The longer you live in your home, the easier it is to “get used to” things as they are, even if they way they are is unappealing. Prospective sellers, put yourself into the shoes of the buyer. As they walk into your home, what will they see? Disarray or neat and tidy? Appliances, bathrooms, kitchens that are clean or are visibly dirty?
First impression in Real Estate is EVERYTHING. You’ve got ONE CHANCE to make a positive impression on the potential buyer. A clean, tidy, well maintained home indicates to the buyer that the seller has properly cared for visible items and therefore, items that aren’t so visible such as HVAC systems and other mechanicals are also well taken care of. The converse is also true.
The TRUTH… Do not look to your Agent to be a miracle worker. You determine in large part how quick it takes for your home to sell. We all know the old adage…LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION in the Real Estate world. This indicates that location is the only important factor in selling your home. While important, it’s far from the only consideration.
I say…CONDITION, CONDITION, PRICE. How sellers invested in their homes during the course of ownership makes a huge difference in how fast and how much their home sells for. Investment does not have to be monetary. How well did the owner maintain their property? Did they make the required repairs when needed? Does the home exude pride of ownership?
If you as a seller haven’t made those proper investments during the course of ownership, do NOT expect to get “top dollar”. There is no magic a real estate agent can do. It makes no difference on who the agent representing you is. You will need to price the home accordingly, and it may take longer than average to sell your home. Sellers shouldn’t make the mistake of convincing themselves that these things do not matter. They shouldn’t take the naive approach of comparing their home to a similar home that sold without knowing its condition. Take an honest approach…understand that selling a home is no different than selling any other item. What condition is the used car in: how’s the paint? does it have dents or scratches? preventative maintenance? timely repairs? what repairs are immediately required? Is there another similar car in better condition for the same price?
Your Pre-List Checklist
-Light Fixtures: dated or current?
-Mailbox: pristine or worn and rusted?
-Paint: nail holes and marks or touched-up?
-Light Bulbs: out or lit?
-Landscaping: trimmed, weeds pulled and branches/leaves collected?
-Personal Touches: remove family photos (buyers want to envision their family in the home, not yours)
-Clutter: Tidy up basement, attic, garage
-Clean: carpets, windows, floors, furniture
Author: Daniel Lebak
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