Relocate to Wisconsin : The end of the MLS description read: "Decorating Allowance $X"

The end of the MLS description read: "Decorating Allowance $X"

  I felt as though I had slipped quietly back a decade I read the description of a property that said $X would be credited at closing for decorating...'Really ?  Oh Yicks !  Do buyers and agents really KNOW what whatever changes they want to make cost ?   Not usually....sometimes they PAINTERdon't realize what they could be...they just know it isn't"their house"...and that can be for lots of reasons from a choice of colors to over cluttered rooms that appear too small. 

    Dark walls that cave in a room...wallpaper that has seen its better days....clients have no idea.....what the cost of change might paint a room....remove wallpaper...change flooring.   The $X allowance will buy WHAT?   Few people really know.

      Paint is the least expensive improvement from dark walls to letting the light IN with lighter neutral colors.  What if the carpet is covering hardwood floors ? We have on a number of occasions suggested removing the carpeting. The padding has served as a "buffer cloth" and while there may be some areashardwoodthat require a little "elbow grease" with removal of padding patches ....the results can often be a fresh new look pleasing to Buyers rather than old worn carpeting. 

   Reality is that adding an "allowance" doesn't change the price as people browse thru listings...and they may well never get to the line that has the mystical "allowance" figure that they do not have an idea what it will buy. as much as you can to put your best house may well not be the expense you imagine....AND it could be the difference between a quick offer and lingering on the market with a lower sale price.

  KW sold sign      Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates with Keller Williams will help you with suggeestions to "put your best house forward" and get the highest return for your real estate investment in southeastern Wisconsin, East to reach @ Sallly@HansonRealEstate.Net or office: 414 525 0563 which will ring thru to our cell phones if we are not in the office.  This has been a professional post brought to you to bring the best possible price in the shortest amount of time for your real estate investment.


Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Comment balloon 17 commentsSally K. & David L. Hanson • March 05 2018 02:41PM


Good morning, Sally K. & David L. Hanson the listing agent of that home did the homeowner a great injustice.....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 3 months ago

Morning Sally.

I see that from time to time around my area.  I agree, how do they know what the cost will be, how do they know what really needs to be done, finally will they be willing to adjust that price if need be?

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) 3 months ago

Good morning Sally. Experience dictates that the buyer is forming their own opinion of cost and deducting it from the asking price automatically. Then, they will take the discount as an insurance policy. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) 3 months ago

Its usually called allowance for upgrades which could mean painting in the least, may be carpets!!!

Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) 3 months ago

We have sellers that often ofer to give an "update" allowance.  The hard part is usually the buyer is going to offer the same with or without the "update allowance" and then we have to deal with it with the lender and settlement statements.  Often they will not allow an update allowance. 

Posted by 1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) 3 months ago

Rarely do allowances happen in RI anymore...buyers want move in ready home or the price it deserves, Sally!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) 3 months ago

Easier does not make it better. Paint is one of those items that can definitely brighten up a dreary room.

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) 3 months ago

Good morning Sally and David.  More often than not a seller advertising an allowance for any reason is not going to be happy with the offers they receive.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 3 months ago

Hi Sally K. & David L. Hanson - my house sat for 6 months on market because there was wallpaper everywhere. Fortunately it was quality so it came off fairly easy but I couldn't find anyone willing to take on the job. My husband had to do it. I don't think he wants to see wall paper EVER again!  

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 3 months ago

Sally, that is true, we have not seen those words either, price it right for the condition, or remodel.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 3 months ago

Good morning Sally and David - some people don’t want to listen to agents and Stagers 

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 3 months ago

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) 3 months ago

Good morning Sally and David. Right on point with this. Credits are funny and must be used cautiously.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 3 months ago

 Carpeting and paint allowances did used to be a big thing back in the day. I’d almost forgotten Sally K. & David L. Hanson 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) 3 months ago

Sally and David I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Seller cannot give the Buyer funds at the closing.  These days the only thing the Seller can contribute to is Closing Costs, and funds to be put into an escrow account for exterior repairs during the Winter months.

I know that builders many times give allowances on new construction homes, so that may work differently on construction loans, but on FHA, VA, USDA, or Conventional loans that is the guideline these days.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) 3 months ago

For a listing agent to have the hubris to do that, thinking it facilitates the sale, is opening a can of worms.  Simply put.

I can see the buyer now, asking the home inspector about all the "cosmetic" problems with the house, and wanting them on the report.  He probably won't know why they want that, but will do as the client asks...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 3 months ago

Sally and David- it's the new Millennia for goodness sakes!  Even if buyers can see beyond what's there, they may not want to have to deal with a Home Project after moving in!  Well said. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 3 months ago