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By The truth about [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By The truth about [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

There have been dozens of agents and potential buyers trooping through our former home in the past three months.  My realtor requests feedback from all of them.  Some of them even give it.

And it’s bad.

People have watched entirely too much HGTV for their own good.  Everyone wants handcrafted wood floors, granite counters throughout, stainless steel appliances, and a bargain price.

Guess what?

If the house isn’t a foreclosure, you’re not going to get a “steal.”  And if it is a foreclosure, you’re likely going to have multiple tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of renovations and repairs to make it habitable.

Our old house isn’t in poor repair, but you’d think it was a ramshackle wreck with the feedback we’ve gotten.  I fully recognized that it needed fresh paint and new carpet, but didn’t do that because I (stupidly, it turns out) thought the buyers would rather choose those things themselves.  Instead of painting and re-carpeting, we priced the house $12,000 below market value to compensate.  The house is in a highly desirable suburb and I got dozens of calls to put it on the market after the divorce petition was filed (because it’s public record and realtors apparently chase ambulances, so to speak).

But the buyers and their agents all gripe.  Nobody wants to put any work into their new home.  They just want to plop down in front of the television and watch other people DIY on HGTV.  Or better yet, watch the “Property Brothers” DIY a house before it sells for more than anyone can imagine, while the owners bitch about the cost.

I’ve lost all patience with the process.

My realtor hooked me up with a painting pro and we’re repainting the entire interior.


No decorator colors.  Just plain white.  Once that’s done, I’ll have the carpets and tile deep cleaned.  And I’ll probably have to go over and spend a day cleaning the house again, since it’s been empty save for the HGTV-addicts traipsing through.

Doing these things should make the house “turnkey.”  Which seems to be realtor-speak for “Quit yer bellyachin’.”  I’m sure buyers’ agents will still complain, but there really won’t be much merit to those complaints.  And a whole lot less wiggle room on the price, n’est-ce pas?