Today I talked to Mary Simpson, one of our listing specialists on the Marti Hampton Team. And she shared with me 3 tips for preparing your home for sale. Mary is definitely an authority on the subject, having sold over 60 homes this year! She knows what kinds of things buyers want to see, what is going to cause trouble and what you might want to pay a little extra attention to!
Tip #1 Preparing Your Home for Sale: Prelisting Inspection
I think people really underestimate the need for a prelisting inspection. And the biggest thing I am looking for them to take care of during that process is taking care of any deferred maintenance. That goes along with staging.
Because everyone wants to have a beautifully staged home. But if we’ve put all that effort into staging, but we haven’t taken care of the wood rot, the railings that need to be painted, we’re lacking mulch and the grass needs to be cut, it’s not going to present as well to buyers. And even more importantly, a home inspection report is going to pick up all those deferred maintenance issues.
Prelisting Inspection for Competitively Priced Properties?
You might be asking yourself, do you really need to get a prelisting inspection for properties that are very competitively priced? here in Raleigh, properties under $300,000 are selling extremely quickly. And many of them have multiple offers to purchase. In a case like this is it still important to get a prelisting inspection?
Mary says: ABSOLUTELY. And this is why.
Protection During Due Diligence
Due Diligence is the period of time in the contract that the buyers have the opportunity to inspect the property. Even though the property may get multiple offers and sell in one day, the buyer is still going to get their own home inspection. And if there is anything on the inspection report that is a deal breaker or a red flag, we really lose that opportunity to fix that repair item. And we could lose the buyer altogether.
If we do end up losing the buyer and going back on the market, we are not going to get multiple offers again. We’re probably not going to get that high of a price. And it is a struggle to start the whole process over. We want to prevent that from happening.
Control Repair Costs
The other issue that is important to consider is when a buyer sees an item that needs repair, they tend to have an overinflated idea of what it should cost to make the repair. At the Marti Hampton Team we have relationships with many contractors because of the steady flow of business we give them, they charge us reasonable prices. But buyers don’t usually come back with a reasonably priced quote for those repairs.
If we do those repairs ahead of time for things that will likely be deal breakers, we control how much the seller will have to spend on those kinds of repairs.
Tip #2 Preparing Your Home for Sale: Professionally Cleaned House
We know that all of you are good cleaners. We are good cleaners as well. But we have people who are going to come in and clean your light fixtures, the baseboards, we want the trim to be sparkling. We want it to shine like the top of the Chrysler Building. It’s really got to look that good. It’s got to be show place ready.
I think people really underestimate their cleaning. We don’t see things that might stand out to a buyer because we are living in the house and see it every day. There are two cleaners that Mary uses all the time, who know how to get the house clean to her standards before listing a house.
Tip #3 Preparing Your Home for Sale: Removing Odors
This can be a touchy one, but we will tell you if your home could smell better. We break it to you very gently. We’re not going to come in with a mask or hazmat suit! It’s a delicate process, but you would rather hear it from us than from the feedback that comes in from the buyers.
When the buyers walk in and the home isn’t smelling clean and fresh and they can smell another person’s odor. Again, you don’t even notice it because you are living in the home.
Pet odors, smoking, even if you’ve only smoked on the back porch, can all affect the buyer experience when they walk through your home, and ultimately the price you get for it.