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January 22, 2008


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One thing the MSN article left out was the importance of cleanliness. Even a dated house can sell easier if it is well kept, clean, smells fresh, and has a new coat of paint (very cheap).

Also, a house needs to be staged for selling. Get rid of clutter, bring in or take away furniture depending on what size the rooms are, make the entrance inviting.

Homes sell in any market, up or down. You have to make yours stand out in the crowd and it doesn't take $50,000 in upgrades to do it.

I think Ron has a good point, if the house is dirty to the naked eye, I would tend to think that other more expensive areas - like HVAC/plumbing/roof, etc weren't taken care of either.

My biggest fear when we go to sell is keeping it free of dog hair since we have 2 pretty good size dogs. That and keeping them out of the house during open houses and the daily visits from realtors might be our biggest challenges. We've done quite a bit of work to our house otherwise and get a ton of compliments on it, so I'm pretty sure someone will fall in love with it.

Another big thing is curb appeal. When people drive by or come to visit the first impression is valuable. Fix up the outside, have good lighting, landscape and dress up the yard, have a nice mailbox. That looks good in pictures when listing your house. It makes a very positive impression when potential buyers come to look. It makes you feel good having neighbors see a nice exterior. It's amazing what a nice appearance and impression do for the value of things.

We bought a new home in 2006. We looked at it three different times and each time the owners went out of their way to make things nice. The house was built in the '70's (we wanted an established neighborhood in a particular school zone) and the man who lived there owns a landscaping company. Beautiful curb appeal, the inside was always clean, well lit and smelled great. They painted and had the carpets cleaned. It was the most inviting home we looked at.

We looked at one in the same neighborhood that had a dirty cat box in the foyer and looked like they had not cleaned for weeks. The cat box or the house. My real estate agent and I assumed, as Kevin said, that the fundamentals had not been maintained either. So even though it was in the neighborhood we wanted and was less expensive, we didn't even finish the showing.

Impressions matter!

Don't buy the best house on the block.

Don't buy it to flip it, don't buy it for the neighbors or schools, but if you want a great buy, buy it. Those other homes have ALREADY reduced it's value. It's a ALREADY a bargain.

[email protected] made some good points up there. I read a book where in preparing to sell her home, the woman actually removed an article of furniture that was PERFECT in the foyer. Her reasoning was that a woman walking through a potential new home is going to be mentally putting her furniture and decorations in it as she does so (this is true)and seeing if it feels like home. She felt like that potential buyer would not be able to envision her own stuff there and feel good about it, once she'd seen that "perfect" piece there. So beside storing extra furniture (to get rid of a "full" cluttered feeling) during this time, see what pieces that "make" the home need to be removed as well.

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