Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's a shame what some people will do to a nice house.

House hunting adventures.  Because of regulations for BFB's job we need to move inside city limits within 9 months of his contract date.  That puts us at July 1st.  We have a contract in place and should be closed before the end of February.  Still not totally in the bag, but damn close.
We've been inside a few houses, and looked at over a hundred online.  Some are very nice houses, with prices I wish we could've afforded.  But alas.. the budget won out.  We didn't want to eat Ramen every other day for the next 10 years.  Some other houses were very nice, just not what we were looking for.  Some houses we knew would be gamble, and the smart part of our brains won, and we didn't go that direction.  Others, just UGH!
Just a couple tips for anyone out there trying to sell your house.
1) Paint is cheap.  You're more likely to sell your house if the buyers arent repulsed and revolted by your paint job.  Your 4 year old princess  may have loved the cotton candy pink, with silver clouds on the ceiling, but Me.... not so much.
2) If you can't paint well,or don't know what the hell you're doing, hire a painter.  A crappy paint job is (in my opinion) worse than the obnixious hot pink.
3) Put good pictures of your house in your listing.  If the pictures look like crap, I don't see how great your house really is.  And I'm deleting it from my list.  It amazed me during our search how many real estate agents took and or used really crappy pictures.  And make sure yor house is clean when the photos are taken.  Packing boxes I can understand , as well as things that indicate your house is lived in.  But dirty dishes in the sink, visibly overflowing trash, and cluttered countertops, walls, floors, couches etc.. don't attract buyers.  If you can't be bothered to clean up a little for the pictures, what does that say about how you take care of the house the rest of the time.  I'm assuming if you can't take out trash or do dishes, then you definitely haven't had time for event the most basic maintenance tasks, and that there will be issues with the house.  If you have pets, they probably shouldn't be in the pictures.  Do you really want a prospective buyer to know you have 6 indoor cats?  I think not.
4) If you're going to advertise in the listing that you just put in a new tile floor, please be sure you actually knew how to install and grout tile.  If the tile job is brand new, I expect even spacing, unbroken tiles and even grout lines.  Just like with the paint comment above, if you don't know how to do it and do it well, please hire a professional.  Please.
and last but not least
5) If you have pets in the home, try to take them with you for a showing, or at least notify the agents that a pet is in the home, and wether it is or is not friendly.  If you MUST leave your pets home, they should be crated, to allow potential buyers to move through your home safely.  One home had a dog loose in the back yard.  Friendly, but still. Yet another had a dog or maybe 2 little dogs gated in a laundry room.  A laundry room I was unable to get into to look at because of the yappy barky dogs. The same home with the yappy dogs, also had a nice pile of dog crap on the downstairs rug.  Um.... Gross.  And I'm so NOT BUYING YOUR HOUSE!
6) I hate the scented candles and sprays that overpower my nose.  If you have to spray these in the house, I'm not enjoying the scent, I'm wondering what odor you're trying to cover up.

Any one of the above things is enough to turn me off, and any one of them could be or WAS the reason I'm not buying your house.  And the one with the dog crap on the rug... was also the one with the poorly done interior paint job and the one with the sloppy tile work.  And the best part... If none of those things had been amiss, I might have bought that house.  Because it was one of my favorites in the pictures. 

At this point ther are so many houses on the market with similar floor plans and features, that unless your house is something special, or you've got a remarkable piece of property, you are competing with a hundred other houses almost exactly like yours.  The difference between a sale, and a disappointing showing could be as simple as taking out the trash, or cleaning up after your dog.
And yes paint is cheap, but your buyer doesn't want to have to paint before they move in.  SO maybe its time to rethink the unique paint job.

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