Tips to Ensure Your Home Makeover Doesn’t Become a Resale Nightmare

Jul 22, 2014 5:57pm

Welcome to the million-dollar mansion that might just be one of America’s most unsellable homes.

In the Marengo, Illinois, mansion, there’s an eagle painted on the ceiling. There’s a dragon painted on the bedroom wall, and in the living room, a life-sized ostrich statue.

Real estate agent Elka Roberts said she’d been trying to sell the property outside of Chicago for more than two years — and is still looking for that elusive buyer.

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(ABC News)


Unlike the houses in the neighborhood, the mansion has a custom drawbridge, its own tower and a massive pool. But without any takers, the asking price has dropped by more than $200,000 to $ $1,099,000, Roberts said.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 2.3 million existing homes are currently on the market, the highest number in almost two years.

So, if you’re looking to sell your home, Barbara Corcoran, a New York real estate guru who appears on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” says to keep some cardinal rules of renovation in mind.

“You’ve got to keep things simple when you sell your house,” she said. “White is better than orange. Simple furniture is better than anything fancy. Less art is better than more art. Painted eagles in flight on the ceiling? Think of those eagles as taking your money away.”

See below for more tips:

  1. Avoid custom paint jobs and ornate lighting.
  2. Don’t install carpet. Real estate agents say buyers prefer unfinished floors.
  3. Spend on curb appeal. Studies have shown that most buyers won’t get out of their car if they pull up to a house with an ugly yard.
  4. Mancaves don’t pay.
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