You know, being a buyer’s market has really changed the way I do my listings. It use to be, in a seller’s market, that the goal was to get the listing on the MLS as fast as you could. It didn’t matter if there was wall paper that needed taken down because SOMEBODY may just buy it before you strip it. Listings were so hot that you could make adjustments as you went along.
Today, I spend ALOT of time trying to make everything just right before the sign goes in the yard and the pictures are uploaded on the MLS. You have to roll like that now. Here is a small list of my typical recommendations: Neutralize paint, strip wall paper, clean, thin out furniture, clean some more, spread some fresh mulch, put the highest wattage bulbs you can do without causing a fire, get rid of or repair the worst features of your house…………You get the picture. Now, granted, seller’s don’t always do all this stuff. But, the ones that are can and are willing to make adjustments are the ones that seem to get an offer and get one that is closer to the asking price.
I had a client whose place needed some painting done. The place had been on the market for a loooooong time (It was in an older condo complex at a time when there was alot of interest in new condos.) I had lots of negative comments on the color of the paint. People left the house remembering nothing more than that paint. The seller was pretty smart at understanding the market. I told them what we had to do get an offer. They got a great deal on painting the whole place. It dramatically changed the whole place. They also made some minor changes to the bathroom vanities. We had our offer before the work was even completed!
Another client had a nice house in a good neighborhood. I knew this one had a lot going for it. The seller’s did a good cleaning, moved out all but the bare minimum of furniture, and did a little yard work. It sold in 9 days. Their effort got them a good offer and fast! It was totally worth their effort. These same clients have another house that currently has a contract. They already knew what to do, so I didn’t have to tell them much. The house went on the market one morning and 9 hours later I am getting their signatures on the counter-offer!
My Uncle had a house in an area that really isn’t that desirable. It had a great lot and a covered patio. Even though I knew that buyer’s would be drawn to those features, we still pulled out all the stops in an attempt to overcome its location. The place looked like a model home!! We had 3 offers with contingentcies. I suggested we wait for a “Clean” contract. By the 18th day on the market we had it sold.
I am not trying to float my own boat here, because I do occasionally have a house that stays on the market longer. I just want to make the point that ALL of my listings that have sold fast have been ones where the seller made their house stand above the crowd. It is never to late to make adjustments, remember the condo? It had been on the market for a long time before we painted.