Being out and about touring homes this year, my buyers repeatedly had one question that I was not able to answer. That doesn't happen often. If I don't have an answer right away, I will find out. But this one question had me puzzled.
What's that question you wonder?
"Why haven't the sellers cleaned their house before putting it on the market?"
My honest answer was that I am not sure. My best guess was that it may be a case of 'in a hot market we don't have to.'
I beg to differ, of course. It doesn't matter what the market conditions are like, a house that has been prepared to be in its best showing condition will always yield the best results. In a slow market that may mean a faster offer. In a hot market, it could be the difference between receiving 2 offers or 10. In both markets, it can influence the price a buyer is willing to pay.
A clean house shows pride of ownership. It simply shows better and it also tells buyers that this house has been maintained. A dirty house raises questions. If they didn't care to clean, did they maintain all the systems properly? What else was the seller negligent about?
When I begin to work with Maryland home sellers, I'll always ask for a tour first. I'll take notes and pictures to help me remember later when I write my to-do list for the seller. I always prepare one and include must-do items, do-if-you-can-items, and some general tips.
Not every seller has the financial resources - or time - to make big changes, but A LOT can be achieved on even the smallest budget. Cleaning - or having the house professionally cleaned - is one of the best pre-listing investments a seller can make. It shows and it pays!
My buyers this year, more than once decided to pass on a dirty house. It just didn't give them a homey vibe and they didn't want to find out what else the seller neglected.
My number one tip for Maryland home sellers even on the tightest budget, make sure your house is clean, from top to bottom, inside and out, before putting it on the market.
Getting buyers to fall in love with your home starts with a clean house. Add staging and the right marketing, and you'll be in great shape to sell for highest and best in no time!