As Realtors, it’s our job to dole out advice to our sellers so they can sell their homes as quickly as possible for the greatest amount of money. This week, we put our own home on the market and I find myself on the receiving end of our own advice.
We suggest that sellers start by taking a hard look at their curb appeal. Does the yard and house create a positive first impression? We tell sellers to take care of all those little repair jobs that homeowners tend to keep in that “I’ll get to it one day” file. A window that won’t stay open or a squeaky front door are pesky things that we tend to overlook when we live in a home, but when you’re trying to sell, they can signal to a buyer that maybe the home hasn’t been properly maintained.
We tell them how important it is to keep the house clean and tidy. A house that doesn’t smell good or feel clean can have buyers mentally reducing how much they would offer right from the start. We already know that keeping a house in “show ready” condition is probably the single most stressful thing for sellers, especially if the home lingers on the market, but we try to explain that the way we keep our homes when we live in them is, for some of us, different from the “product” we are now hoping to sell to a buyer. I tell them that while you and your friends may not be bothered by clutter, a potential buyer may see it differently. In fact, a great deal of clutter can lead a buyer to believe that the issue is a lack of storage, not housekeeping.
And we tell them that being priced ahead of the market is the place to be. It’s a buyer’s market out there and in our area there is plenty to choose from. That means that it’s important to be “shiniest penny on the table”, but it still comes down to price.
So during the months leading up to the time when we knew wanted to get our home on the market, we took our own advice. We have worked in the yard like we were possessed. Planting, digging, clearing, adding 4 tons of fill to level out low spots, even adding a dry creek bed in a seemingly endless effort to maximize our curb appeal. Around the house, we’ve tackled all our repair projects, trying to see our house through the eyes of a buyer and a home inspector.
We’ve spent hours doing spring cleaning, getting to things that aren’t part of our regular cleaning regime. I make no apologies for that part. My husband and I are both Realtors. We work. A lot. That means our time never measures up to our good intentions so we’re doing what I call catch up cleaning. For years I have resisted the luxury expense of hiring someone to do my cleaning for me, but now that our home is on the market, that may change so we can be ready at any moment to show our home. Lastly, we have studied the market to determine the most competitive price. We took great pictures, loaded them in the MLS and hit “save”. It may be a week or so before we can complete the listing with a video, but for now, we’re optimistic that we have done all we can do to attract a buyer.
Today, after spending several hours cleaning, I dried my hands, still smelling of Murphy’s Oil Soap, stood back and admired how good it all looked. I made a mental note that reminded me that we are now in the same boat as our clients. Selling a home is no easy task and the stress can be enormous. As Realtors, we do our best to counsel our clients, to help them see through the stress, always reminding them of the bigger picture which is to get the home sold so they can move on with their other plans.
In the weeks ahead I suspect that we will find ourselves having many of those same conversations with ourselves. We’ll tell ourselves to stay objective and to not take it personally if a potential buyer doesn’t like our choice of paint color or presents a low ball offer. We’ll remind each other that there is a buyer out there for every home and that it’s a numbers game. We will try to remember that every showing that doesn’t result in an offer brings us one step closer to that buyer who will say “Yes. This is just what I’ve been looking for”.
For more information about this golf course home for sale in Burlingame Country Club, visit us onlne or call us at 828-551-6291 or 828-551-6290.
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