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Should I buy a new refrigerator?
Old 10-15-2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Should I buy a new refrigerator?

If you are trying to sell your house, like W2R, Frank, and myself, please post to let me know what ALL you are doing to get your house/yard/driveway ready to show well in this real estate market? I am grateful for all advice, thoughts, on this process.

Specifically, my refrigerator is at least 16 years old, and it is dingy looking, but it still works, should I buy a new refrigerator just because I am getting ready to put my house on the market? Or just give buyer a credit (x $$$) toward the purchase of a new fridge? Please advise.

Thank you and have a great weekend!
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:06 PM   #2
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I did not leave my fridge in the house I sold... it is not expected (at least here)...
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #3
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if other kitchen appliances are similar in age, I wouldn't replace it. If you have updated range etc. than I would or offer a credit.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:13 PM   #4
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My refrigerator is less than 5 years old (courtesy of Hurricane Katrina which trashed my old one) and it looks great. In your situation I would talk to my realtor about the best course of action, and I wouldn't buy a new one unless he/she said it was necessary. Maybe you could repaint it with appliance paint? I know nothing about that but they do it on HGTV sometimes.

In the past, when buying a home, I have preferred old junky appliances as opposed to no appliances. I would tell myself, "This will work until I can save up the money for a new refrigerator/stove/washer".
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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We've typically owned homes a tad below the median price, and I've never expected to get a fridge. Sometime there's one in the house, sometimes there isn't. IIRC, most real estate sales contracts don't include it and other non-built-in appliances in the sale price, it has to be written in.

I doubt anyone will make a "buy" decision on a home based on the existence or condition of the refrigerator. If you'll be showing the house unoccupied (after you move out), then I'd remove it rather than have a beat-up refrigerator be a distraction. If you are going to stay in the house while you show it, you could either just leave it in place and take it with you when you leave, or, if you want a new fridge anyway, buy it now and take it with you when you go. If the buyers ask about whether it is included, I'd be prepared to negotiate about it as well as every other thing they may try to get you to pay for.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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Our house is on the market now, appliances are in the same age range as your, most from 1996-7. They're all in very good to excellent showing condition so we left them. I remodeled this kitchen back then and people keep thinking it was recently remodeled. Every time I hear this, I smile. I had to sell an estate last winter and there was a brand new refrigerator in a very dated kitchen (70's design). Didn't want to do a remodel, but the new appliances helped a lot.

You'd be surprised the trivial things potential buyers complain about. There's so much inventory for sale, our feeling is give them as little as possible to complain about. Isn't it easier to drop 1-3k on new appliances, if needed, than keep taking 5-10k price reductions? Do some research on your competition homes and see their appliances. Best thing to do is have a relative/friend that doesn't know your house well and ask for real criticism. We did this and got good feedback. We moved out the clutter into the garage, repainted all the rooms, replaced the front door, patio door, had all the wood floors refinished, cleaned and recaulked the bathroom and redid the basement ceiling. Before each open house or appointment, we clean the yard, flush/clean the toilets if needed. Wipe things down, throw out the garbage.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:10 PM   #7
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When we sold our home we left the refrigerator, washer and dryer. Turns out it sold to a young couple with not a lot of extra money and I believe the fact they did not have to buy these items led to them choosing our house.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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We just sold our house after having it on the market for about six months. For the first couple of months with staged the house with furniture, rugs, etc. at our agent's expense and made sure to keep the yard extra green/weed free. After the first couple months the staging thing got old because we had young kids. We received one offer during that time but couldn't agree to terms. We unstaged the house after four months and just made sure it was clean for showings. We received two offers after that and the last one stuck. Our frig was about 5 years old and looked new. The buyer didn't want it because she was going to go all stainless. My advice would be to do nothing with the frig. If the buyer is concerned about it you can offer a credit as part of the negotiations, but I wouldn't concede anything up front.

Good luck selling your house.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:32 PM   #9
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A few years ago when I was looking to purchase my first home I didn't even consider a home that didn't come with a refrigerator. Since I had never had a home before I didn't have a refrigerator to bring to this home. Since my home is at the very low end of the market it didn't bother me that the appliances were old as long as they were there. If your home is in the middle or higher part of the market then old appliances would probably be worse than no appliances. I agree with W2R, talk to your realtor. He or she should have a good idea of what is expected for your particular home.
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:38 PM   #10
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The last two houses I sold, I hoped to leave the refrigerator and that it would be an incentive for a first time buyer. Neither buyer wanted it. I wouldn't plan to buy a new one just for the sale, and the advice my realtors gave me was to say "appliances negotiable" to let a buyer know the fridge (and w/d in my case) could stay.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:04 PM   #11
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We've only bought one house in the USA and sold it a few years ago after living in it for 11 years, so all the appliances were 11 years old. We didn't include them in the selling price and ended up "selling" them to the buyers for a small sum of money. (washer, drier, d/w, fridge).
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:11 PM   #12
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I would leave the fridge and price the house as low as possible in this tough market. As others have noted, you could choose something new and the buyer plans to replace it anyway because it is not stainless, or a French door, or a counter depth. Good luck with the sale!
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire2014 View Post
If you are trying to sell your house, like W2R, Frank, and myself, please post to let me know what ALL you are doing to get your house/yard/driveway ready to show well in this real estate market? I am grateful for all advice, thoughts, on this process.
"10 easy steps to FSBO your house"

Whether or not you're doing a FSBO, these steps can still help move things along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retire2014 View Post
Specifically, my refrigerator is at least 16 years old, and it is dingy looking, but it still works, should I buy a new refrigerator just because I am getting ready to put my house on the market? Or just give buyer a credit (x $$$) toward the purchase of a new fridge? Please advise.
I'm conflicted.

The engineer buyer in me looks at a house's layout & physical condition and hardly ever notices the color of the walls or the carpet. (Unless they're discolored or dripping.) If I notice a kitchen appliance then I'm concerned whether I'd have to upgrade it (EnergyStar) and I'd discount my offer accordingly. I kinda like buying houses where nothing's been done, because I know I can make a below-market offer.

Spouse (with her keen judgment and décor skills) and HGTV have proved to me that 90% of the rest of America's buyers are, at best, emotionally-impulsive idiots. They'll look at a 16-year-old fridge, go "Eeeuw", and go somewhere else. They can't imagine how they're going to rehab the kitchen or even how they're going to replace that particular fridge, let alone ask for an appliance allowance. In fact, if they actually bought the place, 10 years later it'd be a 26-year-old fridge.

I'd advise replacing the fridge with something that's not too trendy or expensive. ~20 cu ft, over/under, EnergyStar if possible, no icemaker or water dispenser necessary, white or (possibly) stainless steel-- whatever does not make the rest of the kitchen look like crap. Upgrade the features/size if you think it helps, but don't go nuts. Then you can sell the old fridge on Craigslist for $50 or see if your electric company will pay you that amount to get rid of it.

If you haven't already then you should divest yourself of owner's emotion. If something is in the house and not moving too quickly, then be ready to include it in the sale as a negotiating factor. If it's precious to you (or if it loudly objects) then it's best to put it in storage, or at least lock it away from public view.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:40 PM   #14
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I have to share my refrigerator story.
When we bought our current house, we were told that the fridge was not included, which was fine with us as we planned to update the kitchen anyway. After the closing, though, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the previous owners changed their minds and left the refrigerator after all. So that evening, I plugged it in and DH turned on the water supply to the built in ice maker.

The next afternoon, our daughter went to the house to start moving in a few items. I was at work, preparing for a pretty important meeting when I got a call from DD, telling me there was a leak in the kitchen. I rushed over and quickly figured out the leak was from the refrigerator..and then I made a big mistake...

I opened the freezer door -- and got drenched with a freezer-full of ice cold water..which then pretty much flooded the wood floor in the kitchen, to say nothing of my ruined wool suit.

Fortunately the cost of the repairs-- to the floor and the fridge-- were covered by the previous owner. They shouda taken the stoopid fridge with them!
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:52 AM   #15
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h. If it's precious to you (or if it loudly objects) then it's best to put it in storage, or at least lock it away from public view.

When I sold my last house the chandelier ( which was precious to me ) was not included . I should have replaced it before I put the house on the market but I did not . The buyers drove me nuts over that chandelier . They did not want it they just wanted to use it as a negotiating tool. Luckily it was a sellers market at the time so I eventually won the argument but know I now.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:36 AM   #16
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I've got a good solution:

Replace the fridge with a free or cheap one from Craigslist. For example, here's one for $290 that looks good:



Even the free ones might look better than yours.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:39 AM   #17
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Refrigerator story from Jay Leno:

When he was young he saw a fridge out on the sidewalk. He knew that kids sometimes play in discarded fridges, and he'd heard advice that the door should be disabled so that it won't close. So he bent the door back until it bent and the hinges broke.

He went into the house for something, and when he came back out, there was a woman by the fridge crying: "We just had this refrigerator delivered, and someone vandalized it." Leno didn't confess.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:07 AM   #18
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One thing I learned from having a house in Chicago and Houston is that each region has it's own mores. In Chicago you leave all the appliances, and in Houston leaving appliances wasn't expected at all.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:20 AM   #19
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Many years ago, we sold a home with a frige that was 19 years old.

We had intentions to scrap it (since we were building a new home and wanted everything "new"). The young couple that bought our home (on a strict budget) brought it to the contract as a condition of sale that the frige would stay.

Heck - we were happy to oblige ...
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:46 PM   #20
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When I sold my last house the chandelier ( which was precious to me ) was not included . I should have replaced it before I put the house on the market but I did not . The buyers drove me nuts over that chandelier . They did not want it they just wanted to use it as a negotiating tool. Luckily it was a sellers market at the time so I eventually won the argument but know I now.
In my previous house, which I sold in 2004, I had a cranberry glass shade antique farmhouse chandelier (which was my parents) over the kitchen table. I made it very clear to the purchaser that I was taking it with me, but I would have a replacement installed, which I did...a 50 dollar item from a big box store that a friend put up for me. I was lucky on the last house as I did not even have it on the market. A colleague of my late husband's called out of the blue and said she was going through a divorce, had always liked our house and would I sell it to her. She came over that evening and did a walk through and bought it on the spot. I broke out a bottle of champagne, and we relived some memories of good times in the house. My attorney handled the sale for me gratis and she bought it "as is". I left behind all my appliances as everything in the kitchen was built in, and it is expected around here that appliances remain. I have been back a couple of times and she has totally remodeled it to suit her tastes. It looks better than when we lived there.
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