Feeling overwhelmed? You betcha.
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  1. #1
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    Default Feeling overwhelmed? You betcha.

    While we await the fate of DH's job location, we started doing some planning.

    I sort of wish we hadn't.

    In order to sell the house, we need to prep it properly. This means staging it in a way that's going to make it stand out from the other houses in the neighborhood, plus give it that curb appeal that is going to draw in buyers from the start. They say that the buyer's decision to purchase a home comes in the first 60 seconds. I think I'd have to agree. The moment I walked into this house, I fell in love.

    Fast forward five years and well, now it's my turn. But it's gone from being exciting to being completely overwhelming. The first two rooms of the house that buyers will see are the kitchen and the entryway. The entryway is a simple fix for us. On the wall where the closet used to be, I've decided on a coat tree plus a shoe rack (preferably one with a bench above it) and on the wall opposite of the old closet, we'll put a corner table with one drawer on it and a shelf below it. A vase of flowers will sit on top of that table and a large mirror will sit adjacent to the window. A black curtain rod with a colorful curtain will dress the front window.

    The kitchen needs a bit more work. The large window will be dressed with a curtain on a black curtain rod. The countertop will be replaced and a simple backsplash will cover the wall between the countertop and the upper cabinets. The cabinets (which are white with black hardware) will house some undermount lighting (we'll be doing wireless LED lights). The old vent fan will be replaced and in its place, a stainless steel microwave will hang there (we already have the microwave - we just need to call in someone to wire a new outlet). We've decided to update the appliances and get the most basic stainless steel ones we can afford. The pantry closet will get a new door and the interior of the pantry closet will be painted.

    Both rooms will receive new baseboards and the ceiling will be redone (partially due to water damage on one portion and some smoke damage from the previous owner's indoor smoking habits).

    Beyond these two rooms, I feel helpless. I think this is where I feel overwhelmed. Some people say to take it one day at a time and one room at a time. I'm trying to remember that. I think part of it is that we'll be making large purchases at once. Yes, these are purchases that will help to sell the house. We've been scouring the neighborhood comps and found out that by updating the appliances, replacing the roof, replacing the furnace and redoing the bathrooms, we'd be far above what is currently on the market. Even the outside of the house will be more presentable than the other houses. All I have left to do on the outside is replace the garden fence, add some new paint to the wood work, do the fence and fix some of the bare patches in the yard.

    The move is scheduled for October. We have to do all of the renovations, list the house and sell it before October. That's realistically not enough time.

    I have a feeling that I'm about to learn how to do everything I should have done in the last five years within the next month. It's sort of freaky.

  2. #2
    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    Have you asked a real estate person to come in and give an honest opinion of what needs to be fixed in order to help sell your house over the others? I mean you live there 24/7 - you see all the things YOU wish to change but from a professional point of view - maybe the list will be shorter?

  3. #3
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    I agree about asking the realtor to come in and give you some advice. He/she can let you know where to spend your dollars for the most pay-back.

    We sold our house last summer. We replaced a bathroom faucet, decluttered, and cleaned like crazy. Kept the lawn mowed and flowers watered. I washed windows every day!! The realtor suggested that we add a baseboard heater to our unheated sunroom in order to be able to call it more square footage. We did so. She said that everything else looked OK. I had wondered about replacing flooring that looked a little worn, but she advised to not spend money there. She said that if the buyer wanted to request a flooring allowance, we could consider it then.

    I wish you the very best!!!
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  5. #4
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    I already know what absolutely needs to be fixed. A furnace that's 27 years old = replacement. A roof that's peeling and curling and falling apart = replacement. Water damage will need to be removed. If not, we miss out on a lot of commission for both the realtor and for us. It also presents a health hazard for the people who may be purchasing the house. I have a realtor that I can call that will come over, but I don't want to do that until we find out for sure. I don't want to waste his time.

    Curb appeal is everything. It'll net you the biggest reaction.

    Now we're just waiting on the word. But the word is taking forever. We were supposed to hear about it by the end of last week. It's almost Wednesday and no word yet.

    The most pay-back is going to be in the kitchen and the bathrooms. Those are the areas that we need to fix the most besides a new roof and furnace.

  6. #5
    Registered User bookworm's Avatar
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    Is it possible to list it for less and have the buyer do the repairs and renos?

  7. #6
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    We could. We'd have to see what the realtor says. Knowing how people are, they'd turn the house away because of some work that needs to be done. This is also work that would break a deal right from the start. Water damage, the smell of wet cat (which is from the water damage in the bathroom), holes in the shingles, cracks in the joints of the drywall in the ceiling, etc are all things that people would rather not see when they walk through the door. We could reduce the price and sell it in 'as is' condition, but the bathroom and kitchen and roof are three of the biggest equity spots in your home.

    I don't feel so overwhelmed now. I realized that a lot of items that need to be done can be done in a day. I won't be doing the roof or the furnace; someone else will be. I can do the outdoors stuff myself. I can do the tile and paint and other items with the help of DH.

    It's not as bad as I thought, but it's still a little unnerving.

  8. #7
    Registered User Lora88's Avatar
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    Good luck with the move and the sale Know how you feel as I just moved We kept our old house and are renting it out Dh and I went thru it room by room and made a list of things to be done and then just worked and shopped for that room Its a 3 bd 21/2 bath with basement and every room needed something some small some big but by focusing alittle at a time we got it done and rented . You have enough time have fun looking for that new place so exciting

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    Registered User britbunny's Avatar
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    Good luck with the sale and the move. We've just done it and it was lots of hard work, but soooooo worth it!

  10. #9
    Registered User greekislandgirl's Avatar
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    Good luck with all this! My dad tried to sell a condo for years, finally had someone come in and do the pre-sell spruce up, and he sold it within days and for more than he had been asking before. The real estate firm he was working with had someone on staff who specialized in that stuff. I think you're right, it really is easy for a potential buyer to cross a house off the list for something like repairs - from their perspective, there are so many houses on the market right now, and they're already spending more money than they have, at least they don't want to have to spend money immediately to make it liveable. Hang in there... it sounds like you're being really organized about what needs to get done.

  11. #10
    Registered User forHISglory's Avatar
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    The house in which we now live had a bad kitchen and an old furnace. We settled with the sellers for a lower price so that we could do the kitchen the way we wanted, and so that we could put in the heating/cooling unit we wanted. Plus, we took advantage of the rebates on the fridge, dishwasher, and furnace. If the seller had done these things, we would not have been able to customize the kitchen, and we would not have got the furnace we wanted. But I agree on things that simply need repair: do it and save the buyer a headache. On other items, though, consider that the buyer might want to customize carpet choices, paint, etc.
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  12. #11
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    I thought about this both yesterday and today. I talked to the woman who owns the other duplex and she had mentioned that her husband thought of buying this one a while ago when it was being sold. I guess DH also had the same conversation with her husband about it as well. He was either thinking of buying this one and making it one big house or renting out the other half.

    So now I'm at an impasse.

    I was going to paint the rest of the house in corresponding colors, but now I'm backtracking a bit on that. I may just go with the bare essentials (having the furnace cleaned out, fixing the subfloor and the ceiling, etc.) with that prospect in the back of our heads.

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    It sounds as if you are getting more settled in your mind about what needs to be done and what you can do - definitely reducing stress!! Please keep us updated as to what is going on with you and the renovation - good luck!!

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    Registered User mek42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MomToTwoBoys View Post
    I thought about this both yesterday and today. I talked to the woman who owns the other duplex and she had mentioned that her husband thought of buying this one a while ago when it was being sold. I guess DH also had the same conversation with her husband about it as well. He was either thinking of buying this one and making it one big house or renting out the other half.

    So now I'm at an impasse.

    I was going to paint the rest of the house in corresponding colors, but now I'm backtracking a bit on that. I may just go with the bare essentials (having the furnace cleaned out, fixing the subfloor and the ceiling, etc.) with that prospect in the back of our heads.
    If they are interested, maybe they would just buy it as is. Without real estate agent commissions sucking away money, would you be able to reach some mutually acceptable point? You'll still want an attorney for this transaction, but no need to pay for unnecessary marketing if you already have an interested buyer.

    Call around and get estimates for the work you would do if you knew you were going to be there for exactly 2 more years - the necessary stuff, not the pretty stuff. Then check some closed comps and apply the work needed as a discount and you have a starting point for negotiations. Paying off mortgage and having enough for next downpayment would be your bottom number. Find someplace in between for you and neighbor to be happy with.

    As an alternative, see if there are any investor groups in your area and offer as is as an investment purchase. Not sure if this would work if you paid retail in the first place.

    Do you mean that you and neighbor each own half of a duplex?

    Good luck.

  15. #14
    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    It's a whole house, but split into two. We'll find out early this week what's going on. I guess they finished the cost analysis and they're forwarding all of the information to the company on Monday.

    We're going to price out materials and see how much and how long it'd be for us to do the bare essentials. We wouldn't be changing plumbing. It'd be materials for the floor and the walls and the ceiling, plus a basic vanity and toilet in both bathrooms. I decided to leave the bedroom walls white and just add splashes of color to dress up the rooms for staging purposes. The bathrooms would be spa blue because we already purchased that color. We could realistically paint the hallways the same color that we have in the room where the doors lead to the half bath and the basement (which is that icy green light color). We'd be keeping the rooms either very neutral or bright.

    I told her that we'd be going with the comparables and figuring out the price based on improvements put into the house and what's on the market in our neighborhood. Once we find out what we're doing, then I'll have another discussion with her about the house. I'm not sure I'm comfortable going about this without a realtor because I have no idea how the process goes.

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    I wish I had some advice for you but I don't. We always used real estate agents. Best of luck!

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