Selling Your Home? Get It Ready!
What are you aiming for getting a home ready for sale? The aim is to have your home appear attractive from first sight onward without distractions. Many, if not most of us, don’t live in our home the way it may sell best.
I’ve heard it said that if you set something down on a table or shelf and walk past it three times, you will no longer see it. What we don’t realize, as we live day to day, is how distracting some things can be to others, particularly when another person is trying to imagine themselves and their possessions in your property. A person seeing your home for the first time may miss noticing many of the benefits you enjoy, if they are distracted by too many of your things, (no matter have valuable or beautiful) or by simple clutter.
Distractions can be in the form of needed maintenance, wilted garden, un-pruned landscaping, messiness, garish or dated colors and patterns, over personalized decor, or just plain dirt and clutter. Conversely, unless it is freshly painted and has immaculate or new carpeting, an empty house can be almost as difficult to sell. In this case it’s when you remove your possessions, every nail hole, stain, wear or any other flaw now becomes the focus of attention. Unfortunately, the majority of the home buyers either don't have the ability to visualize what may be possible, or simply don’t want to . . and if they can or do they expect to get a discount for their extra effort or vision. While the Seller’s offer of a credit for an item to be repaired is better than not, if it’s a glaring flaw, it’s better to replace even with the potential inconvenience.
WHAT ARE THE HIDDEN COSTS?
Over the years I have seen one of the biggest problems occur regarding pre-marketing inspections. When a Seller’s ready to sell, just because they’re a property owner doesn’t mean they’re qualified in contracting, structural pest control and other areas that a prudent buyer will require prior to closing escrow on a property. Also if you bought long enough ago that property was sold to you with a "buyer beware’ caveat - times have changed drastically. Two critical things happen if you do not know what a structural pest control inspection or a home inspection will show on your property: 1) You either don’t know what you’re selling so it is next to impossible to realistically estimate the equity you really have available to go on to your next venture or, 2) You end up undoing something you had painted or repaired already in order to correct the discovered items. (Also note: the misnomer of using the term ‘termite’ report is that we are talking about structural pest damage, of which there are many kinds including fungus, wet rot, dry rot , beetles or other damage).
WHERE DO I START?
Call in a professional real estate agent who can give you good and economical suggestions to get the most return on any money you spend getting your home ready to sell.. Now is not the time to add a bedroom, or replace things that won’t bring you a return of at least 2 1/2 times the investment. Alone, or with your agent, use a critical eye. Start outside across the street and walk towards and then into your home. On the way make note any distracting, run down or offensive things that draw your eye. That’s were you start. Look for attractive with neutral colors, sparkling clean windows, inviting tidy landscaping and warm appeal of colorful flower boxes. I’ve seen more homes sold from adding flower boxes or white picket fences than I ever could have imagined.
Check List for STAGING & MARKETING YOUR HOME
There are usually 3 PRICES FOR A PROPERTY:
- LOWEST PRICE = AS IS; NEEDING WORK
- MID RANGE PRICE = AS LIVED IN; TIDY & CLEAN
- HIGHEST PRICE = STAGED TO SELL
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT MOST, provided they are backed up by a structurally sound, mechanically operative home.
KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SELLING; Surprises, once you have ratified, contract are rarely fun. Inspections beforehand save time, money and many headaches later. There’s no point in doing any of the following repairs or upgrades if you then have to later tear them out.
MONEY SPENT ON A HOME FOR MARKETING WILL CREATE A RETURN of 2.5 times the money spent to do it, OR IT SHOULDN’T BE SPENT ... i.e. If you spend $1500. On carpet you should be able to obtain $3,750.00, or more, in return. Highest returns come from:
- Hauling clutter & trash
- Cleaning and/or painting
- Maintenance or planting of colorful flowers /landscaping
- Polished front entry door, garage door or other first impression features
- Neutralizing or updating carpet, tile or other floor covering
- Updating bath and or kitchen
Tips to Remember
WE DON'T USUALLY LIVE THE WAY WE BEST SELL FOR MAXIMUM RETURN
PRIORITIES FOR GETTING TOP DOLLAR BY THE PROPERTY’S APPEARANCE:
- Clean, Light & Fresh!
- Clutter Free!
- FLOWERS ARE NOT JUST FLUFF, They help sell!
...use boxes, borders, vases, potted colorful flower
- Carpet Cleaned or Replaced and Windows Washed!
- PETS ODORS and CIGARETTE SMOKE
...DON'T MIX with smart home marketing
DARK or DATED PROPERTIES, FUNCTIONALLY OBSOLESCENT PROPERTIES, UNUSUAL and/or UNIQUE PROPERTIES BRING FEWER PURCHASERS . . .have less market demand and take more time to sell