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  1. #1
    Veteran AFBlue's Avatar
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    for the first time!?!?

    I'm actually changing jobs and most likely moving halfway across the country in the next 6-8 months. Of all the stresses associated with those two things, I think I'm most worried about selling my house in this economy.

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips for helping to sell my house. Unfortunately, it's a cookie-cutter 3BR/2BATH (brick-front, vinyl siding) home in a neighborhood full of cookie-cutter houses.

    At this point I don't have a fence (execpt the back, which backs up to a field), or really anything that distinguishes it. I'm trying to figure out what I can do to help distinguish it, while not putting too much money into it...b/c I doubt I'll see the ROI on the back-end.

    Really guys, ANY tips would help at this point.

  2. #2
    A neverending cycle Trainwreck2100's Avatar
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    I'll give you $5 for it

  3. #3
    Veteran AFBlue's Avatar
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    I'll give you $5 for it
    Best offer I've gotten so far!

  4. #4
    ATRAIN is gay peewee's lovechild's Avatar
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    $7.50, and you pay closing costs.

  5. #5
    A neverending cycle Trainwreck2100's Avatar
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    $7.50, and you pay closing costs.
    Don't you try and snipe me you son of a i will find that house and burn it to the ground.

  6. #6
    Believe. CubanMustGo's Avatar
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    Austin, TX
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    Now that all the wits have weighed in ...

    Selling your house in this market means you have to stand out from the rest of the clueless that don't know what they are doing. That means things like
    - fresh paint inside and out, no outrageous color schemes (think neutral). People who want color can add it themselves.
    - fix up the yard so it looks like you give a (e.g. get the weeds out, add curb appeal with plants/flowers, trim any bushes, etc.)
    - fix anything that is obviously wrong
    - if the carpet is in really bad shape, do something about it (nobody likes looking at stained carpet)
    - declutter the house when you do put it on the market. Anything you can do to make the place look bigger is good
    - ceiling fans in bedrooms if you don't have them are a cheap add, especially if you install them yourself
    - if you have slob neighbors try to get them to clean up their act a little when your place is on the market (we actually had to mow one guy's yard when we sold our place)
    - investigate comparable pricing thouroghly and put yours on the market at a fair price.
    - don't expect to get 100% of your asking price unless you are in a hot area (if there is such a thing these days)

    You can certainly spend more on upgrades but these will usually solely help the house sell faster and not return all of your investment. Replacing generic builder lights and trim in bathrooms is a cheap, cost-effective upgrade that can make a difference. If you can do tile/wood floors (and do it well), that's also a good upgrade. Paying someone else to do stuff is a losing proposition unless you're really in a hurry to sell.

    Just a few thoughts. Hopefully others will weigh in with other USEFUL ideas.

  7. #7
    ATRAIN is gay peewee's lovechild's Avatar
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    Don't you try and snipe me you son of a i will find that house and burn it to the ground.
    Just for that, I'm pushing my buying price to $10.50.

  8. #8
    Your so smart Online. Frenzy's Avatar
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    I am looking for a house ..been looking for a month or 2 now. One thing is if your posting it on the internet.... put up some dam pictures... tons. I hate house that sound promising and have only one picture up. Nothing wrong with cookie cutter houses... a house is a house.

  9. #9
    I missed the boat! Fideo Castro's Avatar
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    There are some good shows on TV about preparing your house for sale. Check them out and there is always tons of stuff on google.

  10. #10
    Che cazzo stai dicendo? DisgruntledLionFan#54,927's Avatar
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    I'd honestly look into hiring a stager.

  11. #11
    Believe. CubanMustGo's Avatar
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    I'd honestly look into hiring a stager.
    That's a good idea. Our realtor was also a certified stager and so she did more than just market the house to earn her commission. We also had the offer we accepted on the table in 11 days (last August).

  12. #12
    Linger Ficking Good! CuckingFunt's Avatar
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    for the first time!?!?

    I'm actually changing jobs and most likely moving halfway across the country in the next 6-8 months. Of all the stresses associated with those two things, I think I'm most worried about selling my house in this economy.

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips for helping to sell my house. Unfortunately, it's a cookie-cutter 3BR/2BATH (brick-front, vinyl siding) home in a neighborhood full of cookie-cutter houses.

    At this point I don't have a fence (execpt the back, which backs up to a field), or really anything that distinguishes it. I'm trying to figure out what I can do to help distinguish it, while not putting too much money into it...b/c I doubt I'll see the ROI on the back-end.

    Really guys, ANY tips would help at this point.
    In this market?

    If your mortgage payment is low enough, I'd suggest renting it out until sales prices get a bit closer to normal.

    If, on the other hand, your mortgage payment is considerably higher than market rents in the area and you can't rent it, just be realistic about the fact that it's currently a buyer's market. Trust your Realtor, price it reasonably, and be prepared to both have it on the market for a while and loose a little money on the deal. Can't be greedy these days unless you're willing to let it sit for months.


    CubanMustGo and DGLF also have solid advice.

  13. #13
    Che cazzo stai dicendo? DisgruntledLionFan#54,927's Avatar
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    7,801
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    You need your house to stand out and nothing does that better than making it look like it's been in mags like Design or Home & Garden.

  14. #14
    Linger Ficking Good! CuckingFunt's Avatar
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    Also, my standard advice in all things real estate based: use a professional.

  15. #15
    Veteran AFBlue's Avatar
    Location
    Texas
    Post Count
    10,623
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    San Antonio Spurs
    College
    Baylor Bears
    Now that all the wits have weighed in ...

    Selling your house in this market means you have to stand out from the rest of the clueless that don't know what they are doing. That means things like
    - fresh paint inside and out, no outrageous color schemes (think neutral). People who want color can add it themselves.
    - fix up the yard so it looks like you give a (e.g. get the weeds out, add curb appeal with plants/flowers, trim any bushes, etc.)
    - fix anything that is obviously wrong
    - if the carpet is in really bad shape, do something about it (nobody likes looking at stained carpet)
    - declutter the house when you do put it on the market. Anything you can do to make the place look bigger is good
    - ceiling fans in bedrooms if you don't have them are a cheap add, especially if you install them yourself
    - if you have slob neighbors try to get them to clean up their act a little when your place is on the market (we actually had to mow one guy's yard when we sold our place)
    - investigate comparable pricing thouroghly and put yours on the market at a fair price.
    - don't expect to get 100% of your asking price unless you are in a hot area (if there is such a thing these days)

    You can certainly spend more on upgrades but these will usually solely help the house sell faster and not return all of your investment. Replacing generic builder lights and trim in bathrooms is a cheap, cost-effective upgrade that can make a difference. If you can do tile/wood floors (and do it well), that's also a good upgrade. Paying someone else to do stuff is a losing proposition unless you're really in a hurry to sell.

    Just a few thoughts. Hopefully others will weigh in with other USEFUL ideas.
    Wow, that's a load of good advice...thanks!

    Most everything you said applies...

    - I have already planned to have the carpet stretched and power wash the siding...red Georgia clay on ivory siding is not a good thing. We were also left with a couple cans of fresh paint, so I had planned to do some touch-up work where needed. The good thing is that the house is only a couple years old, so there's no major work that needs to be done.

    - Along those lines, my main focus has been to de-clutter and I'm in for more of it this weekend. On the ceiling fans, that's an upgrade I made about a year ago....but I will definitely look into bathroom improvements.

    - In the yard I've got a pitiful-looking tree that I might just yank, but other than that my yard is solid. Actually, I have centipede grass like everyone else around here, so all of the yards pretty much look dead until spring. But when Spring rolls around, I'll make sure there are no dead spots.

    - My biggest hurdle is likely to be the slob neighbors. I sit three houses in on the sub-division and the two preceding me are both rented. One is currently vacant and the one next to my house has about 6 cars in/around the driveway. Sometimes they park a car in the grass between their house and the vacant one next door. I haven't figured out just yet how I'm going to deal with that, but I can see it being a problem.

    - About the market value, I'm going with a real estate agent that I know through a friend...someone I trust. She's doing all of the market research, and I think she's going to work hard on the selling side.

    Again, thanks for all the good advice!

  16. #16
    Veteran AFBlue's Avatar
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    I'd honestly look into hiring a stager.
    Thanks! I'll need to check with the person I've got to see if she's a certified stager. If she's not, I'll see if I can get one lined up.

  17. #17
    Veteran AFBlue's Avatar
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    Texas
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    In this market?

    If your mortgage payment is low enough, I'd suggest renting it out until sales prices get a bit closer to normal.

    If, on the other hand, your mortgage payment is considerably higher than market rents in the area and you can't rent it, just be realistic about the fact that it's currently a buyer's market. Trust your Realtor, price it reasonably, and be prepared to both have it on the market for a while and loose a little money on the deal. Can't be greedy these days unless you're willing to let it sit for months.


    CubanMustGo and DGLF also have solid advice.
    My issue with renting is monitoring and upkeep. I'm selling the house because I'm moving this summer...possibly thousands of miles away. That distance makes me apprehensive, especially when I hear the horror stories of renting.

    The mortgage payment is relatively low, so I'm not going to completely rule it out, but I'd honestly rather take a loss to sell than rent for long.

    Truthfully, I'm expecting to take a loss already...but my hope is to make it as appealing as possible so my loss isn't overwhelming. I'm also hoping that because my cookie-cutter house was cheap when I bought it, my loss won't be as extensive....less initial inflation theoretically means less depreciation.

    Guess we'll see...

  18. #18
    Spurs, Colts, Cowboys, and Irish SpursFanFirst's Avatar
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    I don't have much time to read through what everyone else said, so I'll just throw my quick .02 in.

    -If your house has anything but neutral colors, repaint white or neutral.

    When I bought my place, one of the things I loved about it was that it was a blank canvas. Every wall was a crisp white.
    The woman also had fresh carpet installed in a neutral color. I'm pretty sure (now that I've been in here 3 years) she didn't spend a whole lot on it, but it sure was nice coming in to have fresh carpet.
    She also placed fresh linoleum in the kitchens, entryway, and bathrooms.

    -How long have you been in your place? If you still have the inspector's report from when you bought, I'd suggest going back through and seeing if there are any quick and inexpensive fixes. For example, from my house into the garage, I have 3 steps. One of the laws is that, if there are more than 2 steps, you need a railing in place. I fixed that right away.
    That's just one example, and a small, quick fix.

    Fix any missing plug covers.

    -If you have extra holes in the walls from pictures, patch them up and paint over them.

    -Put a new welcome mat out front.

    -Maybe rent a power washer and give your place a fresh clean start - the bricks, sidewalks, deck, everything in your way.

    -How are your house numbers? Could new ones give you a face lift?

    -If you have pets or smoke, have your carpets cleaned. It might be wise to just buy a carpet cleaner and do it yourself. I've had mine for 7 years and it was worth every penny. You might not use it a whole lot, but when you need it, you'll be glad it's available.
    A good one by Hoover costs about $200 or so. Having a professional come in can be extremely costly. I was going to have someone clean my carpets, and about fell over when they quoted the price. This led me to buy my own.

    Anything you can do to make it easier on the next person is always a plus.

    -Something else I've done - Last year, I put my place on the market. I have a really nice condo, but it's a condo. Every one looks the same, and no one really has privacy. Something I'm going to do this spring is put arborvitae trees behind my deck to give me privacy from my neighbor. This was something that came up a lot with potential buyers looking at my place.
    They also mentioned that I "just had a one car garage." That's true, but I wanted to show it could be more. Last fall, I spent time painting it and putting a work bench area and extra storage to show the potential. Yes, it's only a garage, but this was something that was mentioned a few times. Everyone wants storage.

    It might be a good idea to have someone brutally honest come through your house with fresh eyes and tell you what they think.

    -Minimize as much as possible. If you can't afford a stager, there are things you can do yourself.
    Take down your personal pics (in place of them, put generic art to decorate) and declutter. You don't want people distracted by your personal items. Some people can't see past your things and imagine themselves living there. You will want to help them.

    Have one purpose for each room. You don't want a guest room/office. If you have excess rooms, make one an office. If not, stick with the bedroom and put the other stuff away.

    I have to run. Hopefully some of this helps.

    Good luck!

  19. #19
    Spurs, Colts, Cowboys, and Irish SpursFanFirst's Avatar
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    Oh...and the renting idea...
    While I can see what she was getting at, I can speak from the experience my parents had.
    We moved from SA to northern MN, and they rented out the family house.
    It turned out to be a horrendous move and the people pretty much destroyed everything that was left.

    Not every person has a bad experience with it, but I'd give it some serious thought before following through.

  20. #20
    JUST 4 TONIGHT DannyT's Avatar
    Name
    Danny T
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    7632 Marbach Rd
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    I am looking for a house ..been looking for a month or 2 now. One thing is if your posting it on the internet.... put up some dam pictures... tons. I hate house that sound promising and have only one picture up. Nothing wrong with cookie cutter houses... a house is a house.
    I am in the same situation...and I couldnt agree more.

    You can never have enough pictures posted. We like pictures of the yards, the rooms, kitchen, everything.

    When we dont see pictures of things we feel they are trying to hide something.

    And make sure your flash works

    good luck man

    let us know if it gets posted online somewhere

    would love to see it

  21. #21
    Linger Ficking Good! CuckingFunt's Avatar
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    My issue with renting is monitoring and upkeep. I'm selling the house because I'm moving this summer...possibly thousands of miles away. That distance makes me apprehensive, especially when I hear the horror stories of renting.

    The mortgage payment is relatively low, so I'm not going to completely rule it out, but I'd honestly rather take a loss to sell than rent for long.

    Truthfully, I'm expecting to take a loss already...but my hope is to make it as appealing as possible so my loss isn't overwhelming. I'm also hoping that because my cookie-cutter house was cheap when I bought it, my loss won't be as extensive....less initial inflation theoretically means less depreciation.

    Guess we'll see...
    Sounds like you're realistic about the process and potential pitfalls, which is the most important thing.

    I was still in real estate about 1 1/2 years ago, right as things were really starting to get ugly (in CA's central valley, which was ground zero for the foreclosure fun at the time), and there was nothing worse than clients who wanted to list their home for top price and got pissy when it didn't sell immediately. Things just aren't working that way right now.

  22. #22
    Linger Ficking Good! CuckingFunt's Avatar
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    Oh...and the renting idea...
    While I can see what she was getting at, I can speak from the experience my parents had.
    We moved from SA to northern MN, and they rented out the family house.
    It turned out to be a horrendous move and the people pretty much destroyed everything that was left.

    Not every person has a bad experience with it, but I'd give it some serious thought before following through.
    After having worked in property management for ten years, I'll be the first to admit that there are HUGE risks in owning rental properties.

    However, if you have a decent property, in a decent neighborhood, and decent property managers who are diligent in screening tenants (sometimes a magical and elusive combination, I know), it can be a good option for a market in which the property may sit vacant for a while anyway.

  23. #23
    Veteran jack sommerset's Avatar
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    I'm buying a new house in the Dallas area in June. The first real estate agent (swear) said the market was back to normal.

  24. #24
    Since 1979 Das Texan's Avatar
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    Adam Rabel
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    After having worked in property management for ten years, I'll be the first to admit that there are HUGE risks in owning rental properties.

    However, if you have a decent property, in a decent neighborhood, and decent property managers who are diligent in screening tenants (sometimes a magical and elusive combination, I know), it can be a good option for a market in which the property may sit vacant for a while anyway.





    Yup. If you dont screen properly your tenants, you are going to get someone thats going to trash it to . And if your property manager sucks, they arent going to monitor it and do their ing job.

  25. #25
    Since 1979 Das Texan's Avatar
    Name
    Adam Rabel
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    San Antonio de Bejar
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    I'm buying a new house in the Dallas area in June. The first real estate agent (swear) said the market was back to normal.






    Dallas is probably the most hardest hit area in the Texas market.

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