I’ve written many posts for or about first time BUYERS, but not for first time SELLERS. That’s unfortunate, because these sellers need good solid advice too. Let’s get started:
- People are not going to go through your closets, but they ARE going to open them to see how big that SPACE is. Do you have to organize? No, but it’s a good idea, because a mess there will implant the idea into the mind of the buyer that you approach home maintenance the same way: As long as its hidden it’s okay to ignore it.
- When it comes to the yard, knee high weeds and animal waste will turn a buyer away before they ever get out of the car. Mow the grass and clean up after your pets, BECAUSE, the buyers will assume you don’t care about the home and therefore have not maintained it.
- Clean is relative. So here is a money making rule of thumb. Clean BETTER than you ever have. Disarray and clutter make buyers think you don’t care about your home, and they they think you..yep..approach home maintenance the same way.
- PLEASE clean the carpet. It probably needs it anyway, and dirty carpet is a sign that, you guessed it, you don’t care about the house and therefore have not maintained it. Better yet, replace it if it’s in bad shape.
- Repairs: If you agree to do them, you are expected to have repairs done in a workmanlike manner. That’ means: Don’t hire Dad. It means: Hire a professional! And provide invoices/contact info. Realtors, it’s a good idea to schedule a followup inspection too, because ‘workmanlike’ is in the mind of the payer. Seller, do NOT skimp on repairs if you want to sell your home and NOT breach the repair agreement part of the contract. Do that and you could end up paying the buyer back EVERYTHING they spent during due diligence. Just do it right.
Listen, seller, all of this advice will help you get top dollar for your property, and it’s not rocket science here. Could you go with one of these companies you keep hearing about in ads? Yep, and they will low-ball the heck out of the offer for all of the things I mentioned. And for repairs, they’re not going to give you a chance to do them; they are just going to take more money off of their offer to get them done…guess what…PROFESSIONALLY.
Think about it this way. You wouldn’t buy a car with bald and/or missing tires, scratched up paint, a cargo area full of trash and animal waste, would you? No, unless you are buying it for scrap metal. Well the cost of a car is a FRACTION of what a buyer is offering for your house. Just do the right thing and do things right. If you do not, expect a lower offer to be the rule of the day.
Many times the buyer will provide plenty of due diligence money to pay for any repairs that are requested. So? What’s the problem?
By the way, don’t shut down power until you know you’re closing.