Follow up to "Offer on House"

aktillery9July 18, 2013

For those who saw this post and those who did not I received an offer the first day my house was listed. That fell through and now a total of 4 (has to be a record) have fallen through. Many comments are there is not enough storage in the kitchen. This is true. I am trying to decide if I should add some wall cabs to the top of the ceiling and of course over the fridge. I am just not sure if it will pay off or really make a huge impact.

Let me know of any ideas you may have as they would be MUCH appreciated.

Here are a couple of photos.

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Here is a better look at the kitchen

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 3:54PM
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For the two walls flanking the bar area, what about doing shallow 12" deep cabinets to the counter there? That would give additional storage and not take up much room. Yes, I'd for sure do a cabinet over the refrigerator and two more cabinets stacked on top of the two that you have.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 4:14PM
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I assume the offers have fallen through because the buyers are not financially qualified to purchase your home. Is that true?

Are those who aren't putting in offers saying that the lack of storage is the reason? Do you think you have a lack of storage? Perhaps the buyers coming through aren't being shown the kitchen storage.

Does your real estate agent think that adding storage will increase the amount of qualified buyers?

I have seen your kitchen before and love it. You did a great job. At first glance however I get the impression that there is a lack of storage. The two wall cabinets seem high to me and maybe not readily accessible.
This may not be true but that is my first impression.

Sorry more questions than answers.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 4:20PM
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thanks for the input greendesigns. Adding anything on those walls would shrink up the wall space to the island and look odd. I guess you have to see it person to understand what I mean.

Of the four offers that fell through 1. was due to the fact that the place had termites over 10 years ago (non since) and they want a house that has never had termites (good luck in Texas finding one like that unless it is brand new). Offer 2.The guy decided he wanted a single family home and not a condo. The third offer fell through bc the woman wanted a huge sum of money to put in a brand new top of the line AC and I tried to work with her but she was stubborn. 4. This offer fell through bc she did not like that I did not have gas and also changed her mind in that she wanted a single family home.

There is a chance they all realized it was small I am not sure. The comments keep coming about the lack of storage. I already lowered my price and am not sure if adding cabinets will simply cause me diminishing returns.

I feel I am in a pickle!

Thanks again for your thoughts and insights.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 4:39PM
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I would add cabinets above the fridge and where the current cabs are, or at least shelves all the way up. Also, is there an exhaust hood above the range?
It's kind of strange that people would be making offers and then change their minds, as in offers 2 and 4, which apparently wasn't based on the inspection.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 4:54PM
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I am certainly no expert, but looking at those pictures, there seems to be a lack of non-decorative storage in the range/cooking area. I imagine the island does provide a fair amount of storage, but it still seems like the kitchen is lacking in upper cabinet storage (and is not quite large enough to make up for it with just lower cabinet storage). Personally, I would put a cabinet over the refrigerator, as well as cabinets flanking the range. If you can go all the way to the ceiling, I think that would be a bonus. I'm sorry that it seems like that would interfere with keeping your sconces. Additionally, is the refrigerator standard size? It looks narrow to me, but perhaps that is just the pictures. That would not necessarily be a turn off for me personally, but maybe for someone who likes to have a big full size refrigerator.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 5:56PM
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I think people make an offer, then have buyer's remorse and come up with a reason to rationalize changing their minds. If you don't have gas, she could have put in induction - some of us prefer it, anyway. If they want single-family, they shouldn't put in offers on condos.

That said, it might be short on storage space, but interesting that that is not the problem they are citing. Cabs across the top of the range wall would eliminate that as a reason, though.

Take heart - it is a lovely home.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 7:11PM
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First - I think your home looks very, very nice and I'm surprised that four offers have fallen through! I think it is very well decorated and looks very inviting.

However, there are a few things that might be affecting people unconsciously -

  • Can you open the refrigerator door fully? It looks like it would only open part way. If the hinges are on the right, then you have the wall getting in your way when you're trying to access it. BUT, I don't think there's anything you can do about this now.

No ventilation over the range (no matter what type of "fuel" it is)...again, I don't think there's anything you can do about it at this point.

What I think you can do something about...lack of storage

  • Personally, I think you need to add a full-depth cab above the refrigerator and either replace or add to the cabinets over the range so you have cabs all the way across from the refrigerator to the wall on the right - and take them all to the ceiling.

  • I would also remove that little shelf under the existing cabinets except just behind the range. The cabinets behind the range will probably have to be higher off the counter than those in the rest of the area, so the shelf can probably stay there.

  • I would put cooking-type items on the shelf to show how useful it can be (other than a dust-collector for decorative items). Perhaps some "fancy" salt & pepper shakers and a nice timer...maybe an oil bottle. (Yes, I know that oil should be refrigerated and not exposed to heat - but most people do not and it might make that space look more useful.) If you don't like oil, find something else...perhaps one of the containers that I see there - but make it look like it's actually used.

Is that a pantry behind the door to the right of the range? If so, I'd leave it open when your home is shown so people will see that you have more space than it appears at first. Separate pantries always hint at much more storage space - even if they're small!

Regarding the size of the refrigerator. If this is a small condo, I don't think it's unusual to have a smaller refrigerator. I think the size of it is probably fine. OTOH, if it's a multi-floor condo with 3 or more bedrooms, then the size may indeed be an issue. Either way, there's no space for a bigger refrigerator and I don't think you'd want the expense even if you had room...

I wonder if the stools are overpowering the island? The stools are rather massive and while I think they look nice there, they may be "too much" in person. (They do look comfortable!)

Where is your table space?

All this being said, I don't know if the above items really are an issue, unless your "browsers" are all TKO! I'm afraid the real issues may be...

(1) Bad luck that so many have gotten cold feet all of a sudden
(2) The low interest rates and relatively low home prices (both new builds and existing) that are enticing many to consider single family homes instead of condos and...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Add up all the $ you would spend tweeking the kitchen for your imaginary buyers; offer this sum as "cash at closing"
for them to do whatever they want to the house once its theirs.
I sold our last house in one day. Had it as "perfect" as I thought it could be. Even put new hardware on all cabinets.
Ran into the buyer a couple weeks after closing at Lowe's.
She was buying new cab hardware...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:06PM
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The fridge does open fully and is not particularly small.

I think I am coming around to seeing that you cannot please everyone. So I am with ppbenn. I could put money into the kitchen and people may still complain or not like the cabinets. If they want more cab space then I am open to an allowance or they can just change what is there.

Here is the listing so you guys have a better idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to LIstin in Austin

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Like in pic 12 on your listing, there is a large, beautiful storage cabinet. Is there any room for a similar cabinet near kitchen? Another thought have a closet company come in and measure for narrow storage in the laundry room on that large wall - is it near kitchen? They might have other ideas for storage...and you can have them draw up at and offer credit at closing. The house is beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Have you thought about adding a picture of the inside of the pantry? Right now, all I think when I see that kitchen is 'wow, there is no storage in there'. There is also not a photo of the oven side where you can see the cabinets. Jollyville is a great location, but condos are always a hard sell in Austin when there are so many single family homes (unless it's a downtown condo). Has your appraisal come back to be in line with what you're asking?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Well, fingers crossed.... we just got an offer and I countered and it was accepted the signed contract is to come in this morning. We will see.

Wish me luck on this one!!!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 7:31AM
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I checked my email after writing this and the contract was signed last night. So, I am officially under contract! Fingers crossed.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 7:45AM
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Good Luck! This is the doldrums of summer, so buyers can be more choosy at this point. Your home is lovely, just stunning. I agree that four offers falling through may be a record, though! I wouldn't bother changing anything! It's perfect for a single person or a couple. Hang in there! I hope this is the one that makes it!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Real estate is very tricky. Offers fall through. A friend of mine had multiple fall-throughs over two years. It just happens and there is always a different reason.

Having reno'd and styled an apartment two years ago with a sale in mind there were things I did and didn't do. There were negative comments. The buyer called our built ins "furniture" in the bedroom and "cabinets" in the kitchen and office. It was nuts.

Based on the photos you do not have a "family" kitchen. You have a "utility" kitchen -- a basic. I don't see why kitchen storage would be an issue in that respect.

I would work at clearing out the clutter on the counters and shelves so that it appears there is more space. IMO putting up additional cabinets will make it look more crowded and I don't see that helping.

My only other suggestion would be to paint the doors to other rooms white to create more illusion of space. The brown is very attractive but dark colors advance.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:51AM
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