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How To Sell A House

by - Monday, October 19, 2009

In today's housing market, it takes a bit of effort to get your house noticed and stand out from the crowd. Gone are the days when an address in a hot neighbourhood, 6 grainy pics on an MLS listing, and an open house were enough to draw the buyers and the multiple bids. Buyers have their choice of product today. So what can you do to catch their eye?

I think Kit over at DIYdiva has an answer. I'm a fan of Kit's... she is a no-holds-barred, tool-wielding, barefoot badass DIYer. Just try telling her she can't do something (like learning how to drive a tractor and install fence posts) and she will prove you wrong and leave you in her sawdust. Over the past two years, I've enjoyed reading about her renovation of her 80-year old house in Toledo, Ohio on her blog. She has done a ton of work - renovated the kitchen, built a pergola, remodeled the bathroom etc. And now that house is up for sale and she has created a website to sell it. But this isn't any old real estate website. She's included a bit about the history of the house, great info about the surrounding neighbourhood, photos and descriptions of the renovation work done, and even a breakdown of how the asking price was calculated.

Its quite a unique approach to selling a house. As a DIYer myself, I would appreciate knowing about the work done on my house by previous owners... was the quality any good? Did they know what they were doing? Or are there 'surprises' hiding behind my walls, things that weren't done right and will cost me a small fortune to fix in future? Kudos to Kit, the care and effort she put into her home shines through on the real estate site and on her blog.

But then there's another thought... by writing about our houses and the tearing down and building up we put them through, do we expose too much to future owners? I mean, isn't home-buying an emotional thing? If I don't know what's behind the walls, then all I see are the pretty paint colours, your staged furniture, the way the place glints in the sunlight. If you tell me your dirty reno stories, you appeal more to my practical head than to my starry-eyed, illogical, heart. Will that entice me to bid over asking? I'm not so sure. What do you think?

I do hope DIYdiva gets wayyyyyyy over asking for her home; its quite a steal, if you ask me. I'll have to keep this approach to selling a house in mind for whenever we decide to sell Casa HandyLuster. Not that that is happening anytime soon - there's still much to tear down and build up around here.

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6 comments

  1. Interesting point, I do think it's good to know what has been done to the house so you appreciate the deal you are getting. I also think her house is a steal, and the time and energy put into the website just for the house is also astounding. I wish her best of luck and can't wait to see all the projects in their new construction!

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  2. What a great way to merchandise her house. I think she will get both the emotional pull from a buyer and an appreciation from them for the practical. What a steal ... sure not the Toronto market!!

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  3. Great idea! My dude is a realtor and he is always trying different ways to market a house (facebook, youtube, ect). I hope she sells fast and gets way over asking!

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  4. This is awesome, I'm with you 100%- way cool she posted history of the house. I also adore that she doesn't take herself seriously, "humongous early-ninetys era computer monitor not included with sale of house). cute.

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  5. Hey Wanderluster, love the post! I think you bring up excellent points as well. I'm certainly trying something different... but I'm not necessarily convinced it's the BEST way. (I guess we'll know if it works, if the house sells!) By talking about how much I've done to fix the place up, does it make it too much mine? Others might not be able to easily envision it as home.

    I definitely wrestled with it (and whether or not to just list it with a realtor and keep my mouth shut) but in the end, adding in a little personality and humor is really the only way I know how to do things after years of blogging!

    Thanks for the well wishes for a sale! And also to Laura, Lisa, Sharon, and Sara for keeping their fingers crossed for me! (Ok, I just exceeded the acceptable number of exclamation points in a comment and need to go now.)

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  6. How To Sell A House

    Thanks for sharing!

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