Getting a Home Ready to Sell. Recently I was showing homes to a buyer who is now under contract. Along for the ride was the buyers' youngest daughter who is probably at least 30 and already resides in this area with her husband. This will be her parents' retirement home and could be their last home - no pressure!
Kidding aside, the parents are moving here from the Midwest, which is a common occurrence. Buyers in our area have mainly been investors and second home buyers lately. The second home buyer will eventually turn into a full time resident, as it's common to want to move where there is 300+ days of sunshine a year! But I digress......
Back to the purpose of writing. While out viewing homes in great neighborhoods, and having seen at least 10, the daughter made a comment that I'll probably never forget. We were entering a home that hadn't been maintained as well as some we had seen. This one could have been headed south as a distressed property from appearances. Knowing that I didn't include short sales on our list of homes to see that day, as we had a specific date to close, I knew the home wasn't a short sale or lender owned. And the home wasn't occupied by a tenant either. So what gives? Clearly, the seller wasn't in a hurry to sell.
Okay, I know, I'm digressing again! The daughter walked into the "not ready to sell" home and said, "This home hasn't been loved." What a statement. It wasn't until after chatting with her father that I learned of her experience moving to our state. She had a similar experience and in fact the seller didn't want to leave after they closed escrow. Wow!
So buyers agents, please counsel your sellers that a home must look "loved."
It needs curb appeal - no better chance fora first impression.
It needs to have either no sent or a good, not overwhelming sent.
While we're accessing the lockbox for a key - the buyer is giving the front door and the porch the once over. Create a clean, updated entrance. If the doorknob is tarnished, polish it or better yet replace it. If the door needs painting, paint it. If the shrubs need trimming, trim them. This isn't rocket science!
Take your home sellers outside and start from there. Explain that we assist our buyers in making good decisions. If the home doesn't appear to be maintained, what else isn't being maintained, ie air conditioner, plumbing, etc.
I have sold many foreclosures and short sales. The common theme is they are being sold in as is condition. Don't include your traditional sale in this category by making it appear less than maintained.
As a Certified EcoBroker, my job is also to view the systems in the home. If there are added green features, I want to know about them. Create a double sided flyer with the improvements on the back in a bullet point list. Buyers love this as it shows the home has been "loved."
Again, first impressions are huge. Make a good one!
(photo courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn)