It doesn’t matter if you are getting your $200,000 condo or your $3,000,000 house ready for the market—get your property in the best possible shape you can for selling.
Buyers today are very, very picky, and you don’t want them to pass over your place because there is a better-looking home down the street.
Remember, buyers today have many choices when they are looking at properties. Your biggest competition may be bank-owned properties or bank short sales. Those sellers do not have the same motivation that you have. Their motivation is to get the property sold as fast as possible.
Your motivation should be to get the highest price for your property. If that is the case, start by doing a true assessment of your place.
The first thing that you can do is to go around your neighborhood on a Sunday and look at your competition. What else is on the market in your area? Look at properties that are similar to yours, and see how your place stacks up, compared to theirs. Your goal should be to get your house looking better than the competition's.
Walk around your home and pretend that you are a buyer and that you are looking at the place for the first time.
The No. 1 thing to do is to get rid of all the clutter in your house. Clutter is anything that is lying around that you do not use or need on a regular basis. If you have too much stuff to put in your garage, then rent a storage pod that can be dropped off at your place or rent a storage unit.
Next, check for things that need repair. Walk around your home, and if there is anything that is obviously broken or worn, get it fixed. If a wall or a room needs to be painted, get it painted. If there is a torn screen on the front door, replace it.
These are very inexpensive things to have fixed, but those little flaws are a big turnoff for a buyer. I cannot tell you how many homes I have shown where we walk past the heating and air intake vents and they are packed with dirt and dust.
That tells the buyer that the owner of the property does not take good care of the property.
If your property does not look fantastic, then consider staging it. Remember, this is your money that you will be leaving on the table if you don’t get the place in the best shape possible.
If you have questions or comments, contact Matt Epstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Epstein is a veteran real estate professional working in the San Fernando Valley.