My first time buyers think they have found their dream home by looking at pictures on the internet. Their mother tells them to call me to set up an appointment to go see it. (There is a reason for that!)
We enter the house, it smells great! (Alrighty, someone read my Scratch 'n Sniff blog)
The first room we hit is the family room and it has been de-cluttered.
It looks great! And my young couple start talking about whether or not their couch will fit against that wall. Hhmmmmm....they are just not sure.
"Honey, do you think that salmon colored wall will clash with our couch cushions?" she asks.
"I don't know," he says, "we might have to bring one back and check."
"My gosh, the owners surely keep this home clean, it smells soooo good!"
When this occurs, I have been known to grab my buyers by the nape of the neck, slam 'em up against the wall and remind them why we are here. Just like their mother would!
Then, I drag them to another room and tell them to focus on the big picture here! Kick the tires! Check out the condition of the house! Don't decorate the darn thing til you own it!
If you have been reading my blogs, then you already know that this seller has been reading them, too.
Yes, it smells clean. But , if you look closely, it might have dirt and colly-wobbles in every corner.
Yes, she appears neat and clean, but I can bet you that under every single bed in this house you will find all her old magazines, VCR tapes, dead lonely socks and a stray shoe or two and probably a toaster cozy.
CONCENTRATE ON THE HOUSE!
You can paint! You can re-arrange the way you use rooms! By the time you go to closing, I bet you will have picked out a whole new couch in another color just because you are so excited and you want to start fresh.
Yes, you need to look at layout, the flow of main floor, but, the condition of the whole house is very very important. You can change cosmetic problems, but if the floor is really squeaky, that is another story.
Take your time to look at everything. Turn on the water full blast. Open and close doors. Look at the baseboards. Look for stains on the walls not the paint color! Check the windows.
As you walk down to the basement, what is the first thing you smell? Is it cold and damp?
Take a look in the attic, if you can. A lot of problems can start there with an obviously leaking roof.
How about the yard? Is it sloped so the rain flows away from the house? Or is it all headed towards the basement window.
You get my drift. You are not moving into an apartment where the landlord will make all the repairs. This is a big deal! Once you own this sucker, you are responsible for it all!
You want a house with good bones. You can replace the carpet. You can paint the walls to match that cushion.
But it's really tough and very expensive to repair broken bones. Your mother made you call me for a reason, I will take very very good care of you.....