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  How to make home stand out?
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posted
We have had our house on the market for 4 months and have had several interested buyers. However, it always comes down to our house and another similar house, and our house always loses....grrr.
We would like to move as we have simply out grown the home. When we bough it 13 years ago we had one 15 month old child. Now we have 3 children. As they grow, our space shrinks! LOL!
We have a 3 bedroom, 1 bath brick cape cod, with a new roof, newer furnace and water heater, a 1 1/2 car garage, and a nice sized yard...however, there are quite a few cape cod style homes for sale in our area. Quite a few of them are foreclosures, or rather run down, but the prices reflect that.
How can we make our home stand out, and sell without breaking the bank? We have been assured by our realtor that we are priced right, and have had several open houses. Most of our second showings have come from our open houses.
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Price. If it comes down to you or someone else for the same style of home it is usually price. I know you said the agent says you are priced right but apparently now. Have her show you the closed sales in the area. Then price yours just below that if you want it to move.

Keep you house clean, clean, clean. Decluter and declutter again. Don't spend money on decor items as someone is sure to not like it. Just keep it clean.
 
Posts: 7020 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tough to compete with f/c's and sell a home with kids -

Decluttering is key. We use the 50% rule - did you either store and/or eliminate or donate 50% of the clutter in your home? How about removing extra furniture?

It's also very difficult (as a seller) to view your home through a potential buyer's eyes. Have you thought about posting photos here and/or linking us to your listing with its photos plus (hopefully) a virtual tour? I'm sure you'd receive numerous responses and many helpful suggestions, if you posted photos.

Besides decluttering and staging, I do agree about pricing. If you haven't sold in 4 months, it's definitely time to review the comps.

Good Luck!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: AguaBella,
 
Posts: 484 | Registered: Dec 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I totally agree with the above. Price, declutter, clean.

Can you show us your listing link? We can give much more specific advice if we can see your house.

Best wishes and keep us in the loop.
 
Posts: 6082 | Registered: Feb 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We have cleaned and decluttered. Rented a storage unit for extra furniture and stuff.

The only negative thing we have heard is that our house is next door to a preschool/daycare center. People are nervous about the noise.

Not sure how to make people see this as the positive that it is. The kids are only outside twice during the day for 1/2 hour each time. The pick up and drop off times are busy in the morning and sporadic during the evening. But after 6pm we have access to extra parking for our guests as nobody is at the preschool.
Our back yard is fenced so it is private. But the drive way has about two feet of grass that separates it from the daycare's parking lot.
we put in some bushes for separation and privacy.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: caught in my cape cod,
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Most people will see the next door business as a very large negative. If you really want to sell it is probable that a price drop is the only thing that will do it. Or wait months or years for someone to come along that doesn't mind a business next door.
 
Posts: 7020 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have to agree about the preschool. Even if potential buyers don't mind, they'll use it as a negotiating point. In fact, I would assume that you received a discount when you purchased the home.

WRT pricing, if the info online's accurate, it appears you initially priced the home at your (approx 2006?) purchase price plus 2K or so - probably to recover some of your selling expenses. Then, you reduced it by that 2K to your purchase price.

Unfortunately, when pricing homes for resale, a seller's purchase price is irrelevant, IMHO. Buyers only care about the home's current value. It doesn't appear that homes in your area have recovered to their '06 values.

If the statistics are correct, your town currently has many homes in the f/c process. F/c sales appear to be closing at a 40% discount. It's tough competition for any seller.

Obviously, I'm not a specialist in your local area. You may sell it tomorrow - you never know. I believe, however, that you'll need a significant price reduction to unload it - probably at least 10K, IMHO.

If you absolutely need a higher price in order to move, I'd take it off the market until either the market recovers somewhat and/or at least some of the f/c's work through the process. Otherwise, it'll become even more of a stale listing and that much harder to sell at your desired price.

In the meantime, you can do a few spruce-up type projects, preparing it to relist. Because of the school, you need to make your property appear even more desirable than its competition, IMHO.

Sorry if that's not what you want to hear. It's JMHO. Best of luck with your sale -

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
 
Posts: 510 | Registered: Aug 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Your latest response sparked a few questions. Is the area zoned for businesses like daycare? Does the place have proper permits and licenses? Was it there when you moved in? Are their parking lots built with permits and conforming with setback and screening requirements? If they are not 100% legal they can be required to remedy the situation or close.
 
Posts: 748 | Registered: Jan 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have to agree with the previous posters. I believe potential buyers will see the school as a negative. And, if the home's overpriced, as your days on market total increases, offer **$ decrease IMHO, assuming your market doesn't significantly improve.

I'm sure you worked hard to prepare it for sale. As a new, fresh set of eyes, I naturally noticed additional, potential projects. Given the competition and location issue, it'd be best (IMHO) to present it in super condition, if at all possible.

For example, if/when you take it off the market, you might consider painting out/neutralizing the kids' bedroom wall colors. If you're interested in any additional staging and/or project suggestions, please post back.

Let us know how it goes. Good luck with everything -

This message has been edited. Last edited by: AguaBella,
 
Posts: 484 | Registered: Dec 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is the daycare basically 8-6 or is it a 24 hr place? What about weekends?

Best of luck to you!
 
Posts: 2865 | Registered: Oct 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The daycare was there when we moved in, and is only open from 6am to 6pm Mon. - Fri.

I've actually had all of my children enrolled there at one time or another, and have worked there myself.
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We have another open house this weekend. Keeping my fingers crossed. . .
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Best of luck with your open house this weekend. Let us know what happens.
 
Posts: 6082 | Registered: Feb 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well we had two people come through this weekend. One couple said the kitchen was too small...not much I can do about that. The other was looking at homes for her daughter who is moving back to town. She had her granddaughter with her, and both liked the home. But they have to pass the info along to the daughter...and so we are still waiting...(cue the jeopardy theme song)
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just bumping this up over the spammer. And maybe the OP can give us some good news about her house.
 
Posts: 7020 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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concentrate on curb appeal.
 
Posts: 9253 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Still no movement. We have not had any more showing requests, so we lowered the price again and we are planning another open house at the end of the month.
Here is the listing....
http://www.realtor.com/realest...I_53081_M73568-62308
Since the photos have been taken, we took out clutter in the boys bedrooms (stickers are off the wall, and stuffed animals have been whittled down to 5 total!)
Not sure what else we can do to make the house stand out and sell! Any ideas?
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is that an open heat run in the one px of the basement? Not good, even if it is not that it looks like it.
 
Posts: 7020 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Frankly, I don't know, I am amazed at the price of the house, The only thing that I would have a problem would be with only one bathroom. Three bedrooms for me, need to have a second bathroom.
Everything else looks fine to me. At the price range of this house, is really nice. You may have to wait until the market turns around.
 
Posts: 4996 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes rker is right 1 bathroom is your bummer. Try to find a way to add a second bath..and not off the kitchen.
The other idea to to get zoning changed for what is allowable. Your Realtor can check on that for you..and let the buyer pay for it. May come out with more **$.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
 
Posts: 9253 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Add a bath to sell? Have the buyer pay to rezone a commercial building next door? That is very unrealistic. I think the OP is looking for some things she can actually do, like paint the bedroom, remove the ottoman from the living room so it feels bigger.
 
Posts: 7020 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As a buyer, if I am looking for a three bedroom home it means that I would probably need one more bathroom. The amount of people that would move into a three bedroom home is usually more than two. I realize that she is not going to spend money in putting a bathroom. but I am simply stating an opinion as to why her house may not be selling. Otherwise, her home is fine, price wise, and they way her home looks.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: rker321,
 
Posts: 4996 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well the OP's question was how to get the home to stand out without breaking the bank.

Even finding a place to put a half bath is better than 1 bath,
and I think that would not break the bank.

The other idea-- if a neighboring property next door is a day care, that May, I am saying MAY, open the door to market the property as a business or zoning permissible by your county. Again your Realtor can check on this for you and if it is promising, can market the property as possible business opportunity-buyer responsible for rezoning. The contract would be contingent
upon rezoning. Although takes longer.. not money out of the sellers' pocket and I have sold homes this way.

Just my opinion.
 
Posts: 9253 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Soo since my last post we had a showing where the family LOVED the house. They were going to the bank to get pre-approved, and then we once again heard nothing! I am getting so very frustrated!!!!

We spoke with our realtor about putting in a 1/2 bath in the basement, where it is is partially plumbed for a bathroom. He said that most people were not upset with the one bathroom in the home, but the only negative thing he heard was about the day care next door.
Since I can't pick up and move our home or the daycare, I thought we should lower the price again. Both my husband and our realtor disagreed with me. Stating that I need to be patient and it will just take the right person. Again I am frustrated. house has been on the market since the end of April! I think I have been patient.
I am convinced that we will be here for a while, but I will let you all know what happens! (I keep reminding myself of the positives, we are all healthy, have a roof over our heads, etc. but its getting old! LOL)
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Once again the daycare rears its ugly head. Was this business in operation when you bought the house and is it completely legal? I asked this question with more detail a couple of moths ago but you did not answer. I know you have a relationship with these people but if they are not 100% legal that may be costing you tens of thousands of dollars.
 
Posts: 748 | Registered: Jan 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you really want to sell you need to sit down and have a serious business discussion with your agent. I don't live there but a search on realtor.com says you have a lot of competition...whether they are foreclosures, short sales, bank owned, or traditional sellers they are your competition.

What does your home offer that the others don't? What makes your home worth more than the ones right down the street? What did the homes that sold while yours was on the market have to offer-- that appealed to buyers over yours? How many homes have sold in your market area since you listed and what is the average market time?

I wish you luck, it may be time to have another agent come in and discuss a marketing plan.
 
Posts: 518 | Location: mi, usa | Registered: Apr 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Repeating myself, I do find that a 3 bedroom with only one bath is in my mind a negative if more than 2 people live there. But in today's world where buyers demand double sinks in the master bathroom, How in this world would they buy a house with only one bath?
 
Posts: 4996 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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agree, rker
 
Posts: 9253 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In our area 3b1b homes have been selling like hotcakes...they cost less than 3b1.5b or 3b2b.

Without knowing the market there I can't say why the property hasn't sold but your agent is either reluctant to be brutally honest, has not taken time to look at the whole picture, or is inadequate. I would say you have been too patient as the biggest selling season is past for the year. Personally I would probably take it off the market for a while.
 
Posts: 518 | Location: mi, usa | Registered: Apr 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have your Realtor print off a bunch of flyers, make or buy fresh cookies or cupcakes and take them next door to the daycare to distribute to their mothers and dad's. Families love to be close to their daycare. Also, ask the owner if she may be interested in purchasing your home for future expansion of her daycare. Never know.
 
Posts: 9253 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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@Chuck Steak - Yes the daycare was here when we bought the house, and they are 100% legal. They are actually a Montessori preschool, and bus stop for the Montessori Charter School in our school district.
@ Lakelark - We have an nice size yard for being in the city. We also have kept our house up, and the exterior is completely maintenance free.
@rker321 - I agree with you, but sadly my husband doesn't want to put anymore money into this house. I have tried...trust me I have tried and he won't budge.
@real estate lady - we had another realtor assess the house when we first listed it, but they came in with an assessment over 20,000 less than what we have it listed for now! we know we may need to lower the price, but that seems very extreme!!
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: Aug 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Your realtor needs to get honest with you. Your home is nice, your yard is nice. But because of the daycare business next door it will sell for less than a comparable house.

You and DH will have to decide how much you really want to sell and how long you want to wait. A $20000 reduction does seem like a lot but you may want to consider if that is not the expected sell figure.

But I agree there is no point in spending more money.
 
Posts: 7020 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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With 2 agents that far apart I would have recommended getting a 3rd opinion. The more information you give the more it sounds like you are over listed.
I encourage you to look at what has sold in the price range you are listed,since you have been listed. Each of those properties moved a buyer to look at them and make an offer. The things you see as pluses did not overcome what buyers saw as a negative in your price range otherwise you would be sold.
Not sure how long your listing is for but I would probably start the process of interviewing for a new agent.
 
Posts: 518 | Location: mi, usa | Registered: Apr 10, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Many times neighbors, and families attending
daycare, look for homes close to daycare or near family. Have your Realtor hold open houses, and ask her to take flyers next door and distribute in the neighborhood., proto, would be my suggestion. Make sure the sign is visable to the street.
 
Posts: 9253 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would agree with everyone else and say the daycare next door is a stumbling block in getting your house sold and only having one bathroom. I think if you want to get your house sold I would see if you can find someone that knows how to add a bathroom to your 3 bedroom home. Get estimates. Your husband my come off better in adding another bathroom then letting your home sit on market and you both having to keep lowering the price. Budget for adding a bath. It may even add value to your home and you may be able to increase your price by adding a bath. Just a thought. One bathroom today isn't enough for families that have more than 2 people living in it. Best of luck in getting your house to sell.
 
Posts: 168 | Location: Creve Coeur, Missouri | Registered: Jan 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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