Prepping my townhouse for sale

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wrote:

HERE'S YOUR SIGN!
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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r old carpet isnt new:( It looks old and worn to buyers...
Bottom line do what the realtors suggest or accept a MUCH lower price.
Fixing up might cost you 10 grand but net 20 grand more along with a faster sale.
if you cant afford it accept a slower sale at a dramatically lower price
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Depends on the market. If it's a buyer's market full of young buyers, you get more of that. IF it's more a balanced or a seller's market, no so much. If you tend to have middle-aged buyers, by then they're as happy with old carpeting as with some cheap new ivory-colored pile because they know they're going to replace it anyway.
Even in a buyer's market, as a first time buyer I bought old but perfectly functional appliances with my home. Replaced them over time as they reached end of life.
So it depends, depends, depends. And there are tradeoffs and tradeoffs.
It's a perfectly viable choice to sell as-is, possibly taking a lower price in a buyer's market, and considering covering old appliances with a homeower's warranty to offer the buyer. Depends on how much the seller values the agita and time he'd have to put into upgrading.
Some realtors would rather only show what shows well, maybe another realtor is what's needed here.
Banty
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"Wayne Boatwright" <wayneboatwright_at_gmail.com> wrote in message

I agree. And you've got to recognize that agents, in trying to get you to list with them, will typically suggest that they can sell the property for a bit more than the actual market will bear.
SJF
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Being the only unit for sale should work in your favor if the development is a desirable one. Anyone wanting to move to that development should see you as their only option.
Is your development more upscale than the area around it? How is the market and economy in your town generally? These are factors that would also affect moving your townhouse.
Jon

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It's not upscale; more mid to upper mid. GOOD school area, too. However, there's apparently a glut of new townhomes, selling for more but less square footage, and less fees. None of the townhomes in this complex ever faced a problem with selling. But as the 2nd agent told me, buyers today, particularly younger ones, don't want to have to do anything and want everything. We're just having to draw a line cause we can't do 10K upgrades to kitchen or bathrooms. We don't have that kind of $.
Zeppo wrote:

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JD wrote:

Here's the reality: there's a nationwide housing glut. 40% of the homes sold last year went to speculators and folks buying vacation homes. The speculators have run out of suckers to re-sell those homes to, and builders caught in the middles of this market flux have no choice but to continue building the homes they've begun, adding to the glut. Add in all the folks in the next couple years who will no longer be able to afford their mortgage payments once their ARMS adjust and will thus be forced to sell. Prices have finally reached a point where most people can't afford to buy unless they take out a suicide mortgage, and more and more folks are disinclined to do that. As a result, sales have dropped substantially while buyers are waiting for housing prices to drop. They can afford to wait because of the rapidly-growing inventory of homes for sale.
Therefore: if you want to sell your home, price it to move. Cut that price substantially. If you bought it 22 years ago you can afford to sell it for far less than current comps. Because current home buyers are looking at the comps and saying, "Nah....I'll wait for it get cheaper." You want to move it _now_, you have to cut the price _now_.
Those of us who lived through the housing bubble of the 80s are familiar with this cycle. We'll see home prices drop across most of the US over the next several years, before they finally plateau and start rising again.
This isn't a good time to sell or buy. Sellers are having a hard time finding buyers. Buyers are prudently waiting for prices to fall further yet.
HellT
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JD wrote:

I'm afraid it's not your option where to draw the line with the current buyers market, the buyers are telling you where they're drawing the line. It's only going to get worse as well so your best course would be to take the best offer you can get presuming it covers any remaining mortgage on the place and be happy to be done with it before you loose even more money.
If you were counting on the proceeds from the sale of the townhouse paying off the mortgage on the other place based on the inflated sales prices of the last few years that was a mistake and you missed the best time to sell. The longer you wait for the perfect offer that isn't going to come the more dated the unit becomes, the more the market declines and the less you're going to get when you finally do sell.
A bit of superficial stuff like cabinet hardware and perhaps a faucet might help interest buyers. Even an older stove can be dressed up with new drip pans, trim rings and elements for little money if the basic unit is sound. Remember you are dressing a set.
If the stove is beat to death and all the enamel is chipped it doesn't matter one bit to the buyer if it's still perfectly functional. The buyer is spending a lot of money on the home and expects everything to be in decent shape. You wouldn't expect a car with a worn out interior and paint to sell for as much as the same model in good shape, regardless if the engine and drive train of both were in perfect condition.
Pete C.
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This is what ALL buyers want -- young or otherwise. Surely you are not expecting to find a buyer who wants to do everything and doesn't want anything! However, buyers any age are likely to compromise and do repairs and decorating if the sale price is right. Other things being equal, no one in their right mind is deliberately going to choose the one that looks shabby for the same price as the one that looks nice.
Jo Ann
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That's what I've been thinking throughout the thread. There are people that are willing to pay the premium for something in move-in condition, and people that are willing to look past imperfections for a good deal. It has to be one or the other. Given your difficulties, I'd start with minor improvements (fresh paint and a bit of landscaping, etc.), better staging, and a new agent. See where that gets you.
You say you're a two-time buyer, but not if you've ever sold a house. I haven't sold a home myself, and would take the advice of the folks that have. With that caveat, there seems to be a real balance between what you spend to prepare a house and your final price. If a couple grand of new appliances and clean new countertops gets you closer to your goal, it would be well worth considering.
You mentioned you're renting your place. There were originally tenants in the house my wife and I bought. They weren't motivated to help the house move, and it showed. Every time we went in, the place was a mess. There was so much clutter in the dining room that we never noticed how fantastic the mantle was. The carpets were trashed by multiple pets and an infant, the place didn't smell fresh, and the layout in most rooms was restrictive. We saw past all that, but I'm sure others didn't. If you still have a friend living in your house, make sure he's working with you. If you know you have people coming to look, get in there and make sure it's showing as well as it can. Good luck.
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We've already sunk nearly 10K into painting, redoing hardwood floors, repairs, etc. Our renter is working with us. He helped up pack up a lot of our stuff and has been real good at keeping things clean and straight. However, we simply don't have the $ to do other upgrades like kitchens and bathrooms. We're doing the mirrors and medicine cabinets, but that's about it. We painted vanities and changed hardware. The tile has to remain as does the bathtub. It's cast iron, not fiberglass as a lot of new ones are nowadays.
Landscaping isn't an option because that's done by the Association.I can't paint the outside, but we completely repainted the inside and had all carpets professionally cleaned.
The thing that disturbs both my husband and me is that all the realtors we interviewed told us the same range. Had we been quoted a (now) more realistic price range, we would have been better prepared for this. We looked at what units had sold for and all were substancially smaller in square footage, so trying to get an accurate read is hard. Most of our neighbors have had their units for 10+ years. It isn't a 'transient' complex at all.
We're trying to be realistic about what we can really afford to do v. what everyone's telling should be done. It'll come down to negotiating the final price, but in the end, we only have so much $ that we can afford to put into it.
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We've already sunk nearly 10K into painting, redoing hardwood floors, repairs, etc. Our renter is working with us. He helped up pack up a lot of our stuff and has been real good at keeping things clean and straight. However, we simply don't have the $ to do other upgrades like kitchens and bathrooms. We're doing the mirrors and medicine cabinets, but that's about it. We painted vanities and changed hardware. The tile has to remain as does the bathtub. It's cast iron, not fiberglass as a lot of new ones are nowadays.
Landscaping isn't an option because that's done by the Association.I can't paint the outside, but we completely repainted the inside and had all carpets professionally cleaned.
The thing that disturbs both my husband and me is that all the realtors we interviewed told us the same range. Had we been quoted a (now) more realistic price range, we would have been better prepared for this. We looked at what units had sold for and all were substancially smaller in square footage, so trying to get an accurate read is hard. Most of our neighbors have had their units for 10+ years. It isn't a 'transient' complex at all.
We're trying to be realistic about what we can really afford to do v. what everyone's telling should be done. It'll come down to negotiating the final price, but in the end, we only have so much $ that we can afford to put into it.
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JD wrote:

Anything that looks worn or would be considered ugly by today's standards needs to be addressed. Addressed does not necessarily mean replaced.

Cast iron is generally considered to be superior *if* the finish is in good shape. If the enamel is worn and chipped it will be a serious liability for showing the place. Tub refinishing can help a lot for perhaps $500 though it will only last perhaps 5 or 6 years before it needs touchup.
Tile that is in good shape and not a color currently considered to be hideous is ok. Most any pattern or print on the tile would be bad. The same tub refinishing folks can refinish tile as well with passable results. Certainly tile refinished in a neutral color will show far better than some 70's monstrosity.

That's fine.

Never trust what a realtor tells you they think they can sell for, they want you to hire them and quoting a price higher than you might really get or hear from a slightly more honest agent is one way to lure you.
I sold a house last year and the realtor indicated they thought it would sell for $150k. I didn't believe this for a minute as I expected and needed to get $120K for it. I listed at $130K to provide some wiggle room for "virtual concessions" and eventually sold for $120K exactly as I expected.

I'm a little puzzled on this, shouldn't all the townhouse units be about the same size?

This also means it's not a "hot" complex and probably isn't generating a lot of interest.

Don't underestimate the power of keeping the price higher and offering a substantial closing credit (cash back) to the buyers for remodeling / updating. As long as the appraisal will support the asking price (and the appraisers somehow always come up with an appraisal to match what's expected), this allows the buyers to finance the remodeling into their mortgage. You end up with the same amount you would get otherwise and the buyers get their upgrades at their own cost without having to get separate financing to pay for it.
Pete C.
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We're trying to address as many issues as possible that we can within our budget. The tubs aren't chipped at all and are in good appearance. No, it's not a 'hot' complex in that people move in/out quickly. Most residents buy and stay for several years, not 6 mon to 1 year and then cut/run. My neighbors in the row of 6 have all been there for 10 years or longer. Actually, up until last year, any units that came up generally sold within about 3 weeks to a month.
The units are actually in about 4 - 5 different sizes and layouts. Ours is one of the larger - 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 3 floors, 2 fireplaces. 2400+ sq. ft. Units range from 2 - 4 bedrooms, and about 1500 - 2400+ sq ft. Some have catherial ceilings, some don't. Some have basements/rec rooms, some don't.
Your last advice is very similar to what the 2nd agent has advised and what we will probably do once my current contract is up. She's advocating taking it off market for a few days and then bringing it back, repriced.
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That probably has a lot to do with your problem. A smaller unit would likely sell faster; nobody wants to buy the most expensive house in a neighborhood, they would rather buy a cheaper house in a better neighborhood.
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Why did you buy another house before selling townhouse? Prices are dropping so take what you can get
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it was actually a fluke. We had been thinking about getting a bigger house because we needed the space. For years, we couldn't justify leaving the townhouse for an unattached with less square footage and more $. Finally, by accident, we saw this house, visited it, and bought it. It's older than the townhouse BUT had more room. We used the inheirtance to pay for the new house and get a reasonable mortgage. Unfortuantely, over the last 2 years, illness and other things have prevented from getting all the stuff out of the townhouse until the last 6 months. We have a friend who's renting it on a month to month basis at a reduced rate to defray some of the expense AND he's been helping us pack up the rest of the stuff.
We should have gotten rid of the house when we moved out but circumstances prevented it. We're doing the best we can and will lower the price. Thing is, as I said before, all the realtors we interviewed were within the same price range. Had they told us this in the beginning, we could have been more prepared for that. However, I can't do anything about that now. I just have to deal with what is and say enough is enough...I can't do any more than this.
snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

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I hope hope you're not telegraphic this much defeatism to your potential buyers.
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Unless her realtor works much differently than those I worked with, I doubt she is even meeting potential buyers. That usually doesn't happen until an offer is in play.
Jo Ann
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Have others in the complex sold recently? If so, at what price? At 30 years, it should not need much more than cosmetics to look good, maybe a kitchen or bath floor if dated looking. How about new shiny knobs and pulls on the cabinets?
Have you watched any of the cable TV shows like "Sell This House"? They give some good ideas on what looks good and what is a turn off to buyers. For minimal money, ($250 to $1000) the take a dead listing and get it sold quickly.
Yes, lots of unimaginative and lazy people that have no clue what to do with a solid home themselves.
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