Thursday, June 25, 2009

Plan before you SELL – and get your Realtor’s Advice

I have two listings almost ready to go on the market. One Seller is a previous client, so she knew to expect “assignments” from me. The other Seller is a referral, so at our first meeting, I was faced with the difficult task of itemizing what they needed to do to prepare their home for sale: paint this, re-carpet that.

Unless impossible from a financial standpoint, I like to get my listings move-in ready. The inventory of homes is so high that Buyers will not spend a minute considering a home that has dingy carpet, hot pink walls or outdated curtains. When Buyers walk into your home, you want them to say, “Oh my gosh, this is perfect and I don’t need to do a thing!” Your home must “WOW” the Buyers in the first ten seconds, which is why your front lawn/garden and entry way are critical.

Buyers also must see themselves living in your home. They must feel comfortable that their furniture will fit in your living and dining rooms and that your closets are large enough for their home. Realtors don’t ask you to empty 40% of your closets because we think you have nothing better to do – if your closet is crammed, the Buyer will think that there is not possibly enough room for their clothes. If your kitchen counters are cluttered with canisters, spices, toasters and mixers, Buyers will think that there is not enough counter space for them to prepare dinner.

Hiring a home stager for a consultation can pay off in the long run. We know that your favorite 20 year-old recliner is exactly where you want it to watch television, but is it making the room appear crowded? The National Association of Realtors reports that staged homes bring almost 7% more in price than homes that were not staged. So, while your furniture is arranged the way you want to LIVE, it may not be arranged in the best manner to attract a Buyer.

Yes, it’s an inconvenience to store that toaster if you are use to keeping it out, but wouldn’t you store it if it would decrease your days on market and increase the price you could get for your home? So, consult with your Realtor about what you need to do to prepare your home for market. Typically, fresh paint and new flooring will be the least expensive improvements that will immediately increase the value of your home.

Remember that in addition to selling homes, we work with Buyers. So, we know what turns Buyers on and what turns them off. Get your home 100% ready to sell before your Realtor puts that sign in your yard! If you’d like me to preview your home and give you advice, call me: 918-852-5036 or e-mail lcain@cctulsa.com!

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