Any adice you can offer would be great!
Here's the story in a nutshell:
My Uncle (Mother's brother) built my parents a beautiful 3 bedroom brick home. Lots of windows. Double garage. 2 full baths-one in hall and 1 in Master. 2 other good sized bedrooms. Family room with wood burning fireplace, sliding glass doors out to deck. Kitchen bar divides family room from kitchen. Zillions of cabinets. Formal living room and formal dining room. Full basement the length of the house. One side is finished with sliding glass door walk out to cement patio. House on big lot and also own 1/2 of lot next to it. My parents didn't want anyone to build there. On hill that slopes into next lot. 2-5 minutes from downtown square.
In small town in Arkansas. Has been on the market for 6 months. Has been reduced 20K.
I filed a Quit Claim when my Dad got sick. I'm Executor of his estate since he has now passed. Mom passed 15 yrs ago.
House need cosmetic decorating; both bathrooms and kitchen. Needs new carpet. All other rooms and hallways have fresh paint. New deck. Downstairs has new paint and paneling, spotless tile floor. Dropped ceiling with new paint. Other side-new paint on walls, floor and shelving. New screens on all patio doors.
House is appraised for 170,000.00. On market for 129,900.00. My problem-Defunct Ramada Inn, now called Ozark Mountain Inn is across the street on garage side. (House has circular driveway.) The people that live there are of a lower class.
How do I sell this house? Can the city make the new owner of the inn clean it up and get rid of the riff-raff? It's de-valuing my property. Should I go for auction? What to do?
Lots of questions and no easy answers BUT the place to start is determining title to the place you are trying to sell - your parents' home. I know you think that isn't even an issue but, to me, it is huge. Until you know you are the owner, free and clear, you can't move forward and deal with the rest of the situation.
Just filing a Quit-Claim Deed means absolutely nothing. In fact, it can actually mess up real estate titles - at least, here in Idaho - and in a bad way! A "QUITCLAIM" Deed basically is saying that the person signing the same denies and gives up any future claim to the property described in the document. Any such "deed" signed by yourself is irrelevant if you didn't have an ownership interest in the property at the time AND certainly wouldn't transfer title from your father/mother or uncle to yourself so back to basics:
First of all, did your Uncle put title to the property into both of your parents' names? Next, was your Mother's estate probated when she passed 15 years ago so that her interest in the property vested in your father? Lastly, was your father's estate probated with an appropriate decree vesting his estate in yourself/or others so that you are free to proceed with selling this property?
You have some MAJOR problems here and need to consult with a qualified real estate attorney to get them straightened out immediately. Once the title to the property is clear, THEN we can work with the other issues if you want but first things first. Good luck and keep us posted!
A house build next to a motel does not have as much value as the same house somewhere else. That applies even in the Ozarks where a run-down shack can be next to a million dollar house. You also did not say where it is located (within the state) which can make a big difference.
By the way, are you from the Chicago area?
I think you should call your city and find out what standards they have for hotels in your area. If the Ozark Mountain Inn is doing nothing illegal, you're probably out of luck. You might want to plant some trees separating your home from the view of the hotel, and I think I'd advertise it as a possible rental property. Hope it all works out for you!
I see your Dad just passed last week. I am sorry and this must be a rough time for you. Do not try to do too much too fast.
Is your listing MLS #127238 in Harrison? (I didn't feel like vacuuming and it only took 5 minutes or less to find it). If it is, then the motel does not seem to be that big of a problem. Though it is right across the street it is down the hill so the parking lot and building are lower than eyesight. Also, there is nothing you can do about it.
However, location is still a big factor. The house is the first, or one of the first, right off a major highway, which is a main east-west route for truck traffic in the northern part of the state. In addition, though it is considered a 'small town' by many it is one of the largest in the area and a main shopping hub making for a lot of traffic.
While I cannot speak for that town, in nearby areas homes stay on the market for a long time. 6 months is not an excessive amount of time.
Unless they are required to, I would request the realtor delete from the description the words "sold as is". It implies there are major structural issues.(There isn't is there?) Also, I would get a termite inspection and contract( should cost about $100) And because of the location and decorating issues I would drop the price even lower. Sorry, not what you wanted to hear.
My thoughts are with you.
WOW Metwo you are quite the sleuth!!!
Yes, I grew up in Chicago-how did you know??
Yes, it is in Harrison-801 Smith, across from the Ozark Inn. LOL! I don't know if that's the listing number or not. It is listted with J. Jackson Realty.
I have a lawyer-we are doing the quick route instead of going through Probate. All Dad had was the house and his bank account. Both parents had wills. I'm the Executor so we have that lined up. House is paid for, title is clear. You have to wait 45 days from the DOD (Jan 21st) to even file an affidavit plus it has to be published in the paper. So, that's coming up.
I will call the realtor and get them to remove the "as is".
So, where are we now?
I love this house but am now financially strapped because of my Dad's medical bills-really got to get it sold.This message has been edited. Last edited by: NICUnurse,
First, NICUnurse, my condolences on the loss of your father. I should have said that in my first post but I didn't realize that it was such a recent loss. I agree with "metwo" not to try to do too much right away - but, then again, some people feel better with activity, especially when it has been a while coming...
As you know, my first concern was getting your father's legal matters in order before even attempting to sell the house so I will take your statement that you have that covered at face value since you have an attorney engaged. Not sure what "the quick route" is versus probate but all states are different; just make sure that you are protected against any potential future creditor claims especially Medicaid if those services were used in the last few months.
About your major concern - the Ozark Mountain Inn? Doubt there is anything you can do there so just forget that issue and concentrate on what you can do. Looked at the listing - thanks, "metwo," for that and have a few ideas.
Saw that you originally listed 9/15/11 for $149,900, reduced three weeks later to $129,900 on 10/6/11 so it will be six months in March. How many showings and how much interest have you had? If not much, then you need to make changes...
Two ways to do that: Either lower the price substantially to generate interest OR, my choice, do some up-dating (particularly that WALLPAPER that seems to be everywhere which you didn't even mention, replace the carpets which you did mention) and re-list so that it appears to be a "fresher" listing instead of the one you have which is now stale.
Your agent should also re-do all interior photographs after you remove the wallpaper, paint and carpet (the exterior shots are fine) and change the listing description to include some selling features not even mentioned now in the listing such as "full walk-out basement through sliding doors onto patio" and "privacy, established landscaping plus a lot and a half!"
By emphasizing the private nature and expanded area, you will lessen the impact that people might fear from the near-by motel which concerns you. Good luck - post back and let us know how things are proceeding.
PS. Can't tell you enough how much you NEED to get rid of that wallpaper - shown in both the kitchen and bathroom. Potential buyers can deal with painting or carpet issues BUT not wallpaper and will not even take the time to view a house with it!
PPS. The kitchen looks really nice with all those cabinets! I bet if you replace the colored, patterned tile floor with inexpensive flooring after removing the wallpaper and re-post the photograph of the "new" kitchen, that alone will generate some interest! This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
TY! The realtor said I would be wasting my money to replace the carpet beacuse I was ready to do so. I can pull the wallpaper myself and paint (I have experience with that). I mite have enough ceramic tiles left over from my new kitchen floor to do that one. My Uncle could do it.
I could get it done within a few weeks. My Aunt would help. Paint doesn't cost that much.
There have been no open houses. I don't think the Realtor is working all that hard but they do have the market "sewed up" so to speak in that area.
I had previously asked about auction. Any ideas there?
Glad you took my suggestions in the spirit in which they were offered and are ready to go with them especially the wallpaper in bath/kitchen and the flooring in kitchen. I do hope you have enough tiles to replace the flooring in the adjoining room (back entry way/mud room?) as well since it is very obvious from the photographs.
Happy you can do the work re wallpaper itself - you will save/make a lot more money that way! Please tell me that you will also do so in the bathroom as well!
About your agent, yes, have to agree after checking out the area that this firm has most of the listings so maybe has grown complacent about aggressively marketing properties?
But there must be at least one or two real estate agents in the area not associated with him? Bottom line, if you have been on the market for 6 months with no interest, something needs to change. When does your listing agreement with him expire?
After six months, it is time. If you are willing to do the work removing the wallpaper and painting, you are right that the cost will be minimal. The carpets need to be replaced as well. HINT here - install all one color/carpet type throughout the house. I noticed each room had various colors/types as was common in the '70's.
It can be just a very generic inexpensive carpet but, HERE IS THE HINT, buy the very best PADDING you can afford to go under that carpet - makes a world of difference. Check it out for yourself!
Once you have removed the wallpaper, replaced the kitchen/mud-room tile with an inexpensive version and re-carpeted; take photographs yourself and insist on a meeting with your agent re the other suggestions - updating and adding to the original generic listing description to include the basement/additional lot features and such.
You can wait until the cows come home and reduce the price by $10,000 as time goes by OR do some work, spend about $2000 and then re-list with new photographs and descriptions and see what happens! Let us know...
Let's see what happens if you follow all of the above before talking Auctions. Don't want to go there unless it is your last resort.
There is a Remax agency as well as a couple independents. Do not feel that you have to stay with the same agency.
On the other hand, open houses are not done that much there. Your agent does have a lot of px on realtor.com. And lastly, 6 months on the market is not a long time in the area. Did you check with the agent on the average days on the market before sale for homes in this price range/area?
I am glad you are willing to take down that paper. Other homes in the neighborhood in the price range showed better because they looked lighter and brighter. I would only clean the carpet.
However, I do not think this will increase the value of the house, just make it sell faster..maybe. IMHO, I think it is still overpriced.
Great input Ladies. I definitely have my thinking cap on. Unfortunately, I gave a verbal ok to re-list. Previously, I really haven't had the time to stay on the Realtor because of my Dad. It took me most of summer and early fall to hire contractor for the work I needed and get 60 years of accumalation sold/out. I was still working full time.
However, I'm now retired and have more time to devote to this around planning 2 weddings and a new Grandchild. I'm custom making all the Nursery stuff. Lol! Oh yeah and a couple of quilt retreats in the next 6 mos. I'm wondering when I ever had time to go to work!
So Metwo- 2 questions: why did you ask about Chicago? Secondly, what price are you thinking? Realtor stated ge could get-bottom line-126K and have it sold in 3 mos. Ha!
Didn't happen. I went with them because owner was good friend of Dad and Mom.
Idaho-carpet is same color throughout house. Lighting making the difference. You're very observant like me. Yes, I agree-wording needs to be different.
NIC, there are sooo many people allergic to room fresheners, I have a suggestion if you are going to show it.
Leave some vanilla out in a small container or a mixture of vanilla & cinnamon.
Yearrrrrs ago when I sold real estate we would put it in the oven on very low setting w/door slightly open before an open house.
And if that doesn't do it for you, pumpkin pie spice mixed w/some water...that smell has been proven to attract men! It also makes it smell like "home", Mom's house.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
I do the same - cheap and quick fix. Beats homes that smell like Bleach!!
NICU, I understand where you are coming from re the verbal agreement to extend the listing (you gave your word and don't want to renege on it now) so here is an idea. When the listing expires, have him take it off the market for three weeks while you do all the wallpaper removal/flooring repairs.
Tell him you will re-list with him for another 3 months (April, May and June which are three of the tops months for selling real estate) with the condition that new interior photographs are posted and the listing description is revised to reflect the special features not mentioned before - such as the walk-out basement and LOT AND A HALF!
That way you are being more than fair to him regarding your verbal assent and, hopefully, it might light a fire under him to pay more attention to your listing. And I am not talking about an open house - talking about not even mentioning to you the problems with the wallpaper and flooring that have shown very badly in the listing as is - and probably caused a number of people to skip right by your listing.
Yes you owe your agent a decent property to be able to market but your agent owes you the same dedication in return. Keep us posted...
I totally agree that making these changes WILL NOT increase the value of the home - just make it more likely to get it sold without having to take another price drop in order to draw attention to this listing - which, after all, is the point, right? Get it sold!
Okay, wasn't going to post back on this thread BUT what I have discovered infuriates me so much that I'm doing so anyway!
NICU, Think I have found a few reasons (other than the ones we have already discussed) why you aren't getting any showings or traffic and the chance to sell this house - an incredibly lazy real estate agent who has taken you for granted AND for a ride:
Are you aware that your listing on Realtor.com re the Lot Size (one of the biggest benefits you have) states = unavailable? As does the answer to the question re Year Built, Style and Garage ... I understand the agent not knowing those answers at the beginning BUT, it is ridiculous not to up-date the information after seven months...
HomeFinders, HomeGain, Zillow, HouseHitz and Trulia all state - "No showings til Aug 20th" - again, sheer laziness on the part of your agent. Unbelievable - obviously posted that limitation within days of first listing and hasn't even bothered to correct it once since then.
HouseHitz states that there is No Garage - it that true? If not, your agent should have been in contact with the website to correct that error - but, then, why should they do so when they can't even be bothered to add in the Lot Size or Year Built to the initial Realtor.com listing?
Check it out for yourself - just type in the address in any search engine - and see what comes up. I was willing to give your agent a break re the verbal extension but not after seeing the total lack of effort to market your parents' home during what was surely a very difficult time for you. Think it is time for you to re-evaluate after seeing exactly what they have (or haven't been) doing to earn their commission when/if you sell.
NICUnurse, I asked if you were from Chicago for a couple of reasons. I have to admit the first, was that I am just nosey This is a very popular area for retirees from the Chicago area. Second, is that when the owners pass, the children often have an inflated idea of what the house is worth based on the prices in their home area. I do not think this is true of you.
You will have to decide what is important to you. Neither is right or wrong.
First, try to get the best price you can for the house. This will mean being on the market for awhile, paying the tax and insurance, maintaining the home inside and out, frequent visits to the house to keep an eye on it.
Second, do the minimum amount necessary and price it really low so it is over and done with and you can move on with all your activities with a free mind (so to speak).
If you check realtor.com (or any other MLS site) for the range of $100-150,000 you will get a lot of hits and that is not even going into the surrounding area. If I wanted to sell fast I would consider a listing of $109,000 or thereabouts. Of course, you would need to have a discussion with your agent first to see what price ranges are selling.
Please let us know how things come along.
Well I have been quite the busy bee! Several months ago-after al your wonderful suggestions; I went and painted the house. Boy-it really opened up some areas!
You were right-my agent was INCREDIBLY LAZY!! She kept saying she'd do this and that and didn't do anything! Finally I kept hounding her to have the realtor luncheon and then dessert at my Dad's house. Yeah that came and went and had quite a few realtors there.
But when my 3 month verbal agreement was up-I fired her!!
Now it is listed with Harp Realtors in Harrison. New pictures are up with a nice description and a new price of 124,900.00.
Go take a look and tell what you guys think now please.
I got an error on the page when accessing the listing on the Harp Associates website, but here's the realtor.com link for everyone's convenience:
Uuummmm, nice quilts and looks like the conference was fun as was the retreat but I didn't see any house pictures.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Verbal listing - no wonder she didn't do any marketing. What was that? Why didn't you give her a MLS listing??
Go get title work done and see if there are any medical bills against the property. IF the property is in your name, and there are no medical liens against the property, you are okay on the medical issue.Did your Dad not have insurance or medicare?
Check with your Realtor, title companies here will do a upfront search if they know they will conduct the closing when it sells.
Why don't you look into rezoning the property and possibly selling it for more if there is commerical/business zoning in your neighborhood. At worst you could probably get
professional/residence. Check with your zoning dept. and se what zonings would be suitable and mention this to your Realtor as a suggestion.
Each county can or has different zoning laws - see what yours is in your county/ state.
I clicked the link and got pictures of a headless woman wearing her underwear outside of her jeans...is that you or the recently fired agent? Probably won't help sell the house either way.
Thanks, Jewel for trying to help BUT this listing is for a house located on Dove - not OP's house. I've been able to find the REAL listing but quite a few quirks along the way. First of all, the alleged MLS number (128547) finds several in Missouri, one in WI and a few others - ALL WRONG!
I wanted to post an accurate link - no way but can tell you that you can find the listing by simply entering in "801 Smith Drive, Harrison, Arkansas, 72601" - don't include the quotation marks - it will take you to the RIGHT listing!
NICUnurse, Glad to see you posting back! I had forgotten about your situation since your last post was February 29th but quickly remembered!
Happy you removed some wallpaper - in the kitchen at least - and found a new agent. So let's start with the positive - wallpaper removal/painting in the kitchen - good for you.
Also new agent with a bit more narrative but not much...
So on to the less positive. Your "new listing" (which, by the way, shows to be in excess of 180 days) doesn't have the correct MLS number - so much for starting fresh? There are 15 photographs - I'll take them one by one.
#1 - the very first photograph that should catch everyone's eye and want them to come visit/buy is 75% a picture of a dry, dead lawn with a house in the back left corner. Photograph #2 is of a driveway with huge cracks with weeds growing through - is THIS really what your new agent thinks will attract buyers?
#3,4 and 5 are nice - show a natural landscaping that might be a positive - so have your agent re-photograph the front of the house from a much closer perspective; same with the driveway and, just personally, I would go pull all of those weeds out - might take ten minutes at the most. BTW, why does the listing still say re garage that information is unavailable since it is obvious that you have one?
You have a 3/2 BUT no photographs of either bathroom? People WANT to see what the bathrooms look like! New agent falling down on the job here - did you remove the wallpaper in them? If so, show it off!
Just as people want to see bathrooms, they want to see kitchens - those rooms sell the most houses so I was happy to see the wallpaper removal in the kitchen but not so happy to see that same old patterned linoleum flooring in both the kitchen and mud-room? Why work so hard and leave it half-finished? I suppose your agent said it wasn't necessary as he was telling you to drop the price another $5000...
The verbiage has been improved - slightly - love the "great view of Harrison from the back deck" comment until disappointment set in when I realized there was no photograph of it. Instead, 6 out of your 15 photographs are so dark as to be unusable - which is a shame since I do think your parents' house is really a very nice house.
Why have you accepted less than par performance from your agents? The photographs really are unacceptable BUT, if you don't speak up, they will stay with the listing as your agents continue to persuade you to keep reducing the price. Is that what you are willing to do?
One last thing, I checked on the area schools and they are ALL very decent - ratings 7 through 10 from elementary through high school. Why isn't this in the verbiage which is only 3 lines - oh, bet I know, a line and a half is taken up with your agent's information.
I suggest something like " Beautiful 3/2 brick home on a lot and a half, mature landscaping, walk-out basement with patio, great views and excellent schools. Perfect for a young family!"
BUT, to back that up, you need to insist on new photographs - take them yourself if necessary! Good luck and keep us up-dated!
PS. If your new agent does nothing else, make him correct the MLS number - how does he expect to sell your house otherwise? Many of us here on this board are quite knowledgeble but it has taken some time for me to find your listing - no way the average home buyer in your area will take the time to do so. Instead, they will just pass on by and the house will continue to linger... Don't let that happen!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
bad pictures on Dove listing.
REL, The Dove listing is NOT OP's listing - I would post the correct link BUT, first time ever that I have experienced, the MLS number is wrong - I suggested OP contact her "new" agent to correct it (see my post above) - but everyone can find the RIGHT listing by "goggling" 801 Smith Drive, Harrison, Arkansas and OP's current listing should come up.
Well, don't know what to think? The MLS number has many other properties in other states associated with it but it seems that it is also correct as, if you scroll down far enough, you will find OP's listing BUT on many of those sites it states that is NOT FOR SALE...
Here is a link to OP's listing - it's from Trulia so at least you all can see what we are talking about:
We'll see if it works....
YES - IT WORKED! Try this one everyone - sorry it took so long to post the correct link. NICUnurse, check out my comments above and let me know what you think. Just trying to help you sell your parents' home - I know it is a tough time - especially when your agents are of no help... This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Idaho, the grass is dead because the area is in a drought. Anyone looking to buy there would know that. I believe px #5 is 'the view'. Rememberwhat makes a good view is so very different from one person to the next.
Pam, you have done some good work and I am glad you got a different agent. But (ahhh, there is always a but) I believe that price is still your issue.
I know of a home in a town nearby when the owner died and the heirs were from out of state. The home was slightly smaller and on a crawl space (which is average) but it was in very good condition, had an open airy feeling. It was priced under $100,000 and had a lot of interest and sold within a month.
Other homes in the neighborhood are priced where you are and some have been on the market for a couple years. I don't think you want that. But then, maybe you need to get the most money possible.
You will have to decide what is most important to you... get the best price possible or sell it and move on. Neither is right or wrong. Just what is best for you and your family.
P>S> Here is the realtor.com website
http://www.realtor.com/realest...-30717?mlslid=128547This message has been edited. Last edited by: metwo,
bad photo presentation on smith.
metwo, I'm sure you are right about the drought causing the dead grass and I wasn't suggesting that OP needed to water it - far from it. What I was suggesting was simply a matter of photography composition meaning DON'T make a less desirable part of the picture (the dead lawn) the major focus and 75% of the picture - instead move closer and focus on the house which currently is relegated to a very small part of the photograph. Photographs on-line should enhance the best features of a property and instill in people the desire to see it in person!
So, NICUnurse? Think you have received some valuable feedback on your "new" listing - any comments? I still think your parents' home is a great place - just needs to be marketed in the right way! Good luck and keep us up-dated!
Great suggestions ladies! You know I take them to heart! I've put a call into my agent. If I reduce the price more I will surely die if I don't from this 106 temp we've been having. We are on water restriction here in Maumelle. We need rain bad all over the state. Got some sprinkles yesterday here-don't know what they got up there.
I can't afford to replace the flooring-simple as that. Dad's bills are a total strain. Noone but me to pay them. He had Medicare only. They didn't cover Assisted Living. He was not a vet for medical reasons. So no help there.
I filed a "quit claim" in Feb. 2011 and put house in my name. I need some big time pr Ayers for sure.
I will check out zoning laws.
Ask your agent about marketing the property commerical/office. She can advertise the property as "possible commerical protential"
re-zoning costs to be paid by buyer. If your property is next to a hotgel I am surprised
a business owner hasn't come forward. Check
daycare, church.. and other avenues of possibilities for "easier" re-zoning. YOu local zoning office can help you.
Unless you signed a contract personally his bills expired when he did if there is no estate, regardless of what creditors may tell you. You may want to see an attorney about that.
Oh, wow, late to this thread, for sure.
Fingers and toes crossed for you, Pam.
On Realtor.com, your realtor needs to fill in the year built and garage.
I looked at the photos and definitely see promise in the house. It's a place someone can come in to make it their own.
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