A friend of a friend was trying to sell his townhome which was on the market with the same agent for over 2 years. It was reduced again and again but they had no traffic and no buyers. The townhome was full brick with a new roof, with an enclosed brick patio, a large kitchen, dining room, huge living room, huge den with working fireplace, and three bedrooms 2 and 1/2 bathrooms. They had low HOA dues, had two large pools, tennis courts, beautiful landscaping, and most units sold quickly in this highly desireable SouthPark location. So why had it not sold?
They asked me to take a look. I told them I was going to be honest.
I opened the door. It had NEW baby blue carpet throughout. It had mustard yellow crown moulding througout. It smelled of cats, marijuana, garlicky chinese takeout, and had a moldy aquarium with mold growing up the grasscloth wallpaper. The kitchen had never been updated and was like a cave with no windows, oversized soffits and dark brown ugly cabinets. No wonder!
The townhome price had been dropped to $130,000. But nobody wanted to take on this big of a project. And the listing agent had told the seller many times that agents had walked in the door and left without even going upstairs.
I told the seller, let's list it for $189,900 and give me a budget of $14,000 to make some improvements and I guarantee it will sell. He didn't believe me. Questioned every decision, but ultimately got a HomeDepot card and gave me carte blanche to hire a friend and his handyman to make improvements. We got to work-- and I do mean that I pitched in.
Here's what was done for $14,000. We gutted the kitchen, removed the soffit, put in a passthru window with trim and a shelf and assembled stock cabinets from HomeDepot. We had appliances delivered and installed. We put in a tile backsplash. We installed a countertop and had halogen track lights. All stock from HomeDepot.
We painted the cabinets and replaced hardware and bath fixtures in all bathrooms. No cabinets were removed. We removed the wall to wall mirrors and replaced with large stock framed mirrors (about $99 each). We had the wall tile professionally painted white and the metal tubs refinished. We worked with the yellow and brown floor tile as a design feature so that it did not have to be removed, but the same tile on the walls was too much.
We had ALL the walls and trim painted. We had the popcorn ceilings downstairs removed and had all the ceilings painted. We painted over -- with many coats of Kilz primer -- the grass cloth, but did not remove it. It came out stunning!
We replaced the non-working sliding glass window with a stock double french door by Atrium from HomeDepot. We installed matchstick roller blinds, installed curtain rods, and had the homeowner's draperies professionally drycleaned.
We had the handyman take up the NEW baby blue carpet in the entry hall and dining room only-- yes there was wall to wall carpet EVERYWHERE!. We replaced these two areas only with glue down real wood parquet flooring. We replaced the chandelier in the dining room with an inexpensive one from HomeDepot.
We had the HVAC system professionally serviced and all the vents professionally cleaned.
And within the first 30 days DURING RENOVATION we had our first offer! Our list price was $189,900. Our first offer was $180,000 with no concessions! The seller netted a PROFIT of over $32,000 from what he had it previously listed for-- and he had not even had a buyer at that lower price because of condition.
[ I can email photos if you send me your email address. I'm posting a link, but it will usually only work for 30 days. ] PHOTOS: http://tempo.carolinamls.com/Pub/EmailView.asp?r=598804002&a
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Nate Wolf was recently named a FIVE STAR REALTOR by Charlotte Magazine. He is a top producing real estate sales broker, representing both buyers and sellers. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors, The Charlotte Regional Realtors Association and the Carolina Multiple Listing Services. He is licensed in multiple states and serves all areas of Metro Charlotte from Lake Norman to Lake Wylie and Uptown / Center City to SouthPark and Ballantyne.
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