Sellers who want to really sell their homes can learn much from this bit of advice. I highly recommend it!
Even in a severe buyer's market, it's possible to get multiple offers on a property within the first week of placing a home on the market. The key is to have the property in move-in condition. According to a CAR report, here in our state of Connecticut, home sales are down over 20% through September, and prices are down almost 15% compared with 2008. However, houses that are in move-in condition have not dropped in value within that same period, and can also experience not only multiple offers, but offers over asking.
Perception vs. reality: Buyers perceive this as their market, and many are willing to wait until the right house comes along, which is usually one that does not need a lot of work. With interest rates being low, it makes sense for buyers to pay a little more up front and wrap the cost into their low interest mortgages, rather that to just buy a house that will require thousands of dollars in renovations. When those ‘just right' houses come on the market a buyer's market can turn into a seller's market, as those previously patient buyers all rush to the same property. If someone wants a house that is all dressed up with nothing to do, there becomes little room for negotiations. The houses do have to be competitively priced, but they're still in a different league than homes that have a lot of wallpaper, old carpeting and a dated kitchen. Cosmetically challenged homes just don't sell!
Move-in Magic: Not every house can achieve that special aura without a substantial investment, but if the kitchen is already updated and the house is in generally good condition, sellers can make small improvements that can lead to a big payoff. Getting rid of clutter and depersonalizing a home is the first step in that direction. The home needs to show it's best features and be inviting to a prospective buyer so that they can visualize them in the house and not the current occupants. When they walk through the front door, they want to live there. Doing little things like removing oversized furniture that really doesn't belong there is a first step. Cleaning up the outside and repairing the exterior is the beginning. Packing up all the excess possessions and either storing them neatly in the basement, or in a rental unit also helps. The house needs to look neat and not like a storage locker.
The above sellers spent $1,700 to get the driveway repaved and created an immediate marekt for theri home as it became more inviting.
Getting rid of old wallpaper will make the home look cleaner and more inviting. Thoroughly cleaning out the bathrooms and at least giving it a new coat of paint will off set the older tiles. Little thing and small dollars will go a long way to having a home be more presentable and attractive to a buyer with limited resources.
Market with Opportunity: Fixer uppers will always carry their place in any market. There are investors with vision and a lot of contractors that need work. When buyers see past cosmetic issues like wallpaper and carpeting, they will be able to grab a bargain. Once buyer's start to see dollar signs they no longer see potential. The key is to allow the buyers to see the potential and have them understand that a little bit of effort and work will get them a great deal of value. If the seller is accommodating and willing to make some changes, interest can pick up immediately.
Whether looking to buy or sell, we service the Greater Waterbury towns of Beacon Falls, Bethany, Cheshire, Naugatuck, Middlebury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown and Wolcott
Ed Silva RE/MAX PARTNERS, www.edwardsilva.com 203-206-0754