Nightmares fixing up a home to sell

Nightmares fixing up a home to sell

Ask anyone who has sold a home recently, and you’re sure to hear some nightmare stories about the time and expense needed to prep it for sale.

Whether it’s fixing structural issues that came up during the inspection or just getting it show-ready, selling a home through traditional channels is fraught with headaches. We delved into several of them in our previous entry, including the extra utilities costs and real estate commissions.

Now it’s time to shift our focus from what could potentially go wrong, to what has gone wrong.

Here’s a look at some nightmares fixing up a home to sell, direct from the people who had to live them.

From HGTV:

We’re selling our town home and the buyer has come to us w/ a laundry list of nit-picky requests from the inspection. She claims the microwave leaks radiation. She wants us to pay for changing the locks. She even wants us to pay for exterior cosmetic repairs, even though we live in a town house and the HOA is responsible.

We did have an AC problem a few months ago and had to repair it, so I understand her concern w/ the AC unit. But she wants $2800 knocked off the negotiated price of $250k. We’ve offered to hire a well known HVAC company to fix any issues in the AC, but the buyer wants cash. So she really doesn’t care about radiation in the microwave or the AC, she just wants to renegotiate.

So basically, we- the seller- are screwed. The buyer can walk away (minus the due diligence money) and we’re stuck w/ an empty townhouse that we have to put back on the market. Our property is now tainted, and the buyer knows it.

My wife and our agent says to suck it up, but I’m livid. We’re closing on our new house tomorrow and moving a few days afterwards.

From Zillow:
Just last night a home inspector was here (Duluth, MN) for the buyer. He left doors open, my stuff strewn about, lights on, and he even broke a window when he removed some insulation. Never left his card, of course. But did he go up in the attic where problems might show up? NO. Did he run any water faucets? NO.

From Trulia:
I signed with a realtor for six months, I’m in my third month. realtor does not return phone calls and when he does respond he does so via email or text message. I find this very unprofessional. I am now actively trying to sell my home by myself. if an agent responds to my ads, I have to give my agent a commission even though I’m doing the work.

From Zillow:
We bought our home about 7 years ago as a starter home. We have made improvements. Mostly a lot of cosmetic updates. I think our home is nice, though it only has 2 BRs which is a problem for a lot of people. It’s on a quiet dead end St. I think it’s priced fairly as most other homes in this price range in our area might have 1 more BR (though not all) but need work. Ours is move in ready.We have had 10 showings in the 30 days that it has been on the market and one very close buyer but they decided to pull their offer at the last moment.

At any rate, I’m getting frustrated because I feel like it might never sell. The basement is not the most desirable in that it is not finished and external access only, but it is dry and a decent storage area. There is a separate laundry room in the home so there is no need to really go to the basement. We dropped the price once, to what our agent originally suggested we sale it for. We chose to list it for about $5K more than he suggested originally but lowered the price when showings slowed down.