Friday, December 12, 2008

You have 90 seconds---

A potential buyer will decide if they are interested in your house during the first 90 seconds they walk in the front door. After that, they are either being polite or they are interested and will proceed down their mental checklist.

We have lived in this house for 13 years. This is the longest that Pam or I have lived in a house. Our idea of what makes things appealing to a prospective buyer is quite different than what an objective person would say.

We want to sell this house. We also want all we can get for it. It's a tough market. We don't know enough. ---So we contacted the professionals, those that are currently successful at selling houses and those that are helping owners like us get ready.

We had our Realtor Jeff Royce come by with a professional stager -Patricia.
She walked through the house and took note of every room. She made some basic suggestions and will follow up with a complete list of recommendations.
We are prepared to put some real money into getting it sold. At first we thought we may consider purchasing the right picture, or a new appliance etc. She took us to the next level in our thinking.

My guess is that she will want to exchange all our pictures, photos, and other memories 'things' that cause a person to focus on the house only --and on open space. 'Space sells'
From the way she sounded, she could bring in smaller furniture, the right painting, window dressings etc. Also I am guessing all she will recommend repainting almost every room.
So it was quite a couple of hours! Are we willing to change? Are we willing to spend some $ in order to sell? Are we willing to let go....?

Commitment time again. How committed are we REALLY? Do we REALLY want to do this?....
It's one thing to get rid of 75% of our 'stuff' so we can fit move into an RV---
Every day it's more of a commitment...
So the answer is Yes! This is what we wanted to do. 18 months ago we could not foresee all of the 'uh oh' moments along the way. But I am sure there are many more to come.
We have been feeling pretty good about where we are in getting the house ready. We thought we were almost ready to put our house on the market. Now-- I don't think so. We have a lot of decisions to make and work to do.

It makes sense to us to spend a couple thousand $ in order to get it sold. Houses are selling, just not like they were. Some are selling because they are really lowball prices/foreclosures/short sales etc. A few homes for sale are getting a reasonable price in today's economic environment. So why shouldn't ours? I believe we can...we just need to find the mix of upgrades vs selling price.

We are still planning to put it on the market April 1. Jeff says the best chance a seller usually has is in the first two weeks after it goes on the market. Working with Jeff and Patricia will help us do that. We're waiting on her list of recommendations (with associated price tag). There is more to it and we'll keep you posted.


  1. you can always buy another house but you won't always be able to try the RV lifestyle. I say go for it and don't look back.

  2. Good luck with selling. I would take a real hard look at your market, above and beyond what your RE folks tell you.

    In a falling market, in a buyers market, in a market with lots of bargains from short sells, you just do not have the luxury to make mistakes like in other markets.

    I think you really do have to look at if you really want to sell. PRICE is the number one factor in selling, above and beyond anything else & the price you put it on the market will make ALL the difference in the world.

    The RE folks don't lose that much if you do not sell, but once you do not sell in this very hard market, you will grow stale after a week or two and then it will be very hard to sell at all. Such sellers start chasing a "falling knife".

    I only say this to help you as I know this decision is hard. Everybody wants top dollar for their home, but that is pretty much impossible to do in a buyers market. In a buyers market, one must worry just about selling it.

    I would spend minimal money to prepare, put it at the best bargain price that you can. I would probably put it on sooner than later,although I understand your wanting to wait until spring.

    I only say this in trying to help as I have just known too many people who have missed this boat. Most think homes have a lot further to fall and will remain down for a decade or longer, perhaps forever.

    Good luck to you what ever you decide. It is a tough one, but once you get on the road and have this behind you, it will all seem worth it.

  3. When you are ready to sell, move out of your house and into your RV. The house will sell better if it is empty (except for the staging stuff, of course).

    Best of luck!