We've decided to sell and move back to my home state.
So far we've:
-made the place curb ready (the lawn looks nice, trees are trimmed,
yard neat and tidy)
-painted the outside and put up new gutters
-cleaned out the attic and basement
We're about to:
-paint all rooms
-remove old nasty wallpaper from bathrooms and paint them (my thoughts
on paper are that what my wife likes the new buyers might not like - a
nice, neutral paint gives them a clean canvas to work with)
-clean up floors (all hardwood, they might need a sanding and
-fix a couple of places where the ceiling is funky because of water
leaks (which have been fixed)
-check electrical system and install GFI breakers in upstairs bathroom
-install whole house surge suppressor
The kitchen. The cabinents are old and not exactly overly appealing.
The kitchen could use a remodel, I don't want to spend 10k plus on
something a buyer might not like. The alternative is to get some
midline cabinets at home depot or lowe's and install them.
The electrical system. Nothing is grounded in the sense of their being
3 prong outlets. I thought about making everything 3 prong (along with
proper grounding) for the TV, etc. Code says that I can ground
individual ciruits and leave others non grounded. I have a grounded
circuit in my computer room that I installed, it's a dedicated line
with 3 rcpts. The city electrical codes guy said grounding everything
was an option and that it wasn't mandatory.
The market here is fairly hot still, homes aren't sitting on the
market for too long.
Don't bother unless there is a reason. Dirty, odd color etc.
A lot of work to refinish, see of a nice cleaning and wax may take care
Don't bother with the surge suppressor. I doubt if anyone considering
your home will ever bother to look.
This one depends on how bad the kitchen really is. Unless it is really
bad, I would not replace them. Too much money for too little return. Have
your realtor take a look and see what they say.
Check the price for this. Don't do it ahead of time, but be ready make
a deal equal to that price with the perspective buyer if they bring up the
subject. Make it a cash back and they can have the job done.
How long a home sits is 98% based on the price. You can sell any home
fast, IF you are willing to drop the price enough.
Generally when homes are not sell fast, it is because the sellers think
their home should be selling for more than the actual market.
I'd forget about the kitchen cabinets and outlets. Remove all
clutter, including closets. Possibly take out half the furniture to
make to rooms look large and put high wattage bulbs in the ceiling
lighting. Clean everything. Keep cut flowers by the door. Make sure
the front door looks exceptional--welcome wreaths, flowers, freshly
painted door, doorbell, etc.
I've tossed a bunch of stuff already. The attic needs a little more
cleaning (I'm boxing everything up to pack, before we sell we'll take
it to a storage place).
The door was just painted and looks really good (it's a door from a
house built in 1870, it's unique to this area). No doorbell but I am
going to put a door knocker on that doesn't have our name on it. Also
a brass kickplace and a stormdoor.
Furniture wise....I could fit all of the furniture we own into our
living room. Makes it easy to move when everything fits in a 17'
I would skip both the kickplate and stormdoor. Yea, the new people may
want the storm door, but the hope will look better without one. Some people
don't like kickplates and since they are an easy add on I don't think many
people are going to really care if one is not there.
Do you smoke?
If so, it might be worth asking a non-smoker friend if it's noticable/bad
in the house.
The rest looks broadly sensible, though I'd question the need for
electrical work not legally required, who looks at it?
Think about likely buyers.
Re-doing a place for quick sale in a retirement community may be rather
different to redoing a place for a new family.
I'm shopping for a house and this reflects my opinion, which is often
unusual. I'd leave the kitchen alone and expect to have it arise as a
bargaining point. Or maybe it won't. There's no accounting for what some
people feel is acceptable.
As far as electric, I have the broker point it out and see what kind of
reactions he/she gets. If it seems like an issue, get the work done
professionally. Amateur painting is one thing. Amateur electric work is an
adventure most buyers don't want to hear about.
Maybe good brokers are adept at spotting a customer who knows what various
repairs cost and won't be completely turned off to a house if a few
negatives are pointed out. And, my broker and I are spotting things the
moment we walk in the door. Perhaps the sell-side brokers figure they may as
well be honest at that point.
In any case, most people have a house inspected before finalizing an offer,
so these things are going to be revealed anyway. If I were selling a house,
I'd rather not waste time & energy with purchase offers that are going to be
retracted because something wasn't pointed out earlier. Many buyers
understand that an owner simply didn't have the time or money to fix
everything on the never-ending list of things a house needs.
I sold my used Taurus a couple of years ago by giving buyers an obsessively
complete list of every repair done since the day I bought the car, along
with a very short list of pretty major things it needed done right away,
like a new AC compressor, without which the defroster could not be used at
all (compressor would sieze and stall the engine). Sold the car in 4 days to
the 3rd looker.
I guess it depends on a whole lot of factors...... I need more
Saw a house yesterday that had a really odd feature. The one-car attached
garage faced backwards into the yard. The owners had built a deck with began
in the back and wrapped around the side, eliminating any possibility that
you could get a vehicle into the garage unless it was lifted into the back
first by a helicopter. The computer listing said "attached 1-car garage".
The listings for this particular broker include a place for a written
paragraph, but there was nothing in that paragraph about the garage being
useless to most buyers, and the photograph was taken at an angle which
didn't include what most would've assumed to be the driveway side of the
house. When I suggested to the broker that it was a waste of everyone's time
to see the house without the missing information, she gave me sort of a
It was my broker's wife's birthday, so I'd told him to stay home for this
one. At least it didn't waste time for TWO people.
Another house: Garage had a nearly flat roof, due to a bad architectural
decision involving an addition to the house 20 years ago. Rather than
rebuild the roof, the owners had added several layers of tar over the
shingles. The weight had made the roof concave in the center, and collected
water had helped, so the rafters were ready to collapse. Selling broker:
"The garage may need a roof - we're having it inspected next week". No
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