gardens = maintenance = scared off buyers

works_for_rosesJuly 23, 2010

I have a large garden - almost 300 roses. Although 90% of them are shrub-like roses that don't require spraying and pruning, it has scared a few potential buyers away. They say that the maintenance would be overwhelming, which I understand. Up to now we've assumed that some flower lover would buy the house because they would love the gardens and take the house that comes with it.

So today we're discussing options: Keep the yard as is and continue to wait for the right buyer/gardener - or - increase the lawn area (they don't seem to see grass as a maintenance issue) and replace some of the shrub roses with regular shrubs like lilacs that don't scream "too much work".

What would you do?

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Can you post a click link?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:11PM
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What a beautiful piece of property!!! DO NOT mow down ANY roses,from what i can see, there doesn't seem like a lot of maintainence,though a family with young children may not find this appealing..The right buyer will come along,i'd not do a thing..Best of luck

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:17PM
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The gardens are exquisite, and must have brought you a tremendous amount of pleasure. It is a retreat, and I have seen rose gardens on exhibit nowhere near as lovely. I am an horticulturist by profession and it is my husband's avocation, so I can appreciate the amount of work and patience going in to that and I would not hesitate in a nanosecond taking that on with the house. In fact, it would be a major incentive.

But, that being said I think I know what the general consensus shall be about that being an asset or liability to sell a property. We have acreage and have also planted trees and shrubs in excess of two hundred over the years, and also thousands of bulbs and hundred more perennials. Our garden beds are so numerous we have them named and numbered so when we discuss them we each know which the other is talking about. I jokingly refer to our property as our 'folly', and hope to live here until I croak, and be planted here myself. I've said before if anyone buys this property and dozes it down, I'll come back to haunt them. LOL. But, in reality know that unless someone is affluent enough to hire a full-time gardener, or becomes one themselves and is healthy enough and affluent enough to not work, that's what it is going to take to upkeep it. Folks sometimes just drive in and take photographs and we get lots of commentary on it.....but Good Lord no, I don't think too many people would take it on.

If you do decide to down scale the number of roses you have, please.......please keep some of the special plantings as focal points. And, try to find homes for those you feel need to go.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:30PM
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Calliope - want to buy a house? lol

qdwag - I can't believe I used to take care of this and work 50 hours a week, plus commute. I was laid off in January so I have the time now, unfortunately, but it just seems to be getting harder. But we love sitting out there after dinner with a glass of wine, in an amongst the roses.

I have to laugh when they have garden tours around here - someone's yard with 24 roses, ooooooohh wooowww

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:35PM
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Here is a clickable link

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:02PM
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My mother had a beautiful older (1920s) house with lots of gardens, but only a few roses. It took her a long time to sell it, although I think her problem was the need to upgrade HVAC, etc. and the old-fashioned layout. However, the gardens ended up selling it--to a landscape architect!

One year she put the house on the local home tour, and the next she had it on the garden tour. Word got around that she was selling it, and it turned out that someone she knew who wasn't even planning on moving decided to buy it--because he wanted to make the gardens a showplace of what he could do. Not everyone uses the multi-list or a realtor!

How quickly do you need to sell it? Could you put it on next year's garden tour (if your community/garden club has one), with a for sale sign out front?

Do you have certified Master Gardeners there? My neighbor whose deceased wife had beautiful gardens now pays a Master Gardener to take care of his--not a huge amount, since he does some of the work. Maybe you could check around and see what someone would charge to keep up your gardens for a new owner, or share the work with the new owner, and have that info available.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:21PM
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All those roses do NOT scream 'work' to me... but I would not buy your property.
Roses and I just don't get along - nose waters almost immediately.

Tough call.
Do you NEED to sell quickly?
Can you wait for the right buyer?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:32PM
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You might add a rider to your For Sale sign:

"Lazy Gardener's Low-Maintenance Roses Save Time, Save Energy, Save On Your Water Bill!"


"Mower-Free Zone"


"Flower Power"


"It *IS* easy being Green!"

I have gardens, & every week-end I putter & smell the roses & take photos & lounge around reading & listening to the birds.

& my neighbors mow & edge & spray & water...
the mowers & edgers & blowers make an atrocious racket, & the gasoline reeks all over the neighborhood.

& then they put all that lovely organic matter (compost-in-the-making) into plastic bags & set it at the curb to be hauled to the landfill.

what was the question?

I'd work on selling what you have, not what some non-buyers have indicated that they want;
my experience is that, if buyers want something & they want it from you, they'll ask for it!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:42PM
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I would NOT get rid of the roses. Your landscaping is beautiful. If a potential buyer doesn't want the upkeep, THEY can alter it as they choose. What's wrong with people? Jeez. So namby-pamby. When I look at a property, I see potential and structure (ie bones). Not paint color or too many flower beds.

Your home is lovely.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:48PM
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Beautiful garden. I wish I could grown roses like that, but at 7300 ft. elevation, I lose, it seems like, a bush per year. I concur with sylviatexas' posting. Put some sort of signage up front to dispel any issue they may perceive. Either on the listing or with your house binder- information that you keep on the counter- inside. I have done the same thing with my hand painted murals. A realtor said that they could "overwhelm" a buyer, so I made up a sign and said they are easily painted over to your taste and placed it with the house information on the kitchen counter.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 2:53PM
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I love the yard. I also like to garden so I wouldn't find the yard a turnoff. I think replanting something else even shrubs would be a negative to those who think it is too much work.

I like the idea of finding a way to showcase it. Can you offer to hold the next Master Gardener's meeting at your house?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 3:05PM
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I'm sitting here applauding the responses, because this topic has come up here in years past and the general response was to rip 'er out. Maybe there is hope yet for we 'green' people. Ripping out your roses would be like painting a lovely work of art beige, because it's neutral and that's what people want.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 3:45PM
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calliope, ". . .like painting a lovely work of art beige, because it's neutral and that's what people want."

Your comment reminded me of the advice I was given when I was selling my 1970s condo just before the market tanked. One realtor who was a potential listing agent, walked through and said "DATED" of my brand new expensive cork floor in the kitchen, the brown clover-leaf floor tile in the bathroom, and the orangey-red Spanish tile squares on the lower level family room floor.

The realtor I hired (who gave me lots of excellent advice and did a great job of working out the 2 offers), advised me to paint the medium-light toned rough-sawn cedar paneling I'd used to break up a 34' long lower level wall, along with the 4" wide trim in the same cedar that went around each 4x8' sheet of white stucco, white to match the stucco. I really didn't want to do this, but she insisted, so we painted the trim in the adjacent bedroom first. It looked so bland that I couldn't stand it. So I left the long family room/office with the natural cedar, figuring a buyer could see how the BR looked and paint it him/herself if desired.

I had two offers on the condo from women from two different ethnic groups. It's possible that they liked the richness of the the tiles, and weren't aware that the cork wasn't vinyl. Maybe the white stucco walls with the cedar appealed to them--they certainly didn't say anything negative about it. We'd repainted, recarpeted, remodeled the kitchen and both bathrooms, put in new energy-efficient windows, a new furnace, we had a great location and a very pretty commons area, etc., so I'm sure the whole package was appealing.

works for roses, my point here is that it looks like your house has everything else going for it. Sooner or later someone will buy it. But if you need to sell it sooner, there may be a problem. Most people who are working or have kids are so busy/stressed that the THOUGHT of more work is a turnoff. I know that's how my son and daughter feel. And there are probably lots of other lovely houses on the market in your area that they can buy without the work involved in keeping up this garden or tearing it out. So, in this case, you'll lose out.

I am retired, and have about 100 shrub and floribunda roses. I also have quite a variety of other small and medium shrubs, as well as lots of perennials. Between weeding, watering, and Japanese beetles, it takes a steady amount of time to try to keep things looking nice. Right now--not-so-good, since we were out of town for a couple of weeks.

So I guess the real question is, how soon do you need to sell your house and at what price?


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Lots of good ideas here! I had asked the realtor to advertise it as "Burlington's Secret Garden" because it is very private in the back and nobody knows it is there, and you can't tell anything from the street.

I was thinking about putting out a book of information for the lookers, and I found a rose society listing of no-spray roses for NC so i could highlight the ones that I have. There's not many roses I DON"T have LOL.

And contacting the Master Gardeners is a good idea also. I didn't know they had meetings.

We both lost our jobs in January so that's why we need to sell the house. I don't want a foreclosure or short sale sign in front of my house, and I surely don't want to be one of those who have to walk away from everything and leave it for the bank to resolve.

Off my soapbox now...Any more ideas would be welcome!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 5:03PM
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I don't think Master Gardeners have meetings. They have classes to train people, and then they usually have to volunteer a certain number of hours in public gardens. My neighbor's wife had been a MG, and one of her MG friends was hired by her husband. I think you might have to contact whoever is in charge of your local MG classes to ask if they know anyone who might be interested in hiring herself out. The woman who runs ours works full time taking care of people's gardens, but I don't know how many of the "graduates" do this.

Best of luck during these difficult times. I've almost been where you are, so I can only imagine how much worse it is for you.


Here is a link that might be useful: Master Gardeners website

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 6:21PM
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The garden is gorgeous, but it unfortunately does limit your market due to maintenance, water usage (if your area pays by how much is used) and room for kids and dogs to romp....not to mention the people who are not roses fans.

IMO, in this market, the house and the property needs to be presented in such a way that it is liked by the largest percentage of buyers possible, because selling is a numbers game.Otherwise, it can take quite a while to sell, which does not sound as if that would be in your best interest.

In addition, it could also result in lower offers as people may be willing to buy it, but will then calcualte the cost of digging up much of the garden and re-sodding with grass, and deduct it from their offer...and in that case, it is usually always more cost effective for you to remove them yourself.

Perhaps you could remove a good number of them, place them in containers, and a local nursery would be willing to purchase them?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 6:24PM
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Are your interior colors common for your area? I love the yellow and think it adds character. My house interior is yellow also and so was the one I sold last year. My stager liked the color, but my realtor hated it. I have three different realtors in my neighborhood. I've mentioned selling with the yellow, they all are very cautious. I know if I were to sell this house, I would repaint it because it's in a higher price range.

I was looking at the $379K price on your house. I was wondering if $375K is one of the search increments for people looking for houses. If yes, you might lower the price just a little lower to get more lookers.

As much as I love the roses, I was wondering how much of your back yard is open. In addition to the time issue, I think it might be a turnoff to families with children. One thing I've always had to have is room for my kids to play.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 6:32PM
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I also worried about all the yellow walls - I'm so not a beige person. But the lookers have loved the decor and one asked if they could buy all the furniture with the house. However, we did not receive an offer from them. I know they are still looking. I did repaint the master bathroom since those walls were brighter yellow. The main walls are more of a gold color.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 7:20PM
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I looked at your house and gardens, too, and I'd have to say I would not buy it because of the gardens. While I love flowers, I don't want to take care of them and I can't afford a gardener.

You don't think it's a lot of work cause you love them, but I see a lot of weeding issues, trimming the grass around the beds, etc., that wouldn't exist if your yard was simply grass.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 7:36PM
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Your house and gardens are lovely!
But as I'm not a rose lover, your gardens are not to my personal taste...
However -- I do have enough taste and sense that I'd never rip them out. They're much too nice to be treated with such disrespect...

But if you were to offer to relocate any unwanted rose bushes (make it sound like you'd love to take them with you), that might entice me to make an offer if it were only the roses holding me back.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 8:03PM
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How long has it been on the market? How many showings? What is the area like?

I love your house and would buy it in a second for those gardens.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Your yard and rose garden are lovely-don't go ripping them out!
When we went to sell a house in NJ with about 300 antique variety apple trees, lots of raspberries, blueberries etc. (we had a farm stand) the realtors we contacted said it would be a problem to sell because no on wanted so much work.

We sold our house without listing it to the son and DIL of a friend of mine and later I had a number of people I knew only slightly say they wish they had had a chance to buy the property.

You just need the right buyer. Master Gardeners do have meetings-at least my MG group in CA does but I don't think that the best route. Contacting local garden clubs or a rose society might work. Most people who are in a local area and are interested in plants already have properties but they might know people who are in the market.

Being patient is hard-especially in your situation. It doesn't sound like you want to sell. Hopefully you will find jobs and be able to stay and enjoy your lovely property.

My local newspaper is always doing color spreads and articles about local gardens. Do you have one that does that? Maybe you could get your garden in the newspaper with information about how low maintenance it is and just a brief sentence about how you are sadly selling the property.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:22PM
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Review your listing, asking the agent to correct the typos.
What is sink molding?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:56PM
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And Sodewalks!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 2:41AM
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I could handle the flowers but the koi pond might be more work than I would want to take on. The photos make it seem as though there is a lot of yellow on the walls - a color I like but some people strongly don't like.

However, I don't believe people are necessarily truthful about why they don't want a certain house. Pointing out the maintenance of the gardens is easier than saying something that might reflect negatively on your personal taste.

You could offer a landscape modification package - an offer to remove a certain percentage of the plants and replace with sod, with the work to be done immediately after closing. Draw up some simple plans and have them in a book somewhere in the house with a small sign that says "Landscape Options." You could even do some virtual photos of now and in the future.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:56AM
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This is an opinion from someone who just sold a house that had 200 roses...

What I would do & did was to dig up most and leave about 50. Are there any you bought own root? Those were the 1st I dug. If you can't take them with you (you should go to Helpmefind to see if some are not available anymore) call the local rose society; have a dig them yourself; you can either give them away or charge. Next, yes you can plant grass or you can plant landscaping plants - some ornamental grasses.

My home sold to a non gardener & they've killed just about everything; last that looks to be dying is my beautiful redbud tree that my dad helped move before he passed from cancer. He'd just gotten out of the hospital for a month stay & was feeling worthless & weak but could work the Kubota. Our Cockatiel ended up passing 2 months before our house sold; he's buried there.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 9:32AM
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I appreciate a great garden as much as anyone, but....

It's a fact, as others have pointed out, that the THOUGHT (e.g., perception) of maintenance or replacement is enough to eliminate a property from consideration against the many homes for sale everywhere.

Our front yard has no lawn, just shrubs and plants. It has flowers year round, takes very little water, and is evergreen and beautiful 365 days/yr. Nonetheless, when we go to sell it, I will take out the plantings by the sidewalk and lay sod instead.

It's a killer to even contemplate it, because I have some rare shrubs there which are no longer sold. But the perception of 'high maintenance', even though not buttressed by reality, will narrow my range of sellers. And that is not in my best interests - nor, I think does it sound in the OP's best interests (although her's is the backyrd and not the front as mine is).

Best of luck to you going forward, losing both your jobs is really tough and I hope you can pull out of this without losing too much skin.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:14AM
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If there's an objection to all the roses, you could make a cash offer (after researching the cost) to have the new owners remove them at their convenience.

Just before I closed on my condo, the board of directors made me remove a couple of overgrown mugo pines immediately behind my unit (that I had planted with an earlier board's permission) that provided a certain amount of privacy. I was worried that the new owner might cancel the deal. My realtor talked to the buyer's realtor, and said that I would provide a check for $300 to buy new shrubs--subject to the board's approval. She accepted. It was a win-win for her, because she could spend the money on something else if she wanted to put off dealing with the landscaping, and it was more than the shrubs would have cost.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:17AM
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cmarlin20 - let me know where it says sink moldings as I'm sending my realtor a list of text changes. Also which site you found that as I can't find it.

barbag - I contacted the newspaper because I couldn't believe the gardens that they were showing pictures of, in comparison. The house behind us was featured in one of those regional home magazines and they told the photographers to go look at our gardens because they should be featured also. But again, nothing.

jane-ny - I'm in Burlington, NC which is inbetween Raleigh and Greensboro. I'm in a sought after neighborhood because of the schools, sidewalks , etc. We were the 3rd house built in this neighborhood of custom built homes, so we had no idea that we would be in the midst of $700k homes. You think that would be an advantage - to get in to this neighborhood at that price - because we are one of the smaller houses. My back yard neighbor is for sale at $699k, although much bigger and with a pool.

jimandannemi - I guess I neglected to mention I have as many daylilies as roses! lol So I have a lot of garden space that isn't actually roses. Witherspoon Rose Nursery is about 40 minutes from here and they take care of a few rose gardens in the neighborhood, so I will call them and ask them to give me a written estimate for maintenance and then I will be able to provide that. Most of the houses in this neighborhood are owned by people who never go outside and aren't excited about gardens. It's about half and half as to those who mow and trim themselves versus hiring. It can be the most beautiful day outside and we'll be the only ones outside. Not even kids go outside anymore.

roselvr - I've admired your gardens on the rose forums. I was going to dig up some daylily and peony divisions when the time came, bur wasn't sure how the roses would fare. Since we don't know where we'll find jobs, we don't know where we would move to, so can't dig up and place somewhere else before the move. If it weren't for the whole job thing we would not be moving away from these gardens we worked so hard on.

I hate the economy.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:31AM
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Those typos are in the clickable link that I posted above.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 12:02PM
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Another thought, if your roses are in issue for a potential buyer, then they aren't supposed to buy your house. If they don't like your yellow paint and can't see that a gallon of paint cost $25, they they aren't supposed to buy your house. We have a large property with over an acre of sod, plus extensive landscaping and it will take a certain person, that understands that this property needs upkeep, to buy our house as well. Your home and yard are beautiful and it will only be a matter of time before someone comes along and says, "This home has got to be mine!"

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 12:55PM
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I can figure out sodewalks, but what is sink molding? My brain is having trouble morphing that, and I'm very curious.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:47PM
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I think there was supposed to be a comma between sink and moldings - like new sink, moldings, appliances. Why they wasted space for a new sink is beyond me. I mean it is a nice blanco sink don't get me wrong, but it probably cost me $200 and is not really a feature to rave about in the ad, I don't think.

I'm going to rewrite that and send to my realtor and ask that they change the text to better suit our purposes.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 2:36PM
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Ahh, that makes more sense.

I also see that in the Interior Features it says solid surface counters, and in the general description it says granite. Do the bathrooms have solid surface?

I wonder if freshening the mulch would make the gardens look better. It looks gray and dry to me. But I don't know anything about what roses need.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 7:51PM
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coloroadomomof5: "Your home and yard are beautiful and it will only be a matter of time before someone comes along and says, "This home has got to be mine!""

However, the OP and spouse both lost their jobs in January. Your statement makes sense for anyone who has the luxury of letting their home sit on the market for months and more...otherwise, not.

Realistically, as most people first search for a home on the web, make their choices, and then go and actually visit the homes that interest them, a lot of folks will pass on the garden, before they even get a chance to hear about concessions in terms of removal.

Taste specific homes will invariably take longer to sell in today's economy, because people can no longer count on borrowing against equity for improvements.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:10AM
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I think you should focus on selling the home and try to get them to ignore the gardens...

#1) Remove ALL the photos of the rose gardens, arbors, fountain, etc from the listing. You have too many of these photos. If the garden might be a negative, them you never want to have photos of a possible negative.

#2) Don't have your agent bring up the garden. Pretend like it is a non-issue. Don't have your agent take people to the garden to look. Just let them look at the home and grounds just like any other home in a typical subdivision. Remove all listing reference to the gardens. Only repond if the buyer brings it up. Try to remove any focus that will take them from the back door to the gardens (such as lawn furniture or a path of lights that takes them to the garden).

IMO, it is not only the roses that scream maintenance. It is the lawn that abutts the paths to the fountain and the lawn that abutts the rose bushes. That lawn has distinct edging that screams weekly maintenance. The wreath surely needs trimming and the arbor screams maintenance too.

The house is lovely - sell the house. Ignore the rose garden. Try to play it down, and try not to draw people to it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 10:14AM
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How long has the house been on the market? I wouldn't do a thing with the gardens, Colorodomom has it right, the gardens should not hurt selling your house...nor should the paint color. I'm wondering how many showings you've had.

Leave the gardens alone. You live in a desirable area (my son went to U. Greensboro and I love the area) and give it a little more time. A buyer will love the property and privacy it affords.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 7:13PM
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jane_ny - The house has been on the market almost 4 months and we've had about 6 showings. Our realtor said that it would probably take about 9 months because that is the average for this area. Lower priced house sales have picked up but it's still slow in this price range.

logic - thank you for understanding our situation! The reality is that I know of at least 3 houses in the area that were sold to people who also looked at our house and indicated ours was in the top 2 or 3.

I'm thinking I should ask the realtor to change the photos so they do not emphasize the yard, and of course provide different text that is correctly spelled and emphasizes other aspects of the house. Maybe just show the picture of the pergola and write that there's a very private back yard with a pergola to enjoy the evenings?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:15PM
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Works... having pictures of the gardens in the listing or not, is not going to change matters once the buyers get there.
Us in the RE business know that when a property is consistently in the top 3, but never gets an offer, it means that you have a marketable property but the buyers are finding other properties that offer the buyers more value. The easiest way to change that is to get ahead of the price curve. Unless you have 9 - 12 months to sell. Did your agent also tell you that about 50% of all homes listed for sale are not selling? At least the first time around. Don't get caught up in this predicament and find yourselves 9 months from now being in the wrong 50%.
Look very closely at those three other homes and try to figure out why they beat you out, and then make proactive reactions to fix it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:36PM
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Six showings over 4 months is really low. We had 6 showings each weekend we were on. Have you considered another RE Agency? Might be possible they are not marketing your home as hard as they should?


    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 10:19PM
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I always like to nerd around on demographics for areas where a thread like this shows up, and I found some interesting ones for your area. I found one very interesting site where your home is listed and it does a lot of comparisons with other homes in your area and gives some good data. It says your home was initially priced about where it should have been for similar homes. It also went on to say that actual sales prices for similar homes have been around 12K less than you're asking now since the price modification. Then it shows other homes someone who looks at yours might also want to consider, and also homes near your geographical location up for sale. I really don't feel comfortable posting the site, but if you want me to email it to you, I will. You can look up front and personal at your competition, and it might give you a better feel for what your prospective purchasers are looking at in addition to your house.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 11:01PM
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House and gardens look great. I wouldn't change them at all. I would have the ads targeted toward likely buyers-early retirees or adults with no kids or older kids that are looking for a secluded suburban retreat. That the house is great for entertaining both indoors and out. Some families with young kids probably looked at the house for no other reason except that it's a 4 bedroom on a culdesac. Just not the house for them-even if all all the roses were pulled. I would let the garden clubs in a 20 mile radius know the property is for sale. I think the house would also appeal to the college professors if you have a local university.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 10:27AM
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Calliope, could you share the site where you got this info? Sounds interesting.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Another gardener here with over 400 daylily cultivars and 200+ seedlings ... your gardens and grounds are amazing!

Master Gardeners around here, do have regular meetings .. our local group is actually having their picnic at my house next week so they can see my gardens.

The person who said to contact the local Rose Society had a good idea ... I belong to our local Daylily Society and actually went on a daylily "dig" once to save plants that we then sold to earn money for our society.

Granted roses are not as easy as daylilies, but I would think your local Rose Society (there are societies for lots of plants) would know how to dig and care for them.

That would make the gardens less daunting for most buyers.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 12:35PM
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No house, no person, nothing in this world can be all things to all people.

If you had a pool & the first 3 people who looked at your house said they had small children & didn't want a pool, would you fill in your pool?

Years & years ago, I listed a house with a beauty shop in it, not the kind of thing that most people want.

I advertised it as a house with a beauty shop in it & sold it to the first hairdresser who looked at it.

Market to the people who want your house.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 2:15PM
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6 showings in 4 months = pricing problem. The house is lovely and the gardens are amazing, but the market is telling you that it does not support your current asking price. I'm sure their is a special buyer out there who would pay a premium for that garden, but it doesn't sound like you have the luxury of waiting for that person to come around.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 3:55PM
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Idea - how about using wording in your listing to the effect that the roses, "may stay at buyer's request" - so that it looks like you will be removing all the roses?

Kind of reverse psychology - make them think the roses are valuable and may not convey - people want what they think they can't have!

Your post is timely for me. I bought this home a few months ago and all the landscaping had been sorely neglected for many years. The back yard was all weeds and stained concrete patio. So we are in the middle of spending $$$ to landscape anew - plants cost a lot of money when you are renovating front, back and side areas. And I will have a shrub rose section - I want my Julia Child!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 4:55PM
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The inside of the house is very nice. I hate yellow, but I don't mind the yellow you have in there and it is easily changeable. You seem to have hid/kept personal effects to a minimum which is also great. I do notice that floral curtain in the dining room...I hate floral!!!!! LOL But your house looks like it is in great condition to sell on the inside!!!!

Agree with a poster before, get that garden out of the photos on the realtor's website. Don't emphasize the gardens, and let the potential buyers find it on their own.

When it comes down to it, buyers are, for the most part, ridiculous. An easily changeable paint color is a deal breaker for some. You have to think to yourself...if there are people out there that won't buy a house due to a paint color or something equally as ridiculous and changeable, there are definitely people that won't buy it because of the rose garden.

I would personally leave the rose garden. If the buyer is actually interested in the home, they may bring it up in negotiations. At that time, you may have to do something with the gardens. When we bought our house last year, we had a short list of things we wanted the buyer to do before we closed; they agreed. The same situation may happen to you.

Until then, if you are both jobless, I would assume you are not exactly rolling in cash. Taking out those roses and laying grass takes cash, which is not good when you are laid off. Leave it and if you need to, reduce the price a little to attract buyers.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 5:05PM
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ncrealestateguy - I believe that price was a deciding factor in the 3 that we lost. Although one was only on the market for 7 days and was priced at $15k more, it had a better flow for entertaining and a larger dining room which is what they said they wanted.

One was priced $60k less than ours at $339k, which the couple mentioned above first signed a contract on stipulating that granite and new cabinets and upstairs carpeting be put in. Once the homeowners made all those changes they backed out and bought the $415k house. Then that house was sold to an older woman who would be living by herself and felt the gardens were too much maintenance.

billl - 6 showings in 4months is actually not bad in this area with this price. The house behind me has had 3. The $339k house was on the market since November and only had 5 showings. We also had 5 different people show up at an open house.

calliope - because of the above occurences, we lowered our price from $399,900 to $379,900, so that should cover the $12,000 price differential you saw. shows our house value at $368,000 probably because that was what it appraised for last year when we refinanced. since then we renovated the kitchen, put in granite, hardwoods, sprinkler system, etc. Can you give us a hint as to what website you were looking at. I'm big on researching on the net and I'd be interested in knowing if I was missing a site.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 7:55PM
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Sorry, I didn't mean to make it sound like it was some big secret, I just don't like to link to other people's information. When I look at home values in other places, I look at all sorts of sites, even chamber of commerce and port authority sites on demographics......but the site I was referring to was and it's one of the realty sites, but they do a very nice job of comparison shopping with other homes.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:46AM
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"works_for_roses" - I live in Raleigh, so I'm familiar with the area. However, 6 showings in 4 months is not good if you want to sell your house quickly. If you neighbor can afford to sit there for a year or more without selling, good for them. If you don't have that luxury, then you need to get more people in the door. If you NEED to sell, then you should price accordingly.

This house is just across the street - 115 Coachlight Trl, - priced at $325k. It is bigger. It has 4 times as much property. In my opinion, it isn't nearly as pretty as yours, but it is 55k cheaper.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:15AM
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billl - actually I'm very familiar with that house. The property isn't really larger as they don't have ours listed correctly on some sites. We have.67 acre, their house is on less than a half, but they also own the lot next to it which is next to a major 4 lane thorough fare. So they have increased their price by $20k and included that lot. They would have no hope of selling that lot otherwise. Also the house inside reflects that two large dogs lived there and "had their way with it". Not clean at all.

I just talked to my realtor who said their sweet spot has been in the $150k range, above that they have very few showings. I'm sure that was probably affected by the now defunct rebate.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:39AM
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Hey, it's your house, so you can price it any way you want. You came here asking if you should remove the rose gardens because you weren't getting offers. I just don't think that is what the problem is.

Some houses have "defects" that scare people away. I don't think your house fits in that category. Your house looks great and the gardens are lovely. That basically leaves pricing. After 4 months, the market has spoken and it has said that there currently aren't many (any?) buyers willing to pay your asking price. When that happens, you can either adjust the price or sit around and hope the market improves. Most people would agree that this is a horrible time to have to sell a house and most people who can afford to do so are holding firm on price and letting their house sit for months and even years. Unless I misunderstand your situation, it doesn't seem like waiting it out is an option.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 3:09PM
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That's about the median price range for a house in your locality, and those under $150K and under are the ones moving here, too. Your house is definitely in a higher category of home than that price range, and that alone is going to make fewer showings. The real estate in my area is right where it really 'should' have been right along before that hideous bubble. And folks should know bubbles burst and that rate of appreciation was just not sustainable in this economy. I'm seriously thinking of making some real estate investments now to advantage the market.

But, you cannot get blood from a turnip. Folks are just as scared now as they were this time a year ago, perhaps maybe more so, because they expected some tangible improvements in the economy real people just aren't seeing. So, those homes who do sell are to people who have enough money not to be seeking creative financing and are willing to pay for the ambiance.......or those who want median priced homes or below out of necessity or for investment purposes. So, for anyone with a home above the median range, it's a challenge.

Not directed at the OP, but in general to a lot of folks. It's a pity equity is used as a tool in the last decade or two. There is nothing wrong with building equity, despite the TV programs out encouraging people to use theirs to purchase more bling. Equity is that pillow allowing you to move a house down the road if you must...... without taking money to the table. Equity isn't automatic with home apprediation. That's a little fringe benefit not to be taken for granted. Keeping the equity in your house is not a bad thing.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 3:23PM
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calliope - I realize your comments weren't necessarily pointed at me, but I feel I should point out that I have a lot of equity in this house. I could bring the price WAY down and we would still be OK, but we wouldn't have all that cash to put down on the next house. Our next house will probably be something that costs a little over half of this house's price. In order to sock away more money for retirement and because I don't need room for a growing family. I also have enough savings to last for a while, not another 9 months however since I've been dipping into that since January. But isn't that what savings are for - in case you need it?

So if I get desperate and have to reduce the price more, I can, and will stay have money left over. But I'd rather get as much as I can before I get to that desperation point. Unfortunately, my competitors in the housing market are sometimes those that have reached the end of their resources and priced their house accordingly.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 5:28PM
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Well said, works_for_roses. I understand your pain. I hope everything works out for you and thank you for updating us.

In any event, your rose garden is beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:07PM
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My comments had no relevance at all to your situation and I wouldn't even assume to guess your equity, nor been brazen enough to have asked. It's not my business, nor that of anyone else here unless it were a factor and you felt like sharing. I was mostly thinking out loud about how many everyday people and some of means get caught in situations like this, and have no option but to walk away from their home when their incomes cease. It was the theme of several programs on HGTV, where the practise of pulling out equity seemed to be encouraged, and the appraisers would have needed a crystal ball to have given out the information they seemed so glibly to imply was cut in stone about how to use equity as soon as their homes accrued it.

I think we are as close to a depression as one can get before actually calling it that and I'm old enough to have been raised by two people who married in the middle of one. When times like this hit, half of the new 'theories' about finance really fly out the window because it's pretty much uncharted territory.

You have a lovely home, I don't blame you one iota for wanting to realise as much profit from your efforts as you can before you hand it to somebody on a platter. I think the slowness of your showings is not something you have much control over. You have to have the audience of prospective buyers and I don't imagine they're growing on trees.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:08PM
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my grandma bought be a couple rose bushes, i don't know if i can plant them yet because we are supposed to get snow, do i plant them or leave them alone? do i need to water them if they are not planted yet? i have no clue what im doing

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:53PM
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What a nice grandma!
But, not only do you not know anything about roses, you are also lacking in forum use :) This is the "Buying And Selling Homes" forum. You need to post this in one of the Gardening forums.
But, you are in luck... I used to be a Horticulturist. As long as your soil can be worked, and not frozen, you should plant the roses. Until then, keep the roots moist, but not wet. Do not soak roots in a bucket of water for too long. Just keep them moist. Plant in full sun or do not waste your time.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 7:17AM
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Looks like you sold your house? The first link leads to a whole page of homes (don't know which is yours). The clickable link terriks posted leads to a page saying the property is no longer available. Would have loved to see pictures of your garden!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 8:41AM
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