When today’s home buyers tell you they are picky they aren’t lying. In 20 years of practicing real estate in Berks County, I have never witnessed the level of discernment buyers’ display when considering their next home.
I remember a time when you walked into a home with a buyer and smell of cigarette smoke emanated through the home. No big deal, it will go away. Not today. In most cases even a hint of animal or cigarette smoke will barely get a buyer in the door.
Why have things changed? Well there is this thing called the internet. People are more knowledgeable and less excepting to conditions and circumstances they have read about. Second in line is HGTV. Now you can all but live the experience (good and bad) of 100’s of home buyers and sellers before ever hitting the street.
There is nothing wrong with being a discerning buyer. It simply means the Berks County home seller has to up their game. This means getting into the nooks and crannies.
When a home buyer is interested in a property they become inquisitive. They want to know why the kitchen cabinet is ½” away from the wall near the sink, why there is a gap in the trim around the fireplace, streaks on the basement floor, was there a water problem. The list goes on and on but the buyer is interested. If not, you will be lucky to get any feedback from the showing.
Home buyers think of the property they will purchase in several ways. The one that this article is about has to do with the “Who lived there and how did they keep the home I may purchase”? You see, all those years you lived in your home you were just keeping it perfect for the next owner. A caretaker of sorts.
If the home is vacant, the buyer wants to know when it was last occupied. If the owner was not the last occupant who was? Did the owner or, even worse, tenant have pets? These are all questions that are asked when a berks County real estate agent lists a home. They are right on the Seller Property Disclosure Statement which is given to the prospective buyer prior to making an offer or in some cases, seeing the home itself.
The habitation history does have a bearing on the buyer’s speculative thoughts but have little to do with the homes actual value. It is not hard to walk through a home and tell if it has been kept well or not no matter how many people lived in it or how many animals took residence there.
Most home sellers do the best they can to prepare their properties for sale. A little paint here and there, knock off some items on the honey do list that have been sitting for the past 8 years and some decoration should do the trick. Not today. It is time to consider those items and more. Getting into the nooks and crannies can wipe away years of home use.
Make sure the closets and drawers are in order and things are de cluttered. Get as many items out of the home as you can, within reason. Take care of windows and doors. These are the spirit and soul of the home. If the windows have not been cleaned in 5 years it will show quickly. No squeaky doors or floors. Use trim accents including crown, foot and baseboard moldings to seal natural settlement cracks and uneven paint lines. Clean up around the exterior or hope for a foot of snow to cover everything.
Most sellers want the real estate agent to give it to them straight when it comes to advice about selling their home. It is good to find an agent who is willing to be honest with you about the value and condition of your home. This does not mean you can’t pitch a fit, you can. But take stock in what you are being told. The customer / Realtor® relationship is a partnership. Both parties have to work together to get the desired result. Our advice comes from being in other people’s homes with buyers. You should hear what we hear.
Look into all those things about your home that have been bothering you but you can live with. The next potential owner may not be as acceptable. Remember, you are just taking care of the home until they get there. The nicer you make it the sooner it will be theirs.
Happy New Year!