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Old 12-03-2010, 04:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Retire2014 View Post
If you are generous with sharing info, the other questions I'd like to ask are:

1) did you get within 90% of the price you had hoped for,

2) how long was it on the market before it got sold?

3) how long from a ratified contract to closing?

4) did you have to switch realtors because the first one(s) did not do much to help sell? or do you have great luck with the first and only realtor?

5) what were some key enhancements that you made to the house, if any, before putting it on the market? re-carpet? re-finish wood floor? etc.

And anything else you might like to share.

Thank you so much, NORDS!

1. Nope... calculated and got 89.8%

2. A bit over 1 year

3. I think it was about 30 days

4. Yes

5. Redid master bath (full ripout and rebuild.. in bad shape), redid upstairs bath (only partial, not in horrible shape, but added new tub, tile floor etc.), redid 1/2 bath (full rebuild), tiled the kitchen, painted most of the interier, carpet shampooed, 'professional' cleaned (thought this was a waste, but realtor said it was needed)... total spend around $10K...


Mine was sold just before the tax credit want away... not sure what would happen today.... but, I was always amazed that small houses were listed for what I sold mine for... or more... and I did not have that much traffic...
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:41 PM   #22
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I'll caveat all the answers below with the qualifier "This is Hawaii." In broad terms, home prices haven't been hammered down too badly, especially in established neighborhoods with homes in the 10-30-year age range. Median prices have dipped about 10-20% over the last two years but already appear to be stabilizing and may rise again in the next five years.

We keep pretty close tabs on the local market and go to a lot of open houses (50-60/year just for fun and ideas). Two years ago we briefly put our rental home on the market between tenants but then pulled it off after we got a very good tenant. We've also just finished a refinancing of our primary home so we learned a lot about the recent appraisal & comps process.

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Originally Posted by Retire2014 View Post
If you are generous with sharing info, the other questions I'd like to ask are:
1) did you get within 90% of the price you had hoped for,
No problem. Both our homes are in those aforementioned neighborhoods and have excellent maintenance (if I may say so myself). We priced the rental a few percent below its last tax assessment (because the market was going down in early 2009) to reduce the time on market. Two informal offers within three weeks were at 90-95% of the assessment, and I would've worked with the appraiser to help boost their numbers... upgraded kitchen & bathrooms, full storage attic, energy-saving features, full landscaping, and so on.

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2) how long was it on the market before it got sold?
Less than three weeks for our rental. The five comps on our residence's refi appraisal were about 30-60 days, with one neighborhood home (in cherry condition) going in two days. (Spouse was highly pissed that they didn't even have an open house.) Another home in crappy condition needed 90 days.

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3) how long from a ratified contract to closing?
We never finished the process on our rental home. For our residence, even though our PenFed refi has been astonishingly incompetent (I'll post more on that after we close next week) it has still stayed under eight weeks. A 60-day lock on the mortgage rate is typical. The appraiser was here in under two weeks.

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4) did you have to switch realtors because the first one(s) did not do much to help sell? or do you have great luck with the first and only realtor?
We do FSBOs (discussed in this old thread). If I had to use a realtor they'd be someone we'd seen in action at other open houses. When you're at someone else's open house, especially a busy one, then you can "interview" a realtor with just a few questions about the house they're showing and know right away whether or not they're worth your time. (They probably won't even realize they're being interviewed.) We've seen some who were so bad that we wanted to leave a note in the homeowner's mailbox. The candidates to start with are the ones who advertise themselves as "your [neighborhood's] expert". A little gray hair or 20 years' experience is a bonus.

We'd limit the contract to six months and offer incentives for a full-price offer and for closing within that time. In general we'd follow their advice (especially if they explain the rationale behind it) but we tend to be the kind of control-freak owners who want to know everything behind what the realtor's telling us. Most realtors don't like that.

Even if you prefer to use a realtor I'd read a library copy of a FSBO book (Nolo or "Complete Idiot's Guide" or "... For Dummies") just to be aware of the vocabulary and the issues. HGTV is a big help too-- pretend that all your buyers are that combative, lazy, and ignorant. They're really not, but at least you'll be ready if the worst happens.

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5) what were some key enhancements that you made to the house, if any, before putting it on the market? re-carpet? re-finish wood floor? etc.
I'm an engineer who can look at a house's structure & condition and see the potential. I prefer a house with a good floorplan & location while its interior/exterior is in absolutely horrible condition. Spouse can do the same with décor. I made the mistake of assuming that most buyers are like that.

Instead what we've learned from HGTV is that most buyers can't see the house's potential unless it's already perfect. All mechanical aspects of the property have to be flawless, no "allowances" or "discounts" allowed. You must paint, declutter, and depersonalize. If a bathroom is old & tired then you might as well spend $1K-$2K now to maximize it. If a kitchen is suffering the same age-related infirmities then it's worth spending $5K-$10K on new flooring, new counters, new fixtures, new appliances, and cabinet refacings. It's much better to put in new wall-to-wall carpet throughout than to try to give a buyer a redecorating discount. It's probably better to refinish the wood floors than to try to get away with less, let alone try to cover problems with area rugs. I'd use sod in the yard instead of planting grass. Maybe I'd let the garage look a little bare, but I'd even put fresh paint in there. I can tell a lot about how hard the sellers are trying with just a few minutes in the garage.

The high up-front prep expense is recouped by maximizing a great first impression and reducing the home's time on market. You want the buyer (and their realtor) to feel as if the seller is unloading a cherry without realizing its potential or because they're in a hurry or out of money. That gets the buyer in a hurry, and if you have more than one buyer then you have a bidding war. If you don't make that "Wow" first impression then your home goes on the buyer's "later" list and they keep looking... sometimes for months.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:27 PM   #23
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We sold our home in March, it took two months to close (buyer's timing). It had been on the market about 7 months. We were on the upper (but not tippy top) end of our market. The house was freshly painted, we put (manufactured) granite on our counter tops, all signs of moss on the roof removed. The local anal-retentive home inspector did a pre listing review and his concerns addressed.

The neighbor's house is a sad story. The original owner was inept at home maintenance and improvement. When it came to sell in May of 09 they got $820, I estimate, $40,000 less than they had into it after 6 years of ownership. The new purchasers recently were diagnosed with very serious illnesses and needed to move near a teaching hospital. Now in pristine condition, after 4 months on the market it sold again, for $693. Oh ouch!!
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #24
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Thank you EVERYONE for your thoughts and advice. I am in good shape now with all of the ideas that I received from your posts! I will post to let you know when my house is sold. BTW, it's not even on the market yet. I am still prepping the house and yard at this time. Not ER'd yet so can only do a bit each evening and on the weekend. Thanks again ALL!
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:42 PM   #25
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Thank you EVERYONE for your thoughts and advice. I am in good shape now with all of the ideas that I received from your posts! I will post to let you know when my house is sold. BTW, it's not even on the market yet. I am still prepping the house and yard at this time. Not ER'd yet so can only do a bit each evening and on the weekend. Thanks again ALL!

That is why I paid someone to do a lot of the prep for me... so I could get it on the market sooner... but that was after I had tried for 2 months to get everything done....

Now, it did not sell for a full year after I got it on the market... so about 14 months empty.... but who knew when it would sell...
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:49 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire2014 View Post
If you are generous with sharing info, the other questions I'd like to ask are:

1) did you get within 90% of the price you had hoped for,

2) how long was it on the market before it got sold?

3) how long from a ratified contract to closing?

4) did you have to switch realtors because the first one(s) did not do much to help sell? or do you have great luck with the first and only realtor?

5) what were some key enhancements that you made to the house, if any, before putting it on the market? re-carpet? re-finish wood floor? etc.

And anything else you might like to share.

Thank you so much, NORDS!
This was Calgary, Canada so may not be relevant. Sold a condo.

1.) 94%

2.) listed Oct. 25, accepted offer Dec. 24.

3.) possession date Jan. 29

4.) only one realtor

5.) a good cleaning and new caulk around bathtub.

Canada never had the US housing bubble, but we may be entering one now.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:35 AM   #27
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This was Toronto Canada for us. July this year.
1. Sold over asking (see Canadian real estate bubble comment above)
2. 3 days.
3. 60 days !! It took us 45 to find a rental house in the city. 45 agonizing, sweaty days !
4. 1 realtor. Word to the wise. We chose a local company (not the same one we used to buy the place) that had the best Marketing by far, and FULL time sales reps. Real estate is far to full of part-timer flakes and people who couldn't market beer to a drunk.
5. mmm .. cough... new kitchen. (15k) Did half the work ourselves and more than got the money back. YMMV.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:31 PM   #28
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Hello Everyone! Has anyone good news regarding the sale of your home to share with us all? Just thought I'd check. Have a wonderful evening!
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #29
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Hello Everyone! Has anyone good news regarding the sale of your home to share with us all? Just thought I'd check. Have a wonderful evening!

Do you only want successful news? If so, then disregard. But sometimes I think it can be important to consider the other side of the coin as well....


Quote:
1) did you get within 90% of the price you had hoped for,
No, we were on the market 7 months and listing expired right after Thanksgiving. No sale, no offers


Quote:
2) how long was it on the market before it got sold?
Not sold yet. We will put back on market, probably beginning of March


Quote:
3) how long from a ratified contract to closing?
N/a. We did buy a house last year and I think it was between 45 and 60 days. We could have closed earlier but the seller scheduled closing around her kids' spring break.


Quote:
4) did you have to switch realtors because the first one(s) did not do much to help sell? or do you have great luck with the first and only realtor?
We will be switching realtors. We had used this realtor before to buy 2 houses and to sell some land we have. We were not happy with her overall lack of guidance in how to price our house and sell it. She had many positive qualities, but did not give good price advice and ever price reduction was initiated by me.


Quote:
5) what were some key enhancements that you made to the house, if any, before putting it on the market? re-carpet? re-finish wood floor? etc.
We wanted to sell quickly and didn't care that much about maximizing price (yes I know all this is a laugh since we did all this and didn't sell. These kinds of things have worked well for us in the past but not this time)

Painted throughout
New Carpet upstairs
Refinished wood floors
New cooktop and oven
Granite vanity put in powder room and master bath
Framed mirrors in master bath and powder room
Replaced light fixture in powder room
Replace toilet room hardware
Refinished a number of doors
Removed doors to formal living room (opening it to foyer)
Shellac paint on floors of understairs closet and in garage
Replaced cultured marble vanity and sinks in kid's bathroom
Professionally staged
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:31 PM   #30
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My cul-de-sac has about 20 homes on it. Two homes were for sale. One is outrageously priced about 30% above retail, so it ain't gonna sell anytime soon. The other was on the market about a year, but I believe they finally lowered the price to a reasonable value and it sold quickly. On the next street, a home sold in 3 days but was priced reasonably from the outset.

And get this: Another home on our street sold without even posting a for-sale sign. I believe the owners must've accosted someone looking at the house next door that was for sale and just arranged there own deal. So I count this as a house sold in 1 day.

All these homes sold for the highest value ever in our neighborhood. There was never a bubble in this ZIP code.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:30 PM   #31
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Thank you, Katsmeow, I should have worded my question below. I wanted all news, not just good news! Thank you so much for sharing. I wish you the very best this March when you re-list your home. The list of things that you did to get the house ready is quite impressive.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:31 PM   #32
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My cul-de-sac has about 20 homes on it. Two homes were for sale. One is outrageously priced about 30% above retail, so it ain't gonna sell anytime soon. The other was on the market about a year, but I believe they finally lowered the price to a reasonable value and it sold quickly. On the next street, a home sold in 3 days but was priced reasonably from the outset.

And get this: Another home on our street sold without even posting a for-sale sign. I believe the owners must've accosted someone looking at the house next door that was for sale and just arranged there own deal. So I count this as a house sold in 1 day.

All these homes sold for the highest value ever in our neighborhood. There was never a bubble in this ZIP code.

Dear LOL, What state do you live in? The real estate market is so awesome where you live! Thank you for responding.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:21 AM   #33
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I tried to sell my house in MD for about three to four months at a higher price. Then I found the house I was looking for in WA at a bargain. I bought the WA house and hired the best real estate agent I have ever seen. We priced the MD house to cover all expenses on the new house. The house sold in about a week and a half. This wouldn't have worked if we wanted to end up with a big profit over the new house cost or if we wanted to move up to a bigger, newer house. We didn't. We just wanted to break even and we did with a tiny bit of extra money in the bank.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:30 PM   #34
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Tadpole, thank you for sharing. I am glad it all worked out for you. Congratulations!
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