So you wanna sell your house? Great. You don’t want to do anything to prepare it for showings? Not so great. One of the biggest myths right now is that this market will allow for any home to be sold for any price in any condition. Just list it and sell it over the weekend. Right? Not so fast.
The truth is every market has it’s limits and I see people try to test those limits every day. One of my challenges when walking into a listing appointment can be conveying that while buyers right now will settle for certain things such as dated bathrooms, older windows & roof, etc, there are others they simply won’t tolerate… or at the very least… will be more reluctant about. Below I describe some AFFORDABLE ways a home seller can make their home more attractive to the marketplace and capture a net gain. (Make more money)
Paint – This is perhaps the most cost effective way to spruce up your home. The cost of painting the interior (even touching up) can go a long way as buyers assign the quality of your home with the level of attention to detail. Don’t forget, the buyers usually spend anywhere from 15-30 minutes at showings and that is a lot of time to get an impression. A good paint job says to the buyer the home is well maintained and the seller takes pride in their home.
Decluttering – You hear this one all the time. It’s important. Buyers don’t wanna see your stuff. My suggestions to home sellers is the more floor you can make visible, the better. This means at the very least getting things onto shelves, but I usually say, “if it’s not going with you to the new home, you can get rid of it now or when we’re under contract for a lower price.” Bonus tip: this goes for your neighbor as well. If they have stuff visible that you think potential buyers won’t like, offer to get rid of it for them or ask to clear it themselves. It might be just the reason they need to get it done finally.
Professional Cleaning – Much like painting, these details matter. While some homeowners pride themselves in their cleaning abilities, I prefer to have the people who do this all day, every day take care of this aspect. Cleaners are not expensive and often times get stuff clean you never thought needed it. Don’t forget about the windows and do it right before you list!
Landscaping & Mulching – Curb appeal is important not only for showings but for your online photos. Don’t forget a photograph rarely sells a home… it is simply a way to compel buyers to make an appointment to see the home. Make sure you primp not only the interior but the exterior as well.
Handyman – Use your agent to point out the things that they would notice when showing a home and fix it. Most times, these are simple (and cheap) fixes which can avoid sending buyers running for the hills during the showings. All these little defects can really add up and place an impression in the mind of the buyer about the quality of your home.
It goes without saying that every homeowner’s financial situation is different, however it has been my experience that the above tips and tricks really to go a long way in getting top dollar for their home. For now, the idea of considering a bathroom or kitchen rehab prior to listing your home is a thing of the past (but will be a thing again). With the high amount of buyer demand, simple steps can usually get the job done!
As a final note and to repeat myself from previous articles: It can’t be overstated how important consulting your real estate agent can be prior to prepping your home for market. I have seen lots of people unnecessarily spend money on things that are either not needed or even detrimental to the sale of their home. Never forget we are out in the marketplace and we are with buyers when they see homes. We know what they like, what they comment on and what makes them pass on homes. Ask for help, that’s what we’re here for.