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Which option is a better idea?

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Mar 16, 2013, 01:47 PM
just josie
Which option is a better idea?
My father recently passed away and I must now begin the process of selling his home. It is 500 miles from where I live so this is not going to be matter how I look at it.'s a nice house in a very economically depressed area, I think it's hit or miss, where homes new on the market sell right away or sit on the market forever, so obviously pricing right is key.

Having said that, can I get opinions on whether you all think it's a better idea to take a week after I get things cleaned out, should I have all new carpet installed, ugly and dated carpeting now) and wallpaper removed that is on EVERY SINGLE WALL Frown or do I list on the listing....seller will give such and such amount of dollars at closing for decorating allowance...something like that? or just suck it up and do it before the listing. Factor in that these are days off of work that I would have to do to make this house a tad more little old people looking house.

Mar 16, 2013, 02:24 PM
Sorry to hear of your loss. It can be tough to take on these tasks during stressful times.

Unfortunately, Josie, in general, in my experience, buyers lack imagination and selling allowances don't work.

That said, I would try to set a reasonable staging budget and stick to it. I would definitely remove the wallpaper and repaint in a neutral color.

WRT the flooring, it sounds as if simply having the carpets cleaned won't help, b/c you mentioned it's extremely dated. I would investigate all flooring options and consider the home's price range and its competition.

Are hardwood floors in decent condition underneath the carpet? If so, simply removing the carpet would be your best option, IMHO.

Otherwise, I'd simply try to put as much lipstick as possible on the pig for the least amount of **$ and time investment. You should definitely factor in lost earnings to your budget, if applicable.

WRT the actual staging, hopefully you can clean out the home but retain a few of his things. BTW, if you care to post back with photos, I'm sure you'd receive tons of assistance.

If you complete a minor reno plus staging and price the home appropriately and realistically, IMHO you'll significantly reduce your days on market.

Again, sorry for your loss and best of luck with everything. JMHO, all of the above.
Mar 16, 2013, 04:11 PM
Sorry for your loss, this must be really stressful having to make all these decisions on top of losing a parent.

I agree with much of what BearCat posted. It is unfortunate that most buyers will still want to reduce the price for the condition even though you are offering a decorating allowance. Take a look at the competition in the area. Then make sure the house is as clean as possible inside and out.

I also think you should remove the wallpaper and put down builder's grade carpet. If the furniture is servicable it will help to leave some basics and some neutral art work on the walls. If the sofa is in bad shape get some inexpensive furniture throws to hide the fabric.

Posting photos will be a big help.
Good luck.
Mar 16, 2013, 05:24 PM
Just josie, please accept my condolences as well. These are tough stages to go through.

I would interview several Realtors in that area ASAP to learn what is working for that market.

Another thought is are you able/willing to do all the work or will you hire it done? Will you have paid time off work? So many avenues to consider.

Best wishes to you and come back to talk if you wish.
Mar 16, 2013, 08:41 PM
just josie
So many things to think of....

Going back and forth, wear and tear on the car, gas, meals on the road, hotel as I can't stay there.

I will have to take unpaid time off of work, and the worse part is, that besides being in a financially compromised area, trying to find someone of integrity to do the work is a whole can of worms.

Just so much to do... on one hand I've read if you want to sell fast, you list 20% less than what the RE agent thinks you should list it for. I'm just afraid that I will not get out of it what I put into it, with re-carpeting a 2500 SF house, then the time to strip all that wallpaper and repaint it. I will never recover my time and money in that market.....I will be lucky to even sell it.

So confused Frown

Thanks for you well wishes

Mar 16, 2013, 11:08 PM
Idaho Resident
just josie, I am so saddened to hear of your loss. As someone who has lost both parents and was responsible for the sale of their home (after 58 years of marriage when the last one passed), I totally hear your question. It's even more difficult since it is 500 miles from where you live...

Of course you will have to take time off to go there, go through all of the personal belongings ~ sort those to keep, those to donate and those to send to the land-fill. But, what then?

I think it comes down to practicalities. Do you or the estate have available funds to hire the work down and, by work, I mean wallpaper removal, painting and flooring replacement. If so, then that is the route I would take. You will most likely optimize the final selling price and sell MUCH FASTER if you do the needed renovations before listing instead of offering a credit if you list "as is."

I would NOT suggest that YOU even attempt to do the wallpaper removal/re-painting on your own. Professional and reputable painting companies will be able to do the same work in a third of the time and, at a reasonable cost, as they have expertise, experience and equipment that you simply don't have.

I can just hear you saying, all very well and fine BUT HOW DO YOU DO THAT? This is how: Before you leave for that week of "clearing out" your father's house, call a number of local realtors who are active in the area, make appointments to meet with them at the house while you are there so they can see what is involved and ask if they have the resources to help in this situation.

Explain your circumstances (that you aren't local), ask for suggestions re any contacts they may have and talk about listing with them. You might be surprised at the support and help available. Because you would be asking for much more than the usual listing support, you might offer a 2% bonus commission on top of the usual rate but that beats discounting the listing price right off the bat by 20% - JMHO.

Wish you and so many others didn't have to make such tough decisions during an even tougher time but all can work out for the best. Just take your time and think through all of the alternatives. My thoughts are with you as well as my condolences....
Mar 17, 2013, 12:31 PM
real estate lady
Clean it up, get maintenance up to par to make sure everything is working, then list it. I would not say Estate Sale.. you'll get low offers most likely.

Just list it. There are many towns and cities that have programs for areas of re-vitalization and there are,, for instance, bond money programs for buyers including fix up funds.

Your local Realtors will be aware, and the home may even go FHA203B program which allows the buyer only to pay a down payment of 3.5 %.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
Mar 17, 2013, 12:41 PM
Josie, I don't quite understand your 20% comment. But as was mentioned and I skipped over - do interview agents. Talk to them, especially with brokerages that also have a rental division. Those folks have people on hand who work fairly reasonably plus they usually work fast.

Have an honest discussion with the agents about the neighborhood, what things sold for in the past, look at some actual listings in the area and then price it to sell. Find out their opinion about wallpaper and carpets.

What will it cost to do the work, do you really need to get top dollar? Do you just want a quick sale? Discuss all this with your agent and price accordingly.
Mar 17, 2013, 02:11 PM
real estate lady
EXACTLY! If the home is marketed as owner wants quick sale, estate sale, cash only...type of marketing... you will be looking at offers most likely at "wholesale prices".

Cleaning the house up doesn't mean you have to take down wallpapaer or put in new carpet. If it looks dated that's okay too.By the way, look under that carpet to se if ther is hardwood..if there is..go with that!

Buyers will have a home inspection, and if something major comes up, then negotiate. A statement we see here in our MLS is "home selling as is for sellers' convenience." Make sure you have the Realtor put an "appointment only" sign on the property.. so people don't just walk in the backyard poking around.

Have these conversations with Realtors. Interview 3, then decide. Make sure they bring up comparable sales, so you can drive by to compare to your dad's.

Sorry about your loss. I recently lost my Dad.
I still haven't sold his house....just makes me feel good to go there...and tinker around. Will have to get serious about renting or selling it soon, though.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
Mar 18, 2013, 10:21 PM
just josie
Thanks for your input.

Going to take my it right....meeting with / interviewing Realtors on my next trip down.

Will keep you all posted on how it's progressing.

Mar 20, 2013, 05:38 AM
Aww, so very sorry to hear about your loss, Josie. And to have to deal with the real estate issues at this time can be simply overwhelming.

We're here for you.
Apr 23, 2013, 07:11 PM
just josie
A quick update since my last post.

We went there for several days, rented a dumpster and had 3 piles. Keep, trash and donate. About 90% of the house is vacant.

I will go down there again in a few weeks and finish up. In the meantime, I've had some landscaping work done, the outisde of the house power washed and sold both vehicles.

I've contacted "the" real estate person in town, and will list it at an appropriate price, knowing someone will have to replace the flooring and wallpaper. I have no more days off of work, used all my time to take care of my dad. It is what it is.....I don't have the time or physical energy to do all this work. Is a pitiful area where finding people to do work is more trouble than it's worth.

I will have sort of an Estate Sale and sell the furniture, and will donate what I can't sell.

Hopefully it will sell, as I said it's in an awful area, I have no idea if it will sell right away, or sit on the market for 10 years...I just want to be done with it and move on. It's clean and will be empty. I am getting a few things to update.....will take down old lady ugly curtains in the bedrooms and replace with straight panels and put out a couple of fresh welcome mats Smile

Wish me luck! Will keep you posted on how it goes.

* oh, and will pick up a St. Joseph statue to bury...just to be on the safe side Smile


This message has been edited. Last edited by: just josie,
Apr 24, 2013, 11:24 AM
real estate lady
Ask the Realtor if she thinks the home will go FHA-- will bring more buyers.
Apr 24, 2013, 07:57 PM
just josie
ok...i will ask
Apr 24, 2013, 10:39 PM
You have been busy. Take a break and give yourself some sort of treat!
Apr 25, 2013, 02:38 PM
real estate lady
FHA also has an FHA 203K program for repairs that may be extensive.
Also, many counties and cities have low down payment buyer programs for neighborhood renewal.

Call the city offices and county office as each may have different programs, and find out. Also ask them if they know or can refer you to a Realtor who may be familiar with these
programs. Great marketing tool!!!

You may be able to get to the right source on line, and open lines of communication for this venture. As well seek out Realtors who are well versed with FHA. You will find many websites of Realtors in that city, who list their specialty.
Let your fingers do the walking.

Good luck!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,