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There’s always something to howl about

Regrettably, we have to rethink all of our ideas about staging homes

How are we ever going to top this?

Oh, yes. It’s real. Mrs. Buyer said, “I don’t even want to think about what happened in that room.” My risposte? “Nothing happened in that room!”

But: Even so: It’s an interesting real estate problem, isn’t it? It would be $500, at most, to repaint that room. And yet every buyer who has seen it will have been revolted. What’s the cash value of that revulsion? At least $15,000 off the comps — and it’s still not selling…

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  • 15 comments

    15 Comments so far

    1. Jeff Brown January 30th, 2010 10:04 am

      Man, that wall and Mrs. Buyer’s reaction to it, is EXACTLY why I bailed from the house market so many moons ago. Thanks for the reminder.

    2. Cathey East January 30th, 2010 10:40 am

      Just can’t imagine why you haven’t been able to sell it! After all, it’s a custom mural! Gotta love it!

    3. Debra Sinick January 30th, 2010 11:00 am

      Too funny! I wonder if their Realtor suggested they repaint this room.

      I had a client who had some interesting “toys” displayed on the bedroom wall. I suggested they might want to take them down and put the also “interesting” DVD’s away.

      I tell my sellers buyers don’t want to know you use your bathroom, brush your teeth or blow your nose. So all tissue boxes and trash out of sight and waste baskets empty.

    4. Greg Swann January 30th, 2010 11:12 am

      > Just can’t imagine why you haven’t been able to sell it!

      Not our listing. If it were, that room would be Swiss Mocha Cream — the eye-popping shade of white Zonies know and love.

      But: I personally love that kind of mistake when I represent buyers. It’s fairly common for buyers to object to bad decor decisions, but this particular mistake is paying off in free equity in exchange for a little primer and paint.

      Were I representing investors, I would have our handyman come in to bid the refurb cost. For the whole house, figure maybe $10,000. Take that off the list price — which is already $15,000 under the turn-key comp value — and the whole package nets out to $2.50 on the dollar, all for maybe three days of concentrated effort. Doesn’t pencil out as a flip, but as a rental in a high-demand neighborhood, it’s a smokin’ deal.

    5. Greg Swann January 30th, 2010 11:17 am

      > I tell my sellers buyers don’t want to know you use your bathroom, brush your teeth or blow your nose.

      An utterly perfect utterance!

      One of the houses we were in yesterday was entirely unwalkable: It was carpeted in stray shoes. Strangely enough, my buyers passed.

    6. Julia January 30th, 2010 12:10 pm

      Oh. My. God. I love that more than words can say (in the so-bad-it’s-good sense). I have a recurring category on my blog – crimes against paint. Please, please, please give me permission to use this photo.

    7. Greg Swann January 30th, 2010 12:15 pm

      > Please, please, please give me permission to use this photo.

      Feel free. If you right-click on the image, you can open the full-size photo in a new window/tab then save it from there. Or you can just link it from here. It’s 640x480px native.

    8. Kevin Cottrell January 30th, 2010 12:32 pm

      Agree with you 100% Greg. We see this mistake all the time in St Louis. Simple room paint and some minor de-clutter and the home will sell. In fact, its probably the case in more than 50% of the homes that I list which are expireds.

    9. Lesley Alward January 30th, 2010 12:59 pm

      Far out man! Even those of us who went through some crazy times in the 60s and 70s, and who, incidentally have money, would pass on that! Selling agent needs a reality check.

    10. Greg Fleischaker January 30th, 2010 8:17 pm

      Some people leave the business because of this kind of decor, but this is exactly why I am in the business, I love it! Everyday, I get to peek into the mind of a stranger and wonder how they get themselves to the point where they can walk into a room like that and say “Yeah, that’s awesome! Who wouldn’t want this house!” I’m just enjoying the freak show, it’s all around us.

    11. Bob Wilson January 30th, 2010 8:46 pm

      Greg,

      Amazing, at least they took the swing out of there before they listed the house. :)

    12. Cheryl Johnson January 31st, 2010 8:52 am

      >>>” peek into the mind of a stranger …”

      And if you stop and think about, that mural is not just some spur of the moment graffiti. Someone must have taken days or even months to plan it out, and carefully paint in all the little details and nuances of color and shadow … and it is still annoying.

      Yes, the human mind is an amazing thing. :-)

    13. Richard Riccelli January 31st, 2010 12:03 pm

      People: Where is your marketing imagination? Simply sign the thing Roy Lichtenstein, jack the price $50,000, and list it with Sotheby’s — art and real estate.

    14. Doug Quance January 31st, 2010 10:33 pm

      “But: I personally love that kind of mistake when I represent buyers. It’s fairly common for buyers to object to bad decor decisions, but this particular mistake is paying off in free equity in exchange for a little primer and paint.”

      My thoughts, exactly.

    15. Elizabeth Evans February 2nd, 2010 1:22 pm

      And this is why I NEVER give a tenant permission to paint.

      Is this a short sale that was a rental? An REO? Someone who gave a teenage boy free reign over his room? I have bought similar properties in the past at nice discounts, although I draw the line at grafitti houses with used needles and empty bottles.