1st Flip...Bedroom Issues...

12 Replies

Hey, everyone...this is related to the post I just created, "1st Flip Finally Finished!"

So, I was excited to get 2 showings in one day, right? But upon getting feedback from the buyer's agents, basically they really liked the house, except that...(*drum roll*)...they felt the bedrooms were too small.  

Crap. 

Due to the house's age (built in 1910 but in pretty good condition w/ "good bones"), I was kind of afraid this might be an issue.  Initially, I had opted to only stage the first floor (and upstairs bath), leaving the bedrooms empty thinking that might make them appear larger. 

However, do you think some light bedroom staging might actually work better at camouflaging the rooms' tightness?  

Also, has anyone else experienced this issue when selling their flips? What did you do to overcome buyers' hesitations & get it sold? 

I've sold a couple houses with small bedrooms one in particular was a 3/1 and all the bedrooms were really small. David is right you just need to find a buyer that doesn't care they are small might take a little longer but if your priced right you'll sell. Be patient good luck.
If you really want to "fix" the problem at low costs, you could put a mirror ( big one) in each room. It often gives an impression of larger rooms. But as you only had few feedbacks, i would wait to see you hear other same critics

Your house looks great and you have done a top job

The bedrooms are small so anyone that wants a really large bedroom will rule it out.

If you stage the bedrooms with smaller furniture, and mirrors it will look larger and give people an idea of how they can furnish it.  We don't know if the cost will be worth it.

I remember when I was selling my first residence.  It was a split with a normal size bedroom.  It was in Yonkers NY and people that were looking at it were mainly from The Bronx and many would say "your Bedroom is too small and we can't fit our triple dresser in here".  They were coming from these huge apartments in the Bronx and the Grand Concourse.  I would say but you can't live in the Bronx anymore because of the crime so throw the dresser out.

Great job but it would help if you itimize the costs and include the Holding costs, and the financing costs.

I would also know your view on buying a house this old.  We have always been afraid to buy older houses and that limits us.

The staging company we use typically only stages the master bedroom and leaves any other bedrooms empty. If it is very small I would only do light staging and no bed. I don't know your market but I feel a 2 bedroom is typically a little harder sale and you may just have to wait a bit for the right buyer. The house looks good, and I wish you the best of luck!

I intentionally stage smaller bedrooms so people can see that furniture will actually fit and still look good. It's the ambiguity of not knowing or being able to visualize that makes potential buyers turn away in most cases. Don't use heavy looking furniture, but light and airy pieces-  like an open airy headboard with no footboard (as opposed to solid wood with a footboard), mirrored side tables, a lucite chair, etc.  Despite what most people think, painting a room in dark colors (dark grays are so hot now) actually makes a room look larger and more homey when paired with the right staging.  We do high end flipping but the things I'm talking about can be done on a small budget. 

.... Just my humble 2 cents!

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I completely agree with @Julia Blythe .  Since it is a small room to begin with, you have to show the potential buyer a solution.  If you continue to get that response, I would stage it and present the option of how the room can be configured. 

Thanks for your input, everyone!  I think I'll see what feedback the next few showings offer, but keep staging in mind as a possibility.  I would definitely do so to scale (i.e. furniture on a smaller scale/amount).  

@Barbara G. , interesting point you bring up...both agents mentioned their buyers were coming from NY, so I'm wondering if a similar thing was going on in my case. 

Re buying old houses, most of the properties in this area (New England) are from the early-to-mid 20th century--so the inventory would be pretty non-existent if I cut those out, lol. But for my next flip, bedroom size as related to resale will definitely be something I keep in mind...live & learn! ;-)

Good point, @Julia Blythe !  Definitely something to consider within the next few days.  I do have some ideas on how to stage the rooms quickly & cheaply. :-)

I agree with J. Scott. When I bought my house I thought my Master bedroom was kind of small. Once my Queen size bed and nightstands were put in, I thought it was actually pretty nice size. I vote to definitely placing furniture in the rooms. 

One of the things I have tried in the past is to cantilever the outer walls between 2 to 3 feet to make the bedroom bigger. If you can do it without reworking the foundation its not all that expensive at the time of rehab. I am not suggesting you to this now. Just have patience especially on your first deals you just might not encounter sales success right away. I can guess you are feeling quite hopeful at this point and also worried about getting your investment out of the property. Do not take it too hard. You have done a great job that is all you can do. Yes you might stage it leaving the room as open as you can to give buyers ideas of how the rooms will work out under normal use. 

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