I recently sold my home in Silver Spring, MD. The market is very weak, and I needed to sell it quickly and at a good price to allow me to move and purchase a new home.
My house was in good condition, but had many "quirks" that I had come to love over the years. I had lived in the house for six years and had not done any updating and only a few repairs. There was a small kitchen, a pink bathroom, and strange colors on the walls. The hardwood floors were old and not in good condition. My furniture was not attractive.
Worst of all, I had a lot of pet birds, and walls and floors around their cages showed signs of constant scrubbing.
Fortunately I had a wise and experienced real estate agent. The first thing she suggested is that I take out a bridge loan to buy the new house and move out before the house went on the market. Pets of any type detract from the property's sales appeal, and large numbers of birds in the house would send most buyers running.
From there I followed my realtor's suggestions.
- 1) I had the whole house professionally painted antique white. Total cost for that was $1800.
- 2) I had the hardwood floors refinished for $2,400; expensive, but money well spent.
- 3) For $200, a professional "stager" came in with brand new, fabulous furniture and accessories for the whole house.
- 4) I then hired a landscaper to do $100 worth of little touchups in the front yard.
The next step was a realtor open house. This allows local realtors to see the house and be able to describe it to their customers. Following that was an open house for the public. My realtor wrote a glowing description for the ad, and it looks like it worked. There were a lot of visitors. She suggested it may take a month or two to get an offer, because houses were not selling well in the area. However, I had two offers by the end of the week after the open house. Both were for almost the asking price. One buyer had a pre-approved loan and the other didn't, so that was the basis for my choice.
At the closing, I had a chance to speak with the new owners, and found that they also kept birds. A lot of birds. It was fate.
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- Real Estate