Updating mechanicals don't sell houses, but maybe a little paint will

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Premier, Realtors

Paint BrushWe were doing an open house, and while the house is dated, it has great potential. So although it has great "bones" and is located in a "sought after" neighborhood, it is firmly stuck in the '60's.

The fireplace in the kitchen is a great asset, but Buyers can't see beyond the old soiled carpet or the dated yellow formica counters. And the bay window, hardwood floors and twin corner cabinets in the spacious Dining Room are just charming. But who can see past the flowered wallpaper! So while the Seller has updated the Central Air, roof and other mechanicals, the cosmetics haven't been touched.

While the house has languished on the market way too long, and has taken price reductions, it hasn't sold. The question is "Why don't Sellers understand that instead of continuing to take price reductions, a better approach might be to give the house a facelift?" Remove some of the wallpaper, do a little painting, rip up the carpet in the kitchen and lay a "peel and stick" floor. We all know how important that "first impression" can be.

True you have to know where to stop. But freshening up the rooms Buyers see when they first enter the house is critical. New roofs won't sell houses, but a little paint just might!


Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS
iTexas Realty Co. - San Antonio, TX

Hi Bonnie and Melinda-

It's so true that even fairly inexpensive updating can work a "days on the market miracle".  For some reason, it is the hardest concept to get through to our Sellers. Best wishes for a Buyer with vision!

--Sara in San Antonio

May 23, 2010 01:06 PM