Yesterday, I previewed a house that, for a moment, I thought was a short sale or foreclosure. It had some tell-tale signs, although it was listed by a so-called "full service" broker:
- It was supposed to be open between 1 and 4 in the afternoon, but at 2:25 pm, there was no agent on the premises. So I used the electronic lock box to let myself in.
- The yard was overgrown with leaves and debris all over the place.
- The place had a wet basement smell.
- The kitchen had been completely stripped.
- It was not staged except for a couple of area rugs.
And all for a seven-figure price tag. Oh well. A million dollars doesn't buy a whole lot of house anymore!
This place was an interesting sort of craftsman cottage in one of Washington's premier neighborhoods - the only remotely modest house in a neighborhood of places where you'd need a butler. As I looked around, I found a fact sheet boasting a completely renovated kitchen. OK! Not stripped! Just in the middle of a redo!
Then I found photos of what they were putting in - extremely contemporary cabinets and appliances. The cabinets looked like IKEA and the appliances were brands with which I was not at all familiar, meaning they were either really high end or not. I suspect probably not. And they were totally wrong for this house!
I don't know the listing agent, but I suspect that he is giving advice on what to do with the kitchen. But it's all wrong! It's completely inconsistent with the style of the house! It looks cheap. The cabinets are all wrong. Where would you get spare parts if the no-name appliances broke down?
When it comes to renovations, I have graduated to the "Know what you don't kow" stage. I've seen enough houses where the seller spent money following bad advice from their real estate agent. That's why God created kitchen planners and architects.
So just like I refer my clients to lawyers when they need legal advice, I refer them to kitchen and bath experts when they need advice on how to make a gross kitchen or athlete's foot bathroom flirt with buyers.
Sure, you can give them free advice that they'll have to pay an expert for, but as in most of life's domains, they'll get what they pay for!