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Old 12-14-2007, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 3,941,201 times
Reputation: 526

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We are going to move to Seattle in January, so we need to sell our house.

We paid $143,000 for it in the summer of 2004. It's 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1750 sq ft (big, open, rooms). I think it's pretty nice. Built in 1991, quiet family-type neighborhood in Sachse, just barely in Collin County.

We got rid of the carpets and put in laminate floors throughout, except the kitchens and bathrooms, they have tile. We've remodeled both bathrooms, they are no longer tacky monsters but now nice (the master is very, very, nice, IMO -- we had it done by pros and it shows). We built a new cedar/steel pole fence this summer, and there's a large side yard too.

But there's a ton of houses around for sale. They're cheaper in Wylie, though further away from Dallas. I think we have a nice location -- right by Firewheel, right off Campbell, you don't have to deal with traffic on 78 -- but I'm not sure non-locals would realize that.

So in this market, how hard is it to sell a house like that? I don't expect to get back all the money we put in (and it's been a ton and we've improved it dramatically, but things have changed). It would be nice to get some, though. Seattle's expensive, I don't want to have LOST money here.

So what do you think, generically, of a house like that?

Can anyone PM me a good seller's agent??
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
3,589 posts, read 3,582,943 times
Reputation: 533
Did you ask about this in the real estate professional forum too?
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 3,941,201 times
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No, I didn't know about that forum. Posted there too now. Thanks.

Still interested in what people who actually live around here will think, though!!
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:56 AM
 
1,004 posts, read 3,545,747 times
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In general, I think that the area (Firewheel/Campbell) will work to your favor. What price do you have in mind?
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 3,941,201 times
Reputation: 526
We paid $143 and have put at least $20k in actual updates to it. But, the market has changed.

I would love to get $160 but given that it's a 3-bed I don't know if that's likely. I would REALLY hate to see it go for less than $150...

Am I nuts?
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:45 AM
 
Location: North Dallas
582 posts, read 2,497,547 times
Reputation: 188
As someone who just recently went through the process--I can say box everything you can and put it in the attic or storage. People want to see a clutter free CLEAN house. I can not believe how many homes we saw with crap (sometimes literally) in it. If you have walk in closets--let them see the floor space. Also, I liked seeing homes that had a nice yard. Sometimes we saw dead flowers--weeds. OH....no plastic flowers in any outside container! That is just......weird, IMO. Have your friends come over and do a mock walk through and have them tell you what they see. When you live in a home--it is just hard to be objective about YOUR things. Good luck! I know it can be stressful!
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:10 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,864 posts, read 39,695,244 times
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I echo scyogi. In addition if ANY wall is painted any color other than a VERY LIGHT neutral get rid of it. Even if you state that you will paint the buyers choice of color people can not see past it. You have to remember in the price point your dealing w/ the not all buyers are going to be as sophisticated and accepting to bold colors and decor done over the top that one would find in a higher end home. Sad but true - I've been there myself. We had a home just a few miles from yours that we had in that price point and we dealt w/ it. Get rid of anything brass which it sounds like you already have. Buyers that are stepping down are used to the better upgrades and will appreciate it and recognize it. Clear off countertops of just about EVERYTHING. Pack up the family photos. Get rid of any "cutsey" decor that draws too much attention away from the actual house. Pack up the clothes that are out of season to make more room in the closets. Clean out the garage and show that one can park two cars in there (or at least one) and keep the kids bikes and lawnmower in there easily. Keep the bare minimuim of furniture needed to make the house look comfortable, lived in and spacious. Things like large coffee tables can be moved out to show a large open area in the middle of the family room. Take down any window treatments that you are not going to leave. You don't have to replace them but make sure the windows are covered w/ something like blinds but OPEN THEM WHEN SHOWING!!! Open them when you leave in the mornings just in case the house gets shown while your gone. LET THE LIGHT IN!!! If you take down any window treatments and pictures make sure to patch the holes left and do a good job of it so they won't notice. In the master bedroom if you have more than 3 pieces of furniture get rid of something for now. Overall just keep the house clean and clutter free. On the outside keep the yard neat and trimmed (I can not stand peope that don't edge at the sidewalks). Plant flowers and put out a nice flower pot on the front porch and back patio. Make sure the front porch and back patio look open and inviting. If you have an animal make sure the house does not smell like it when you walk in, the pets owner gets used to the smell but an outsider walking in can smell it in an instant. If you have an advance notice someone is coming to look take the dog w/ you and pick up their bowls and bed and put them in a box and set it in the garage (no one will know then). Don't overspray ANY kind of fragrance - . That can run off people more than anything if they have bad allergies. An air neutrilizing spray is best that is unscented.

Good luck
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,197 posts, read 14,282,248 times
Reputation: 2676
Another thing that I suggest is to go look at some of the homes that are in your neighborhood that you would consider "your competition" or have your agent preview them for you and give you the feedback. I sent you a separate message too.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:14 AM
 
93 posts, read 438,688 times
Reputation: 27
Agree with everything mentioned above. When we were home shopping it was UNBELIEVABLE how people were supposedly serious about selling their homes, yet those homes were in horrible condition when the realtor showed them to us.

One of the homes we did like wasn't anything spectacular, but had neutral clean carpet and paint. It sold relatively quickly compared to other homes we were looking at.

New off-white paint and carpet can go a long way in making a home more marketable.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
857 posts, read 3,941,201 times
Reputation: 526
So, I followed the advice. We are being relocated, and packers come Tuesday, but I packed probably a dozen boxes myself and moved some bookcases out to make it look bigger. Mostly emptied the closets -- extra jackets, junk, etc either was given away or sold on craigslist (it's amazing how fast you can give something away if you list it there) or packed up and moved to the attic. Photos, packed. We had the main living areas painted a much lighter color (unfortunately it came out kinda pink, but only in the "wrong" light). It was pretty much spotless.

We also took a very hard look at the prices around here, along with the real estate agent. They felt that everything supported 152 at minimum, but to get people in, etc, we went to 149. And when we looked harder at what's around, we realized we'd be lucky really to get that. So we listed the 149 and hoped we'd get 145.

The listing was live late last Thursday. We had four showings (one each fri, sat, sun, and mon) and on monday had an offer. We've gone back and forth a little... and we've agreed on the 145k!

So, yeah, we had to give up a little on price. Buyers are getting a nice house with a ton of updates. The only thing left to do is replace the wallpaper in the kitchen if you're not a country-gingham type -- everything else is brand new and gorgeous, not like it was when we paid 143 four years ago! But the market's the market and I feel like we're lucky it went in less than a week. Maybe we did price it too low, given that it went so fast. But now we get to move and not have this hanging over our heads, which is worth a lot to me!!

So, thanks for the advice, know that we did take it, and it clearly helped us sell our house quickly. Now, cross your fingers that we get through the option period without any trouble. (No surprises, we had our own inspection done and everything checks out, but they CAN back out!) And, that we then get to closing as easily. Woohoo!
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