Home updates are worth it

$10,000 of updates brings in $25,000 more on offer

Created date

August 3rd, 2009
MI.OH_0809_ERMS success_FRV_lr_pic1
MI.OH_0809_ERMS success_FRV_lr_pic1

Light carpeting and walls helped sell Harriet Fairbrother s house in near-record time and for more money. Even the dark family room paneling was painted a soft cream color. When Harriet Fairbrother decided to move from Farmington Hills to Fox Run, in Novi, she invited Mary Wolfe, personal moving consultant for Erickson Realty & Moving Services, to assess her house for buyer appeal. Wolfe recommended she replace the carpeting, strip the wallpaper, and even paint the paneling in the family room. Fairbrother thought that sounded like more than she wanted to tackle. But when she met with RE/MAX agent Michelle Michaels, one of the real estate professionals Wolfe had recommended, she received the same advice. Michelle said I could put my house on the market the way it was, but she didn t think it would sell, Fairbrother says. These days people aren t about to buy a house where they have to do a lot of work. There s too much choice out there, and if they see even one thing they don t like, they move on. So I decided, let s go all the way with this. And it was money well spent. For less than $10,000, Fairbrother did all the updating, including replacing green carpeting with light beige, transforming dark family room paneling to room-lightening creamcolored walls, and removing every bit of wallpaper in favor of neutral-colored paint. In the living room, the green carpet and light avocado walls blended together with the view through the room s picture window, says Michaels. After the changes, the view of the lush green yard popped out. When Michaels staged Fairbrother s house, she removed some furniture to unclutter the three-bedroom ranch and emphasize its spaciousness. When we finished, she says, the house looked so good that I told Harriet we should ask for $25,000 more than the top figure I d given her in my market analysis. And they did. Michaels posted photos of the house on the Internet, and Fairbrother continued downsizing, assuming she d have plenty of time to do it all. But 13 days later she received a full-price offer. A young family on their way for a second look at another house saw hers, liked its three-season room, and loved the fact that everything was done. With the school year about to begin, they asked to move in just two weeks later. Fairbrother agreed, relying on Moving Forward, a senior move company recommended by Wolfe, to turn a potentially hectic process into a simple one. They pack everything, including all the dishes and silverware, and they unpack everything at your apartment, Fairbrother says. When they leave, your home is all set up your dishes are in the kitchen, your clothes are in the closet, and your beds are made. ey re absolutely terrific! Because she d sold and moved almost immediately, changes Fairbrother had requested to her Harrison apartment weren t quite completed. So, while work continued on built-in bookcases to convert her second bedroom to a comfortable den, Fox Run provided her with an interim campus apartment and asked her to pay only the monthly service package. Fox Run was the best move I ever made, she says.