag and give a kitchen allowance as a nod to that necessity.

Remove the rug to show off the hardwood floors in the living room, and remove the swags as well. Put the piano in storage. Or sell it. It's a space hog. Then regroup the seating arrangement around the room's focal point: the fireplace. Ditch the art in that room. It contrasts too much with the wall and leaves you noticing it too much. You've also got to drastically edit all of the knickknacks and tables. Accessories should be larger scale, and fewer in number.

What is the area with the secretary in front of the living room supposed to be? Buyers need to be coached as to a room's function. If it's a dining room, it needs a table and chairs in it. And the secretary needs to go. It's too large and distracting. Oh wait, there IS a dining room. Again with a large piece of furniture making it seem small. Put the china cabinet in storage and strip the wallpaper.

The family room's couch is too large scale for it. It makes the room seem cramped. Perhaps sell it and find something smaller scale that will work in your new home and start using it already. The numerous accessories and full bookcase do the same. If you don't have a smaller scale sofa to switch out with it, at least remove half the books from the bookcase and most of the accessories. Leave 2-3 and that's it. The plates or whatever on the beam need to go. It focuses the eye on that, when what people should be noticing is the opening between the rooms, not how that opening is supported. People don't have entertainment furniture anymore. They have flat screens that hang on the wall and a minimal smaller console to house the electronics. Get rid of the behemoth entertainment system and find as small of a console for your cable box etc. as you can find.

For your deck, some more upscale furnishings would set it off better. And some plants. You need color. Outdoor pillows. A comfy looking sofa.

The area with the french doors (foyer?) is too contrasty. It needs some paint in a warmer tone to bring out the woodwork. The dark chair and rug need to go. You want people to notice the hardwood floors! If it's not your foyer, again, you need to stage it in such a way as those who look at it are very clear as to what it's function is.

The red bedroom HAS to be painted. It's like walking in a murder room with dried blood everywhere. Use a few small sheer panels to accent the canopy bed's ability to utilize the height of the room.

OMG, that bathroom wallpaper HAS to go also. It brings the whole bathroom down. Light and bright and spa-like is what shoppers want their baths to be. The carpet would need to go also. Carpet in a bath, even in a vanity section, is just gross.

The other bedroom needs the rug removed, and decluttered. A massive decluttering. Art shouldn't be absent, but all you want are a couple of pieces. It shouldn't dominate the space like it does in the too bright a blue bedroom. (Paint it. And ditch the hutch.)

The breakfast area is entirely too crowded by the china cabinet piece. (2 china cabinets in the house???) The wallpaper is distracting, as is the bright blue of the dinette. The dinette would probably be OK with the wallpaper border removed and a pretty soft yellow on the walls though. As long as the gigantic furniture piece was gone.

I don't think the bright red door goes with the deep blood red siding. I think a green, or a navy would work better. I'd also do a quick run to Home Depot and change out the sconces, kick plate, and other door hardware. Something not gold. Brushed nickel. Stainless. Even ORB or a non matte living brass. Shiny brass says 30 years old and never updated. The trim color fades into the dark red siding. It needs to be either significantly lighter, or darker. I'd go with a nice soft white, to get the "barn" vibe with the red siding. That would give it a lot of appeal. Sorry, I realize that the solar is eco-friendly, but it's not very attractive for curb appeal. I think one of the first bullet points in the listing should stress the FREE electricity that comes with the house. Get their attention as to the benefits, and it will make the unsightly panels more palatable.

No sure what the room with the daybed is either. Again, you want to CLEARLY show buyers what it is. The shelf with the thousand figurines has to go. And the rug.

You've got some work ahead of you in stripping all of that wall paper and painting. If you will be downsizing and moving, it's time to start a lot of that NOW. Give some of the large furniture pieces to relatives, sell it, or if you will be able to use it in the new smaller home (doubtful) then put it in storage. But, the scale of much of your belongings isn't helping your home to look spacious. Neither are the knick-knacks. Start eliminating them like you are moving as well. Get a head start on making that new start!

And retake the listing photos with a professional after you've done all of the staging. And place them in a logical order of a tour of the house. Foyer first, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, master bedroom, subordinate bedrooms, master bath, subordinate baths.

Or, just price it 75-100K below where you have it listed and let the new owner do all of the updates. Because that is what buyers WILL be thinking. They know that it will take that much to be able to do all of the projects that need to be done here. Because, the price seems really high for what's there vs what needs to be done. Yes, compared to others for sale in your neighborhood. Yes, 100K high. Especially compared to new construction. Existing homes typically sell for 50-75% of the cost of new construction.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:29PM
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My that is a lot of changes, Hollysprings! I guess my home is not as nice as I thought. I asked Realtors in the past about the bathroom and they said to leave the wallpaper because it looked "European." What do I know? I loved that paper. So I guess I am dated! HA! and I thought it made that large 24 foot room more cozy to me.

As we are done spending money on the home we will have to probably lower the price. But rally the Realtor's pictures do not really do justice to what we have. Some of the colors are not true.

I guess I would start be getting more professional pictures done after I do some more decluttering.

We decorated the Master Bath/ Dressing area to match the wallpaper at the time. So if I had to do anything in there at all it would be to remove the paper and remove the rug. However, since this was the older room in the house the wood floor is darker stained than the new wood we had in the bedroom. Not sure how much that would cost to change. FWIW I am not going to redo the tile. It would mean having to redo the entire bathroom and we just don't have the money to do all that right now after laying down a large chunk of change to our builder.

In the meantime, I can declutter the rooms and books (My husband already had a fit when I removed more from there... he is a pack rat!) We already sent 2 tons of books (literally!) into storage. Most of them were in bookcases in basement and some upstairs in cabs. I am hoping for a fire at the storage place (evil me!)

The Cabinet hutch you see in my kitchen is built-in. So that is not going to be removed and it provides mucho storage with a glass top cabinet. The cooktop is a Dacor with a down draft. When the U Shape kitchen we had was remodeled, I really wanted a ceiling vent for my stove, but there was no physical way to install one without laying out a small fortune. Too many ducts and things were overhead. Instead they did the downdraft that exhausts outside under the deck.

Repainting the front door would be something I could do, but it hasn't been warm enough. It has to be over 50 degrees to do so. We have no plants around outside because it has been too cold here. We still drop down below freezing at night. I just had one daffodil pop and the forsythia still hasn't bloomed yet today. But more flowers will be coming in soon. I did put some pansies in a bowl out on the deck, though.

The piano is staying. It is one my few pleasures in life. If people are that picky about a room then they can just go and buy themselves a new home with nothing in it. Do they really think it is going to stay?

As for the furniture arrangement in the LR near the fireplace, I used to have my Queen Anne chair next to it at an angle. Believe it or not the arrangement you see was suggested by a decorator! I guess she must not have been very good!

I didn't realize how cluttered everything still looks. I hate to admit it, but it used to be worse. I have actually enjoyed not having to dust the nick nacks. And some of those decorations in the picture were actually up for Easter. I was following the Realtor around to keep him from taking pics of all my bunnies. But I obviously missed a few of them!

I will be doing as much as I can once my shoulder heals up. I have been going to PT for bursitis from moving all those dang books my husband refuses to get rid of!

Spoke with our Realtor and he said to relax. It takes up to 4 -5 months here usually to sell a home in my price range. In the meantime, I will try to get new pictures after I declutter and change a few more things.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:12PM
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I know these suggestions all sound very daunting, but you could do a few things.
Post one picture at a time on the decorating forum and ask for minimal and quick suggestions.
You say that your house looks a lot nicer than on the pictures. Usually, it's the opposite. So, try to focus on the positive features of your house.
And sorry, but that wallpaper is not European at all. How big a deal would it be to get rid of the wallpaper and the carpet in the bathroom?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I quite like your house! It does look a bit dated (mostly the window treatments, i think) and my house is dated and almost all of the houses I've looked at are dated. Kudos to you for being brave enough to post here. The GW folks will give you terrific suggestions-they aim for perfection and come pretty darn close!
Even though you may love your bathroom wallpaper, I think the room will look good to more buyers without it.
And this may be off topic, but what is wrong with downdraft ventilation? Mine works great and I don't have to look at a big old vent hood!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 3:44PM
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I have to say that today many buyers expect a move-in ready house that looks "up-to-date". That's the bad news. The good news is that they have a very predictable taste, and it's not that hard and expensive to update a house. Much of your house are cosmetic changes that can make a huge difference.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 4:23PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

The simplest things I would recommend is to remove all swags and all rugs. It will give the appearance of more flow (also reduces the risk of them being damaged during showings).

I would also remove the line of plates that was along one upper wall, to give it a more streamlined, cleaner look.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Have you discussed with a mover the cost of moving all the books in your home and in storage? A few calls or perhaps even online will give you a price for the move. Most estimates are free. I suggest contacting a few movers for quotes. That just might be the incentive your H needs to get rid of some of them. Money talks.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 6:50PM
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First of all, I live about 30 miles away (to the east) so I am familiar with what local taste is, more so than people who aren't from here.

And to my eyes, if not to my personal taste, I think many of the things that are bugging others will be non-issues for local buyers. Sure, the window treatments, general color selections, etc., might be more up to date, but they are not serious local solecisms.

If anything the living room looks awkward to me because the seating is shoved down against the windows and not grouped facing the fireplace. Have you considered moving the piano to the end and getting the sofa, and chairs closer to the fireplace?. It seems a more attractive focal point. The blue swags don't seem to work, perhaps because you have already removed from the room some coordinating blue items? The swags look like color orhpans, now.

Some things which can't be easily changed: for instance the island-cooktop based kitchen design and the huge soaking tub in the master bath are likely to be problematic for some buyers. But again, those items are heavily-promoted "home upgrades/improvements" in this region. (People moving to the area may boggle, but after they've toured about looking at a good batch of houses for sale, they'll get over their shock.)

The bigger issue is the perennial one: location. Niskayuna used to be (in the 1970s-1980s) a really prime upscale residential suburb. But the regional economy and the local employment picture has changed considerably since then. It has lost some of its cachet, even though it has not been physically degraded.

The $439K price point is not a starter home here. It's more a mid-career level home. And many of those families are eschewing the older 'burbs and instead looking for flossier houses in new Saratoga County developments or more rural areas where they can purchase more land for that kind of money. A good chunk of local demand for housing like this, where it is, may be gone now that GE is so down-sized.

The quality of the pictures isn't great so the realtor could be doing better there to make the house stand out.

I think this Spring is going to be a tough selling environment (but probably good for buyers) as I think there will be a pent-up backlog of sellers who have been waiting for signs of a turn around.

But, Zoe52, don't fret too much about the decor at this point. Your house might look like it needed major overhaul if it was located in other areas but for here it does not. It is not at a competitive disadvantage, which is the only thing that counts.

Kudos for the solar panels. We have them, too. If you find you need more info to support their value/attractiveness in the sale post back here. I may be able to suggest some ways to help emphasize that aspect.

Good luck! This weekend should be good house-hunting weather. And unlike other areas, you are an early-bird in the local Realty season. People farther south can't believe the Spring hasn't already been underway for weeks. My first daffs bloomed this week, too.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:46PM
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I think that reducing price rather than doing massive more work is probably the best choice. House does look dated and that would be an issue for me. However, there is inexpensive work that can be done that would help.

Kitchen - Get rid of border and swags

Living Room - Get rid of the blue over the windows, doesn't really match. I would probably remove the rug. Furniture looks jammed into the end of the room so I would rearrange, probably put piano at the end of the room rather than right across from fireplace. Overall, cluttered feeling. Would remove the piece between the 2 windows by the front door.

Dining Room - When we had a house with a lot of wallpaper we dealt with it by painting over it. Made a huge difference. You may not want to spend the money either. I might replace the light fixture in the dining room. We did that on one house and it was a very inexpensive change that really helped to make the whole room look more up to date.

Red Room - Paint another color I don't personally dislike but a lot of people will.

Bathroom - Wallpaper - Paint over . I don't have as much issue with the carpet but a lot of people would rather it was gone.

Bedroom with white bed and all the stuff on the wals - Take down most of the stuff.

Room with yellow bed - Remove knicknacks

General - Get rid of most of the rugs hiding your wood floors. Get rid of clutter, be more minimalist. A lot of what makes the house dated is, well, your stuff. I know the buyer isn't buying your stuff but it makes the house look more dated.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:29PM
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I agree with most of the suggestions here, some painting, more decluttering, and some rearranging of furniture. I can't agree with the suggestion to paint over the wall paper. Wallpaper that's been painted over would send me running from a house. In my experiences, it tends to pull away and is a pain to then properly remove the paper and paint.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 6:56AM
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The biggest elephant in the room is that your local politicians have taxed the area soooooo much that you now have more people leaving the area than are coming in. That is bad news no matter how you slice it. And they want to raise property taxes another 8%! Keep on voting those tax fiends into office... most of my business is from this area, because of the high taxes.
I would take the great advice above and update the house and get out of dodge!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Neutralize, neutralize, neutralize. You have a lot of prints going on with rugs, wallpaper and bedding. If you cannot replace the wallpaper (which I understand), replace the bedding that is floral or prints with just neutral design and remove the rugs to show all of the wonderful hardwood. Again, remove as many knick knacks and personal items as possible. Let the potential buyer see the house for what it is and let them picture all of their stuff in the house. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Our house is going on the market in two weeks. Our realtor pays to have a house stager come to the house for a consultation before the house goes on the market. I retired two years ago and have been de-cluttering for most of that time before the stager came.

The staging company requested that my husband and I both be present for the consultation. We started in the front yard, then back yard, and then we went room to room. All during the consultation I took notes. As much as we had already done, I was surprised at how much more they asked us to do. And, he even said we were in good shape. We have done almost every recommendation about painting, moving furniture out, accessories for coffee table and dining table, colorful pillows, and even more de-cluttering. We also took all the advice of how to place staged things for showings. It is surprising how you can live with minimal things. The realtor's assistant came yesterday to take pictures for our listing as we have finished all the interior work. She said our house will show well. We were pleased but time will tell.

Here's the thing we had to realize - even though this is still our home and we are living here, the house now has become the buyer's home. Even though we had already replaced all the windows last year, have a new roof and gutters, have a two-year old high effiency HVAC system, updated the kitchen cabinets and countertops, and bathroom lights, mirrors and painted vanities, we could not rely on those things to sell this house.

Granted we much prefer the burgundy accent walls that were in our open living/dining rooms, but the blonde color the stager picked out and I painted does open the rooms up and photographs much better. If we have a quick sell after all the crazy work we've done in the last month, it will be well worth it. We spent a couple hundred dollars for paint, pillows, and accessories. Mainly it was our own time and energy that we spent to get it ready. And we aren't young!

It's not easy hearing others critique your home. Best of luck to you on selling your place!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 11:38AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Like the poster above, our realtor paid for a consultation with a professional staging company. The home was built in the 70's and purchased by my husband for the use of his mom and dad. When mom passed, we decided to update and remodel the home for sale.

The stager had us remove all wallpaper and paint all wood white and all walls a very soft color called natural linen. All family photos, trophys, clutter, stuffed animals and personal items were boxed and taken elsewhere. We had to store some furniture because it was just too cluttered.

Swags and curtains were removed, and any printed bed covers replaced with solid quiet colors.

Our realtor asked if he could show the home about 4 days before the brokers showing, and we reluctantly agreed. We got an offer before we even listed it, and we countered $10K higher, and the house never even had the For Sale Sign on it.

I was sort of upset since we had worked so hard to make it beautiful, but DH was thrilled to have the qualified offer over asking price, and be done with it all.

I couldn't view your links, and I realize you are not in a seller's market. Good luck to you and I hope you enjoy your future home.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:01AM
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I grew up west of you and I completely agree with much of liriodendron posted. Upstate NY has a midwest vibe which many posters on here can't relate to.

If you want to appeal to an affluent buyer with a young family, you've got to get into a Pottery Barn decorating mode. Neutral, airy, uncluttered. With your husband balking at decluttering and changing, I know this will be difficult. Thankfully, you can follow many of the previous poster's suggestions without spending too much money.

You can make huge changes in the bathroom by following the suggestions about the carpet and the paper. I wouldn't worry about the different color wood floor. You can put small area rug over the wood to make the difference less noticeable.

A stager, an adult child or perhaps a younger friend can help you decide which changes you should make.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 12:16PM
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Unfortunately, any time you enter into the price range of new builds, any older home is at a disadvantage. When we staged our last home, we made sure to include attractive pictures of the large deck/yard we had that pretty much dwarfed the ones with new construction. You seem to have a great wooded lot that is a huge advantage compared to many new subdivisions which are usually look almost barren, in comparison. I would take a few outdoor pictures which show a staged outdoor area where you see can see both the lot and the deck--make it look like a quiet retreat where you can enjoy a morning coffee. Pansies are nice cold hardy flowers you can have displayed in deck mounted flower baskets this time of year. You want to highlight the advantages your home would have over new construction and an outdoor living area is one of the best ways when you have great, mature trees like you do. We looked at our competition, online and in person, and noticed that not one home staged their outdoor living space which we saw as a way to get a leg up on our competition when marketing our home. New construction homes, in comparison, looked sterile compared to our mature lot.

I agree with other posters about ditching dated window treatments, wallpaper (it's a major deal breaker for most buyers) and rugs which cover up the wood. It looks like your living room could use "conversation areas" as opposed to the furniture being arranged along the perimeter of the room. And, I hate to say it, but hutches and china displays are "out" right now--it reminds too many buyers of Grandma when the trend now is clean, neutral and uncluttered.

Make sure all your photos are arranged in a logical progression, the way you would view your home coming in from the front door. When they are mixed up, buyers get a "choppy feel" and can't picture the layout of your home as easily.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 8:48PM
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