Does your house need to be "HGTV ready" when it comes time to hit the market?
Recently, we had a house seller tell us they were advised by another real estate agent to prepare their house for the market in a specific manner. They were told that the standard was "HGTV Ready.
So the house owner asked us how many changes they needed to make to their house to get it ready for the market. With the standard being an ambiguous "HGTV Ready," they wanted our opinion on what needed to be done.
Well, I don't watch HGTV, so I don't know what their "ready" status requires. But I do know what is needed to sell a house in Tallahassee.
Rather than relying on an entertainment channel, let's just focus on what I've uncovered brokering real estate in Tallahassee over the past 26 years.
How Ready Is Ready When Preparing Your House For Sale
When it comes time to sell your house, you want buyers to see it in its most favorable light. Simply put, the nicer the house, the more money you will get. But does that mean you need to do a ton of work to get top dollar for your house?
So many of the recommendations I have been told real estate agents are pushing do not make sense (cents).
Think about this. Would you spend a dollar to increase your house's value 50 cents? 70 cents? 99 cents? A dollar?
I hope not.
Any money that you invest in changing your house for the purpose of getting it sold falls under the category "risk capital."
There are no guarantees that changing your carpet will net you more money than you spend, right? So you risk money with a plan of getting back more than you spend. Otherwise, why spend it?
This is where some of these TV shows might be harmful to house sellers (and the real estate agents who get their "training" by watching them).
Sure, put a $60,000 renovated kitchen in an older house and you have increased the house's resale value, but maybe not $60,000 more! Why not just lower the price $60,000 and not risk the capital?
Preparing To Sell Your House
My experience has taught me to behave like a prudent carpenter when it comes to prepping your house for a sale. Measure twice and cut once.
When a "real estate professional" tells you to change your house substantially, immediately go out and get a second opinion. You are likely not an expert at deriving ROI from house improvement, so don't let the excitement of doing all those fun changes to your house (that you will be giving to your buyer) convince you to spend more money than you'll recover during the sale.
Preparing a house for a sale should have you focus on profitable changes, not sale-able changes. The argument that a house will be easier to sell is hogwash. Price reductions make a house more saleable than do cosmetic changes. Why?
Because the lower your price, the more people that can afford it.
The opposite is true too. Adding a bunch of expensive changes to your house will require you to increase the price and thus reduce the size of your buyer pool. This is all good so long as it is profitable, right?
Get Good Home Selling Advice
Ultimately, getting advice is easy. Everybody seems ready to give it.
Rather than go with "what your friends think," I encourage you to seek professional advice.
Evaluate the "professional" by asking questions. Every time an improvement is recommended, ask the professional what you think it will cost and what its impact will be on the selling price. Remember, profit is required for risk capital.
Bad Home Selling Advice Is Expensive
By the way, the house owner mentioned in the opening paragraph did hire us to sell the house. They put 20% more money in their pocket after the sale than they would have had they followed the advice of the agent pushing them towards an HGTV Ready house.
If you are considering selling your house sometime within the next year, let's sit down and discuss your options and the benefits of a progressive internet marketing campaign. All you have to do is CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.