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Great article except if you live in an area with many underwater properties. Redoing your home for sale may not work in all markets.
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Speaking of underwater, we downsized considerably in August, and had a ton of extra furniture. We decided to sell our tiny rental house at the same time. It was in a distressed neighborhood where homes were selling in the $10-25k range (and, sadly, that's not a typo).

Against our fabulous agent's advice, I took a lot of the furniture and decor we didn't need anymore and staged the house, chalk-painting everything to match with the interior/exterior colors of the house. A pretty rug we no longer needed serendipitously matched all the colors.

I spent about $400 at IKEA for a basic dining room table and chairs, dishes, tableware, and a small rolling butcher block cart I placed in the tiny kitchen as an island. I took some really colorful platters and pitchers to dress up the sideboard, and some tchotchkes I loved but no longer had room for and put them around the house, including some beautiful glass perfume bottles.New IKEA lace curtains were a snip (as in...cut to fit!!!! no sewing!) at under $10 a pair.

We even put in a TV and laptop with security cameras we no longer needed, brought our mower over from the old house and put it in the garage, even cleaned up and put our old porch furniture out, and we left the washer and dryer. The only thing the house was lacking was pans, groceries, and a bed. I told our agent to list it with everything included at one price, and a couple of thousand less without, and told her it was a complete gamble and was on me if we ended up taking a beating.

We had a contract in a month for 72k, in a neighborhood where it could take years to sell, and and homes were often just abandoned to collapse. At the closing, our new buyer, complimenting us the house looked "just like a magazine", actually jumped out of her seat and started hollering "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord" when we told her everything came with the house. Neither agent had mentioned that to her. She had tears running down her cheeks. I think I enjoyed the moment waaaaay more than she did.

All it cost me was time (got lots of that, lol) to paint the house and furniture, a $400 trip to IKEA, and giving myself permission to let go of some beautiful things I had loved but that needed to move on. And we spent a couple of thousand to put in laminate, because the hardwood floor was truly beyond repair. The paint and floor made it look like a brand new house, but the buyer said it looked like it had been filled with love, and that was what sold her, even before she knew the contents came with.

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I know that this article was written 3 years ago but I do have a question on ROI regarding replacement of exterior French doors. Newer doors have better security due to multi lock functions as well as more energy efficient but they are a large investment. We need to replace four sets! Is this something we can recoup costs when we go to sell?
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