To fix or not to fix, that is the question. these days a number of home sellers are facing this dilemma. the problem is sellers are already facing lower property values due to the real estate decline, so the last thing they want to do is spend more money enhancing their home, only to sell it.
That’s understandable… but, if you really want to attract serious home buyers, keep your sales contract from falling through, and get the best possible price, you need to swallow hard and fix that house. Now I am not talking about spending thousands and thousands, however the little things need to be repaired. A loose front stair or a rotten windowsill can turn off a buyer before they even give the house a chance.
Studies have shown that within ninety seconds of meeting someone, people already have made a basic assumption about that individual, simply based on that quick interaction--a wrinkled shirt, or unkempt eyebrows, or whatever catches the eye. That becomes the starting point. Now throughout further interactions, obviously those can change. However why start at a disadvantage?
The same premise is true for house hunters. An idea--a premise--is formed within minutes of setting foot on a property. Did you know that an unheated home shown in the winter months is much less likely to sell than one with the heat on? If one feels uncomfortable they are less likely to pull out their checkbooks. It has been proven many times. Buyers buy more on impulse--on feeling than rational thought.
Many buyers will also use your home’s flaws as an excuse to offer you a lower price. They interpret these flaws as a lack pride in your home, or that you lack the money to fix them and are desperate and willing to sell for less.
First, get your home inspected now, instead of waiting to find out what’s wrong with it when you’ve got a potential buyer on the line. This will eliminate unexpected shocks for both you and the buyer and give you a chance to fix problems that might scare someone away. The more things you can fix now, the less overwhelmed your buyer will be, and the less likely he or she will cancel the sale.
Second. Declutter. I cannot stress this enough. People's personal belongings do not sell a house. Buyers need to envision their things in the space. It is difficult to do that when it is crammed with the sellers stuff. A clean home is an inviting home. Does the garage need a fresh coat of paint? How about the stain in the carpet in the hallway? These things may seem little, but they all matter.
And finally Third. Do not be around for the home showings. Now if you want to be there initially, meet the prospective buyers, and then excuse yourself, that is fine. However following the buyer around and explaining things about the home is not a good idea. Studies again have shown that a prospective buyer feels like a guest when he or she is in a home with the owner. You want that person to imagine being the owner, not a house guest. You have hired a real estate agent for a reason. Let him or her show the house.