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Old 02-09-2019, 04:47 PM
Location: Austin
7,172 posts, read 17,272,348 times
Reputation: 9719


You didn't mention what price point you're in and that makes the world of difference. Beyond that, green paint needs to go.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:57 PM
35,674 posts, read 13,630,754 times
Reputation: 22417
I'd hire a professional stager for two hours of consultation. Ask them about paint colors, furniture arrangement, any improvements needed to the exterior or your house such as painting shutters or landscaping.

Hire a stager who stages model homes a price point or two above yours.

The counters won't make a bit of difference if the overall look of your home is fresh and appealing to today's buyers.

Then pick your realtor according to the one you think can do the best job of marketing and selling your home.

What do their online ads look like? Do they use professional photographers? What do previous clients say? Is this their full time job? What comps do they use to back up their suggested selling price? How long do their listings stay on the market? What is their marketing plan for your home?
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:19 PM
Location: Columbia SC
8,363 posts, read 7,138,092 times
Reputation: 11232
My last two home purchases have been new builds (in developments) where I got to pick everything the way I wanted it. If selling an existing home (I once called it a "used" home on here and I got jumped on really hard) allow the buyers to make their own choices. Yes, declutter, clean, repair, touch-up paint, etc. but do not assume the new countertops/carpet you put in will appeal to them. I have sold 6 of my "used" homes over the years and all I did was declutter, clean, repair, touch-up paint, etc. Let the buyers ask for "considerations" if they wanted to make changes.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:00 PM
Location: East Coast
2,933 posts, read 1,709,518 times
Reputation: 4319
In my old neighborhood, there was a house for sale for a long time. It just wasn't selling and I really could not figure out why -- the only real issue was that we were in an area where about a million new houses were all built between, say, 1995-2005. So given the distance from the city and the qualities of the neighborhood, and the school systems, etc, there were scores of houses available on any given day that were all very similar to each other. So it was hard to really make your house stand out much.

Their realtor told them to put in granite countertops. The sellers held off, not really wanting to do that. Eventually, they did do that because they were really trying to sell it and didn't know what else to try. Ends up the people who bought the house bought it *despite* having the countertops. They hated granite countertops and couldn't wait to change them.

So I'd be leery of changing the countertops unless your countertops really look bad and the first thing anyone would say upon entering the kitchen was "Ugh! These countertops have GOT to go!" But if they are in good shape and look nice enough, I wouldn't bother. You could lower the price of the house.

I don't know exactly where you live, so I can't say if this applies, but in many of the areas where I have lived, the towns that had lots of houses built in the 70s and 80s are pretty desirable places to live. So the big factor in housing prices (as it always is) is the location, the type of lot, how big the home is and how expandable the home is -- is there room to bump out if the seller wanted to? Or is it at the maximum square footage allowed for the size of the lot, according to the town? Will the kitchen look nice if all they do is replace the counters? Or would everything have to be taken out, walls removed, house bumped out, etc. in order to change the kitchen?

Having been in the market in this sort of area, I'd concentrate on making the home look clean and as "homey" as possible.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:43 PM
45 posts, read 17,272 times
Reputation: 64
Thank you!

To answer some questions-

-yes, I am decluttering like crazy and we are downsizing. I'm keeping my favorites and have taken van loads to donate. Many non-essentials have been packed. We plan to rent a storage unit for the boxes and items we want to take but don't need for showing.

-we have updated windows, roof, siding, all of the floors are newer except for 2 baths that have neutral tile in good shape. Newer ac, updated bath counters, lighting, etc. Master bath updated.

The inside will be painted where needed and privacy fence will be power washed.

Yes, cleaning like crazy, all the books as nd crannies. I have cleared out closets, drawers, etc. I bought new throw pillows, bath mats, and towels to use for display only.

The family room green is metro mist, valspar.

I like the idea of providing a quote. I could take or leave granite and I hate to think of putting it in for someone to dislike. The kitchen counter and floor tile have bits of tan and gray so either color family could be used at this point.

Our selling point is mid-upper 200s. 500 homes in the neighborhood, last year was a good year for sales. 255k was the lowest. Highest was 465k newest section-1988, backing to lake, 4000 sq ft+.

I bought new door hinges and knobs to replace the shiny gold handles and hinges were rusty in spots. We will also have outlets changed out from beige to white. Same realtor recommended making finishes match and that's a pretty easy fix.

Thank you, I really appreciate the discussion to help think things through.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:13 PM
8 posts, read 402 times
Reputation: 15
Oh, my heart goes out to you. You're going to get so many different recommendations - you'll feel like your head is spinning ala Linda Blair.

For what it's worth, everyone here has already given you excellent advice. I'll add to your confusion simply because we're in exactly your same situation at the moment with our home going on the market mid-March, but we're also house shopping for a new home at the same time in another state.

We have similar homes: Ours is a 1990 built limestone 2-story in a small, semi-rural community outside Austin, (hot market - desirable location), on one landscaped acre. At 2200 sq. ft., it is one of the smaller homes in the 'hood and will hit the market around 400K, one of the least expensive homes in the area. All the floors are 3/4" pecan plank, granite countertops in the kitchen already with pale green-gray painted cabinets and Italian subway tile backsplashes. The master bath was recently renovated as an all-tile "wet room" master with walk in shower.

Every realtor we've met with has different To Do lists for us and it's formidable. We chose the realtor who had the most sales in our neighborhood over the past several years - we're confident she knows the type of buyers who are interested in this specific area and what they're looking for in a home. Find the realtor you trust and like, then follow their lead on prepping your home for the market. Following her guidance, we're refinishing the pecan floors, painting the master bath and upstairs rooms a neutral cream color, replacing bronze bath hardware with nickel finish pulls, replacing older french doors to the backyard with new ones, and replacing the vinyl floor in the upstairs bathroom with porcelain tile.

As house hunters, I look at three things first: Kitchen, Master Bath and Backyard. Key considerations for me are granite/marble/quartz countertops in the kitchen, a tiled walk-in shower in the Master and landscaping and trees in the backyard. We will buy a home with a great yard but laminate counters and no walk-in shower, but we'll offer less knowing that we'll want to immediately make those changes. If you don't want to put in granite countertops, you might ask your realtor if you would come out ahead by including an allowance up front for renovations - rather than hoping the buyers will offer a good price after factoring in the renovation cost, offering a set amount allowance up front might let you control that part of the negotiation.

We also must have a gas stove: it kills me when I see a home with a brand new electric or glass top stove (label still attached!). I wish the sellers would just slap a check for $2500 on the stovetop - it acknowledges that it needs to be replaced, but lets me choose the type of stove I want!

One thing - I've seen homes with an island kitchen where the island is white quartz or black granite and the countertops are still laminate - many of those homes look quite nice and the touch of natural stone on the island really adds to the kitchen at a very modest price! Even if they want to switch out the laminate counters later, the mix of marble and granite looks great and you've increased the market value of your home at a nominal cost. Could you consider something like that?

Good luck to you! I sincerely feel your pain!!! Maybe we should just trade houses and both relax a bit!
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:35 PM
Location: Salem, OR
13,835 posts, read 32,101,365 times
Reputation: 12415
Originally Posted by Spedteach17 View Post
The family room green is metro mist, valspar.
Out here this color would be totally fine.
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Old Yesterday, 07:18 AM
Location: The Ozone Layer, apparently...
1,761 posts, read 577,659 times
Reputation: 3448
The only suggestion I might agree with is the warmer/neutral paint change. It can make the house more uniform and help a buyer imagine their own furniture in the place.

The cool color scheme you currently enjoy is great for when everyone gets home and wants to relax, but its not 'homey' warm and inviting for someone looking to buy. This is just the psychology of color.

If your home is in a highly sought out area, any changes you make will only improve your ability to sell faster than someone else in that same area. If you are in the type of neighborhood where homes don't come on the market that often, then you may need to do nothing at all.

As a buyer, I would hate your floors, but someone else might love them. You can put quartz counter tops, but I really wanted a gourmet kitchen and cement counters for the industrial look and feel. Leave those finishes to the buyers.
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Old Yesterday, 09:45 AM
Location: East Coast
2,933 posts, read 1,709,518 times
Reputation: 4319
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
Out here this color would be totally fine.
Agree. That color is fine. Chances are high that no matter what color your walls are, the buyer is going to repaint them.

I think the color itself is less important than how it looks the way you have it decorated. Both houses that I lived in and sold had purple paint in the living room. People always remarked on how much they liked it. Subsequently, though, the buyers painted it whatever color they wanted.

Remember, it doesn't cost the realtor anything to have you make changes (even massive changes) to your home. So, maybe changing the counters to granite sells the house faster, but maybe not. In the end, you've shelled out $5K or whatever it is, but the realtor spent nothing.
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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM
852 posts, read 735,905 times
Reputation: 2072
A smart buyer will make the decision whether or not to purchase a property on attributes that cannot be easily changed, i.e. neighborhood, lot size and type (corner or inside), swimming pool or not, garage, ambient noise, commute ease, etc.

Things like paint color, countertop material, flooring and other cosmetic fixes will determine how much the buyer is willing to pay for a house that fulfills the conditions in the first sentence.

IMO, you are much better off only making repairs or changes that are necessary to make the property look well-maintained (e.g., if your paint is peeling or stained, then repaint it), emphasize its desirable aspects, and price it attractively.
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