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Introduction and some feedback

Posted by Mmmbeeer (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 21:03

Hi, I've been lurking on the forum for a while now. We've sold three homes FSBO; the last one was a year and a half ago because my husband got another job in another state so we're familiar with the stress of the selling process. I am happy to have found this site because I think when people pool their expertise and information, we all benefit.

My dilemma is this: My husband's company was bought out by another and we are naturally concerned about whether or not he will have a job. We selected a home that we specifically felt had resale potential along with some things we could improve that would be relatively inexpensive as we are both 50+ and knew we were taking a risk in this economy etc. sigh. On the positive side, we started in on low cost improvements right away and the home would be ready to show soon, if we were to get bad news. We think the previous owners tried to flip this home and gave up. They put some standard HGTV improvements like SS appliances and granite. It has an open concept, which younger people, especially, seem to think is a plus. The big drawback, as we see it, is the lack of a dining room. The dining area is small. We could fit a (slightly) larger table that seats six but we only needed seating for four for our needs. How much of a drawback is a lack of dining room for you? I'll try to see if I can't post a pic so you can have some perspective. I'd appreciate any feedback you have. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Introduction and some feedback

Don't show it with a larger table than what comfortably fits.

A house without a formal dining room isn't a big deal to me; it is what we actually chose. But, you will see this debated a lot on the building forum and other places. The fact is, you have what you have. So, sell what you've got. Set it up properly and make it appeal to the right buyer (young families/young couples like open concept and don't particularly care for formal dining room).


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

I should also add that we are the "little sister" in a neighborhood of many larger homes so we feel our home would probably appeal to starter families or "older folks" like us who are downsizing.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

Thanks, kirkhall. That was fast! Lol


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

I agree with kirkhall... you have what you have. Show it off to it's best advantage!

That said, no dining room would be a deal-breaker for me. We use ours too much to be without one!


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

Around here, houses are expected to have a formal dining room regardless of how you use it.

If you have access to a six seater table,I'd probably go with that instead of the four seater. You want to make the area look usable for a family if that is who would most likely be buying your house.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

I think the dining area looks fine! We don't have kids so a small area is fine with us, and ours is about that size. We have an Ikea table that expands to seat 6 but normally 4. I would not put a larger table in your area it might make the room look crowded, it looks well staged now.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

If a 6 seat table makes the room look small I would not do it. As for what people expect on the last home we sold, we had a formal dining room, but we did not have a separate breakfast room (this was a higher end home for our area). We did have a small breakfast bar between the kitchen and living room. Anyway, this was a deal breaker for a number of people who saw the house. We had more negative feedback from that than anything else. However, it was not anything we could do anything about...except to compete on price which we ended up doing.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

I'm guessing the area is open into the living room as well. If so then is it possible if somebody had a large gathering to extend into that area? If so and if the size is consistent with the size of the house then I think you'd be fine. It looks like there is plenty of space from your pic, but those could be deceiving.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

Leave the table, it is what it is and you don't want the space to feel cramped. Let people imagine they could fit a table for 8, don't point out to them that 6 is as good as it gets.

I am another one that will not buy a house without a distinct, formal dining room, as well as an eat-in kitchen, but there are many that just don't care if the house contains a separate dining room.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

Personally I think it depends upon the size of the house. If it's a 4 bedroom house, then you could potentially have a family of 5 (like me!) and I would look at your picture and think - we can't even fit our entire family in there - not good. If it's a three BR house, then most likely (of course there are exceptions) you are selling to a family of 4 or less and I think it's fine.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

You might want to take a couple of additional photos from different angles and post them on the decorating forum. The folks there are excellent at suggesting adjustments to maximize a space.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

I think a formal dining room is of limited value to certain kinds of couples, particularly those that don't entertain and/or don't have any local family. In high-transient-population neighborhoods, I have almost always found the formal dining room converted to a makeshift home office. It really depends on your buyer.

I'd not worry too much about the lack of having one. You can't really change it at this point, just market your home for what it is...perfect for a couple and/or small family and/or relocated person. Might even be perfect for a single mom/single dad, and lets not forget that this makes up a HUGE percentage of the population these days.

I personally think your picture gives off the "low maintenance" vibe, which can be terrific for the right buyer. Just make sure the rest of your pictures 'match' that same vibe/theme or you'll end up attracting the wrong kinds of buyers who would be otherwise turned off to learn you didn't have a dining room.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

lyfia--you are correct, the dining area does open up into the living area.

Mamattorney--that is a good point. We have a three bed/two bath home. I do agree that if this was a four bedroom home that expectations for a larger dining area would be warranted.

TheRedHouse--I didn't even consider the decorating forums as I just found out these even existed a month or so ago. Thanks!

I appreciate the thoughts of all of you who weighed in. The last home sale we had was very fast, but we did have two different sets of older home buyers tell us they loved everything about the home but wouldn't purchase any home without a formal dining room. That kitchen, however, had a considerably larger eat in kitchen where you could comfortably have a table set for eight in the room. I think I'm leaning toward the idea of keeping it to seating for four and "showing off" that extra space. I'm thinking just having the table and chairs out (and, of course, we always include room dimensions on our info sheet and online) will be enough for the majority of buyers to see that you could fit a larger table in the area, if they really wanted to. Thanks for all your insight!


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

To me, your 4-seat table looks like it could probably seat 6 - therefore, a table for 6 wouldn't be a problem. (Even if it would be.)

As an older person, I'd also like a formal dining room -- but that's a new thing for me as we'd never have 'dining room' parties with the kids around.

Best of all worlds? A dining room that's separate but not 'formal'


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

I really think that table is perfect, because it looks just a smidge too small for the room- so you look at it, assume it's a 6 person table with four chairs, and viola, your dining area is huge!

This kind of layout is ideal to me, I have no use for a formal dining room.


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

Sweeby and Cocontom, thanks for the feedback. Every bit helps!


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RE: Introduction and some feedback

It looks lovely as is. I would require a house with a dining room as we do the family holiday and special occasion meals with 11 family members and more expected. However, our recently married son is house hunting, and he would go for your house in a minute.


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