gdeborahdupre, Home Seller in Morgantown, WV

We want to sell our turn of the century Victoria-style house (over 3,000 sq ft) and need advice on best last minute improvements to expedite best sale

Asked by gdeborahdupre, Morgantown, WV Sun Apr 21, 2013

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PLEASE, from someone who has seen so many houses that look old and beautiful on the outside, only to see granite counters and glass mosaic tile on the inside - PLEASE do not ruin the house with modern "updates" and take away what someone wants in an old home in the first place. Then, when sellers do make these "updates", they raise the price so you have to pay for their remodeling mistakes, and then the buyer has no financial room to make their own changes, and just has to keep looking for a home that has been untampered with. Painting is not bad, but unless really dirty looking would not be necessary. Your idea of paint color(s) will not be mine, I can almost guarantee you, and I would just have to paint again anyway.One thing you should do, is REMOVE WALL TO WALL carpet, especially if there are wood floors underneath, and especially on the ground floor. If you want an old house, you want wood floors, almost no matter what the condition. Personally, I like painted wood floors so their condition as long as sound would not bother me. You should make sure that air conditioning and heating is running, but if old leave it and let the buyer get the system that they prefer, not some just some adequate but maybe noisy air conditioner, for instance. They may have a preference, like me, for a mini-split system that you would not think to add. Make sure there are not plumbing problems, and why not have already done a house inspection, and a radon inspection? Don't wait for the buyer to have to do that and have doubts about your house. They will likely want to do it again, but then at least they are seriously thinking of buying your house. Make sure everything is clean. If the wiring needs replacing, make sure you can show it is done well and that there are adequate outlets and no fancy motion detectors on the lights, etc. DO NOT replace old light fixtures. Any ugly old light fixture makes your home more desirable than a pretty new one. In general, I hate the idea of someone thinking they can fix a house up for me, like I am some generic human being. You should make the house look like you want it to when you own it, and let someone do the same when they own it. There, I said it. I hope people listen. Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 15, 2013
This is a very good question that may serve many "Sellers" on this site. Typically "Sellers" have a difficult time when agents tell them what improvements may need to take place for a house to be more presentable to better serve the " Potential Buyers" that are coming to preview the property. Many "Sellers" also feel that they have great taste and superior design schemes which may be true but do not always agree with the "Potential Buyers" taste. It's exceptional that you are keeping your options open to listen to an agents advice. Here is a list of 10 things I would do to show improvement before hand.

1. De-Clutter the entire home. You want to show of your space and give the "Potential Buyer" the opportunity to imagine their furniture and design within the home. This would entail trying to have the least amount of furniture you can have in the space. Go through all your closets and remove all the things you do not wear or use. Maybe even remove the cloths that are not within the current season.Show off that closet space, very important. Put all the extra things in storage.

2. Make sure that you have a fresh coat of paint in every room of the house if possible.

3. Make sure that every light in the home is turned on. In addition open windows and doors and let some fresh air in the house. Make sure all the curtains are open creating as much light as possible.

4. Make sure you have scented candles burning throughout the house creating a nice scent. Fresh flowers and maybe something baking in the oven.

5. Make sure all toilet seats are down.

6. Make sure the home is in immaculate condition as if you are having guest come over.

7. I always play a little music when I have "Potential Buyers" coming to preview the property to create good energy. I want them to feel the experience of being in the home.

8. If you have hardwood floors make sure to touch up any scuffs that are visible.

9. Make sure there are no operational issues with the home before showing, imagine it as if you are walking into the home for the first time. Imagine all things you expect and desire to see.

10. Purchase some new bedding and pillows for the bedrooms and living room.

This are some quick ideas to put on your to do list to prepare for last minute improvements. I hope this helps.

-DNassi "The Corcoran Group"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013
Most buyers like move in ready, even with period homes. Wall paper says work and will appeal to fewer buyers. Neutralize, de-clutter (even if you have to rent a storage building) and de-personalize. put away the family pictures. You want the buyers to be looking at the space not who is in your pictures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013
Period homes with historic significance usually appeal to a very special market sector. Generally, these buyers want to restore the home to their taste and historical interests. With a 100 year old Victorian home I'm not sure I would go very much beyond repairing, cleaning, and enhancing what is there. Resealing woodwork, refinishing hardwood floors, using historically accurate lighting fixtures, and painting, painting, painting......

Good luck with your sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013
The only way to answer your question correctly is to come to your home, tour it and then I could tell you what needs to be done and what will bring you the most $$.

I always make sure the front door is clean and freshly painted. You scrubs should not be over grown and hiding windows etc.

Pack up some of the clothes in your closet so that it looks larger. Make sure countertops are free of clutter and remove nicknacks pictures etc from walls.

I would be happy to look at your home and give you more suggestions.

You can reach me at 304 906 7400.

Thank you,
Jo Poulin, CRP, ABR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013
I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your options. Is your Victorian located in South Park? I live in South Park and have extensive knowledge of the market in this neighborhood and the surrounding areas. Please feel free to contact me at 304-692-5868. Thank you! Barbara Phillips
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013
Hello, you could visit similar homes in your area and see what they are asking as well as what improvements have been made. You can also contact a local agent who would advise you on what improvements should be made. Regardless, when your home is on the market you have to think it is no longer yours, in other words think in terms of what buyers would want to see. Not every one is keen on bold colors and or patterns, and buyers make mental lists on what they have to change to make it their own. If you can make your home neutral an appealing to all you've got a great chance of selling.

Best of Luck;

Christina Solorzano;
CEO & SR Credit Repair Specialist
Everlasting Credit Repair
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013
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