Location, pricing and refreshing the kitchen
We've had our 1800 sqft house on the market since early September. The house sits on a flag lot behind a home on the main (not too busy) road, and we share a driveway with a small house behind us - we own the driveway and give them right-of-way. Our quiet and private (and safe) house has a yard on four sides, looks great when you come down the driveway, and has a wonderful floor plan. We're in a stable neighborhood with great schools and are located just a short walk away from one of our city's "hot" neighborhoods. We've had approximately 20 showings since we listed, 3 open houses with good turnouts, but absolutely no interest in actually purchasing the house - no offers, and no second showings either. Feedback has been that viewers like the house, but don't like the location, the size of the yard, the driveway, etc. which we understand. Other comparable houses in the area have moved quickly, some in less than 30 days and now our current comps are what I call the "loser" houses, homes that need serious/major work done on them, or are located on a busy corner, etc.
We believe we are overpriced, but our agent (and others that have come through) think the price is right where it should be. Our agent actually thought our house would be snapped up (it's got that great floorplan) at the original price, and that we would likely get offers above the asking price. We lowered the price two weeks ago by $10K, but interest has actually been less than it was at the opening price. We plan on taking the house off the market in early November, and then relisting next February.
In the 8 years we have owned the home, we have updated everything except the kitchen and upstairs bathrooms. They are clean and functional, but still have the original low-end laminate counters, cheap cabinets, cheap vinyl flooring and the kitchen sink is chipped (appliances are higher-end stainless steel though) . We are debating now whether to "refresh" the kitchen while the house is off the market with new high-end laminate counters, new sink and faucet, and marmoleum flooring. We have a very large counter and kitchen bar area, and cost-wise granite is just out of the question as is extending the hardwood from the rest of the downstairs. The kitchen is the focal point of the downstairs, and frankly it currently just looks somewhat dated and cheap. By refreshing the counters and flooring we feel it would have a bit more pizazz and maybe have a buyer possibly thinking "I could live with this for awhile and upgrade" later. The total cost for what we want to do would be around $3,000.We would still lower the price next year, but hopefully not by as much as we might have to if we leave things as they are.
Or, we can just leave the kitchen as it is and just go with a lower price next year. We need to have the house sold no later than mid-May (we have to relocate). We are already priced way below other houses in the neighborhood with granite counters, etc. but with our location it just might not be low enough.
So, should we just lower the price again or does refreshing the kitchen make sense?