Tuesday, August 14, 2018 / by Ann Marie Sharp
As my client contemplated the purchase of a property that required substantial rehabilitation, “money pit” lurked in the back of my mind. In today’s hot real estate market, you would think that just about any home for sale would bring top dollar “as is.”
The truth is, buyers will not make top offers on homes that need substantial updating or extensive repairs. Buyers are cautious about taking on an expense that might unexpectedly cost them even more in the near future.
Getting your desired offer:
Even in a seller’s market, you must take certain steps if you intend to get top dollar for your home. Here are four steps that will help a potential buyer submit your desired offer:
· Prior to listing, get a professional home inspection
Sellers who offer their home in the best possible condition get top dollar.
There are few buyers who are willing to purchase a property before a thorough home inspection and repairs. At their initial expense, most buyers will make their offer contingent upon a professional home inspection. Regardless of how diligent a seller is in maintaining the home, a professional inspector will crawl into places and identify hidden defects. That’s their job.
Understandably, seller’s first objection is, “Why should I go looking for problems with my house?” The answer would be, “Because you will be able to take control of the inspection process and get top dollar for your home.”
Sellers who wait for an offer and then have a potential buyer hire an inspector to examine the home for issues, put themselves at a negotiating disadvantage. At mid-negotiation, the buyer has the upper hand to get repairs and replacements.
· Set the price right.
The importance of correctly pricing the property cannot be over emphasized. Pricing a property at a higher price and then gradually working down to a lower price is the worst way to get top dollar for a home in a seller’s market.
What buyers are willing to pay is based largely on the overall condition and age of the home, and its updates and renovations that feature luxury upgrades. Location, schools, the lot, and comps also play a role. However, condition and price are things that you can control.
Buyers will pay more for green and energy-efficient upgrades. If you can demonstrate to a buyer the long-term benefits for having energy-efficient upgrades in a home, the buyer will be much more likely to pay more upfront.
· Make sure you have curb appeal
Starting from the mailbox to the front door, what potential buyers see helps them make decisions about whether to buy a home. First impressions are crucial.
1. Does the front door look new or is it weathered?
2. Is the door knob and lockset attractive and working flawlessly?
3. Are the front shutters and gutters in good shape?
4. How about the shrubbery? Does it extend past the bottom window sill?
5. Is the lawn lush and green?
The better the curb appeal, the more likely it will enlist a higher offer.
· Clean, crisp, welcoming.
If it doesn’t smell fresh, it’s not going to garner the best offers. Without exception, pet odors, cigarette smoke, spicy cooking, and mildew odors are deal breakers every time.
Make sure that you scrub the baseboards, buff and polish the wood floor, remove cobwebs, clean the mirrors, wash all the windows, dust ceiling fan blades, clean the oven, shampoo the carpets, dry-clean the drapes, and dust the blinds. Do the whole works! Some home cleaning services even wipe down dusty light bulbs to provide more light.
If you want top dollar, the home and the air must be clean. Room air fresheners from the grocery store won’t cut it. If odors persist, then your agent can recommend a professional who specializes in smoke remediation. The industrial systems they use remediate all odors so a home smells clean and fresh.
Preparing your home for the market requires that you and your realtor work as a team. Clear communication is essential. And, that teamwork pays off when you sell your home for the most value. Congratulations!