It might seem strange that I would write a blog post telling people not to call a Realtor® when I am a Realtor®. Maybe, but I think it is important to educate my clients. If this helps, then I’m ok with it. If nothing else, it gives you a headstart on things you can look at when getting ready to sell.
What A Realtor® Should Be Telling You To Do
If they’re decent at what they do, a Realtor® is going to tell you these things anyway. Might as well do what they are going to suggest before they ever get there. It saves time. After all, if you’re calling a Realtor®, it’s because you want some help getting your house sold.
Selling your house can be a stressful thing. Will you get the price you want? What happens if it doesn’t sell in the time frame you want it to?
Here are three things you can do with your house before ever signing a contract with a Realtor®.
The First Thing
Get To Packing!
It’s a good idea to remove at least half of what you have in your house before it goes on the market. You may love your collections and sentimental items throughout your house but the people coming to buy it don’t care. Make sure all horizontal surfaces are bare so people can see the “house” instead of your stuff. Buyers need to be able to see themselves living there, picturing their stuff in the kitchen, living room and bedrooms. If your stuff is there, they won’t be able to see it.
The Second Thing
Fix the small, inexpensive stuff. Whether it is replacing a cracked outlet cover, light bulbs, or cleaning and painting, the idea is to make your house look cared for. Do you need to paint some rooms to get rid of those blaring colors? People generally want to see neutral colors throughout the house. If you aren’t painting, go through and clean around doorknobs, handrails, and any place the kids have been playing.
This goes for the outside too. Make sure the yard is kept. There are usually outlets on the outside too so make sure the covers are in one piece. The garage is an area that can be cleaned and organized. Many garages end up being a disorganized pile. If you have it organized, with proper storage arrangements, it not only looks cared for but shows how well things will fit, even with cars there.
The Third Thing
Make sure everything is in working order. Appliances, fixtures, switches, outlets, etc. It may require having someone come in to fix some things but it is a small price if you want to get the maximum money for your house.
Keep this in mind. If a buyer comes in to look at your house and sees that there is work to be done, even if it is minor, they might go after the house down the street that has those things fixed already. Not only can it affect the price, but it doesn’t take long for the word to get out that the house hasn’t been cared for.
A Few Examples To Ponder
As a Realtor®, I hold open houses for various properties. Of course, I won’t indicate which houses however, I can describe some conditions that I have seen.
- A house that has been painted, however, they did not paint behind the place where the flat screen TV hung on the wall.
- The kitchen cabinet doors weren’t hanging straight and the kitchen sink was dripping.
- The bedroom that included a rather strange mural on the walls.
- Light bulbs burned out in the living room and bathroom.
- Not a clear spot on the kitchen counter and the beds were not made.
It’s amazing how the little things can make a big difference.
Comment below with things you see in your home and what you did to correct them.
Patrick O’Connor – CHMS, GRI, Realtor®
Ebby Halliday, REALTORS®