FOR SALE: A worn out house that stinks……Hurry. Won’t Last!!

So, I’m out showing several houses to some clients of mine this week.  We roll up to a house where we knew the seller had several small children.  The dad is waiting in the van with the kids.  I can see the mom scurrying around inside opening blinds, turning on lights and trying to do all she could to make the most out of the showing.  The dad gets out of the van and apologizes to us.  Dude really looked stressed out.  Then the wife comes running out of the house.  She looks just as frenzied as he did.  We go in the house and before they have even left the street we are ready to leave.  Want to know why?

The house sucked…..That’s why.  Who wants to buy a house that looks bad when there are ones for sale that look good?  It’s that simple.  When we walked in, the house smelled, we saw walls that had seen a lot of wear and tear since they were last painted, and the paint job wasn’t that good to begin with.  There were 5 different flooring colors upstairs.  The laminate flooring had been installed very poorly.  Bottom line, we couldn’t come up with one good thing to say about the house other than that it was in a good school district.  That was barely enough back in 2005, but doesn’t cut it at all in 2011.  Not trying to be mean to these people.  They seemed very nice.  I wouldn’t mind hanging out with them in their house if I knew them, but there is no way I would buy it…..and guess what, nobody else will either unless they make it attractive to buyers by improving presentation or reducing the price.

What gets me is having watched all the effort they put into the showing for us.  I could tell they really want to sell.  So, if the seller of this house were to read this, my advice would be to paint everything, fix the botched flooring, and to clean clean clean or drop your price to about 90% of what the comps show the potential value to be.  Your choices are sell for cheap or work on presentation……There is just no getting around the fact that there are several better houses for sale at a similar price all over town.   I guess a third option would be to change the way a buyer’s mind works when they look for a house, but I think working on your house would be easier!


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