My husband and I find ourselves in a very interesting situation; and we have been talking about it for a few weeks now. When we bought our dream house almost two years ago, we were fortunate enough to find it with everything we needed, wanted and could ever imagine in one of the two most prestigious neighborhoods in our county. It’s big, beautiful, it’s got everything you could imagine that makes a house perfect – and we bought it as a foreclosure for next to nothing compared to other houses in the area. It was in amazing condition when we bought it, but it did need some work to upgrade it.
You see, the previous owners took everything (including the kitchen sink) with them more than 7 years ago when they lost the house. The bank replaced everything, but only with the cheapest materials. They painted all the walls with matte paint we had to paint over with a satin finish. They put in all new cabinets, but they stained a few of them once, a few of them twice and some of them are half stained once and half stained a second time. The fixtures were cheap, the countertops were cheap and our corner lot was completely uncleared save for the house so you couldn’t even see it here. The only nice thing here was the brand new high-end stainless steel appliances.
Over the past two years, we’ve replaced the counters and added granite, cleared the property, added grass, had landscape maintenance done regularly, repainted, upgraded all the fixtures and even painted all the cabinets a glorious antique white. It’s a brand new house; and it’s gorgeous. It’s also worth more than twice what we paid for it right now. In fact, smaller houses without as many bedrooms and bathrooms, less square footage on smaller lots with fewer upgrades are selling for more than twice what we paid for it. Should we sell? Should we stay?
We talk about it a lot these days. We feel that we should sell and make a huge profit; I mean, we’d make some serious bank. However, this is our dream house. We love this neighborhood and don’t want to be in another. Even with a massive down payment from the proceeds of our house, we’d never be able to find a house this size with everything we want that’s anywhere near as nice as ours in the same neighborhood. We’d have to pay four times the amount for the same type of house, so what’s the point? We are not selling at all; dream house, dream location, exactly what we want. We can’t get this house again, so it makes no sense for us to sell.
However, if we had decided that selling was the way to go, we’d have to make sure that we did a few things the right way. Fortunately for us, our best friend is a real estate agent and she’s able to provide us with some tips that will sell any home quickly; I thought I might share them with you since you probably need them more than I.
Listen to your realtor
Here’s a novel concept; she’s the expert. If she tells you that your house is not going to sell for a certain price and you should price it elsewhere instead, she’s right. Don’t assume you know better than she does, so listen up and take note of what she has to say. She’s the one who will get your house sold as quickly as possible. Your realtor may even recommend an inspection to discover any hidden damages that may hurt your sale. This inspection may prompt a residential roofing replacement if there are extensive damages on your roof.
Put the animals away
Listen, most people love animals, but they don’t love them all over them when they are looking at a house. Additionally, your cat might not be the best listener and might spend a great deal of time on the kitchen counters when you’re not home. Do you want buyers seeing all that or forgoing a showing because they are afraid of your dog? Either find a place for them to stay during the day, put them in a crate or hide them.
Open the blinds
You might like it dark, and you might like it when the neighbors or peeping toms cannot see inside your house, but no one likes a dark and cavernous home. Keep the blinds and curtains open during the day, turn lights on in dark rooms and make your house appear as bright as possible. Buyers love that.
Make it look like home
What is more reminiscent of growing up than the smell of freshly baked cookies? If you know a buyer is coming to see your home in a bit, bake some cookies and leave them in a decorative container on the counter. The house will not only smell amazing, but look homey and inviting. These are the kinds of things that allow buyers to really see themselves in the house living there and making it their own.
Display photos of the house at different times of the year
Sure, you want to take the personal out of your house, but it is a great idea to make sure that some of your prominently displayed photos show the house in its best light. The family photos with the house in the background all lit up for Christmas or the one that shows you all in the lush green yard with the blooming flowers in spring; those help a lot. Especially if you are showing your home during a different time of year. Allowing potential buyers a sneak peek at your home at various times of year helps them envision themselves there.
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