Here’s an upgraded version of my house-hunting tips post from 2006, with helpful advice for sellers in this newly dismal housing market. I’m no real estate mogul, but I share these in hopes they can help someone:
Even if all you succeed in doing is falling in love with a house out of your price range, house hunting can be more than just a quixotic diversion from praying for your own house to sell. There are valuable tidbits to be learned:
- If you think your house smells like a Chinese restaurant – it probably does.
- It’s possible to post photos on the Internet which entirely obscure the fact that your front yard is composed primarily of concrete.
- A lot can be configured to adjoin as many as five other lots in the back yard alone.
- Even though it seems like everyone in America watches those “home staging” shows and the entire enterprise is, therefore, pointless – there are exceptions to this rule.
- Probably rethink answering the door in your bathing suit when the realtor shows up. In fact, consider instituting a one-hour “fully clothed zone” prior to every showing.
- Toile covers a multitude of sins, but it does not obscure aggressive wolf spiders.
- Painting the ceiling purple just might impact resale value. (I forgot about this one!)
- The dogs next door will leap the fence in the middle of a showing if you don’t have it repaired.
- That whole “leave out a pitcher of ice water and glasses during a showing” may seem like overkill when you read it on the website, but it sure would be nice if more people tried it in the 100-degree Carolina heat.
- Consider giving the litter box a quick once-over, if it’s been a week or so since you last emptied it out.
- Eschew potpourri
- Use of wide-angle lenses to create impression of spacious rooms on realtor website will only trigger homicidal rage when the prospective buyer enters the actual room/closet, as it were
- Update the kitchen? Yes. Paint the cabinet doors shut? Perhaps not.
- For buyers: If a listing says “there is also an additional climate-controlled room off the garage,” but there is no pictorial evidence of said room anywhere on the otherwise abundantly photographed listing, consider that a sign that the ceiling is caving in and the carpet smells of pee-pee.
- If you’re going to leave a note about a dog shut inside a room, be consistent. Don’t warn us about, say, the Pekignese in the master bedroom while forgetting to mention the Labrador retriever in the office. It’s like a bad game of Clue.
Your turn, gentle reader!