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Old 03-22-2017, 11:05 AM
 
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Oregon…I don't necessarily disagree with you -- BUT sellers who don't "compete" at least in some way may not sell in a timely manner? And IF they want to sell may have no desire to have a house on the market for a year. In my area, you compete on you sit on the market.

Quote:
The house should be clean and odor-free. Paint clean and neutral color. Flooring clean and not obviously worn. Trim the landscaping back so it looks tidy. Other than that, the buyer can pay for their own upgrades to suit their own tastes.

$30,000-$40,000 in upgrades might only bring you an additional $5,000 on the sales price. Appraisals are by the neighborhood and by the square foot, not by whether or not you knocked out walls and installed marble tile in the shower. Most buyers are getting mortgages and can't pay more than the appraisal.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
1,692 posts, read 772,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post

Also, do you think you can be objective about your house…..from the perspective of fresh eyes.
That's a good point. Maybe I'll ask my neighbors what they think. They're in their late 20s, and just bought their house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Are TEN people telling you to do some work…or ONE or TWO people?

.
We interviewed 4. All wanted us to invest in a great deal of redecoration, but they didn't all point out the same things.

The common points seemed to be that this was all about attracting Millennials. Also, that grey paint was essential, as was ripping out the carpet.

Things that at least 2 but not all of them suggested: Two wanted us to rip out the cherry hardwood we currently have and make the whole house dark hardwoods, one said get a hardwood that would look nice next to the cherry, 4th suggested we consult her brother, a flooring contractor, for his advice. Two of them were urging new granite vanity and designer mirrors in the master bath. Two wanted all light fixtures, chandeliers, etc. replaced as well as anything brass. Two wanted new refrigerator (ours is new but almond colored to match kitchen, they want us to get stainless or black.) Two insisted we install plantation shutters (partially because I informed them I was not going to have uncovered windows).

There were plenty of pricey items in addition to this, but each realtor had different things. One wanted major changes in the basement, others liked the basement the way it was, etc. One wanted us to refinish the cabinets to a darker color. One wanted us to get all new kitchen appliances, including new vent.

Sorry if this has me frustrated. I've sold plenty of houses over the years, never had realtor demands like this before. Never had people telling me I had to do extensive work to get a certain age group to even look at my house. Never had to deal with the pushy hard sell approach before. I can remember when realtors were really pleasant, but this time around we've gotten the hard sell approach from every single one we interviewed. And after the first interview, we deliberately tried to pick people we didn't think would be that way. It's hard to know what to make of all this.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
1,692 posts, read 772,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
You've made this comment to me a few times now, so I'd like to step off topic for a moment to address it. I admire your attitude about trusting experts, and in a lot of ways I agree with you. I certainly respect people who have received training in their field. But at the same time realtors are human and not infallible. I will trust them with things such as handling complicated paperwork and marketing. Decorating advice? Not as much (although I'll listen and seriously consider their suggestions).

Even though they have the best intentions, realtors can make mistakes (and will not pay the price if it does turn out to be a mistake).

And while I'm on this side topic of being wary of expert decorating advice.... here's a public safety announcement. I've worked in public safety for 40+ years, and one thing I've learned is to be particularly wary of people who give advice about decorating. Sure, their idea might be pretty but they often have no clue that their advice is potentially dangerous.

I work with firefighters and with police, and I've seen some bad things happen as a result of well intentioned advice. For example, NEVER let a realtor (or anyone) tell you to leave a vacant house without any window coverings. Yes, the rooms will look extra light and bright. But when you have a break in, the realtor will not take responsibility or help pay for it. He'll just shrug and say "Oh I'm so sorry" and move on to the next client leaving you to deal with a problem caused by their irresponsible suggestion.

Also, please think about possible fire hazards. One of the realtors I interviewed told me to "hide an ugly heater with a drape" because buyers would have to walk by it en route to a media room built in the back of our basement. Apparently the chance of this being a fire hazard never even occurred to her. I couldn't believe she seriously suggests that to people, and this was a very successful realtor who otherwise would appear to be an expert. Sadly, this type of thing happens more often than you might think.


1. I'm not sure if this is required to "keep my house from languishing" and
2. These redecorating expenses add up to significantly more than "just a few thousand dollars." If I did everything they insisted I needed to do, it would run about $20K.

And speaking about the money involved, do realtors guarantee their expert advice? Of course not. If I spent the $20K and did all these things and the house didn't sell, I'm the one who would be stuck with the bill and with a house that is not attractive to me. So before I plunk down that sort of money I want to make sure it's necessary.


Exactly the point of starting threads like this. It's research. Does this take up my time? Sure. But it's been the secret to my success, and how I was able to a survive a 40-year career and be able to afford retirement in the first place. There have been lots of experts in my life, and I do the same thing with all of them. They give good advice most of the time, but even so, if I had blindly trusted everyone who's ever given me financial advice I would be in trouble today. That's why I always do a little research before making decisions, I figure God gave us experts to give us ideas but brains to use.

OK, enough on this side topic. sorry about getting on soap box, sometimes I think my career in public safety has given me that habit, LOL. Back to discussing what Milleninals want vs. what they actually buy.
Just re-read this and wish I could edit it, but I guess it's too late. It sounds angrier than I meant it to. The person I was responding to is entitled to an opinion. I didn't mean to snap at her. I think this whole process can get on your nerves after awhile. I'm sorry, and I think it's time to take a break from thinking about all this and do something fun for a change.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,092 posts, read 37,733,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
You've made this comment to me a few times now, so I'd like to step off topic for a moment to address it. I admire your attitude about trusting experts, and in a lot of ways I agree with you. I certainly respect people who have received training in their field. But at the same time realtors are human and not infallible. I will trust them with things such as handling complicated paperwork and marketing. Decorating advice? Not as much (although I'll listen and seriously consider their suggestions).

Even though they have the best intentions, realtors can make mistakes (and will not pay the price if it does turn out to be a mistake).

And while I'm on this side topic of being wary of expert decorating advice.... here's a public safety announcement. I've worked in public safety for 40+ years, and one thing I've learned is to be particularly wary of people who give advice about decorating. Sure, their idea might be pretty but they often have no clue that their advice is potentially dangerous.

I work with firefighters and with police, and I've seen some bad things happen as a result of well intentioned advice. For example, NEVER let a realtor (or anyone) tell you to leave a vacant house without any window coverings. Yes, the rooms will look extra light and bright. But when you have a break in, the realtor will not take responsibility or help pay for it. He'll just shrug and say "Oh I'm so sorry" and move on to the next client leaving you to deal with a problem caused by their irresponsible suggestion.

Also, please think about possible fire hazards. One of the realtors I interviewed told me to "hide an ugly heater with a drape" because buyers would have to walk by it en route to a media room built in the back of our basement. Apparently the chance of this being a fire hazard never even occurred to her. I couldn't believe she seriously suggests that to people, and this was a very successful realtor who otherwise would appear to be an expert. Sadly, this type of thing happens more often than you might think.


1. I'm not sure if this is required to "keep my house from languishing" and
2. These redecorating expenses add up to significantly more than "just a few thousand dollars." If I did everything they insisted I needed to do, it would run about $20K.

And speaking about the money involved, do realtors guarantee their expert advice? Of course not. If I spent the $20K and did all these things and the house didn't sell, I'm the one who would be stuck with the bill and with a house that is not attractive to me. So before I plunk down that sort of money I want to make sure it's necessary.


Exactly the point of starting threads like this. It's research. Does this take up my time? Sure. But it's been the secret to my success, and how I was able to a survive a 40-year career and be able to afford retirement in the first place. There have been lots of experts in my life, and I do the same thing with all of them. They give good advice most of the time, but even so, if I had blindly trusted everyone who's ever given me financial advice I would be in trouble today. That's why I always do a little research before making decisions, I figure God gave us experts to give us ideas but brains to use.

OK, enough on this side topic. sorry about getting on soap box, sometimes I think my career in public safety has given me that habit, LOL. Back to discussing what Milleninals want vs. what they actually buy.
That was quite a rant.

Of course, I never once encouraged you to "blindly trust" your real estate agents.

What works when selling houses often does not make sense. You may be successful in one area but have not a clue in another. If you are in a desirable area like NoVa but you have not personally sold in a while, you probably will be surprised at what works and what doesn't. I also have bought and sold a few houses in my time, and I have been proven wrong on a couple of occasions but learned from my mistakes.

Either way, no worries. Good luck
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:18 PM
 
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Piney wo when exactly WAS you house last updated? Anything done since it was built and in what year?

You said,
Quote:
Two wanted us to rip out the cherry hardwood we currently have. Two insisted we install plantation shutters. One wanted us to refinish the cabinets to a darker color. One wanted us to get all new kitchen appliances, including new vent.
For me that would he a "hell, no." I have Brazilian cherry hardwood floors which everyone has LOVED

To be honest the rest depends on as I keep asking -- how old and dated is the rest of the house.

I just listed and am selling my house so believe me I can relate to your sentiments. It sounds like you haven't decided in your own mind, house much you're willing to spend (or do) to prep the house for listing.

Have you seen what the comps look like? I saw the inside of comps. My competition was updated just as I was, so I had to compete on price.

LOOK AT THE INSIDE of your competition? How do you compare? If you were looking which one would YOU buy? Use that to decide how you want to price or position the house.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:23 PM
 
1,953 posts, read 756,530 times
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@Piney Creek - didn't sound angry to me at all. It sounded RATIONAL. Which realtors telling you to make thousands of dollars worth of "updates" do not.

I'd far rather change the things I want changed after I move in than have a seller dump money in to making decorating changes I don't like and would just have to rip out. I am far far FAR less likely to buy a house that has new "updates" that I will (1) have to pay for at least in part as part of the purchase price and then (2) will have to invest even more money getting rid of should I be foolish enough to buy.

Carpet and paint are easy to "fix", if there is anything wrong with it. But doing that TWICE means a house drops off my list. If you "fix" it in a way I don't like and I know I won't or can't live with that, your house drops off my radar altogether, no matter how much I like the layout, location, or anything else about the house.

I hate granite countertops. They're ugly, they stain, they need to be sealed regularly. I hate grey (if that wasn't clear from my previous posting) - it is NOT a "neutral" color. I hate stainless steel appliances, they show every fingerprint as if it were spotlighted. If there is tile to be laid, I'd rather select it myself. I could go on, ad infinitum. But this is true of nearly all buyers.

Some may LOVE granite - but perhaps not the granite YOU chose. Or they prefer quartz, or, like me, they'd rather just have good Formica or equivalent. You may hate "white cabinets with wood trim" but as long as they're in good shape, I'm good. You might like "dark hardwoods" over cherry - but I'll take the cherry any day.

Why pour tens of thousands of dollars into renovations YOU don't like yourself for some imaginary buyer out there who may or may not appreciate all that money you've just poured right straight down the drain? Because chances of recouping all that money are slim to none. It may make the house easier for the realtor to sell (or it may not) - but it won't put more money in your pocket. You will almost certainly lose money on the deal.

If you can get all your kitchen cabinets replaced for $7500 (I forget who mentioned that figure) then either you have a tiny kitchen or you are putting in super cheap cabinets - and I for one would recognize that and not appreciate it. Actually I wouldn't appreciate a tiny kitchen either, LOL!

At any rate. It is well-known that you never recoup 100% of renovations to kitchen or bathroom in the short-term. So any realtor who suggests those kinds of "updates" is either ignorant or not looking out for YOUR best interests.

And BTW - I don't care one way or the other what color the tub is. Pink, don't care. Blue, don't care. Yellow, don't care. Plaid might give me pause but ultimately - don't care. I wouldn't choose any of those but as long as the tub is in good shape, that is all I care about.

EDIT: I have to add - my experience with realtors over the past 40 years has been that they always, INVARIABLY, show you houses that have features THEY like, even when I have specifically told them I do not want such-and-such a feature. They spend inordinate amounts of time trying to convince me that I SHOULD like whatever it is. One example - a formal dining room. I have no use for a formal dining room whatsoever. I actually have had to fire realtors who insist on dragging me out to see houses in which I have absolutely no interest whatsoever, or who insist on trying to get me to up the ante. If I tell you how much money I intend to spend, don't take me out to see homes that cost significantly more and then try to talk me into taking out a bigger loan. That's another realtor tactic I hate.

What it really sounds like is that all 4 realtors were telling you to update things based on THEIR personal taste. I think the vast majority of them are almost totally out of touch with reality.

Last edited by Pyewackette; 03-22-2017 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,003 posts, read 5,201,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyewackette View Post
The idea that its millenials behind the super-depressing grayness of so many houses on the market these days is more than slightly ludicrous. My son is in that "millenial" grouping and neither he nor his very-status-conscious wife (she thinks I live in a "bad" neighborhood because she saw a loose dog here once) - NEITHER of them like the samey-samey-ness of the all-grey house. Or any grey at all. My son has said he could TOLERATE it - but he doesn't like or want it.

I saw a house where EVERYTHING was grey. EVEN THE CEILINGS - in the kitchen they were even dark grey! WHO DOES THAT? The flooring was some awful ancient-barn looking grey laminate. Walls, curtains, floors, ceilings, countertops - they even came up with grey appliances.

I don't know whose fault all this grey is but it doesn't seem to be "the millenials". I blame moron realtors who are giving people terrible advice about "updating" their homes before putting them on the market.

And no, I won't buy your grey house. Thanks anyway.
Strange that EVERYTHING was grey. Although, I'll admit that I don't mind the Gray exteriors, especially with white trim. Light gray walls I like as well...Again, with the correct trim it really pops. But again, no more or less than any neutral color.

The red accent walls are a feature that looked dated in a hurry, IMO.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:02 PM
 
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As a millenial who is soon going to be shopping for our third house, my husband and I could care less about backsplashes or gray walls. The neighborhood, school district, maintenance costs, layout, and overall building quality are what we're looking at. I don't think we're totally out there with our wishlist, either. There are things you can change about a house, and things you can't. We don't want to buy a money sink - if anything, that seems to be the big deal with our generation.

ETA: Most of the people I know (mostly millenials) tend to favor a "Scandinavian-esque" minimalist look. Blonde woods, lots of natural light, light woods, plants, natural materials. Gray walls, dark hardwoods, and granite... not so much.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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A lot of the millenials I know that have purchased aren't necessarily turned on by owning a traditional SFH. Part of it is they want to have proximity to nice restaurants and things to do in walking distance. Another part is fear of having pay for repairs to expensive items. Schools are also very important.

You can't change the location of your home, but I think the best way to market to the group would be to make have reassurance that the expensive repairs are made. The HVAC works, the foundation is fine, the plumbing is fine, the electrical is fine, the roof is fine. They aren't going to have cash leftover to make the repairs. If you make the repairs, they only need to put 20% of the money down to buy them from you. If they have to make the repairs, that's 100% at the point where they are generally cash starved.

That's what they are afraid of. Putting their life savings into a downpayment and having a place that isn't livable yet. Alleviate those fears.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:13 PM
 
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Maybe a millenniels won't buy but they aren't the only age group out there buying homes. I thought they were going to be renters their whole lives after the crash in 2008?

One of my nephews owns a very successful tech business. Him and his wife (both 33) buy run down homes in good neighborhoods and fix them themselves. They have 14 rentals and 3 commercial properties. Wife is the rental manager.
Dang they can fix anything, unbelievable.
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