Location, Location, Location...Not So Much Anymore....Price, Price, Price!
For those of us who have been in the business for a while, we remember the phrase location, location, location, which of course implied that nothing was more important than location when it came to purchasing a home. In reality, when I priced a home it was really location, condition, and price that I considered. But if there was some less than attractive wallpaper, I didn't consider it that much of a problem. The same was true if the carpets were a little worn, or the deck needed staining, or maybe the landscaping was not quite right. The second home my husband and I bought in 1990 had an original furnace and A/C, an old hot water tank, a roof we found out after inspections was leaking, wallpaper I did not like and a dated kitchen and dated bathrooms. BUT, we loved the yard, the huge family room addition with a fireplace, the finished basement (with red and black shag carpeting) and the neighborhood.
But now that the tables have turned, and supply is greater than demand, the truth is much closer to price, price, price or at best, somewhere in between.
I can't stress how important the right price is in today's market....that, and patience. It is not unusual to see market times of 6 months to one year in the Cleveland market, and even longer for condos. Buyers are not settling for outdated decor and old mechanicals, UNLESS the price is right..
Does that mean that as a seller you should not prepare your home for the market? Not at all. In fact, it's more important than ever to present your home in the best light possible. Buyers are closely scrutinizing the homes they are considering, with more stars given to those homes with improvements. I realize that many sellers do not have the financial means to make major improvements to their home. But even a home that is dated can be made neat and clean.
For those sellers who do have the means to make some improvements, start with the defects! So often I see a home with a remodeled kitchen or bath but the basement leaks, or the basement is finished but the roof leaks. Take care of defects first.
After the defects are corrected, other improvements to consider are:
stripping wallpaper and if there is no paper, perhaps a fresh coat of paint
carpets cleaned or replaced
spruce up the landscaping/deck
update the light fixtures
if your home is vacant, consider hiring a home stager
And don't forget a good dose of patience....you're gonna need it.