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Old 01-21-2008, 09:58 PM   #21
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Just some random thoughts:

1) Take it off the market and relist. If your place has been on the market for a year, everybody assumes something is wrong with it. A well-priced new listing will generate much more interest.

2) Relist with a realtor, not as a FSBO. You don't want any agents to avoid your listing.

3) With waterfront, you're selling a lifestyle, not a house. Get rid of those drapes, bring in the light, make a few cosmetic changes that allow the buyer to see themselves living the waterfront lifestyle even if they plan to tear the place down.

4) Go to the open houses of other waterfront or view homes and chat up the agents. Ask them about that house on the corner that's priced below assessed value. Tell them you heard it was an estate sale, and you think the seller might have some wiggle room on the price. And make sure all of the other buyers in the house overhear your conversation. It'll sell the next day.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:59 PM   #22
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Have you tried staging it?
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:56 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
If I may be succinct and hopefully not offending, it seems you arent sure what you're selling, exactly. Which means you arent selling it as effectively as you could be, and that buyers arent sure what they might be getting when they look at it in the listings or in person.

The element of surprise in real estate is usually not a positive thing.

And in this market you better know exactly what you're selling, be optimized for that sell, and have a buyer know what they're looking at when they see it, see what they expect, and like it compared to other stuff thats similar.

By the way, this oughta make you laugh per your mulch comment. I went up to my old house for sale and decided before I left I'd go get a heap of red mulch and remulch around the shrubs next to the front door (what the buyers would be looking around at while waiting for the agent to fish the key out of the lockbox), and lay some around the rear patio to make it pop a little bit more when you stepped out there.

I got the offer the next day.
thanx for the consideration. for future reference i don't offend too easily and often when i do it's either just an act or to make a point. you'll be able to tell by how hard i bite back.

i think your absolutely right but i don't know if that is by my lack of intention or by the nature of the beast. when i started i was sure i was selling a teardown. what an odd year. and your point taken, i should know what it is i am selling. i think that is very valid about not surprising the potential buyer. as to red mulch, i will never understand that; i hate that stuff.

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Just some random thoughts:
thanx twaddle,

1. i understand the average time here is over 400 days. i heard someplace a year and three months. although i think that psychology still probably holds true, i don't know how practical it might be. one option i'm considering is keeping it on the market through the season (ending april) and then take it off the market until next season (dec/jan).

2. the fsbo will have 3% to selling agent in order to list on msl & realtor.com so brokers are protected.

3. no drapes, good idea. i can also reduce some landscaping to open up more views.

4. sounds like fun but not my character. i'm the guy who tells people they're walking around with their fly open or with that chocolate on their face. other times i'm too honest and tell them what i'm really thinking.

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Have you tried staging it?
already suggested but thank you. will discuss with brother and consider.

will i be staging that with furniture or with a crane & demolition ball?
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:44 PM   #24
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LGFNB, I agree that it seems crazy that you would need to offer an additional 'bonus' or other perks to the buyer's agent, when their agency is already getting a (presumably) 3% cut off the deal.

However, remember that many real estate agents are neck-and-neck with many a financial 'advisor' in the race to the bottom of the ethics dungheap (note: I said "many", not all!).

Yes, many agents in your area make a good living - however, if you dangled a 4% - or even a ludicrous 5% - cut for the seller's agent, I can nearly guarantee that you will at least get a herd of lookers because all many of them look for is making more moolah, rather than what's truly in the best interest of their client.

What would you rather do....keep your price a little higher, offer an extra 1% or 2% to the buyer's agent, sell quick and pocket a little more money, or try a FSBO, offer 3% to the buyer's agent, cut the price even more, wait another 6 months-1 year, and hope to sell?

You can always jack up the commission to the buyer's agent to 4% or 5% for a month, and if nothing materializes, simply drop it back down to 3%. You have very little to lose and much to gain. The individual buyer usually is completely clueless as to what the seller is offering to their agent in way of commissions. And if the buyer's agent is staring at a lucrative 4%/5% commission, you can guarantee that they'll find a way to put every positive spin possible on that original copper hood, or the roof, or anything else that might turn off a buyer.

It's like hiring your own PR agent!
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Old 01-21-2008, 11:52 PM   #25
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Yes, many agents in your area make a good living - however, if you dangled a 4% - or even a ludicrous 5% - cut for the seller's agent, I can nearly guarantee that you will at least get a herd of lookers because all many of them look for is making more moolah, rather than what's truly in the best interest of their client.
In my experience, the seller's agent is *not* the one that needs the incentive. They got the listing, and that's all they care about. They don't have any special powers to find buyers. Buyers find agents. Agents do not find buyers.

And buyers find random agents -- not the listing agent.

The listing agent's job is basically to get you into the MLS, give a tour to other agents, and maybe help you stage the place. Hopefully, they do some marketing as well, but the MLS is the primary marketing vehicle.

Having said that, if you go FSBO or discount listing agent, some agents will blacklist you to protect their Realtor(TM) monopoly.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:25 AM   #26
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I thought about addressing that, but decided not to due to already writing too dang much.

If its a tear down, then tear it down and go poke the construction guys who are building the homes on the other lots in the area and see if they want to build another one. Sell them the lot for a better than fair price. Trying to sell it as a teardown/builders lot with the house still on it through the usual realtor/MLS process is probably just not gonna happen in a timely manner.

Dang.... CFB said basically what I was going to say.. if it is a tear down, then do it and sell the lot..

If you can rent it for a good amount that represents the price of the land.. rent away and come back to the market when it returns in a year or two or three...

But... if I remember.. NOBODY has even looked (or is it made an offer) in a YEAR!!! Kind of 'high' priced if not even one lowball offer comes across the table..
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:37 AM   #27
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I guess one last couple of comments.

I think what some folks are saying is that agents will often not take a customer to see a FSBO, even if its paying them their 3% of the commission. This is a protected monopoly and they dont like freelancers. Homes shown as FSBO's take longer to sell, so do homes paying less than 3% to the buyers agent.

I sold mine with a 2%/3.5% structure, 2% to the sellers agent and 3.5% to the buyers agent. By offering a little extra, I got a lot more looks. The house I bought had a 4% buyers agent fee on it. It got a lot of looks too.

These are sales people selling from a franchise business. Your sales strategy hurts their sales strategies for your own profit benefits. As a buyer, I wont touch a FSBO. There is no benefit to me in dealing with a non-professional with possible emotional connections to a property. As a buyers agent, I wouldnt bother either. I'll probably end up handling both ends of the sale at some point. And buyers agents often also sell properties and you're the type of guy who takes money from them, and they'd like you to learn a lesson about that and tell all your friends.

I hate the whole thing, but I learned my lesson. Its harder to sell a house FSBO, its harder to sell a house without paying the full expected commissions (and then some), and you have to be clear about what you're selling.
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:58 AM   #28
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I guess one last couple of comments.

I think what some folks are saying is that agents will often not take a customer to see a FSBO, even if its paying them their 3% of the commission. This is a protected monopoly and they dont like freelancers. Homes shown as FSBO's take longer to sell, so do homes paying less than 3% to the buyers agent.

I sold mine with a 2%/3.5% structure, 2% to the sellers agent and 3.5% to the buyers agent. By offering a little extra, I got a lot more looks. The house I bought had a 4% buyers agent fee on it. It got a lot of looks too.

These are sales people selling from a franchise business. Your sales strategy hurts their sales strategies for your own profit benefits. As a buyer, I wont touch a FSBO. There is no benefit to me in dealing with a non-professional with possible emotional connections to a property. As a buyers agent, I wouldnt bother either. I'll probably end up handling both ends of the sale at some point. And buyers agents often also sell properties and you're the type of guy who takes money from them, and they'd like you to learn a lesson about that and tell all your friends.

I hate the whole thing, but I learned my lesson. Its harder to sell a house FSBO, its harder to sell a house without paying the full expected commissions (and then some), and you have to be clear about what you're selling.
Ditto to what CFB said. At least in this market in my location, going FSBO is the kiss of death. When I bought my present home my realtor took me into over two dozen homes, but he really did not want to touch a FSBO that I asked him about (even before knowing what percentages were involved).
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:08 AM   #29
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thanx much for great input mega. though while i do want to sell, i also want to travel to other galaxies but you won't see me stepping into a rocket anytime soon. more than wanting to sell i want to make the right decision. i don't want to find myself floating in space without a booster.
so you really are ambivalent on selling? in other words, if you can't do it under your terms (rational or irrational), you don't want to sell.
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i have gone as far as to interview people who have sold similar properties and contacting their realtors. i have contacted & interviewed the known "big hitters." none of them impress me. no offense to any realtor or salesperson on the forum, but none of them convince me that they can do a better job than a monkey with an mls listing. i realize that i am prejudice in that i have never taken to salespeople. when i enter a store, i am their worst nightmare as i have never bought anything that i did not enter the store to buy. ring me up. thank you.
yes, but this is YOUR issue, not the sales persons... in any case if you are going to try and sell I think you need the best one... get someone who is more receptive to sales people choose one for you.
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though hard to determine as mentioned above, it seems i am already under the price of the last immediate area sale which was sold in distress and that house is now back on the market asking $300k more than it sold for this past summer. (i realize that is only an asking price.)
any house, in any condition and in any given location will sell for the right price. It seems that you have a 'fixer upper'. If you don't want to dump money in to fix it, then you have to price it accordingly. Take the position of the buyer. If you found a house that would be a $1M house if it were in perfect condition, but it needed 300,000 in renovations, what would the value of the house be? ... not a $1M... and probably not $700,000, since as a buyer, I have to go thru the trouble to fix it up and live in the mess of renovation. So to sell this house, you might need to price it at say $650,000, so I as the buyer can see $50,000 in my sweat equity immediately. The alternative is for you the seller to put the $300K in and then I will buy it for the $1M. No free lunches here.
Quote:
the added bonus is interesting but does $5k motivate a realtor any more so than the nearly $30k they'd already be getting? just how greedy are they?
Yes, i have used it myself... and yes they are greedy sales people... remember, they get 1/4 of the sales commission (1/2 goes to listing brokers firm, 1/2 goes to selling brokers firm, and 1/2 of the 1/2 goes to the actualy broker who 'sold' the place), so 1/4 of 30K is 7.5K, so another 5k almost doubles their commission.
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i can't wait until i don't have to deal with this again. no idea how you had the nerves to buy and sell so many houses. this is only my second time and it makes me want to never do it again.
I am no martyr, DW had a thing about moving up in house. In any case, it does get a lot easier the 4th or 5th time

Finally, after reading some of your response, if you don't need to sell, I would consider renting it out to cover the costs and take off on your tour of the galaxy. A 2 year lease would be nice. In 2 years, reassess. rinse, wash and repeat as necessary. In other words, join us, the waters fine ... just don't look at CNN everyday (at least not lately )
Best of luck LG4N
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Old 01-22-2008, 11:05 AM   #30
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Yes, many agents in your area make a good living - however, if you dangled a 4% - or even a ludicrous 5% - cut for the seller's agent, I can nearly guarantee that you will at least get a herd of lookers because all many of them look for is making more moolah, rather than what's truly in the best interest of their client.
i am planning to look for an agent who specializes in canadian & european buyers per previous suggestion though not sure how to do that but i'll figure it out.

meanwhile, how would it be if i did fsbo but offered 5% to the buyer's agent. would i be blacklisted with that?

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Having said that, if you go FSBO or discount listing agent, some agents will blacklist you to protect their Realtor(TM) monopoly.
ibid

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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
This is a protected monopoly and they dont like freelancers. Homes shown as FSBO's take longer to sell, so do homes paying less than 3% to the buyers agent.
ibid

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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Ditto to what CFB said.
ibid

ok i got it, you can stop kicking me in the head now.

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But... if I remember.. NOBODY has even looked (or is it made an offer) in a YEAR!!! Kind of 'high' priced if not even one lowball offer comes across the table..
dunno, i see others in other areas selling at higher price. i wonder if i didn't lower it too much too often that maybe someone on the sideline isn't just waiting to see what i do next.

i'm certain the offers are going to come pouring in just as soon as i take it off the market. hey, you get your kicks watching the market crash and i'll get my kicks my way.

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so you really are ambivalent on selling? in other words, if you can't do it under your terms (rational or irrational), you don't want to sell.
hey you take that back.

already discussed the cost of updating earlier under section 8a of this thread. this house certainly is not a million dollar house in tinbuck2 where lots sell for 2 bits. the value is in the land here (shouldn't there be a scarlet ohara quote i can insert here?)

this morning i found a few vacant deepwater properties in nearby lesser areas, likely torndowns abandoned by builders gone bust. only one is selling for slightly less than my asking price, the rest are asking even more. i'm well priced and i am not under the spell of any bubble.

part of the problem is the product, a swiss army house. you can live in it as is, update it or tear it down & build new. versatile yet confusing. i will have to work to clarify that.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:12 PM   #31
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I think the key term there is that you found properties for sale that were mostly selling for more, with only one selling for less.

And they havent sold.

Got any prices for anything that actually did sell thats comparable?
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:13 PM   #32
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm in a very similar situation with an inherited house in the DelRay area. No one in my family is interested in using the home and it's been on the market for around 6 months. Its not as nice as yours' and is on a golf course. The agent says that nothing is selling at all and we already lowered the price by around 10%. It does need some updating but we've been thinking that it's better to have the buyer update to their tastes.
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Old 01-22-2008, 03:20 PM   #33
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Yep, thats what I thought too. Makes perfect sense.

What really ticks me off though, is after you paint and carpet to the new and neutral everyone wants to buy, first thing they do after admiring your expensive handiwork is to paint over it and pull out the carpet and replace it with something else.

Nuts. Took me a while to 'get it'. But now I do.
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:07 PM   #34
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I scanned all the posts, and I think a lot of good advice has been given, here's my quick thoughts, based on several clients and a one good friend being successful in real estate.

1)Every house will sell at SOME price,if you discount it enough someone will buy it (I know, you heard that before)

2)There's ALWAYS a reason a house doesn't sell, i.e. old house with all new bigger houses nearby, needs work, updating, looks too old, too new, whatever. Buyers can still afford to be fickle in the RE market today............

3)Bottom line, DON'T FSBO........hire an agent, pay the price for a PROFESSIONAL who knows how to market and sell lakefront property like yours. It's worth the money for this sale, because agents can get buyers much easier than you can get them on your own. Bottom line, an RE professional that knows your market will get more money for it than anyone else.......

Best of luck.........tough selling the family homestead, I bet..............
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Old 01-22-2008, 04:17 PM   #35
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i am planning to look for an agent who specializes in canadian & european buyers per previous suggestion though not sure how to do that but i'll figure it out.
Check the Sotheby's International Real Estate website. They have similar properties in your town. I'd give them a call.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:10 PM   #36
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hey you take that back.
... just firing for effect. I take it back ...
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(shouldn't there be a scarlet ohara quote i can insert here?)
no but how about a Bogie one ' we'll always have Florida ...'
Quote:
this morning i found a few vacant deepwater properties in nearby lesser areas, likely torndowns abandoned by builders gone bust. only one is selling (asking, not selling my comment) for slightly less than my asking price, the rest are asking even more. i'm well priced and i am not under the spell of any bubble.
Suggest you get outta the mode of indignent seller (hey my house is worth $zillion dollars, ... look at what Joe Blow listed his piece of '%&^&' for ...') and take a systematic business approach about this ... or NOT ... if not, then we'll see you posting on this for the next 6 months. Ok, I take it back ... before you yell again. Simply pointing out that you are going through what most sellers go through ... emotional attachment.

My last suggestion still holds ... rent it out for 2 years and recover the costs (or most of them) and go travel. Eventually (the housing market, like the stock market) the economy and the markets get better. Sometimes it takes longer than one would like. You will lose some opportunity costs (since you SAY you want to approach this as an investment), but your psychic benefits of getting a higher price should offset it.

I have one horror story that I (can) only relate when I have had at least a 1/2 bottle of my favorite scotch or cognac. I still get the shakes when I think about it... talk about 'going to school' on that one (a lesson well learned and NOT wanting to repeat).

...not trying to rile you... just trying to help you put this in perspective.
Happy hunting.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:18 PM   #37
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Yep, thats what I thought too. Makes perfect sense.

What really ticks me off though, is after you paint and carpet to the new and neutral everyone wants to buy, first thing they do after admiring your expensive handiwork is to paint over it and pull out the carpet and replace it with something else.

Nuts. Took me a while to 'get it'. But now I do.
IMO the way to handle this is to recognize the flaws and give them 'renovation' credits, if they buy. This takes the 'ugly' rug and the the red wall 'out of the equation. You will 'pay' (credit) off the listing price.
This shows that you are reasonable and ready to negotiate. The buyer knows you are realistic. And they can put whatever ugly rug or black paint the wall to their own liking. IMO you have a shorter (relative) sell cycle and you will get closer to your (real) sale price.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:52 PM   #38
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IMO the way to handle this is to recognize the flaws and give them 'renovation' credits, if they buy. This takes the 'ugly' rug and the the red wall 'out of the equation. You will 'pay' (credit) off the listing price.
This shows that you are reasonable and ready to negotiate. The buyer knows you are realistic. And they can put whatever ugly rug or black paint the wall to their own liking. IMO you have a shorter (relative) sell cycle and you will get closer to your (real) sale price.
Sometimes it's hard for the buyer to visualize how great the house will look after the renovation, though. I vote for doing the renovation first!

I think I do, anyway. I will have the same problem before selling my present house (in a couple of years, when we move north). It has the most hideous brilliant orange rug in the formal living room, which is also the entry. This is with blue wallpaper on one wall and brilliant pink paint on the other walls. The decorator must have been high. When I bought the house I remember thinking that they could have got $10K more for the place if they had at least changed out that rug, which also is worn and spotty.

But, I have been too thrifty to do it, and I got used to it so it doesn't bother me. I suppose that I will have to have that changed and neutral carpet put in, after painting the pink walls to something more neutral too. All of this will be a royal pain in the neck, but I think actually doing it will help sell the house more than just offering a bucket of paint and the cost of the carpet.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:25 PM   #39
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Yeah, I tried that maneuver with my old house (didnt work), and my dad tried moving a pristine condo that he'd completely redone everything on...but it had a wine colored rug in it. I actually liked the rug, it was a nice deep rich cabernet color...and hell, you could spill your wine and it wouldnt leave a stain!

Every buyer walked in, stopped and said "I hate the rug" and left. One woman made an offer and then came back to ask if she could rescind it because she hadnt slept for two nights over the rug. She cried because she liked the place but hated the rug. It was about $800 worth of carpet fer crissakes. Finally my dads sellers agent bought it from him because he couldnt believe it wouldnt sell. He tried to sell it for six more months, then changed the carpet and it sold in a month.

The whole "mark it down and let someone else fix it" just doesnt work as well. Its stupid. I know. Ridiculous. Who WOULDNT buy a marked down house that they could fix up any way they wanted?

Same with my wifes old house. The buyer said she picked it over everything else she looked at because "everything was already done over".

Ridiculous. But every RE agent I know told me the same thing "Most people cant see past anything that doesnt look really appealing".

This might be why I get some good deals on houses that are priced well below market and only need some updating and renovation. I dont seem to have this "It must already look good" affliction.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:32 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Sometimes it's hard for the buyer to visualize how great the house will look after the renovation, though. I vote for doing the renovation first!

I think I do, anyway. I will have the same problem before selling my present house (in a couple of years, when we move north). It has the most hideous brilliant orange rug in the formal living room, which is also the entry. This is with blue wallpaper on one wall and brilliant pink paint on the other walls. The decorator must have been high. When I bought the house I remember thinking that they could have got $10K more for the place if they had at least changed out that rug, which also is worn and spotty.

But, I have been too thrifty to do it, and I got used to it so it doesn't bother me. I suppose that I will have to have that changed and neutral carpet put in, after painting the pink walls to something more neutral too. All of this will be a royal pain in the neck, but I think actually doing it will help sell the house more than just offering a bucket of paint and the cost of the carpet.
Yep, when I bought my present place 14 years ago, it was decorated '70's Brady Bunch' style and colors. It 'cost' the seller about $35K, in my estimation, at the time. We 'lowballed offered' (about $30K less than asking price (about $10K less than an A1 conditioned house of this kind in the neighborhood) and got counter offered at $5K less than asking. We were the 1st 'lookers' for months. We walked away from these crazies. Fast forward 3 weeks, our broker says the owners dropped the price and wanted us to bid again. We raised our price by $3K. The owners got another 'looker' and held our offer, just in case. The other guys offered $40K less than asking (this house needed upgrading bad, and showed terribly, but the owners did not want to hear about their 'ugly' baby). The owners panicked. Long story short, we got the house for about $35K less than reasonable A1 condition price. I put about $8K and some sweat equity into getting it into shape initially. Over the years I've upgraded the kitchen, all the baths, ...etc. DW liked a 'pink' wall in the family room about 12 years ago. We recently 'neutralized' it (as well as the big flowery wall papered (bottom half/ red painted (top half) dining room), so we are ready to sell if we choose to relocate (still waffling on this one, since we love our neighborhood).

Moral of the story is what you said, many people can't visualize the home redecorated. If you can, then you can take advantage of 'obstinate' sellers. When times are tough (like now), it's even better.
Almost wish I was in the market for a house ... ...... nah
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