The 30-Day Sale: Condition is Queen!
A Message to Sellers
Your home needs to sparkle and shine. No excuses. It doesn't necessarily have to boast the latest upgrades, but it needs to be clean, tidy and in working order. Oh, and smell good - that's huge. When a buyer walks in your door, they form an emotional opinion about the house that no number of special features or amount of bonus square footage can overcome. No, buyers will NOT overlook dirty dishes in the sink, the aroma of kitty litter or even an unmowed lawn. Without that initial emotional rush, your home is toast. NEXT!
I had a client once who wanted me to sell his rental property, which, frankly, showed like a rental property. However, he had photos of it from when he lived there which proved that it cleaned up nicely. He thought that if we displayed these photos to potential buyers, they'd understand that its current poor condition was fixable. A great thought, but unfortunately, photos aren't going to overcome the negative first impression.
Speaking of first impressions, a question I'm often asked is if flooring should be replaced or an allowance given. Here's my answer. If the flooring is visible from the front door, replace it. If the flooring is in an important part of the house (a kitchen, finished basement or bonus family room), replace it. Again, these are emotional areas and need to trigger a positive response. If the bad flooring is in a bedroom or office, it's probably okay to offer an allowance.
Fix the leaky faucets and the windows that don't open; repair and paint the old water stain on the ceiling, find out why your refrigerator makes such a racket. Dust your ceiling fans and get the bugs out of the light fixtures. Clean up your toothpaste spit every morning and run the garbage disposal before you leave for the day. Put the toilet seat down.
When a buyer enters your home, they need to be able to envision it as their home. That's tough to do if it's full of YOUR dust, YOUR smells and YOUR toothpaste spit! Strive for an odor-free, dust-free, cobweb-free, clutter-free environment. It's really really really important.
Almost as important as price.