Return to the Buying and Selling Homes Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Posted by herus (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 22, 09 at 10:09

Apologies for starting a new thread on the same home but it is a different subject. We invited a realtor in yesterday and she spent nearly 3 hours (!) reviewing and giving suggestions. I'll try to be concise but this is still going to run long:

1) Home needs staging. There is "too much" furniture (we just donated a bunch of it last month) and too many "small things". Her take is have "big things" (pictures, knick-knacks, etc) and a few of them to provide punch.

2) She went out to the lake backyard and fell in love with it, and totally revised her initial take on the price. HOWEVER, now she says that since the yard and lake are SO nice we need to bring the home up to that level. She did not say the home was 'bad', but rather 'ok'... which I know it is (except for the home theater, which she acknowledged). But she wants it to be 'upgraded to meet the yard's standard'. It IS true that the yard belongs in a house twice the price of this home, but isn't that a good thing? (scratching head)

3) She will bring in her stager contact. $350 for a consultation, then $210/hr for moving stuff around, plus rental of anything that is "needed". (I don't usually use quote marks so liberally but I am drawing attention to HER words, not mine). She says this is "absolutely necessary".

Do you think, looking at the home and considering its environment, that it needs all this? Two other agents who have visited have said it is fine the way it is. (I recognize they may have their own agenda).

4) Finally, comps and competition. There are 4 other homes in the subdiv for sale, ranging from $550K to $675K. NONE of them is on the lake and only have modest tree views. Two of them are stucco (kiss of death in ATL), while the most expensive one is smaller than our home by about 1/3 but 10 years newer (Ours is, however, fully updated, fresh paint, master, kitchen, theater, roof, basement, etc). The only home that is similar to ours is $590K but NO LAKE.

-------------

She came in thinking around $580K, just because that's what the comps told her (!). After seeing the lake she said she needs to comp against more homes in a wider area and account for the lake. Still, I don't think she's going to get up to $675, which is where we think we should be.

So why get worked up about this realtor, you may ask? Well, she had some good suggestions nevertheless, and she seems to be willing to work hard (evidenced by the 3 hour visit). But I am not sure she is working for ME vs for HERSELF (yes, I know this is obvious -- herself -- but what I mean is that she should be also looking at maximizing my net, right? I mean, if I wanted to give it away I could have done so several times already, netting something below $600K).

Whew, will stop here. Basically, we thought we were ready to go to market in a serious way (meaning FMLS) and she has told us we need some 3 weeks and $3K more put into it, this after $40K this year already ($80+K in the last two years). I know, what's $3K compared to $80K, but...

Here is a link that might be useful: Zillow listing, one more time


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

You have to take my comments with a grain of salt. I don't know your market at all and my husband and I have always had old houses, 1870's, and our "new" house was built in the 1970's. On top of that I currently live in CA where your house would be in the multi million dollar range.

All that said your house is beautiful and I can't imagine that it needs staging. Honestly it looks staged to me already. The house isn't a size or style that would appeal to me but I know it would to many people. The lake view is gorgeous and the house is practically new! You aren't dealing with a 70's ranch with harvest gold carpet.The only scary thing for me is that deck and all those stairs down to the backyard but this is coming from someone with bad knees.

I can see by looking at the previous thread that you have included the suggestions people have made about your descriptions.

In my experience homeowners who have kept track of local sales often have a very good idea where their price should be. The exception to this is in areas where the price had a huge bubble and is now dropping and the owners can't accept that reality. I don't think your area had that huge runup did it?

Barbara


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Barbara, thanks and you're right... this area experienced hardly any runup at all; it was pretty much business as usual (on resales) with homes gaining between 2-3% a year on average.

Builders did get greedy and their prices climbed stupidly (but this somehow did not translate to the resale market). I recall one subdiv near us that started in the 600s and within two years was in the 800s. Nuts. They have still to sell out, as they got caught by their own greed and the subdiv is now 5 years old and only 40 or so homes total. Due to this (IMO) overall housing has taken a hit, with another significant contributor being all the foreclosures. All that said, not all parts of ATL have reacted similarly; our area remains relatively stable, again IMO and based on observations.

Anyway, thanks for the comments. Maybe it could use some pics on the walls, etc but I do think she was going overboard.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

I looked at your pictures and I don't know what this realtor is talking about. Your house looks beautiful like it is. Do the rooms you don't show look nice? None of the pictures I saw have too much furniture or stuff in them. You don't want it to look sterile.

I think you should stand firm and also resist her expensive restaging. At your price point she should offer some staging help for free as she stands to make about 20 thousand on your house.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Just so you know, "comps" aren't the houses that are currently listed in your neighborhood. "Comps" are similar houses that actually sold recently. The houses currently for sale in your neighborhood put a ceiling on what you might list at in terms of competition, but they don't provide much guidance as to what you will eventually sell at.

eg - if the highest listing price on a home in your area is $675k, you probably don't want to be higher than that unless you home has considerably more features. However, if that $675k house has been sitting on the market for months because it is overpriced, you REALLY don't want to follow their lead. If you want to sell your home, you need to take your cue from the house sales that have actually gone through.

As for staging, I wouldn't not pay anyone to do that. If your agent has made specific recommendations, I would follow those yourself. From the pictures though, it looks like you have a very good start already. Before people come through, I would put a away the few little things you have lying around - bathroom scale, klenex boxes, whatever that white box in the bedroom is, TV remotes, and the misc kitchen stuff on the counter.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

It's true that none of the houses are true comps but none of them are on the lake, either. The lake changes everything and makes your house more valuable.

As for the kitchen countertops, don't overload them but it's okay to have a few things on them, they don't need to be completely cleared off, that just looks cold and odd. When I sold my mom's house I had a nice coffeemaker, an attractive set of canisters, and a bowl of apples.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

3) She will bring in her stager contact. $350 for a consultation, then $210/hr for moving stuff around, plus rental of anything that is "needed". (I don't usually use quote marks so liberally but I am drawing attention to HER words, not mine). She says this is "absolutely necessary".

I'm a big believer in staging, but not to the level she wants to take it. I would pay at most $200 to hear what a stager had to say, and then do the work myself. And no way would I rent stuff for staging. When I was selling, the agent paid for the services of the stager.

she wants it to be 'upgraded to meet the yard's standard'.

If you have a to-die-for yard, people who want such a yard will overlook many things in the house.

I think your assessment of her is right. That's not to say that I wouldn't use her as a agent, but I wouldn't agree to these recommendations.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

I think she may have a deal with the stager to bring business and perhaps get a cut of it? I honestly can't see anything wrong with your home that would require staging. I was picturing a 70's bungalow with green shag carpeting and those smoky square mirrors. LOL

Personally, I would pass on this realtor soley b/c she is pushing the staging when not needed.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

billl, yes I know comps are not the same as what I listed... I just forgot to detail them after bringing it up so thanks for reminding me.

So: one recent comp, $560k, no brick, siding (not Hardi), smaller home by about 800 sf, NOT on lake, not even a nice back yard (huge slope). Was on market for some 90 days I think, started at 650, then 615, then 585, closed at 560. Owners had already moved out so were getting desperate I suspect.

Another comp, on lake, brick but not as updated and a very average yard and view (Ours is truly the best, or at worst second-best view, and pretty much the best yard. I have studied this extensively by going out on a canoe and parking outside every backyard and evaluating it in both summer and winter). Started at 715, dropped to 625 in short order (sellers left town) and sold for 590 right after the price drop.

Third comp: not on lake, slightly more square feet, not in the main subdiv (uses another entrance meant for only 6 homes), nice inside but not quite as updated, listed at 640 and sold for 600 in a couple of months.

Fully agree on the little stuff, family photos (yes they're still out there and of course they will go). But the rooms not shown are at the same level more or less. They are secondary rooms and I didn't want to overdo the pics (leave a little bit of 'mystery' as some have suggested). But they are fine. OK, one room has outdated furniture but nothing shabby. It will be seriously reworked this weekend.

Also not seen in the pics (I may add some) are the fact that the kitchen is pretty high-end (I was told it cost over $40k alone although it was already done when we got there) with cabinet-face refrigerator and DW, very nice built-ins (the sliding, swinging type mechanisms inside), and LOTS of pantry space. Also not shown are some great water views from several of the rooms.

Another whew... I just KNOW this house can support a strong price. I am slightly concerned about appraising though, as some have told me appraisers DON'T account for water/lake, but really that would be crazy. Not only are there views but also tremendous accessibility and backyard conveniences. It was this that sold us the house even needing a lot of work, and it is this that I am counting on after improving both the house (extensively) and the yard (less so but still to the tune of a few thou).


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

If the most a house has sold for in your sub recently is 600k, then 675k is expecting too much. All your neighbors "knew" their houses were worth more too and then got an unpleasant surprise when they found out what the market price really was.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

The 600k closing was not on the lake and had fewer upgrades and was not part of the main subdiv (a distinct negative for many reasons). It did have perhaps 300 more square feet though. And starting at $675 doesn't mean we'll end at $675, right? I mean, that house started at $640, so I am adding only $35-45k for lake, new roof, other upgrades and location. Not too bad a deal for a buyer, yes?


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

No - it is a bad deal for a buyer to pay more for a smaller house. - especially 75k more. I'm sure your view is lovely, but for that much money, you can fly to the south of France every year for the next couple of decades.
Besides, even if you think your house is wonderful, nobody is going to be able to get a loan for more than it appraises for. The appraiser is going to be looking at comps, not your view.

It's your house, so you can start at whatever you want, but overpricing from the start is a bad strategy. If you want to sell your house, you should price it at a realistic value. Starting too high just decreases the number of people who will even come in for a showing and that means they won't be making an offer at all. Overpricing up front and then slowly lowering it down is a sure way to lose money. Sellers got away with asking for the moon during the housing boom, but that just isn't working now.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

While I appreciate your taking the time to comment, it really doesn't make sense to me that you consider 300 square feet (less than 6% of total SF)to more than offset location, water view AND access, and at least $25K in upgrades. Getting the impression you're only reading the parts that correspond to what you believe your answers fit. That's ok; I still appreciate your input and you may be right anyway.

Re the south of France analogy, perhaps, but at the end of twenty years you can't sell those trips, even for depreciated value. I love Cannes as much as the next hedonist, but the two items are not really comparable. Ce n'est pas des pommes aux pommes.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

First, where can I get a job as a home stager? Sound pretty lucrative!!! What a scam!!!! You don't need one!

Next, I too thought I was looking at the wrong listing as I was expecting a tired, dated home with the interior to match! You home is beautiful and you own staging is perfect!

As far as waterfront goes, we have a bunch of small lakes in our town and the homes on the lakes are very desirable and usually go for quite a bit more than the homes that are across the street even though they have lake rights. I say usually because I just noticed the other day that a very lovely ranch on the lake with lots of lake frontage, just dropped it's price by just under $100K!!!! Unheard of around here!! It's now priced pretty comparable to similar homes to it without lake frontage! Just crazy!! It totally shocked us. We had always wanted to move on one of the lakes and never could afford it. With a price drop like that we can afford it but we have changed our focus with age, as we are looking to move to a PUD 55+ community and will have no upkeep anymore, Wooopie!!!!!


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

I do believe there is a value of staging in most homes, but NOT in yours.....it is beautiful and already looks "staged"......I would wonder if your realtor gets a % of the stager's business by referring her.
Good luck in selling a very beautiful home and setting.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

herus - I agree with you on the added value given the location.

Most Americans have never been to the south of France and have no intention of going - even once.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Your home is beautiful. The location and view and lot are to die for gorgeous. You must remember that there are only so many lakeview lots, and you are selling one. With that lake access, you are also selling a lifestyle much moreso than your lovely house alone would provide.

Staging is common here. We see houses sit that are not staged. DD sold her San Francisco city condo quickly for $200,000 more than the realtors thought because among other things (great view) they staged the place. (And realtors do like to price low to sell quickly. With this market, it is a real judgment call.)

The one area I would consider staging if I were you is the living room. You have today's quite popular large, overstuffed counches and chairs, and the effect is to make a room look crowded and smaller. So, you might want to consider spiffing up the living room only with better scale to the furniture and some pizzaz that a stager can bring in. If it helps you sell the place earlier, look at the savings you will have made by not making more monthly payments before someone buys your home.

However, you do have a gorgeous home as is. You have a really lovely lot. Everything is in good condition and it is move-in ready. The other houses in the neighborhood may be nice, but they cannot hold a candle to yours, which is unique with your lakeview, access and large yard.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

IMHO, I think staging helps the sale of entry level/first time buyer properties. I do not think it helps for move-up/dream homes, though, unless there are flaws that need to be somewhat disguised. I have a friend who is a realtor and she tells me that first time home buyers sometimes walk out of a home simply because of the 1980s decor, or ugly living room wall colors. Once you've owned a home, you "get it" and can see past things like cluttered bathrooms and tacky wall paper.

That being said, I can think of nothing staging can do for your house that would justify the cost. Your house is new, on a lake, with gorgeous bones and enough furniture to allow potential buyers to mentally estimate spaciousness. You have "location, location, location" all sewed up. As far as I can see, there are absolutely no design flaws in your home.

I would be curious to know if the realtor has a stake in the staging company; is she part owner? Does she get kickbacks? If you decide you want to pursue staging, I'd get some quotes from other staging companies and comparison shop. I would also ask the realtor point blank if she is financially connected to the company she recommended.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

I agree with many posters that your house is not in need of staging. That said, perhaps there is some tweaking here or there that this staging woman could do. But, I think the realtor should offer to pick up that consultation cost and a few hours of work - she's going to make a tidy profit on selling a home at that price range. It's part of the marketing package to me.

I think you need to decide how quickly you want to sell your house. If you want top dollar, you're going to have to be prepared to wait until the right buyer comes along. Most people out looking are searching for deals - or more likely steals on houses. If you price it based on what you think is a fair marketable price, you need to wait and find someone who's been eyeing your neighborhood and lake frontage and is willing to pay.

In addition, homes in your price range tend to take longer to sell especially with the clamp down on jumbo mortgages. How long were the comps you reference on the market?


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Caroleoh, I posted on the comps prices and DOM a few posts up; here it is again for your convenience:
one recent comp, $560k, no brick, siding (not Hardi), smaller home by about 800 sf, NOT on lake, not even a nice back yard (huge slope). Was on market for some 90 days I think, started at 650, then 615, then 585, closed at 560. Owners had already moved out so were getting desperate I suspect.

Another comp, on lake, brick but not as updated and a very average yard and view (Ours is truly the best, or at worst second-best view, and pretty much the best yard. I have studied this extensively by going out on a canoe and parking outside every backyard and evaluating it in both summer and winter). Started at 715, dropped to 625 in short order (sellers left town) and sold for 590 right after the price drop.

Third comp: not on lake, slightly more square feet, not in the main subdiv (uses another entrance meant for only 6 homes), nice inside but not quite as updated, listed at 640 and sold for 600 in a couple of months.

The timing question you posed is key here. We are not pressured to move in any way... the only motivation is in our minds, to do the family things we'd like to (NOT need to) once in the other state. This is actually our dream home so we will not go easy... plus the other area is at least 2.5x more expensive than here so we will be stepping down quite a bit and still spending more! In fact, we sometimes wonder if we're doing the right thing but if we don't we'll always be wondering. Anyway, we need to pull some money out of this (ie a certain price) or we can't really afford our minimum where it is we're going. Fortunately it is not a distress situation of any kind.

Yes I know about the steals and have already had a few people contact me with crazy expectations. This from the sign in the yard (no price shown) but we are putting out an info box tonight so that should cut out those calls.

I really appreciate all those who took the time and effort to respond. Overwhelmingly you have voted against spending big money on staging, but some have alluded to minor (self-staging) things, which we have already started working on. More flowers, a few more wall decorations, a bit more depersonalizing, and so on.

I had the same sentiment voiced by many here, that this realtor has her fingers in the staging pie as well, and for the commish she will make by selling the home she is actually shooting herself in the foot by trying to make a couple of hundred on the front end. I just can't make sense of this 'logic' but that is what it seems like is happening. I also find it galling that after all the money we've put into the house she can't seem to value it higher than non-lake homes. I didn't mention this earlier as it didn't seem relevant but she had visited us earlier this year and suggested a number of capital improvements (master bath, paint, some repairs, etc), saying she couldn't see a price of over $600 without all those things. Well, we did all that AND MORE (eg roof) over the next 5 months, putting some $40k into it and a LOT of sweat equity, then called her back in with high expectations. So it came as a shock that she was still stuck at $600 or lower. And to anticipate the questions, no, RE has not gone down to any noticeable degree in this area; in fact I hear on the grapevine that perhaps it is picking up.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in as someone who has just spent the past few weeks touring many homes for sale. From the pics, I agree with the previous posters: it looks great and not in need of professional staging. I toured empty homes and lived-in homes, and I must say that what they say on the HGTV shows is true: it's much easier for a potential buyer to envision themselves in a home that has furniture still in it but is in a cleaned-out, tidied-up state. I cringed when I walked into homes with laundry or dirty dishes out, too much furniture and personal items crowding the way through the room, and also bad odors (one house stank of incense, and another smelled from the pet rabbit's cage.)

If you keep your home as clean and neat as in your photos, I think that is sufficient for showings. If you already decluttered, got rid of extra furniture, and packed away your overly personal photos, etc., I don't see what professional staging could do to make it more attractive.

Up by me, I have seen houses that were overpriced or priced at the high end of the range, and I generally wrote them off. Some of them later closed for less than what other homes were getting, possibly because they had to drop the price so much after sitting on the market for so long, and others were either pulled off the market or their listings expired. Those are the kiss of death---it's better to start off with a more reasonable price and get it sold more quickly.

One thing about realtors: they are working for you, yes, but really they are looking to make their commission. The only way that she can do that is to sell your home. Her commission off of a $650K home vs. a $675K home is negligible, so it's not necessarily in her best interests to max out your asking price. It's in her best interests to sell your home for as high a price as possible in the shortest amount of time as possible. So, really, only YOU are your own best advocate. We had a wonderful realtor who sold our home, but at times we felt he was pressuring us to price slightly lower than we wanted, or to counter-offer slightly lower than we wanted, in order to not scare off the buyer and to wrap up the sale. We stuck to our guns and in the end it all worked out well.

One last piece of advice my realtor gave me: you only want to post enough pics to get people to want to visit the home. You posted over 20 and it was a bit overwhelming, especially the wide-angle shots. You could definitely just pick six good shots (including the lake view) and that would be enough to lure me to visit!

Good luck!


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

If I was in the market for a home the size of your home and in that price range, all those pictures would be a big help to me to make me see that I want to see this house since it has all I want in a home. I feel your home shows well and you do not need expensive staging. I feel a lake view varies in different parts of the country but is worth more than no lake view. But be careful because times are tough and you have to make sure you are priced correctly for your market so you do not lose potential customers.

I love your house and property. Your kitchen is beautiful. What color paint is on your walls in your kitchen?


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

3) She will bring in her stager contact. $350 for a consultation, then $210/hr for moving stuff around, plus rental of anything that is "needed". (I don't usually use quote marks so liberally but I am drawing attention to HER words, not mine). She says this is "absolutely necessary".

Home staging pros have business relationships with realtors, that's how they get work. Tell your realtor you've consulted with stagers privately and will be following their recommendations. :)

Another comp, on lake, brick but not as updated and a very average yard and view (Ours is truly the best, or at worst second-best view, and pretty much the best yard. I have studied this extensively by going out on a canoe and parking outside every backyard and evaluating it in both summer and winter). Started at 715, dropped to 625 in short order (sellers left town) and sold for 590 right after the price drop.

This is your closest comp, yes? You have to decide if your house $85,000 better than this one. One could do a lot of landscaping and updating for $85 grand, and your buyers aren't canoeing around the lake to see it from that vantage point.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

lynn2006: thanks for your feedback. The color is "Island Sand" by Ralph Lauren.

idrive65, yes this comp may be the one we'd go up against although it is approaching a year now. The others are much more recent and I am told appraisers are now instructed to only use 3-month old data at max, which would mean two non-lake homes.

I don't know whether there is a real diff of $85K. Because that is comparing asking price to selling, and actual difference may be less. A new roof and probably $40K (additional) in landscaping alone accounts for much of that diff. Of course we are not appraisers, you or I :-)

It's a tough call, to be sure. Our pricing is influenced by two factors (among others), that we are not desperate to sell and that we need to clear a minimum. We haven't yet fixated on what that minimum must be, but we think we know what we WON'T accept.

LOL I know they won't go out on the boat... unless I make them! Maybe someone on a second visit that needs a little nudge perhaps.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Your home doesn't need staging! My dream home is a mid century ranch by a known architect of that era, so your home isn't my thing, however it is a beautiful home! The kitchen is fabulous, love that bathroom, and the rest of the home is clean and tasteful. I am really scratching my head on why she thinks it's 'not up to the standard of the yard'. Crazy.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Your house is beautiful and doesn't need staging. I agree with the others that it is lovely just the way it is. Good luck with the sale!


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

WOW... looks like a spread from Better Homes & Gardens! Rather than waste the $$ on a dubious "stager", I'd spend similar dollars for a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER to shoot and compile a great ALBUM, as is often done for premium props. *They* (the photog) will do the staging for "free", as part of the job... a 2-fer. ;')

Rather than posting fewer pics, to "lure" buyers to visit, you want a sales "package" that's so complete, out-of-town (and int'l) buyers feel compelled to drop a deposit over the phone, just to "hold" it!

I have family in Lilburn, and thought I had some knowledge of Alpharetta... can only surmise that your distance from ATL, smallish lot, and possibly "bad" roads, is the reason your property is not appraised at 7-figures.

Your "realtor" and her behavior are pushing my skepticism gauge deep into the red! In addition to the oft-mentioned and obvious kickbacks mentioned above, consider some more sinister scenarios:

1) Realtor (licensed?) and/or Stager are new to biz, or returning to biz after long hiatus, and your home is SO juicy--in the photogenic sense--that one or both of these "service" providers wants to use it in their own sales materials, e.g. brochures, etc... so they REALLY need it to be "picture perfect". Having you pay for their benefit is part of the CON.

Under GA law, you may have no rights to prevent this, or charge $$ for this, after house is sold... not sure.

1a) Same as (1), but some cable TV or infomercial angle is involved... behind your back. Red flag if they want you gone "all day" for an "open house".

2) SUPER naughty: Realtor is deliberately low-balling you, so her "straw" buyer (aka sister/brother with different last name) can get a screaming deal, and/or FLIP your house! =:O

Your totally NON-distressed situ = hold out for high end of price range. Someone will fall in LOVE with what it offers. The US Dollar is dropping again... make sure listing is available to key INTERNATIONAL markets.

As noted above, the Jumbo loan market is more than a little skittish right now, so your buyers are going to be "liquid" folks who can bring ~$150k cash to the deal. THAT is who you need to reach.

PS: What is the SIZE of that lake, in acres?


 o
Oh yeah...

... What are your monthly ASSOCIATION FEES, to cover the tennis courts, pool, etc.?? Sometimes these can be out of line, due to graft, mismanagement, etc., and turn off buyers.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

fixizin, you make my head spin! And I thought I was the conspiracy theorist :-)

Just kidding of course and appreciate the input. I suppose any of your scenarios are possible...although I never thought of my own home as BHG material... it's always the OTHER guy's home that looks better, right?

The lake is 14 acres of very clear and healthy water and an abundant fish population. The annual independent water health reports have all been excellent.

The assoc. dues are a very reasonable $900 per year, which includes swim, tennis, assorted events throughout the year and common area maintenance. We were assessed $1K last year to build a beautiful stone entrance and iron fencing around the front of the subdiv and it was money well managed and well spent. No complaints AT ALL re the Association; they are actually unbelievably good.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

Keep in mind that a new roof doesn't earn you any extra in selling price. Buyers expect a functional roof on a house they are buying. An old roof might make them deduct money, but a new roof won't make them add any.

As for your price I do think the 685K sounds too much based on the comps you mentioned. An appraiser will likely use the non-lake properties and then adjust the price based on how much lake front/view is considered worth in your area.

As for updates - an appraiser will consider certain things as upgrades, but fresh paint is not one of them or even the color of things as updates are often considered. Granite over laminate would be an upgrade as well as an update.

That said my old house was in a neighborhood by a private school that has a long waiting list. The deal the school made with the neighborhood was that if you lived there you could always have a spot for the kids in the school. Most realtor's I interviewed told me that didn't matter even though I told them my likely buyer would be a parent to a child there with siblings. I luckily had two realtors that lived in the neighborhood and they were the only ones coming close to the price I got when I sold it.

I ended up selling FSBO to a family who had their kids in the school as they heard I was selling through the grapevine while I was still interviewing realtors. 2 of the realtors told me 320K was stretching it. One told me I couldn't get anymore than 280K. The two in the neighborhood told me they'd start at 350K and test the waters and then lower it quickly if that didn't work.

The people that bought it wanted it and offered me 15K more.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

I don't know about the comps, but WOW - your house looks fantastic. I don't think anything needs staged in it.


 o
RE: Value of staging (in general and this home in particular)

I think lyfia is right. A good appraiser will go with the comps and add according to the value of the lake.

We used to live on a lake and I'll admit, at the time, I didn't appreciate it enough. Years later we bought "near" the lake, still with the lake view, but we couldn't walk out the door and go fishing because it was a private lake. I always regretted that we didn't buy soon enough to get lake front. Those properties sold first and for an additional $30K, for a 5-8 acre fishing lake.

If the comps of non lakefront show $580K, and you have a lake with fishing, or any boating, it may well be worth another $85K. Have you had it appraised by a professional, not just a realtor?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Buying and Selling Homes Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here