State-of-the-art research including field studies and buyer surveys were compiled to formulate a master check list of important things to consider when preparing your home for sale. Please accept the following as no-frills, accurate content that will enable you to critique your house- hopefully resulting in an expedited sale at a premium price.
There are three (3) components required to selling a home:
You as the owner have control over the first two items... I have control over the last. Since in today's market only the BEST condition homes offered at the BEST price are selling, your cooperation is critical to your sale's success...
♦ PRICE: "My price is reported as too high, but I'll just wait to negotiate an offer." True or False? FALSE. This is the most misinformed concept- "Why won't someone just make an offer, even a low offer!" Well, most buyers don't househunt just a subdivision, they purchase in an entire school district. When there are dozens and dozens of other homes to choose from, they ignore homes perceived as overpriced- and buy your competition. So if buyers complain your home is too high in price- you are helping the other sellers in the marketplace sell their homes! As they say 'The Market has spoken.' Re-align your home's ask price to an appropriate figure- and it will sell.
The Nat'l Association of Realtors published a stat that if a clean, well presented home does not get an offer within reasonable time on market it's likely AT LEAST 5% OVERPRICED. Lastly, another fact: The longer your home sits, the lower ultimately the contract price you'll receive.
♦ "My house's condition is not the best, but I'll just offer a buyer allowance." True or False? FALSE. With buyers, perception is everything. And they heavily discount repair items in their favor. For example, if your carpet is soiled and can be cleaned for $400, the buyers will ask for $4,000 in carpet allowance... If your Realtor suggested to have repairs made, please comply! It will net you much more money in the end.
♦ Most homes are sold the moment a buyer pulls up to the front of the home. True or False? TRUE. You could have 24-carat gold bathtubs, but if the front of the home lacks curb appeal, the buyers may never enter... Fact, 84% of all homes are virtually sold the moment a buyer first arrives at the home. So, plant lots of flowers, keep grass cut low and edged, keep leaves off the yard and driveway, spread mulch & pine straw in the island beds, replace tarnished front door knobs, and paint the front entry doorway area.
♦ According to the National Association of Realtor's statistics, a "smoker's" home will sell for up to 18% less than a non-smokers. Reason? Buyers immediately sense it when they walk in the door- and if it does not turn them away to your competition, they may make a low-ball offer to compensate for: new carpeting, new painting, HVAC duct cleaning, and a deep cleaning of cabinetry. Please DO NOT smoke in your home. And ensure that if you do outside, ashtreys and butts are hidden from view.
♦ Natural light sells... True or False? TRUE. Keep all window blinds & shades open. And keep draperies pulled to each side to maximize sun light. If you get notice of a showing, turn ALL lights on including: closets, garages, basements, baths, and even outdoor light fixtures. Why? One of the biggest complaints a buyer makes is that "...The home shows too dark."
♦ "I have a pet, but don't need to make any special changes." True of False? FALSE. Countless studies have proven that evidence of a pet in (especially) key areas of the home such as kitchens, baths, and bedrooms- turn buyers away. Therefore, evidence of a pet (such as food bowls, water, toys) should be placed in non-essential areas such as the laundry room, garage, utility room, etc. Remember, I love my pet as you love yours, but others likely may not! Minimize the "foot print" please of your pet in the home- it will net you more in the end!
♦ "I should treat my house for odors." True or False? TRUE. Odor is an extremely important sense used when selecting a home. If you have pet odors, it is highly recommended to professionally clean the carpet using an added deodorizer. Also, place a dozen or so "plug in" air fresheners throughout all levels of home. And buy scented candles and potpourri. Distribute liberally.
♦ "Deep-cleaning the home is a waste of money." True or False? FALSE. A one time deep-cleaning of the home by a professional maid service is VERY much recommended.
♦ "I have lots of wallpaper on my walls, and it may be a bit dated. But I'll let the buyer update the home." True or False? FALSE. Large painted murals, flowery wallpaper, and bright colors were your personal preference, but it is important to de-personalize the home, and make it more neutral to appeal to the mass market. Doing so will greatly expedite a sale.
♦ “Switching agents periodically is good.” True or False? FALSE. When neighbors, buyers, and agents see new Realtor signs going up on the front lawn, they believe there must be something inherently bad about the property or the situation there. I openly welcome periodic person-to-person consultations to ensure we are on the right track. I will promise you the best, most honest representation to get your house sold at the best price.