Friday, May 23, 2008

Having Trouble With Selling Your Home?

Guest Contribution from Patricia Kennedy, Author
The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate
Evers & Company - Washington, DC
Phone: 202.464.8400 /

A few years ago, I was approached to be the third agent for a stately colonial on upper 16th Street. The first two agents had the distinction of being the guys who ranked number 1 and 2 in dollar volume in DC. I'm nowhere close.

I reviewed the prior listing information. The price didn't look bad. Neither agent had made the place particularly easy to show - I hadn't been inside during either listing period. Then, when I got inside, I quickly figured it out.

The owners had been in the Foreign Service for decades and had lived and worked all over the planet. There was some amazing art work on every surface in the house - floors, tables and walls. In the living room, on the first wall you saw upon entering the house, they displayed a huge collection of ceremonial masks. They were beautiful, but awfully distracting, and some of them (the ones made to ward off burglars) were probably a little menacing to buyers crossing the threshold.

Then there were paintings and sculpture that was just distracting. Also, I imagined that the owners were reluctant to allow a lock box on the door of their little domestic museum.

So, my advice was to pack up almost all of the artwork and put it into storage. They did. They painted the living room and refinished the floors on the lower level.

I listed the house without any price reduction. Within a week, we had a ratified contract.

Now, sometimes it really is a price that's too high, but once in a while it's the ceremonial masks!

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