In my years of selling real estate, and working with buyers, I have never had a client say to me,” find me a house that is in marginal condition.” I have had requests for fixer-uppers and requests for homes in excellent condition, but nothing in between.
When you decide to sell your house, you need to stop seeing it as your home. You need to take off the blinders and look at it with a critical eye. It is human nature to stop noticing the little things that need repair. It is absolutely essential, however, that you now revisit these items and do your routine maintenance.
The first meeting I have with a seller is usually a ‘walk around.’ I point out to them all of the little things they may, or may not, be aware of being in need of repair. This includes, but is not limited to, caulking, grout, power-washing, weeding, wall cleaning, dry-rot, tarnished door handles, drippy faucets, running toilets and more. I think you get the picture!
The second meeting is a review of these items and a more specific consultation about what things to pack up and how to best present the home. Because the first list is usually so extensive, and can include a lot of relatively minor items, I review the house again—not through the eyes of a listing agent, but the way I would review it for my buyer clients. If I would point out something to a buyer, I point it out to the seller. Little things, like the inspection sticker on the HVAC being dated 5 years earlier are pointed out and I always ask them to re-caulk around the tubs and showers.
If you are contemplating selling your home right now, you are likely to be nervous about the process. Taking the time to prepare your house for the pickiest buyers (and their pickier Realtors®) is worth every minute and every penny that you spend. It will save you days, weeks or even months of housing your house listed for sale.
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