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Old 02-28-2011, 09:30 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
I didn't see anyone mention purchasing a home warranty for the buyer. A two year warranty may cost $500 but is well worth the price to put buyers minds as ease.
I know buyers love to get these things but they're practically worthless. Trying to get a service call is like getting a bone from a hungry dog (much pleading, some tugging, and some begging). I'll take the cash anytime.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:04 PM   #42
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Purron - best of luck with your home sale. Hopefully things are improving enough here so that your sale will be fast and for what you are asking. Almost everything said here in previous posts will help make it easier. Moving out is even a better idea. Hadn't really thought of that. We will probably wait 2 years or so until Metro makes it out here - we will be less than a mile from the station. That should be some help with the price.

We just expanded our kitchen, replaced corian with granite and a bunch of other things. We will have them for a few years before we leave the area, but it's worth it. Also replaced our ancient wooden windows a fw months ago and will be getting new siding and a roof courtesy of hail damage. Another suggestion I liked is to clear out your house as much as possible and put everything in storage except the bare minimum.

Please keep everyone up to date on your progress and how things work out.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:12 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Purron View Post
Thanks. Light dimmers are another good idea. We'll move to the other place when this house goes on the market. No way DH, the kitties and I want to live in a showroom.
Oh that cute house that y'all own? should sell your house much quicker if you're not living there. Folks can really look around and not feel like they're intruding. They'll know it's available right away.
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:35 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by eridanus View Post
I know buyers love to get these things but they're practically worthless. Trying to get a service call is like getting a bone from a hungry dog (much pleading, some tugging, and some begging). I'll take the cash anytime.
I agree, I'm having a hard time believing companies will sell a warranty covering an AC unit that's over 20 years old. It's already past it useable lifespan. Although I've heard banks are giving warranties on foreclosures to unload them. Can anyone confirm having a warranty on something past it's useable lifespan and getting it serviced?
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:59 PM   #45
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We got our house ready to sell last year. We had a stager (in addition to realtor) who works in our area walk through and help us with recommendations for changes. It was very helpful. We got quotes from 2 contractors. One was twice as much as the other. We went with the less expensive one (both came to us with recommendations for quality of work) who did great work.

As for what counters to get, whether replace appliances, etc. the most important thing you need to know is what is expected in your competition. For example, we had cultured marble countertops in our master bath and powder room (house is 20 years old). Around here, though, for houses in similar price range the standard is granite so we replace the counter tops (by the way, this was very inexpensive. People think granite is expensivee but the 8' countertop - with 2 sinks - cost about $600 to replace with granite).

We did replace our cooktop and oven as we had the originals that were 20 years old.

On window coverings, we put white faux wood blinds on a number of windows. This was inexpensive but looks very nice.
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Staging works
Old 03-01-2011, 12:34 AM   #46
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Staging works

We sold our house in CA in 2008 in less than a week at top dollar. Our realtor recommended a staging artist, and they both gave us loads of ideas to upgrade the house. After the consultation, I decided that instead of paying the stager thousands of dollars to go shopping, I would take the time off and go shopping myself! It helped that I had been watching HGT "Design to Sell" shows every day for breakfast and lunch - they are packed with great ideas, and after you see a few dozen shows you really get a sense of how easily a home can become a "show house". Buyers are often impressed with the silly stuff too - they don't seem to realize they are not actually getting the fancy new pillows...

Some ideas cost money (and we wished we had done them earlier so we could have enjoyed them more!), but many of the new items we could take with us (new sofa, lamps, pillows, etc.) But mostly it was decluttering and cleaning, redoing the hardwood floors, and making everything look like a show house. It took a couple of months, and we moved lots of stuff we didn't need access to into a storage shed. (That also made the move faster, as half the house was already packed up.)

Our realtor also believed in hiring a professional photographer, and after he pointed out the differences in photography of houses for sale, I couldn't agree more. A professional is well worth the cost compared to taking cheap snapshots.

I also highly recommend you follow every piece of advice your realtor gives you. Our realtor told us that most sellers ignore his advice and just do the small/easy stuff, but since we went above and beyond, his colleagues said we added $100,000 to our house value. He ended up pricing it a little higher than we had planned at the beginning (despite the market going down over those few months), and we had an offer even before the open house.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:57 AM   #47
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Stagers vary a lot in price. When we met with the stagers they had a range of services that started at about $125. For example, they could walk through and give us advice which we would implement. At the time DH and I were both working full time so time crunched so we paid them to do a lot of the shopping and meeting with contractors for us. For some of the staging they loaned us furniture and accessories. For example, we had exercise equipment in our sun room. Now it has lovely wicker furniture (which belongs to the stager). The cost ended up being quite reasonable.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:43 AM   #48
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What a great looking house! I agree with the importance of curb appeal and have just one idea to consider. At some of the major hardware stores are computers that will have pictures of similar houses that you can try out paint colors for the trim. I understand that color is subjective but the shutters almost disappear against the beautiful brickwork and the windows look bare. Try a few paint "what ifs" on the computer to see if a new color on the shutters might make your house even more attractive.

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Old 03-01-2011, 01:58 PM   #49
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I'd definitely talk to your real estate agent and perhaps a stager....

Certainly, everything needs to work (e.g, air conditioning, roof, etc.) It might also be worth redoing counters (fairly inexpensive) and perhaps appliances, but likely not whole kitchen (quite expensive).

We sold our NoVa house about a year ago after putting in about 20-30k (new fixtures in 3 baths, new roof, painting inside and out, fixing everything broken, etc.. (we'd also spent about $15k on a glitzy masterbath a few years before).

Put it on the market for about 90% of peak value in 2005/6 (on the high end of comparables). It sold in less than a week, after a minor bidding war, for a few thousand more than asking....

Again, the most important thing we did was listen to our (very experienced) agent and to our (outstanding) stager. (By the way, the stager's consulting fee was only a few hundred dollars paid by the agent!)

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