I was asked recently to look into why a house in my neighborhood was still unsold. It's in an upscale Cary neighborhood where houses are selling in an average of 40 days. This one has been on the market for more than three months. The price is good, and it looks nice on the outside and is in a good location. Next I checked the inside pictures. It's clean and nicely furnished.

The problem I see is that the fittings don't match the price and location. The notes said new carpet, and that actually made me sad for the sellers. They had the opportunity to fix the biggest glaring problem and passed it by. The pictures show hardwood floors in the dining room only. It shows carpet downstairs and worst of all - VINYL  IN THE KITCHEN. I also see laminate countertops and some of the fixtures are still the old brass.  I expect to see these finishes in a mobile home. (Want more tips on how to avoid common seller mistakes? Click Here)

Vinyl is the worst. One of my good friends, a long-time appraiser, looks at vinyl like I would at newspaper lining the floor of a birdcage. She gets paid for her opinion of what types of finishes should be used in homes of various prices and areas. She does appraisals for FHA, HUD, mortgage companies and individual investors who want to know the "After Repaired Value" of house they have purchased.  She sees vinyl floor as something people should not do. 

You get more money faster if the Buyers love it. Consider that people buy homes for one of two reasons. Either they fall in love with it and want to live there, or it is a low enough price that they are willing to do renovations on it to make it fit.  If you want to know what people love, buy the glossy magazines and look. Go into the very expensive neighborhoods and see the model homes. This will show what people love specific to your area. The upscale home in our area needs upscale finishes like granite, stainless steel appliances, wood floors, nice tile work, etc. You won't find a model home that has brass fixtures or white vinyl cabinets left over from the Eighties and Nineties.

The hands-down most preferred flooring in our area is hardwood. Yes, I know not everyone wants hardwoods- just practically everyone. (There are floor preferences based on the geographic origination of the buyer that could be the subject of another whole blog.) You also don't want to see several different floorings in an area. The style now is continuous floors. The Eighties are over.

So where do we see vinyl floors most? Mobile homes. If you have the same finishes in your home in a country club community in Cary as a mobile home, you will have a problem.  Even mobile homes sell really well when they are renovated to look like a nice stick-built home. I know a woman from my investment club, the Triangle Real Estate Investors Association, who buys, renovates and resells mobile homes exclusively.  She does a profitable business. Her rehabs are in high demand, because she puts very nice fittings in them. She removes the finishes that look cheap and uses tiles and stone surfaces and the sort of lighting you'd find in a really nice home. I've seen pictures of her renovated mobile homes that look nicer than this Cary country club home.

I don't know all the facts of this sale. I don't know if the sellers are cooperative about showings or restrict when buyers can visit. Maybe they keep it dirty and cluttered on a daily basis - not like the one day that the pictures were shot.  These two things also can hamper a house from selling. The one thing I can see with my own eyes is that when buyers come into this house, they are met with very down market finishes that they aren't likely to want to live with in an area of up market choices.  Most buyers in our market don't have the time, inclination or experience to renovate a home. They want to walk into something pretty and just live there. (Want to find out your home's value?  Follow this link)