Most Buyers Prefer a New Home.
they can purchase the size and style home they
need in the location they desire, with the lot
they prefer, at the price they can afford,
they'll buy new. The reason they are looking
at resale homes is that the home they need is not
available or affordable in a new home.
If there are many available homes, most buyers will choose the home that is closest to "New" in condition. If the
home you're selling is an older home, and particularly
if you have occupied this home for a number of years,
go out and look at new homes. Notice the
fresh smell, the cleanliness, the professionally
maintained landscaping, the light, open
spaces. Then go home and do everything you can
afford to do to capture that feeling of newness
in your home.
IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ANY REPAIRS OR IMPROVEMENTS
you cannot afford needed repairs, you may list your home "as is," and
price accordingly. Keep in mind that listing this way may be a red flag for
owner-occupant buyers, and an invitation for investors to make low
"as is" does not negate your obligation to disclose any known flaws in
the "Seller's Property Disclosure." If significant safety, system,
or structural issues are identified, FHA or VA may require that the
seller repair or replace, and that the property be reinspected after
repairs are complete. In other words, your buyer may be unable to
get a government loan on your house. If you can afford repairs, complete them before listing. Not only will the home show more favorably, inspections and closing will go more more smoothly.
IF ALL YOU CAN AFFORD IS ELBOW GREASE
Weed your flower beds, prune your
shrubbery, cut and edge your lawn. Clean
up any yard clutter. Plant bright annual
flowers in concentrated splashes of a single
2. Pack up 80% of
your family photos, collectibles, clothes, etc.
to decrease clutter, create the illusion of
space, and create a neutral environment.
If someone in the family is a hunter, this is a
good time to pack up the dead animal heads.
3. Clean your home
top to bottom. Pay particular attention to
the kitchen and baths. Remember, your
Buyers would rather have a new home. Look
up: notice cobwebs, dirty vents,
ceiling fixtures. Clean all light globes
and keep light bulbs changed.
4. Buy some
cinnamon /spice or citrus air freshener, and use
it in every room (plug-ins are great for
this). Please don't smoke in the
house- the smell permeates the carpet, the
draperies, and furniture.
5. If you only have
time to do minimal housekeeping in the
morning, load the dishwasher, wipe off the
kitchen counters, make the beds, and hide
all the dirty clothes and towels! You
never know when your house will be
shown. If you have pets, do constant,
6. Steam clean
carpets. If any rooms of carpet need
stretching , get them stretched now.
This is an obvious cosmetic flaw and will invite
lower offers or a request for you to replace the
7. Pressure wash
the exterior of your home, the driveway and the
walk, the roof, and patio or
deck as needed. Clean gutters if needed.
If you have a porch or deck, make it inviting. Stage the area with a
table and chairs, set the table with bright cheerful dinnerware (cheap
at Dollar Tree!) This is expanded living space. This is important
at any time of the year, because winter buyer are looking forward to
YOU CAN AFFORD MORE EXTENSIVE SPRUCING UP, ADD:
1. Update your
ceiling light fixtures and ceiling fans neutral fixtures. Avoid
brass, and styles that are particularly country,
2. Paint the
interior walls and ceilings. Again, think
WARM, LIGHT, and NEUTRAL. Remove any
dated wallpaper and replace with light neutral
paper, or prep and paint walls. Steer
clear of any particular style, such as
country, modern, etc.
3. Paint the
shutters and front door of your home.
4. Replace the
mailbox if it is old and battered.
5. Replace torn or
missing window screens.
6. Replace any
double pane windows on which the seal has
broken. These appear to be foggy, because
there is moisture trapped between the
layers of glass. Replace any wood rot in siding, and door and window trim.
IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO DO MORE, ADD:
1. In today's market, there is a strong buyer preference
for hardwood floors and tile in lieu of carpeting and vinyl.
Buyers watch HGTV, and FYI, and they want bright, open floors plans and
high end finishes. If you have wood floors, just keep them clean
If your budget allows, replace
worn or outdated carpet and vinyl with a neutral hardwood floor. If not, you may consider a light,
neutral color carpet, and a
beige & white combination works well for
vinyl flooring. If you Lightly buff and add a
coat of polyurethene to your wood floors.
and exterior as needed. (Be sure to have your
painter check for wood rot in wood or pressed wood siding, and window
and door trims).
IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD ANY IMPROVEMENTS, PRICE ACCORDINGLY!
INDEPENDENT HOME INSPECTIONS
Any flaws or damage of which you are aware must be disclosed in the Seller's Disclosure Statement. This statement becomes a part of the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
all home buyers have an independent home inspection. While buyers and
sellers may agree upon certain repairs being completed prior to closing,
FHA and VA appraisers may require additional repairs before
making a loan commitment. With new (2015) federal
guidelines, most conventional and government loans will take a minimum
of 60 days to close. Any last minute negations about repairs will
require an extension of the closing date. If you are just
beginning to consider listing, I would be happy to send you a sample
Seller's Disclosure form. If you have any general questions, please
don't hesitate to ask!
you have pets, let's discuss how they will be handled during
showings. We want your pet to be safe, and also create a calm
environment for your potential buyers. If you know that
your home is going to be shown, turn on all the
fans, turn on some soft music, and LEAVE if
possible. If you must be there while your home is being
shown, make yourself scarce. Walk
around the yard, go to the
basement, be available for questions, but don't give the potential buyers
and their agent a "tour." They will stay
longer and give your
home more consideration if you are not there.