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May 14, 2008


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With the real estate market the way it is, every little bit will help anyone trying to sell.

If your goal is to sell your house, don't take the advice to paint a wall a rich hue like red or brown. From watching a lot of shows on HGTV I've learned that everyone wants a red wall or room in their house (like a sexy bedroom or a rich sitting room) but no one wants to BUY a house with red paint.

Also, the shows like "Designed to Sell" and "Get it Sold" crack me up. It seems like the owners always need more space, "especially for the children," when really what they need is to get rid of most of their junk. How many toys do the kids (and parents) need? Once the stager gets in and removes all their clutter their house always seems much bigger than what it was. For some of the people, you can kinda see the light bulb go off in their head. I've only seen one couple who NEEDED more space. They lived in a 500 sq ft apartment and just had a baby.

How about just cleaning the house? I've been in a couple open houses recently where there was obvious dirt in the kitchen & bathrooms. Not a good first impression.

Keep the pets under wraps, is my tip. When we were looking a couple of years ago we saw a lot of strange and offputting cat-related behaviour - a house with litterboxes all over the place, an owner freaking out about the cat potentially getting out, a couplr of over-friendly cats, etc. We bought a house which had had no pets in it ....

Totally agree with Kimberly! I'm a bit of an HGTV addict -- and really any show that talks about home selling, redecorating and improvements -- and a recurring theme on shows like Designed to Sell is clean up all the toys! No one wants to walk into a house they're potentially interested in buying and try to cut through the cluttered images in their head to figure out how the house might look with their stuff in it. It's almost shocking how many people miss this easy technique and think that piles and piles of kids stuff and a home completely dominated by children's toys is appealing to anyone else!

We looked at tons of houses last year. Most of them were foreclosures or pre-foreclosures, so we went in looking for problems, etc. I'll have to say that the ones that the banks had gone into and just painted the house and cleaned it were immediately off our list because we were looking for something that was NOT move-in ready. I needed a major project. The worse the house, the lower the offer. The best was a pre-foreclosure that wanted a full price offer (and he was overpriced to begin with). Last we looked, the house was still on the market, the owner had filed for bankruptcy. The sad part, we offered him enough to pay off his loan and any closing costs.

One more thing they should have added: Have someone who is not familiar with your house, but that will be totally honest with you, walk through your house and give you an unbiased opinion on what they see. Then LISTEN with an open mind and make some of the changes!

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