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A too common tale: Sold at a loss

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis October 3, 2012 06:16 AM

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Yes, sales are up across Greater Boston, but it's a tale of two markets out there.

Sellers with the most desirable homes are fielding multiple offers, but many others, especially if their homes have a blemish or two, are taking a bath.

Roughly a third of all homes in the Boston area are still selling for a loss, according to a Zillow report over the summer.

Just take Lauren in South Weymouth, who I first blogged about earlier this year.

Lauren bought her three-bedroom Cape back in 2008 for $300,000 and put it on the market back in February for $309,000.

Instead, she recently wound up selling her 1,394-square-foot, 1950s cape for $280,000. And that's after pumping $25,000 into various upgrades since she bought it four years ago, from renovating the bathroom to new windows and a new heating system.

In a final concession to picky buyers, Lauren ditched the nasty, mustard colored carpet that had been a major turnoff while repainting the stairwell to give it a lighter look.

Here's a link to the listing.

It was clearly painful to sell at that price, but Lauren is happy now to be free - and in the rental market.

Here's Lauren's update:

My house is finally under agreement and yes I did replace the carpet and painted the walls in the stairwell to make it "lighter".

The downside is we received several offers ranging from $255K-$280K, we took the 280 offer after rejecting another 280 offer and those buyers walked away, our counter offer in that situation was $285 but the buyers wouldn't pay that. So the next offer we got for $280 we accepted... and yes we still had to bring money to the table after Realtor fees ate away all surplus, seems unfair but we had to do that to get out of the house.

Now the next challenge for me will be the fact that I am not going to be a renter...with a dog, this should be fun finding a reasonably priced apartment.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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