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1909 Arts & Crafts Home

Posted by betsyhac (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 12, 09 at 12:22

My family owns a 1909 Arts & Crafts style home that is to be sold. I disagree with some of the realtor's recommendations for sale, and I would really appreciate your input.

1) Shouldn't we get the opinion of more than 1 realtor?

2)There are hardwood maple floors. Generally, they are in fairly good condition, but do need refinishing. The realtor suggested covering with carpeting.

3) There are a limited number of storm windows (the old variety), probably less than 1/2 the windows. The house is peeling and needs painting. The realtor suggested that the existing storms be painted and installed.

4) According to the realtor, if the house does not have 10 showings in one month, the house should be discounted by $10,000 every month until sold. (SE Wisconsin market, 45 mins from Milwaukee)

5) The house is 2600 sq ft, 5 bedrooms, 3 stairways, stained glass, including 3 huge windows on the staircase landing, oak woodwork throughout, on over an acre w/barn, hardwoods, perennials, tile fireplace w/cherry surround, 2 full baths, 2.5 car garage, beautiful oak built-in hutch in dining room, large walk-in attic, full basement, new furnace 1984, new septic 1993, new water heater less than 5 years ago, front porch, built-in glass doored cabinet in kitchen, built-in linen closet in upstairs hallway, pantry in kitchen, huge fenced-in area off of barn. Realtor is suggesting a price of $149,000 after installing a new roof, painting interior, repairing toilets, new garage door, repair of garage wall, and above repairs.

5) I have to give my opinion asap, so if you have any info or opinion, I would appreciate your input asap.

Thx very much


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

Another opinion? Yes, three would be good.

We recently bought a 1908 bungalow. I would never carpet over wood floors. Putting the old storms back on - YES! Much better than any new window you could get and should be valuable to any old-home lover.

Price - really, sounds awfully low to me, but I don't know your area.

Ask for comps on similar homes and interview at least two more realtors.
Diane


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

DO NOT paint the wood work no matter how much the REA tries to get you to do it.
DO NOT rip out or remove anything that is original. IF you really have to replace something store the replaced item in the garage.
It's usually cheaper and more effective to refinish the floors than it is to carpet. I'd NEVER cover real hardwood for sale purposes. Most folks would ide for real hardwood floors!
I think what you really need is a REA that has experience selling old homes and is connected with people who cherish that type of home.
I don't know your market but I do know mine in NYS and even in our area where prices haven't moved much that seems low.
Another agent I do believe is needed.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

I agree, you need a realtor specializing in selling old homes. Yes you will have some problems, and yes some may have to be fixed, but this is a special type of home, which requires a special owner. Sounds like your realtor just wants it sold to anyone so she/he can get the commission. Like Carol stated DO NOT replace anything original unless it is completly broke etc. DO not put carpet in and do not reduce it every month by the amount you stated. You need a different representation. Is there a historical society in your area? That price seems way too low. If your realtor refuses to cooperate, you might pull it off the market for 3 months. You are the seller, and you set the requirments, not the realtor, who in my opinion just wants the money.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

I would definetly interview other realtors and also not cover up the hardwoods.

As for price it doesn't sound low to me assuming you are out in the country and the WI market is more of a normal market as compared to the high prices in other areas. However none of us that are not familiar with the area would be a good judge of that. This is where interviewing more realtors will be helpful to you.

Do a search on here as to what to ask when interviewing a realtor.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

This is not an old home you're selling as new, but an old home with artistic appeal. Your realtor obviously doesn't appreciate this which, in my opinion, means you need to find one who does.

Carper over hardwood in an original A&C home??? Puleeze. My experience is carpet will cost the same as refinishing.

With exception of the mechanical systems and modern creature comforts, keep the house as original as you can and in as good repair as you can afford.

Beware of rules of thumb regarding dropping the price. This is not a typical home. For the same reason, it might not be as easy to sell since not everyone will appreciate it.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

1) Shouldn't we get the opinion of more than 1 realtor?
yes

2)There are hardwood maple floors. Generally, they are in fairly good condition, but do need refinishing. The realtor suggested covering with carpeting.

Do not carpet. Either refinish or leave as is

3) There are a limited number of storm windows (the old variety), probably less than 1/2 the windows. The house is peeling and needs painting. The realtor suggested that the existing storms be painted and installed.

Are the existing storms currently painted?

4) According to the realtor, if the house does not have 10 showings in one month, the house should be discounted by $10,000 every month until sold. (SE Wisconsin market, 45 mins from Milwaukee)

How do you discount $10K per month a $149K house?

5) ..... Realtor is suggesting a price of $149,000 after installing a new roof, painting interior, repairing toilets, new garage door, repair of garage wall, and above repairs.

Ask for comps. Will the house sell with the current roof? Cost for repairs? Listing price without repairs?

Start with 2-3 more Realtor's opinions. Get the comps. Get the comps if you do not do any repairs, then what it would sell for with that long list of repairs finished. How much will the suggested repairs cost? Find out the DOM from both situations.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

I am sobbing into my coffee!

Generally - get several more realtors out there, don't tell them what the others have said but ask lots of questions. Try to get a mix of older, younger, male, female.

To come back down to earth, it sounds like some of the bigger mechanicals have been done which is a plus but

"repairing toilets" ..which makes me wonder - what is the general condition? Sounds like it is/was pretty run down.
Also what is the neighborhood and who do you think your buyer will be?

I'm not sure whats wrong with the toilets but I'm pretty sure you are going to have to repair them. Without knowing more I'd assume the same with the garage wall and making the garage door operable at least.

As hard as it is to swallow will some of your potential buyers may just be looking for the neighborhood schools and # of bedrooms for the price point and not care that its A&C? (I'd beg you not to sell to them!)
I'd considering offering a general allowance - to be used towards carpet or whatever they want including off the price. That way the new owners have some flexibility.
What condition are the interior walls in? Its one of the few things a relatively unhandy person will attempt but if they are pretty bad you might try a coat of primer tinted a warm offwhite if you think it would be a significant improvement.
As for the roof and outside - they are pretty expensive titems on a 149,000 house though without knowing more about the house and market its hard to have an opinion.
I have seen MLS write-ups that end the description with something like
"blah blah reflected in pricing" which lets prospective buyers know that you know the roof needs replacing and have priced accordingly.

Make sure you agree up front with the realtor that you want input in the description and photos. People here will be more than happy to help and are pretty good at it. But if your realtor is like some they won't be responsive to changing the ad especially once its done.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

Thank you so much everyone for your comments. With all of these posts in hand on Monday, I hope to persuade the rest of the family to see a different point of view.
To answer some Qs:
House does have some trouble spots. It's definitely very liveable, but is also a fixer upper. Both toilets work and look fine, but one leaks into basement and one is slightly running on a continuous basis, running up the water bill, so it was turned off. The woodwork is in good shape. The fireplace is fine. Storms for windows are missing. Interior walls are good; some cracks.
Good neighborhood, out in the country in a small town, but not isolated. Right in the town, with neighbors nearby, most on larger lots, single family, all families.
My thought with the storms was that, first of all, windows couldn't be opened and house would be stuffy in summer; second, if they are painted and rest of outside is not, would highlight how much outside needs painting; third, bc there's so many storms missing, having them up would highlight that as well.
Discounting $10k/mo in this market seems way out of line to me.
DOM?
Unfortunately, I'm not the POA and I have no control, which is why I need back up. :)
Thx again, I really appreciate it. I love GW.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

Around here those little not quite as much work but still an acreage and are snuggled up to (my small city) town in a good school district are scarce as hens teeth. Don't know about there but a question for all the realtors.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home oh and

And yes, 10,000 a month is crazy. Similar properties here are taking longer to sell but are still getting 95% of asking.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

DOM = days on market


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

Do NOT cover the hardwood floors with carpet!
DO get another couple of opinions from other realtors.
Get a good, trustable, handyman and fix the run on toilet, the leaky toilet and the cracks in the walls. Those fixes will not cost all that much money and will make the house more sale worthy.

If I were a buyer, the toilet that was shut off would make me think there was a bigger problem afoot. The cracked walls would make me suspect foundation problems.

We just sold an Arts & Crafts home (1930s vintage) and the floors were a big selling point. As a matter of fact, in the few rooms that did have carpet (bedrooms), prospective buyers asked if there was hardwood underneath. The eventual buyers ripped up the carpet in those rooms and refinished floors right after the closing.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

"New furnace, 1984"??? I would hope that it was "new" then, but a 25 year old furnace is definitely NOT new now!

I agree with the above posts. With the toilet leaking into the basement..... do you have mold problems, too? That would be a HUGE red flag for me. (And why haven't you fixed it before now? How long has it been leaking? The other one was running long enough to run up your water bill.... knowing this I would be very wary of other maintenance problems.)

Don't install the storms, but DO label them so that the new owners know where to put them. It is very frustrating to have windows that are almost the same size.... but not quite... and trying to guess whether it is the right storm if it is a little bit snug or a little bit loose. (In our last house, they were labeled as "Susie's room" and "Joe's room" which wasn't too terribly helpful other than not trying them in the public rooms of the house. A diagram with each window and storm marked would be fabulous.)

Get your septic system thoroughly inspected now. How long is it expected to last? How long have the present drain fields been used, or is there a mound? Ripping it all out and replacing with new dirt is expensive, and might not be doable depending on current codes.

Can you post a link to pictures?


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

My sister just sold her 1920's A&C house. It was on the market 25 days.

She had 5 agents look at the house and went with the one who seemed to have the best marketing plan. The house had a 1989 kitchen, 5 year old roof, 2 year old furnace. What it needed was interior painting and sprucing up.

We did strip wallpaper and paint the entire first floor. Did not refinish the floor even though that was clearly needed. Two of the four bedrooms were repainted.

The agent positioned the house not for first time buyers, but for experienced homeowners who would appreciate that while there was cosmetic work to be done, the house was livable and all mechanics had been taken care of in a timely fashion.

About 50 people came through the open house the first day it was on the market. Sissy got an offer that day and one the following week.

An agent who knows how to market a house and who to market it to is worth his/her weight in gold.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

You mentioned that you were on a septic and in another post mentioned that one toilet was turned off because it ran up the water bill with its constant running. I'm confused; how do you have a water bill which would indicate that you're connected to city water & sewer and also have a septic system which would indicate a private well to run it?

Are you on city water or septic? You have mentioned both.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

Hi Neesie:
The house is supplied with city water (not a well), and the septic is for outgoing.


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RE: 1909 Arts & Crafts Home

I have to agree with every one here. The price seems low, even for WISCONSIN on a vintage home. Definitely get a few more realtors in there. This one doesnt seem to know the market for older homes. NO ONE who knows anything about vintage homes would tell you to carpet over hardwood. Definitely get rid of the peeling paint, do a lot of cleaning but keep as much as the original home as you can. There is a market for this. Doing things to "update" and not keeping with the homes intergrity is the best way to kill the market value of the home.


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