by Dan Wolf
on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 8:41am.
Home Selling takes a lot of work, and it should. When owners sell a home, it's usually because of a major transition in their lives--trade up or down-size to something smaller, a new job, family addition or subtraction, financial circumstances, and the like. A serious effort is required to fetch the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time and achieve the owners' goals.
It can seem like a daunting process to an owner, who likely has been out of the real estate market for several years. In general, there are four major factors affecting marketability: Pricing, Location, style / floorplan, and the property Condition. An owner has complete control over only one--Condition
A seller has no control whatsoever over location and style - it is what it is, and located where it's located. The property can't be moved somewhere else, and unless an owner wants to pay for major reconstruction, the style is pretty much fixed as well.
An owner can exert some control over pricing, depending on his equity position. Pricing has to fall within a range of comparable properties, both Activie competion, recently sold similar, and under contract currently (pending). A Realtor has access to the Multiple Listing Service to determine which properties are truly comparable, and a seller's pricing needs to stay within a reasonable range to attract buyers.
But owners have complete control over the condition of their homes, and homes that sparkle and are move-in ready consistently attract higher and better offers than properties that are a bit tattered. People who have lived in a home for years often have gotten used to, say, a small tear in the carpet, a stain in the window sill, gouges in the kickplate molding, faded exterior paint on the sun side, or dirty and unserviced furnaces. But these can be deal killers for buyers, who see dollar signs in repair costs and worry about other repairs that aren't immediately obvious. A clean house can make all the differance. A messy house can be a complete turn-off.
The list of items is long, but here are a few examples of what can be done. Landscaping should be trimmed and cleaned. Siding should be repaired or replaced, where necessary, along with the trim and fascia boards, and the home's exterior paint should be recent. The furnace should be serviced and the filter changed. Inside, any chipped tile should be repaired, grout cleaned or even replaced and sealed, dry wall holes patched and painted, and so on. It's best if the entire interior has been painted a neutral color.
Staging is a personal decision, but de-cluttering the home is essential. Posters should be removed from walls. Kitchen and bathroom counters should be free of glasses, vases, and personal decor. The fronts of the refrigerators ought to be clear of photos and notes. If possible, take out furniture pieces to make a room look larger. The goal, here, is to make it possible for buyers to visualize their belongings in the home.
All markets have degrees of uncertainty to them, and real estate is no exception. But condition isn't one. It's the only central factor in the owner's sole control.
We've helped sellers go through this process countless times and can give them a checklist of work to be done as well as specialists to do it. If a consultation on condition from an objective third party makes sense, contact us.
For more info, visit: www.anchoragehomesearch.com or contact us at 248-9653