This Cleveland Heights home seller was living out of the country, tried unsuccessfully to sell their home in Cleveland Heights for two years, decided to rent it and then ultimately, had the tenant evicted. Seller desired to sell without taking a huge financial hit due to the deteriorated condition and state of the market.
The Cleveland Heights homeowner tried to sell, unsuccessfully, for two years in 2005-06. They then rented it until the tenant was evicted in May 2008. At the time they found Olsen Ziegler Realty, these sellers from Cleveland Heights were living in New Zealand. They found our website on the Internet and called to ask us to please take a look at their home and to let them know what we thought. We first visited the home on May 29, 2008. While this all-brick, colonial home had lovely qualities such as large rooms, a 3-car attached garage, four finished levels, three fireplaces, and a lovely, large roof deck, it had fallen into serious disrepair due to the tenants disregard for the property. This home had an old, tired kitchen, outdated bathrooms, a wet basement with a distinct, overpowering animal odor, and numerous deferred maintenance issues.
In general, dated, tired, homes in Cleveland Heights in general were not selling unless the pricing was so low it attracted investor interest — which is not an option most sellers can afford to do, let alone desire this outcome should they have the financial flexibility to do so. There are better options…
Olsen Ziegler Solution:
With inventory levels approximately 300% higher than several years ago, most homes on the market were in this type of condition were not (and are still not) selling as the type of homes that were (and still are) selling are either bargain-priced, totally renovated (think Pottery Barn), architectural, or in close proximity to the local retail-shopping areas in Cleveland Heights. Since this home was in absolutely very bad shape and in need of serious updating, we presented the owner with four options to sell:
- No investment. Initial asking price: $175,000. Projected sales price: $150,000.
The pros are the home can be put on the market immediately and no investment.
The cons are an uncertain amount of time on the market and a hard to forecast sales price.
- 5-8K investment. Initial asking price: $200,000. Project sales price: $180,000.
The pros are 2-3 weeks to prepare for market (fairly quick) and a relatively small investment.
The cons are an uncertain amount of time on the market, a hard to forecast sales price and still an upfront investment.
- 15-20K investment. Initial asking price: $225,000. Projected sales price: $200,000.
The pros are a larger potential buyer pool and perhaps an easier sale.
The cons are 4-6 weeks to prepare for market, a larger upfront investment and while an easier sale might occur, the kitchen still could not be renovated, and this is the #1 feature buyers desire.
- 30-40K investment. Initial asking price: $250,000-$260,000. Projected sales price: $240,000-$250,000. The renovation work would be managed by us using our resources and would cost much less than for the seller attempting to mange the contractors, work-flow, issues, on their own — especially with the sellers being in New Zealand.
The pros are an extremely competitive home on the market as the condition would be stellar and there won’t be many, if any comparable homes, condition wise, to compete against. This usually shortens the time on the market as well as increases the sales price and ultimately, the seller’s financial bottom line.
The cons are eight weeks to prepare for market and a significant upfront investment.
We evaluated the work required, utilizing our extensive contracting resources to obtain estimates, and estimated a projected total cost of $30-$40K to renovate, restore the home from top to bottom and then home stage key rooms in this wonderful Cleveland Heights home.
After looking at the dismal prospect of selling at a $75-100K loss or not selling at all, the owners decided to trust us (after calling previous sellers whom we have done similar work for and achieved 100% success) and invest the $30-$40K to renovate this fine home. After owner approval, we immediately got to work with a time line of eight weeks from start to finish, a fixed budget and a fixed time line — we wanted the home on the market before summer ended. In the end, we delivered both on-time and on-budget, as all of our projects are.
Cleveland Heights Home Staging:
Please read our Cleveland Heights Home Staging Companion page to view this part of preparing this home for sale.