Tuesday, April 8, 2008

If I were a bank

I took a buyer to see some homes this morning in Litchfield Park. We looked at 10 homes: 4 Short Sales and 6 Bank Owned properties. It was interesting to see the huge differences between them.

All 4 of the Short Sale homes looked very nice. They needed some TLC, sure, but nothing extreme. A little cleaning here, a splash of paint there, and maybe a battle against the weeds outside! One of the homes was actually beautiful and looked to have been professionally decorated.

All of the Bank Owned homes did not look so nice. In fact, these were some of the ugliest, dirtiest, most beat up, smelliest homes I've been inside in quite some time. Most of them were missing appliances. One of them was missing toilets. My client commented in one bedroom, "It looks like somebody was murdered in here, but they had motor oil for blood..." In another home we were afraid to open the closet doors.

Here I was, out shopping with a BUYER – someone who is already APPROVED for her loan and ready to close escrow within 2 weeks. And yet these homes were such an eyesore (and nose-sore) that she couldn't wait to get away as fast as she could.

If I were a bank...

I would spend a couple/few thousand dollars to make these properties un-repulsive. They're already deeply discounted, so I'm not expecting to see Martha Stewart's custom designs. But the goal should be to keep an interested buyer interested! Have debris moved off the property; have the carpets (and the rest of the house) CLEANED; do some touch-ups & small repairs; re-paint the interior... Heck, I'd rather see a decent home $45,000 below market than a dung-heap $50,000 below market!

And if I were a listing agent of a bank owned property... I'd at least spring a few bucks for some air freshener.

Your still feeling dirty Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] short sale, bank owned, foreclosure [/tags]