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The Real Estate Buyer With Blood Shot Pair Of Eyeballs, Slurping A Second Black Coffee Scans Your Ad..Sees Term "Fixer Upper Home".


Fixer upper.

The technical term real estate brokers use liberally these days to describe the condition, a old maine houses, abandoned distressed propertiesdisease a piece of property has. The terminology"fixer upper" derived from a Latin word "Fixeradus" meaning nothing has been done, zip since the carpenters packed up their tools and left the driveway twenty or more years ago. Combined with the Greek word "Upper" meaning this property has fallen so from its original grace and has no where to go but up.

When you see the term "fixer upper" what does the projector in your head show on the back wall of the brain? Scenes of long shag orange carpet needing replacement? And avocado green, 1000 watt sunshine yellow colors needing covering? No..that is surface "paper and paint" and yank the carpet to expose the beautiful hard wood floors underneath sweat equity stuff. Plain and simple just colors not in tune with the times. That glare, play sour notes, don't radiate in harmony or household balance.

     We're talking something much more serious when we reach for the two words "fixer upper" as a real estate broker. It can mean a roof that leaks. A lot.

Where "habits have become vices" as the old Doobie Brother's album warns. Deferred maintenance...lack of love, more wear and tear than a house this age should have on it or in it.

The majority of the folks parked inside the four walls not going off to punch the time clock. Not owned, lived in by the type that just go to work, eat meals and sleep here. No no. The occupants inside all the time with plenty of company, guests using, abusing the place full tilt, wide open. Like a horse ridden hard and put away wet. Drinking from sun up to when the stars come out. Always home, not working and vacation people, not vocation types. Smoking left handed cigarettes. Traffic in and out every ten minutes for quick "social calls". All their friends coming over to do laundry, over work the septic and to get a new tatto slumped in a chair in the dining room.

     Can you see daylight in the cellar walls in many places? Big enough to throw a large cat through caused from lack of heat, heaving walls courtesy of Jack Frost in a northern climate? Or is the furnace a carbon jewelers loupe, monocle eyepiecemonoxide factory, a toxic air freshener that has been that way for more than a few months? Like the USDA that has strict standards before you stamp produce "Grade A" or US #1 grading, do real estate brokers loosely apply the term "fixer upper" when maybe it is way way more serious than that? When it is like giving a person with a large gunshot wound two aspirin, a band aid and reminding them to call in the morning..if they wake up? Maybe the terms "NABO" or "GAM" designations apply. "Needs A Bulldozer Operator" or "Got A Match?" describe what ails the terminal property that needs a white sheet pulled over it better.

     What do you think of when you see the two words to describe marketed real estate if labeled "fixer upper"? Do you envision a place with ten foot pole marks all over it? A horse with a broken leg that needs to be put out of its misery? Expectations are what cause misunderstandings and it starts with how you describe the property you list, market, sell and then you and your seller get sued over. Hauled in to court. Like a jeweler with a monocle that removes the single loupe eyepiece after careful examination, leans back and declares for all to hear..."Yes, this one qualifies as a high grade "fixer upper" with low clarity, so so color, and a jagged chainsaw cut." Call it what it is...and specify what type of fixer upper or derive new terms to fine tune the image in the head of the buyer who hopes for more. The ones that feel sorry for the basket case Charlie Brown Christmas tree property that should be torn down, not lived in or patched together. When is the pulse gone, the property dead and no longer a Mr Fix It, a handyman special?

Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573

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Comment balloon 4 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • February 15 2010 06:43AM


Good morning Andy, I have often wanted to reword things, like...

Nothing to do but knock the house down and start all over again....

Have a great day!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 10 years ago

Calling a real estate spade a spade without the spin. Even when you cut and dry describe the laundry list of what is needing attention, some buyers want to make it better than it is and want it to be near perfect for that low low price slapped on it to move it out scout.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 10 years ago

Hi, Andy. YOIKES! Some things are just too far gone. I don't think people are as enamored with "fixer uppers" as they used to be. It's almost easier to buy a piece of land and put a cute, clean modular on it!

Posted by Leslie Helm, Real Estate For Trail Riders (Tennessee Recreational Properties) over 10 years ago

I have seen basket case cars like a 1959 Cadillac with the fins that are sexy, something is a labor or love to fix, restore and the rougher, the more the challenge. But there are other homes to consider or building from stratch is cheaper if the place has no pulse and is stone cold. Often the well, septic, location and land is worth the not too pretty structure barely standing.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 10 years ago

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