• Holly Keller

The Three Most Important Words in Real Estate (Part II)

Updated: Jun 9

In our first article we looked at pricing your property. Remember, if you price it too high, it won’t sell. If you price it too low, you won’t get the highest price the market will allow – unless you are good at negotiating multiple offers – and many people aren’t. We want all of our readers to get useful information that will help them get their property sold. In this article we will look at the second most important word ‘Condition’.

Condition Affects Price

Yes, your price should reflect the condition. Putting your property in tip-top condition can get you one or two big benefits:-

  1. You get a better price. Make sure you invest at least what you will get back. Some changes are worth the payback, but some are not. Your Realtor, newspaper articles, home magazines, and TV shows will help you make good decisions

  2. Your property sells faster (as long as you get ‘Availability’ right. We will explore that in our next article)

You have to decide what approach to take – spend money on essential improvements and maintenance work or accept an offer that reflects the work your Buyers believe they will need to do. Always remember that Buyers see the obvious and wonder about the not so obvious – so make it easy for them.

As far as big items go, make it easy for your Buyer and their Realtor to see, know and understand. That is important – you want them to see, so they know, and you want them to understand because that will help them make a decision to buy your property, rather than one of the others they see.

Let’s take a simple example. If your HVAC system is on an annual maintenance contract, have the paperwork ready. Show the people who view your home that your home is properly maintained, and repairs get done as needed, The unit might be old but the components inside it might not be. If Buyers see that you replaced the components as needed, they know they will keep working, so they won’t have to worry about doing repairs that you have already done. Neither will they be able to make a low offer with the caveat “We might need to replace the furnace.”

As far as little things go there are some items most Sellers don’t do. Older light switches and electric sockets can go yellow. It is easy and inexpensive to replace them. Buyers see the white switches and think “That’s different, all the other houses had yellow switches. I like this one.” Or they think “Good, the place is well-maintained.” The same goes for things like fluorescent lights. They can look old, so replace them with LED lights. Your rooms will look a lot brighter and more attractive than other properties.

Touch up the corners with a lick of paint – vacuum cleaner chords leave scuff marks and make rooms look slightly shabby. Polish the front door knob, repaint the front door. Mow the lawn, pull weeds in the driveway, pressure-wash the driveway, mix a household cleaner with water, and spray your gutters to make them look nice and clean. Most Sellers don’t think about the little things, but Buyers do.

Price and Condition are two essentials to get right. They are essential for a successful sale. In the next article we will look at ‘Availability’. In the meantime, if you have questions about what happens after your property goes under contract please feel free to contact us so we can answer any title questions you may have.

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