A Cinderella Real Estate Tale
Not everyone lives in a castle in an enchanted forest but with the right magic you can make even the most wicked of houses marketable.
So, if you’ve got a house you’re thinking about selling and want to do it for the highest price the market will bear, it’s going to take more than the current low mortgage rates to attract some attention.
How can you turn your house into someone’s fairytale home? Follow these tips out of Neverland.
Make it Clean and Clutter-Free
De-clutter your house by removing anything that might distract the buyer's attention. Get rid of everything on the countertops, Buyers don't want to see your wine bottle collection, toothpaste or family photos.
Not sure what to remove? Ask me to walk-through your house with you. I can bring a box and we can pack things away as we go. Get rid of anything old, dirty or out-of-date and replace it with an inexpensive stand-in—we’ve found lots of temporary items at Home Goods and Target that are perfectly suitable for staging your home.
Sometimes it’s as simple as pulling down outdated curtains to let in more light and having a cleaning crew come in. Heck, you could even get some sweet revenge by making Anastasia ad Drizella to scrub the floors. That’s much less painful on the ears, too.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
New carpet and a fresh coat of paint work miracles. The cost is often less expensive than you think and even an inexpensive paint and commercial-grade carpet can make a difference.
It's worth a few bucks to get the carpet and paint looking good, otherwise, you have to lower your price and more-often-than-not that reduction is more than the paint and carpet would cost.
Stick to the Storyboards
Castles always look great but that’s Disney for you. If you can afford it, hire Lumiere to stage your place. He worked wonders for the Beast. A little staging can go a long way—if it’s done properly.
Buyers’ eyes will focus on some of the newness and not be distracted by any older nuance but don’t go overly cheap or it becomes the joke of the tour.
Hansel and Gretel
Sure, they were kids. They fell for the candy and sugary goodness of the old witch’s house. You can do the same thing for grown-ups. Picking out some nice ground-cover and plants goes a long way. Sweeten the deal by painting the front door—not candy cane striped. Lot’s of builders stick to the neutrals but there’s something to be said for how inviting a red door can be.
Image Credits: Bob Shornier, Opera Nut
Price It Like You’d Like to Move It, Move It.
If your house isn’t a showcase you’ve gotta price accordingly. You can give yourself a huge advantage by pricing below some comparable listings in the neighborhood and you’re making it affordable for Buyers to put what’s needed into the property.
More Buyers looking your house over could mean the potential for multiple offers. Multiple offers often lead to a higher net.
If you’re home requires some major repairs you could add a repair credit to subsidize costs. This lets them be a little more flexible with the money and perhaps rolling it into a remodel, as well.
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall.
Don’t lie about your house. Be honest with the marketing and photos. A tip here that’s on target for a less-than-perfect home is be honest with your disclosures, photography and especially your marketing package.
What could potentially happen is you’ll attract buyers looking for a perfect house who will be disappointed to find out that yours is not. At the same time, you are alienating buyers who are open to repairs because they may not stop by at all.
Giving the pros and cons up front will possibly keep you from having to renegotiate the deal after the inspector comes through and finds those issues, which could lead to your house going back on the market. If that happens, the net Buyers may not even look at it because it fell out of escrow.
Hire a good agent that knows how marketing works. Almost, any real estate agent can help you price your home properly, recommend stagers, contractors and point buyers towards financing opportunities like the FHA 203(k) loan that could help them buy your home and make the necessary improvements and/or repairs.
However, it takes a special agent to really make it shine and stand out from the rest of the competition and a marketing specialist to get it in front of the most eyes.