By Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige
What if I could only give you a single tip to get top dollar for your home in 2013? Well, I would have to say that the best piece of advice I have always given my clients has been not to “rush” the home onto the market, instead of taking the time to prepare a properly.
For this, a pre-marketing team is an essential value added service for an agent to bring to the table, and is the second thing you should ask a potential listing broker (right after the obvious question of how many homes they'se sold). I'se spent years assembling a team of professionals to assist us with all aspects of pre-sale preparation. By bringing in my team of painters, handymen, stagers, landscapers, carpet installers, etc., I's getting homes to hit the market as near to perfect as possible. The better job we can do in preparation, the higher price you'sl ultimately command for the property, and that's a win-win for everyone.
That would seem like a logical approach that any rational agent might take, but I can assure you that it's not. Last weekend, for example, I was out showing homes to some Buyers, and of the three homes we looked at, not one of them was in “show condition.” On two of them, the roofs were literally falling off, with pieces on the ground in the yard.?? We saw a deck that was unsafe to walk on, and a 600k home with ripped and stained carpets. Why in the world would one be listed in a highly competitive market without taking the few days to get things fixed up and ready? In contrast, that same week, I had three of my listing one which we's spent 2 – 3 weeks preparing, that hit the market and achieved multiple over full price offers. This isn's rocket science here, just common sense.
Rest assured, the key is not to spend $5K updating a home, to try and get 3K or 4K more for the property or even spending 5K to get 5K back. On the other hand, if we can spend 2K on paint, paper and carpet and get 10K back, I would do that all day long and that's exactly what's been happening here in our marketplace time and time again, as my successful sellers will attest.
Last week, I had something happen which I'se never ever seen before, during a home inspection on one of my listings that I had sold to a fantastic young couple. The owner was obviously a meticulous person, and we had gone over all the potential pitfalls that could possibly come up, which he took care of well in advance. Halfway through the process, the home inspector told the buyers that the property was so flawless, that he actually felt guilty charging them the full fee for the inspection, and instead cut them a huge discount. That's what proper preparation does, and that's why I keep preaching about it each and every month. An ounce of prevention is, after all, worth a pound of cure.
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige. He has been ranked 10 times as the top REMAX Agent in the six-state New England region, and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-735-4663.