I thought that by this time, everyone knew how tough the market is these days if you are a seller. In my market, we have at least a 9 month supply of listed properties, and the competition is fierce. In order to sell now, you have the be the most perfect package in your price range. That means not only do the mechanicals have to be updated and in good working order, but the cosmetics have to be pleasing too. Today's buyers want things to be priced well and move-in ready. They can and will find something already decorated to their taste if your offering isn't.
There are still investors and "Flip That House" enthusiasts out there that just don't get it. I was called on this week to list a rehabbed house. Yes, there were some smart updates. Yes, the house has potential for those who choose to see it. But was it ready to list? No. There are odd colors on the walls in the bedrooms. There are spider webs and spider egg sacks in the partially finished basement. The windows are dirty. There are work shoes, plungers, paint buckets and ladders out in plain site. There was a pile of sawdust in one corner of the living room. The owner of this house is anxious to get it sold, but I didn't list it. I can't sell dirt!
Folks, if you are putting a house on the market, make sure it's ready. The first two weeks on the market are the most critical. You don't want people's first impression to be "yuck." Word gets around.
I realize it's discouraging to have worked hard on a project like rehabbing a junker only to have someone like me waltz in and say, "This needs redone" or "That needs work" or "Wash the window, will ya?!" The key is to look at the property from the potential buyer's eyes, and that is admittedly hard to do when you've been up to your eyeballs in sweat equity. Consult with your Realtor--ideally before you even start a rehab. I consider it part of my job to advise on what upgrades/remodels will bring the greatest rewards come closing time.
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