Question: My home, "For Sale By Owner," has been on the market for several months, and I have been unsuccessful in getting a buyer. Many people come in to see the house, but no action. Can you advise me as to what I can do?
Answer: You should have a "Do Not Disturb Occupants" sign posted on your property listing a telephone number, so that a person interested in seeing your home does so by appointment. That way you have time to prepare to show the house properly, and you are less likely to be involved with those who have no interest in buying your home.
If you have an open house or if you are showing the house to a potential buyer, avoid having too many people in the house at one time. Children and pets should be elsewhere during the showing and you should turn off the radio and television so that the potential buyer can look at the house without being distracted. However, a stereo playing soft background music can be helpful.
The potential buyer should be greeted courteously. After that you should make yourself scarce. If you tag along, your presence will inhibit free discussion between the potential buyers. It is also a good idea not to volunteer any comments until the potential buyer requests them.
Don't try to interest the buyer in purchasing the furnishings. If the person is interested in buying your home, then, at the time of the signing of the sales contract, you can bring up the possibility of buying the furnishings.
Other matters, such as the time of occupancy, terms of sale, etc., should be answered when the person has indicated a sincere interest in buying the property. Otherwise these discussions may break the sale. This is one of the reasons why using a good real estate agent can be of value as they are experienced in these matters.
Q: Recently our offices were broken into and all of our metal cabinets and desks were covered with graffiti and badly marred. As the equipment is relatively new, is there any way we can have the pieces refurbished?
A: You might consider using a firm that specializes in in-place electrostatic refinishing and repainting of furniture. This system can be used to refinish metal office equipment or lockers. The unusual combination is an electrostatic process which gives metal furniture a finish that is as durable as the original. One firm that specializes in this work for schools and factories is Electro Painters Inc., 6675 E. 26th St., City of Commerce, 90040.
Fontaine is president of the Western Regional Master Builders Assn. He will answer questions concerning home improvements. Phone 213/858-2933 or write him at 8727 West 3rd St., Suite 203, Los Angeles 90048.