I have brought three realtors over to the house so far to ask several questions. None of these questions are out of the ordinary. In fact, I would assume that they are the typical questions asked. But three realtors gave me three very different answers.
What are you going to do for me? The answers ranged from taking video, having its own YouTube channel, paying for up front posting on realtor sites, open houses, and lots of photos, to I'll tell you more once we sign the contract. How are you going to market my house? Same as above.
What repairs or changes need to be made to make the house more sellable? This was really interesting. I made the comment that Boy's room is going to have carpet put in as right now it's just the cement slab. One realtor said good idea and provided color suggestions. Another said carpet both kids rooms. The third said just leave it as is. But, I countered, the crack in the slab, although it hasn't changed in 18 years makes the house not able to get a mortgage if the appraiser doesn't believe that it isn't an issue. It won't take much to fill in the crack and put down carpet. The realtor still said no I shouldn't spend the money. Really? And possibly lose a sale because some idiot appraiser can't tell the difference between a new crack and an old one? How do I know they can't tell the difference? Because several years ago I wanted to refinance and was told no because I had to hire a structural engineer to guarantee the repair. I was also told to make the bathrooms look spotless and sparkling. I spent the day before Thanksgiving regrouting my shower. That was easy. I also pulled two tiles that were buckling outside the kids shower and cleaned off the mortar and remortared them onto the wall. Looks great.
What needs to be packed up prior to putting the house on the market? I sure didn't like walking even the realtors through the house for them to see the hidden closet with the safe or the home store with all our food. Nobody said to pack up the home store. One realtor wanted to show pictures of all the food and show how well prepared this house was. No, I think showing all the fruit trees, garden, and barns, along with a fairly empty pantry is better for me. Another said to pack up as much as possible and also to move out half the furniture. That's what I'm going to try to do.
How much is the house worth? This was really interesting. All three asked how much I thought it was worth before they would tell me their opinion. Well, the house down the street that is the same exact size as mine only they have a pool and the house is older sold for XX. I think mine should sell for the same. More because my house is more updated. One of the realtors said that I should market it for $50k less and have people start a bidding war. Sounds great if we had a really hot market.
How's the market? Slow... Then who is going to create a bidding war? Sounds more like they want the house to sell really fast at a much lower price. They get their money faster.
What is the market like for sellers around here? Things priced right are selling for just about full price in a few months. It has picked up a lot over the past few years.
When should I put the house on the market? As soon as possible said one, in March said the second, and beginning of summer said the third. I actually like the one who said as soon as possible. He said that although there aren't as many buyers during the winter there aren't as many houses on the market either which means that my house can stand out. And if it doesn't sell there's always spring and summer.
So for now, I am trying to pack up stuff. Did you know that if you buy boxes at U Haul you can return what you don't use? Or in my case, a bundle of 25 boxes didn't have enough glue and had to be returned. Not a problem as long as you return them to the U Haul you bought them from. This meant driving past two U Hauls to get to the right one. I've packed around 30 boxes so far. It hardly looks like I've made a dent in any room other than the family room and there it's because most of the bookshelves are empty. I think we have around 200 feet of shelves throughout the house just for books. I did go through them and give away a lot. But we are keeping a lot as well. Same with the games. I got rid of as many as we are keeping. Although the house still looks full, most of the drawers are much less cluttered or are completely empty.
I packed my wheat grinder, water bath canners, pressure cooker, canning jars and lids, and all those items that I'm not going to use this year that have to do with food preservation. It's really strange to know that I won't be canning fruits and vegetables this year and that other than the citrus we won't be enjoying any of the other dozens of fruit trees.
Trying to do any of this work while working full time is a real challenge. On top of that, our weekends are full. Every single weekend from now until the end of year we will be away from home at least one of the two days and some weekends both days. Can't get much done that way. But I do get to take a trip to Colorado to see future spouse and our new property. That will be a great motivator to get things going in the house and get it on the market soon. I think I will interview another realtor.