Many years ago I saw a real estate advertisement with a picture of some turkeys, some houses and this text: “No turkeys in Riverwoods … Our listings sell fast because they are updated, upgraded, show great, priced right and marketed most effectively.”

That ad always bothered me because I felt that it was insulting to refer to houses as turkeys. It was also a bad rap for turkeys and false advertising (as I knew there were a couple of turkeys in Riverwoods).

Riverwoods was an older townhome development in Burnsville, Minnesota. A number of the homes there were dated, had the original furnishings and fixtures, were not well-maintained, and were difficult to sell. The ones that were updated and upgraded were easy to market and sell.

In 2006, I moved to Bluffton and I was surprised to see some turkeys here. In fact, one real estate agent told me about a turkey that she previewed and showed in a certain Bluffton plantation. 

Recently I noticed a real estate advertisement that read: “Absolute Turkey.” I called the listing agent and she told me that it was mistake … it should have read “Absolute Turnkey.” 

I researched the dictionary definitions of the word “turkey”: 1. A large North American gallinaceous bird that is domesticated in most parts of the world; 2. A failure, flop, as in a theatrical production that has failed; 3. Three successive strikes in bowling; 4. A foolish or inept person.

But there was nothing about houses being called turkeys.

Today’s market has shifted from the seller’s market of 10 months ago. We’re seeing more inventory, longer days on the market and multiple price reductions. However, homes that are updated, upgraded, show well and priced right are selling very well.

In today’s changing real estate market, your home has to be a top contender (definitely not a turkey) to sell fast and for the highest possible price. 

The transformation from “turkey house” into “turnkey home” may require making some changes that include new paint, new flooring, upgraded or new heating/air-conditioning systems, and new water heater and appliances.

We recently listed a home in Sun City that was distressed (better than saying it was a turkey). It got new paint, new floors, new appliances, a deep cleaning – and sold fast.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and happy home selling this holiday season.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry.,