Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sorry For The Ice Cream Shortage...

Things are getting a little crazy here. The packing is going well - when I can actually get to packing. We had a bit of a disruption in our plans in that we had intended to make a few quick cosmetic repairs and then get the house on the market, but as it turns out, we'd stand to lose quite a bit of money doing that. Given the recent housing downturn, we've lost a substantial portion of the house's value in the past 14 years. Our town has thoughtfully passed tax increase after tax increase, so we never noticed a ~ 25% drop in value - we saw taxes continue to climb and foolishly believed our house was worth roughly what it was when we bought it...

I told you all that so I could tell you this: Selling a house *SUCKS*. Real Estate agents don't really work for sellers; they work for buyers, plain and simple. When they're working with you to sell your house, they're really representing the buyers who may be interested. If they can sell your house at a lower price and turn it over faster, they're more motivated to do that - they might be out a few thousand dollars, but if they can turn the house over in a couple weeks rather than a couple months, well, they'd rather sell a bunch of houses for below value than one or two at value in the same three month time...

So, rather than fixing the vanity in the master bath (don't EVER put a heavy box down on a cheap faux-marble vanity top. Just don't) and patching a couple cracks here and there, we're doing all that plus putting in new flooring, rebuilding and repainting the farmer's porch, repainting the entire house, and putting in new plumbing fixtures in every bathroom. Rather than having three weeks to pack, I've had two days to pack and the rest of the time to run around between contractors and Home Depot...

I may have to buy something with a suppressor to make up for all of this work...

That is all.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

They work for themselves. Your right, they want to turn the house but they do bring a reality check to most homeowners. They see all the flaws that you tend to think as character.

Just wait, once you find a buyer, you have settlement to go through.

I move 11 years ago and I decided I'm going to die in this house. No more moves.

Best of luck,

Gerry

Jennifer said...

It will be so worth it when all is said and done

Dirk said...

TL;DR version in last paragraph - sorry for being a little long-winded...

A word of advice - even if you get it into perfect condition, the amount that you can sell it for will be dictated not by the condition of the house, nor by the amount a buyer is willing to give you, but by what the house appraises for, which is based, in part, on what other, similar houses in your area have sold for, and which will include bankruptcies and repo's.

A few years ago, we did the "fix it up real nice before we sell it" thing, and probably spent more doing that than we should - new tile in bathrooms, paint inside and out, some professional landscaping, rebuild of the front steps, with fancy railings, new garage doors, various other things. It looked very nice.

We got an offer from the first buyer, for full asking price. But, when appraisal time came, because there had been a couple of foreclosures nearby, the appraisal came in $5K lower than the offer price - and that's the number the buyer's lender would go by when it came time to underwrite the mortgage for them. And we had no choice but to sell it at that price, as future appraisals would also be at that level.

Bottom line - fixing it up will help get a buyer in there to make an offer, but the only thing that really matters is what the place will appraise for.

Anonymous said...

Have a fire...

Easier and less stressful.

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Dirk,

I think if everyone came to understand what you mentioned in that last paragraph there would be a whole lot less problems in the market.

Sometimes when you fix up a home you don't get what you spent back other than peace of mind. Yes you can spend more than you should and that can affect your ability to get a loan as well. Because if you had x amount in savings and used 1/2 to do "fix up" then yes it can hurt you.

Use zillow.com to understand what homes are selling for in your neighborhood. It will also tell you if there are any bankruptcies and repo's.

DO

Rob said...

Use Zillow and figure what ever you spend the next couple of days is just gone.
Good luck!

Old NFO said...

All I can say is good luck!

Weer'd Beard said...

The big question is: Who has a better excuse for a neglected blog, me or you?

It sucks now, but it will be nothing but a campfire story in a few years.

And yeah you can own suppressors soon!

Of course since I CANNOT own suppressors, I can own MONEY!

Jay G said...

We're really not spending a lot of money - it's a couple new floors (that needed it), a coat of paint on the walls (which EVERYONE who has sold a house has told me is a good idea), and work on the porch that really needed to be done. We had been neglecting it for the past couple years, as we'd be saving up for vinyl, and since we're moving in a hurry we need to fix it most riki-tik.

We're trying to get it up to the assessed value, which is generally a bit lower than what it will appraise for. Our realtor gave us a figure we could expect for selling it "as is", but was very quick to reassure us that a few minor updates and upgrades would be well worth the investment.

It's the TIME that's needed to arrange contractors that's getting me more than the money. Yeah, I turned a few guns into new rugs and faucets, but I expect we'll see all of that back and then some at the sale.

It's not just about getting the most money - it's about getting a buyer in quick and closing the deal so we can get on with the very important business of GTFO of Massachusetts...

Dirk said...

Paint is always worth the investment, especially if you haven't done it for a few years. Minor updates almost always pay for themselves. Floors, sometimes - depends on how bad they were. Sounds like yours were in bad shape.

In your case, it sounds like what you're spending will close the gap between what a buyer might offer and what it appraises for, so it's worth doing.

I don't know about assessed values - they generally bear very little relationship to market values or appraised values, and are only used to determine how much property tax you pay.

And I do fully sympathize with the gtfo sentiment! :)

Geodkyt said...

Integrally suppressed .300BLK Ar upper, integrally suppressed 10-22, or integrally suppressed Ruger MkII or MkIII?

Ruth said...

As someone who recently bought a house, a fresh coat of fairly neutral paint is a GOOD idea. If floors are less than ok at least replace the high traffic areas. As for the porch....curb appeal is an over used term, but you DO want to draw people in, not ensure they drive on by!

TOTWTYTR said...

A friend of mine is in real estate. She tells me that houses are selling in one day, often at above the asking price. The problem is that they don't assess at that price and banks won't loan on inflated prices.

Yeah, it sucks all around.

I've spent most of this year having long needed work done on the house.

It's part of my plan to get the house in shape to sell. Can't do that quite yet, but for once I'm planning ahead of time.

Good luck.

Ross said...

Jay, I work for a realty company. YOU have the wrong realtor. She should be working for YOU, and that's all there is to it.