When preparing the house for sale, homeowners have a clear choice: A) Keep a low budget and do it yourself (DIY) or B) Go Pro and make some money. The difference is actually like day and night. On the DIY project with a low budget, the house most likely will take time to sell and the offering price will reflect the quality of the materials used and the level of workmanship.
Getting professional help is the way to go, it will impress would be home buyers, it will show well, it will sell faster and will bring in more money because it will give the impression that the house has been well taken care of, home buyers usually pay more for quality.
Home buyers look at a lot of homes for sale before making an offer, and usually can spot those that have been poorly dressed for sale. There is the presumption that there might be even more problems resulting from neglect and hence will not even consider making a decent offer, the fear of discovering something more serious that require expensive repairs is well founded.
Preparing the house for sale is a very important step, not only does the house has to show well, if you can prove that it has been well taken care of, and is in move-in condition, you will have an easier sale. The following steps ought to help you:
- Pack before you put the house on the market, keep just essentials pieces needed for a comfortable living, put the rest on storage. Less is more when showing the house
- Have a home and pest control inspections done well in advance, make sure you call a local, reputable company that can stand scrutiny.
- Address any and all issues from the reports, have the work done professionally and with the necessary permits. Not only would you be protected from liabilities by their warranties, home buyers and appraisers will give more value to the house because of its condition.
- Nothing is more inviting than a fresh coat of paint and some new flooring, special attention should be given to the front of the house, the famous "curb appeal" is very important. Fresh flowers ad color and life to a dull yard.
- When it comes to paint, do not just go "hospital like" white paint, ad some warm, earth tone colors, and here is a trick, empty a small bottle of vanilla into the can of paint, it will give the house a nice "home like" kind of smell. This is a must if you have pets, or if there are smokers in the house.
- Get some high wattage light bulbs and flood every room with light, and do not forget to have all windows cleaned. Speciall attention should be given to bathrooms and the kitchen. They should be well lit and spotless!
Remember and double check this: the IRS sometimes considers any work done to the house up to 6 months prior to listing it as an expense of sale. Capital gain taxes could be reduced by the cost of fixing the house. There is another benefit to this approach of using professinal help: use all those invoices, warranties and bids as part of your real estate disclosures, make sure the buyers sign and acknowledge receipt of those documents.
Sometimes I take my seller clients out of their house and walk them across the street, I ask them to turn around and look at their house with home buyers eyes... If they like what they see, we are fine, if they don't then we have some work to do. Happy selling!
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
"The Realtors In Motion"
CRS, GRI, E-Pro Certified. SFR (Short Sales, Forclosure Resource) Serving the east shores of the San Francisco Bay, Alameda county: specially the following cities: Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton & Dublin.
Visit us on line at:
www.listedbyantonio.com or call (510) 326-4263
Call us, We'll come and TANGO with you!