In Seattle, where median home prices jumped $20,000 in a single month to $777,000, homebuyers are beginning to consider whether a home’s aesthetics and functionality warrant its purchase price. Sellers are also feeling the pressure of competition where it’s becoming necessary to pay for neglected repairs, consider minor renovations, apply a fresh coat of paint and stage the home appropriately in the hopes of attracting a hoard of buyers.
For homes often held and possibly neglected for decades, older sellers, who’re eager to launch new chapters in their lives, must face difficult decisions about how to successfully get into the game given today’s criteria created by a hyper-competitive landscape. My advice? Get real honest about the condition of your home inside and out.
If the boiler needs to be replaced, replace it. Call a plumber to fix or replace leaky sinks or toilets. Have a professional finally sweep out that chimney. Pull up old or mismatched carpets to inspect the condition of the floors underneath. If the hardwoods are in decent shape, have them sanded and stained. If not, install the same new carpet from room to room. Repair cracks and holes in the walls and trim. Order up a fresh, neutral paint that unifies the interior of the home.
Moving to the home’s exterior, if the siding needs attention, replace it with a durable, modern product or get on a new coat of paint. Inspect the roof and get those gutters cleaned. Repair and weatherize decks or porches. Replace burned out bulbs that light up the front, back or side yards. Rake up those leaves or hire a landscaper to do a minor spruce-up.
Preparations may also include staging the home inside and out in keeping with the trends of the neighborhood…more on ‘interviewing stagers’ in my next blog post. Ultimately, a reputable real estate broker wants a seller client to benefit financially as much as possible from the sale of their home; however, it’s always up to the client to decide on how any plan unfolds.
There’s so much that could be done to ready a treasured home for market. Every homeowner will have to consider a reasonable budget as well as time or physical constraints. Working with a qualified realtor® will add a level of expertise and insight to making the best decisions about repairs, renovations or other maintenance well ahead of a target date for placing the home up for sale. Interview and select a broker early, ask all the “silly” questions necessary to feel comfortable establishing a plan of action and then get busy. Once the prep work is complete, most home sellers can sit back and watch the offers roll in.