I have two listings: one is beautifully done (The Beauty) and move in ready, the other is a grand old house (The Grand) that needs considerable work. Both have been on the market for several months. At the urging of a neighbor, The Beauty was determined to price high. "I keep thinking of all those trips to home depot," the owner told me. He and his wife are rightly proud of what a great job they did renovating an old lady's house that they got at a big discount. They spent $45,000 on all the improvements. When neither of their adult sons took them up on their offer to live in the house, they decided to sell. So after they pay off the $130,000 aquisition cost....even after the $45000, they are sitting pretty. The owner of The Grand sees all of the plusses of her house--there are a lot! and none of the fixing. For instance, she has only 3 kitchen cabinets. She uses the closed off servant staircase as a pantry. The house badly needs a kitchen. I get consistent showings on her house so I think the price is right, but buyers seem to be daunted by all the work the house needs. For months, I have been nagging her to get rid of boxes and books and old stuff. Her bedroom need paint and sheet rock. It has old wallpaper...nice but peeling. Anyway...The Beauty meets the Beauty Contest requirement but not the price war.... The Grand is priced right, but it is still not empty and sparkling clean with the minimal cosmetic fixes. Neither of them is ready for the market! I can't remember who coined the phrase "it is a price war and a beauty contest" for today's market, but they are absolutely spot-on.
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