Home on market...now what?

bosegirlOctober 4, 2012

Our house has been on the market for 5 days. We've had 3 showings, no offers. Nothing else happening. We are using a realtor, it's priced comparably with others here, read to move in, we're closing on our new house regardless, we had rooms painted neutral, decluttered/moved a lot of stuff out already.

What else do we do? Just wait? I'm worried about the first 30days going by.

I'm posting the MLS link here if you have any advice, thanks!


Here is a link that might be useful: our house

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It looks clean and uncluttered. Good job! It's pretty much just a waiting game from here on. I certainly wouldn't be getting nervous about no offers after 5 days, unless you're in an unusually hot market where homes get snapped up quickly. Just chill, keep it clean, and wait for the right buyer.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:10PM
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Did you have the house repainted after the pictures were taken? I saw several different shades of colors in the house that didn't appear to be nuetral or on the same color pallette. Maybe it is just my monitor, the colors I saw were:
-white in the living room
-off white/light yellow on another wall of the living room
-sage/grey in the dining room
-yellow in bathroom (could just be the light)
-sage/green in bedroom
-lavendar baby room
-other light green and light yellow rooms.

It may just be my monitor. If not, my only concern would be a hodge podge of colors affecting flow from one room to the next.

The house looks clean and decluttered. Your hardwood flooring looks really nice. Assuming your price is good, I think you just have to wait for your buyer to show up.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:17PM
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With the *possible* exception of the lavender (which can be a real love it or hate it color), I see nothing wrong with your wall colors. They are not in your face colors and nothing seems jarring room to room in the photos. The house photographs well, looks clean and has breathing room. I'm not there yet but I imagine it's really difficult to go from the whirlwind of cleaning and sorting in preparation to list and then...... nothing to do but wait. And keep it clean, of course! Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:56PM
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No need to panic... it has only been FIVE days!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Thanks, sorry just anxious! First time seller :-)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:51PM
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See if you can get those living room pictures retaken. The TV is very distracting. I'd also remove the valances in the dining room. They look a little frilly, block the windows and, again distracting. In fact remove any window treatments that cover over a quarter of the window. The other thing that jumps out at me is the patchwork quilt in the bedroom. It doesn't work with the other decor and yes, it's distracting.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 11:16PM
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I would replace photo #10 with one of the back yard.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Wonderful job prepping for a sale. And I like the colors!

Things that drew my eye, in a bad way...

- wreath on office door
- wreath over master shower
- valance in master bath
- swags in master bedroom.

And, sad to say, the mirror wall in the living room would be a deal breaker for me. I would be making the sale conditional on removal/patch/paint.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:01AM
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I am in the Capital District, too, and this week has been cool and rainy, but there are reasonably good weather propects for the upcoming long weekend. It should have more people out looking.

That said I think your house pictures could use a bit of improvement.

Living room: re-shoot pics with the cable cord concealed (or unconnected so it can be hidden) so it's not snaking all around the room on the floor. I know you have to have it connected to see the TV, but let the new owners discover that on their own. Right now it stands out to me as an obvious "defect" that would need correcting. The mirror would bug me, too, because it would have to go and I wouldn't want the hassle of removing it and repairing the wall surface. Some people might also have a bit of anxiety about breaking it during the removal (the bad luck thing). I once was really interested in a house with a mirrored wall (not as nice as yours since it was mirror tile) and it made me uneasy since I knew it had to be removed. My realtor even offered to do it himself since he had worked in a glass shop as a young man and had broken a lot of mirrors already.

The curtains/valances in the kitchen and DR are distracting and I'd just remove them as well as removing the wine rack. The kitchen TV is also sort of awkwardly placed. Could you move it down to the counter to eliminate the ugly black cord swags? What's the distracting black box on the refrigerator wall? Can it be painted?

I was confused by pictures since I didn't see all the rooms mentioned in the description: LR, formal DR and family room; I could only see the mirrored room (LR or FR?) and an eating space next to the kitchen counter (is that counted as the formal DR?) Also confused how the circulation works between the MB over the garage and the main body of the house, including the nursery. Is there direct second-floor level connection?

The furry cover and rugs in the laundry room are distracting; I think the room would look more attractive w/o them.

In the master bedroom, the curtain swags remind me of funeral drapery hung over the doorways of public buildings. It's partly the style (narrowness of the swags) but also the darkness of them relative to the light, attractively colored walls. Maybe with darker walls they would work, but since you have (quite appropriately) chosen more neutral buyer-undistracting colors, perhaps they no longer look as well. Can they and their hangar rondels be removed? What are the dark double dots over the window-bench windows; what's missing there? If you've taken down pictures, the walls need to be patched and painted. Also when taking pics of the upstairs rooms, I'd de-emphasize all the fan-ification. In our climate those second-floor fans (and openable skylights) tip me off that the rooms could be scortchingly hot in the summer, or chilly in the winter. Why is the MB TV parked so far out of its nook? Also you don't mention one of the main ammenities, the gas-log hearth in the bedroom over the garage. I assume it works? Maybe show a pic of it while lit? I think many people would find it very romantic.

The yellow bathroom looks very roomy but I am puzzled by the closed-off space at the far end of the tub (through the pebbled glass window); the pics don't resolve what's in there, or purpose of the room.

What's with all the black cords in the lavender room? I'd retake the pics with them hidden.

Is the green bedroom a legal bedroom with legal escape route (based on square foot of window)? (Sorry, I was once a firefighter, so that's one of the things that always sticks out for me.) Also I'd show it with the entrance door closed so it doesn't make the room seem smaller since the open door blocks that corner.

It occurs to me that with your user name, that at least some of the distracting black cords may be sound or electronic wires. If there is in-place wiring/equipment that conveys, then I'd add that to the description of features. But still hide them as much a possible since for non-tech minded people their presence is a big, cluttery-looking visual distraction.

I hope you don't mind all my detailed suggestions. They are not meant to hurt your feelings as you have clearly spent time getting everything spic and span and decluttered. The house looks very attractive and certainly move-in ready. Except for getting rid of the LR mirror, none of my suggestions should be a big deal to accomplish.

I have read recently that our RE market is perking up, so this should be a good time to sell. I wish you very good luck.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 12:59PM
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OK--so the mirror was there when we moved in, we weren't a huge fan of it but didn't bother us so much so we left it. I know it can be taken down but at this point I don't know if I want to start any kind of destruction on the room. I can re-take pictures of living room without cords though for sure.

The blackbox on the wall near the fridge is the security system...they installed it there and it'll probably be a pain in the ass to move? I didn't realize the valences in the kitchen and living room were distracting--so re-take them without them on it?

The backyard does NOT look great, there are lots of trees so it doesn't get great shade plus our dogs have never let us keep any nice landscaping there. Plus it's rained for a week and looks blah...is it better to to have a pic or not of this?

There is only one living room, no family room, and one place to eat...our realtor said that would be called a dining room but I think it's more like an eat in kitchen. There is a 2nd floor, where the bedrooms & office is.

Through the pebbled glass on the far end of the bathroom is a toilet. I didn't know if I should take a pic of that are not...so basically the toilet is separate--there's a door there for privacy.

The curtains in the MB were there when we moved in...we never re-did them, I didn't realize they look that bad? The TV was left by the sellers and that's the only way it fit.

UGH--I told the realtor about the gas fireplace, I didn't realize it's missing! And I didn't think showing the fans was a bad thing--whoops!

I can definitely take wreaths down and put away bathroom rugs. I thought we 'decluttered' enough but didn't realize these things were bothersome...

We do have another bedspread we can use instead. We actually never use the quilt one or I'm not even a big fan of it BUT it matches and it's big enough. I guess we can switch that out.

Thanks everyone...it's hard to hear but it's very helpful. Guess my work is not yet done!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Oh, the things above the master bedroom windows are little paintings/shadow boxes. I could remove them...

I didn't realize the drapes in the MB were really that bad. I'm nervous about taking them down, like how it will all look, but certainly am willing to try it out and see.

Oh, and I didn't realize the rugs in the laundry & 1/2 bath look bad. Looks like I have to change all of these things and then re-shoot. Luckily it's me taking the pics :-:

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 3:08PM
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Lots of good suggestions here. I would really paint the nursery a neutral color. That violet will turn off many people. How nice that you have a side entrance garage!

Good luck. All the news we hear is that real estate sales are picking up.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Since we already started showing it (3 so far, 1 tomorrow) isn't too late to paint now?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 4:59PM
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Agree on the cords all over the place--hide and retake pics. Same goes for the wreaths.

Mirror in living room--either pull it down, repair and repaint wall, or warm the room up with some color besides black & white and add some softening touches--repainting a warmer color & adding a larger rug would go a long way too. Maybe slipcover the sofa & loveseat and find a piece of furniture or something to put on the wall opposite the love seat. To me if feels very sparse and cold and not welcoming at all. Especially when you step into the kitchen/dining area where there is a much cozier feel. Too much contrast IMO.

I don't mind the window treatments in the dinig/kitchen, but they do look a little worn--that could just be my monitor though. Make sure you either burn a cookie scented candle or bake a quick batch of refrigerated cookies before a showing when possible to make the home smell cozy and inviting.

Quilt in master is lovely, but as others have stated, does not match the rest of the room. You need some fluffy pillows on the bed to cozy the room up too. Take down the valances over the windows. Push the TV back into it's nook as far as you can to make the screen flush with the surrounding wall.

Master bath is a little too sparse for me too. I would move the plant from the tub to the corner of the vanity. Place some pretty bubble baths, candles and fluffy towels at the tub (definitely need something in the back corner of the tub) to make it inviting. Put out some pretty soap dispensers & tissue holder at the sink. Maybe a little pretty stool at the counter/makeup area between the sink & tub. Pretty towels would help too on all towel bars.

I really like the baby's room--I thin krearranging furniture is the way to go here--center the sofa under the window and move the toy chest under the book rack. Hang a little something (picture/'BABY' hanging, etc) above the crib and changing table.

Overall, if I was looking at this house, the living room and laundry/half bath, and master bath don't match the rest of the house. When your potential buyers walk in they want it to be move in ready--the contrast in your rooms takes away that aspect IMO. As a buyer, I'm either going to have to redo the living room, master bath & laundry/powder room to cozy them up like the rest of the house. Or I'm going to have to "modernize" the cozy kitchen, dining, baby's room, master bedroom, office to match the living room, laundry/powder room, & master bath. From watching all the home shows on selling, odds are going the cozy route will have a better shot at getting an offer than going with the modern sparse look.

Overall, I think you did a great job decluttering and getting it ready for sale. Love those hardwoods--they need to be mentioned in the listing description as well as the fireplace. Front yard looks great. If you wnated a little color there, some fall flowers in pots flanking the front entryway would be great & maybe another at the corner of the house and at what appears to be the side entry. You could post a pic of the backyard on this thread and maybe we could come up with some quick inexpensive ways to spruce it up.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:17PM
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It's funny, my daughter's room was originally set up that way (couch moved over, toy chest under bookshelf, baby painting above crib). But I was trying to declutter so I removed them. I guess because I don't really know how to stage or what is likable to the masses I figured removing it was the easier/cleaner route.

I like the idea of bubble bath pretty towels near the tub. I could do that.

I removed all the wreaths & flower arrangements on doors.

The living room is not huge so I thought by removing stuff it would look better. What about removing all of it? (We should be closing on new house soon).

The quilt is not my favorite but matches and covers the whole bed (like box spring too). Should I go out and BUY another bed cover that covers it all? I was hoping not to invest too much money into these things because I don't want these colors in our new bedroom ? :\

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 2:48PM
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What are you planning for your new bedroom? Could you break them out a little early and use them for now? If not, simply adding pillows to the bed--just your regular sleeping pillows with white or lavender pillowcases would help a lot.

I could be wrong, but I would think if the rest of the house is furnished, it would look strange to not have the living room furniture. Could you maybe put back some of the stuff that was in there? Just enough to cozy it up would be great. Slipcovers can be bought pretty economically at Wal-Mart or Target--that would definitely help the living room blend better with the rest of the house. Don't forget they have a 90 day return policy.

You're on the right path and no doubt the house will sell, it would just be nice to hurry the sale part up & that's what the staging is all about. When thinking about the cost of a few slipcovers, etc also think about what the cost is the longer the sits on the market both in interest that you're paying to the bank as well as the extra cost of a second mortgage if this house doesn't sell before you close on the other house.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Thank you!

I will have to figure out what slipcovers and whatever else we can put in the living room so it'll look more 'cozy'. We already paid a painter to paint that room neutral because it was blue before, I guess adding some stuff and saving the receipts to return them could work too.

If we hired a home stager, home much do they cost? And do they bring their own 'stuff' to stage with?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 2:21PM
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I'd try the slipcover route and any other tips listed on the thread before hiring a staging company--it will much cheaper that way. You've already done all the work and just need a couple extra things to make everything mesh. I honestly think these minor spruce-ups will do the trick on melding the rooms into 1 cozy style throughout. If the house doesn't sell in 6 months with the spruce-ups, then I would start looking into a stager as well as other real estate agents!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 7:47PM
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I think on the whole, your house looks fine as is. A few more touches is always nice and adds a bit more allure. If you don't have the resources for it, I wouldn't sweat it either. You've done most of what you need to do to the house to get a buyer.

Everyone has different tastes. I'm not a fan of slipcovers. I've tried them in the past and wasn't happy with the results. I don't think your furniture looks too bad. I looked at your pictures again and saw that you had removed the curtains for some shots. The heavy black curtains had added to the starkness of the room. The room looks better without that. I think you could probably put a nice throw on the back of the loveseat and add some pillows. I'm a fan of the 84" white/off-white sheer curtain panels that reach down to the floor for softening the look of the room. Wal-mart dot com has some inexpensive ones that might work if you are interested in something like that. Not sure if you are going to keep the wall mirrors. If you don't, a nice framed mirror you could take with you to your next house might be nice or a big piece of artwork would look good above the sofa. I think you could add some greenery or something around the base of the tv and put a few things on the shelves to soften the look there. I would probably either completely remove the rug under the coffee table or add one that is much larger. The one you have is the wrong size for that space. I like to add warmth to a room with plants. That may not be something you want to deal with. Our local Lowes had nice size plants and pots on sale recently. Not sure what you can find in your area.

I like the look of your kitchen and dining area better with the curtains up. If you are trying to add little something more, a potted plant, nice bowl with fruit or other centerpiece would look good on the table. Not sure if a table cloth, runner or placemats would be appropriate.

I like the master bedroom better without the curtains and don't think you need to replace them. I would fluff the bed out with more pillows. You might be able to find some very end of season clearance items if you look around. Our Target sometimes has nice looking bedding on sale on their endcaps. Overstocks dot com might have some nice looking bedding at a good price and possibly free shipping. Another less expensive option could be to find a solid color duvet cover for the bedding you already have and then add extra pillows. Sometimes it is hard to find accessories to match what you already own.

Not sure of your resources, but I would ask friends and family if you could borrow a few things from them like bedding or plants or baskets to hold magazines or small tables, etc. I wouldn't borrow curtains because someone might expect that they stay with the house.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Thanks everyone, I am bookmarking this page and will use some of the staging tips here to 'warm' up some of the house. Again, I'm kicking myself because we had a nice decorative mirror above the couch but removed it so we could patch the wall and paint the room neutral. I'll just remove that LR rug, I guess it does look odd. If we don't sell in a couple of months we'll get the sheer white curtains for the living room and I will look now for some throw pillows for the bed.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your advice!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:36PM
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