Gary Kelley, Realtor®
We are preparing a number of homes for marketing. Inventory remains a bit on the low side so getting a home on the market sooner than later is a wise strategy.
Whenever we market a home, we work with the owner to address any issues a buyer might perceive as concerning. For example, we generally always recommend decluttering a home, coming up with an arbitrary number (such as remove 30 percent from this room) to directionally make a point with a seller. Off-season clothes can be packed up now readying for the move (why wait?).
Homes often have cosmetic blemishes needing attention. Touching up the dents and dings of living is a wise choice and if quality paint was initially used it’s amazing how a touchup can blend (not always…just often!) A fresh coat of paint on the risers of a set of stairs can make a huge impact when someone walks in from the front door for the first time.
Sometimes the issues require some detective work. If there is a ceiling water stain what is the root cause of the stain? Is it a leaky roof? Or did children overfill a tub causing the stain?
Understanding the root cause is very important. If the children made a mistake then they can be monitored more closely. If a roof repair is needed, a good roofer can often help extend the life of a roof and help eliminate the root cause. Of course, care must be paid to any second-degree effects, such as a long leaking roof encouraging mold growth.
A pre-listing home inspection can also help identify major structural, mechanical and life safety issues. The home inspection won’t deal with cosmetics such as color selection. It reviews the major systems and components of a home and helps the homeowner understand how an unbiased third party will look at the home.
Some agents might suggest it is better to not know about issues. We believe in trying to understand any shortcomings of the house so they can be addressed either up front or during negotiations. If you find major items, they need to be disclosed to any buyers and we believe it is best to disclose rather than hide.
Does this obsession lead to a quicker sale? We believe it does. We work with a number of home improvement contractors from various trades when preparing a home. One contractor minimizes every issue by saying, “That’s nothing,” as he looks at our wish list of items. Why? Because he has the skills and knowledge to fix many issues and knows where to tap other resources when needed.
He and his wife have decided to move and are out looking at homes as buyers. He is now coming back from showings and saying, “I can’t believe they did no preparation. Water stains on the ceilings, and the place was filthy. What are they thinking?”
Some sellers are thinking that, in an environment with constrained inventory, they don’t need to do anything…. the house will sell itself. Buyers can overlook some flaws, but there’s little need to have a house filthy. If you are not able or willing to prep the house for sale, at least make it clean. A good house cleaning might cost a few hundred dollars and will pay off for the buyers.
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call.
Kelley is a member of the Rotary Club of Westborough and is an award-winning Realtor. He invites you to follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MoveWithGary/.
Gary Kelley, Realtor®