Do you want to sell a house? If you really, really want to sell a house, here are some things that absolutely must happen in order to succeed.
Some sellers think everything is negotiable, but the property today needs to stand out (in a good way). Standing out means the property that’s for sale is clearly more desirable than all of the competition. Sellers who own homes that are for sale and own homes that do not “stand out” in a good way will NOT get the chance to negotiate. Most buyers cannot look past tiny maintenance issues. Why should they? If the issue is obvious, that opens the door to the question, “What else was neglected here?”
Ask 10 people what it means to “stand out in a good way” and you’ll get 10 different answers: Condition. Colors. Updates. Size. Proximity. Street (or other) Noise. Location. Presentation. Easy for buyers to see. Smells. Now that I think about it, there are so many reasons why a seller fails.
ALL of the range of adjectives, good or bad, big or small, clean or dirty, neutral or smelly, bright or dark, all of the possibilities can be reduced to one single common denominator. PRICE. If the house is in bad condition, the seller should expect the low price. If the colors are custom, then only the buyer with identical taste will appreciate your unique taste. I have pictures of homes that demonstrate so many of these variables. Now that I think of it, I could write a blog about every adjective above. Color. Smell. Condition. Etc. What the heck? Stay tuned…
Today’s lesson is about common sense—simple maintenance. When a buyer sees that nothing has been done to keep a minimum standards for safety or cleanliness, then the buyer legitimately should be afraid to like that property.
Yup. See the picture above. That is the top of a seller’s water heater next to the laundry area where a dryer vent had never been connected properly. There are solutions to every issue. Some are easy and some are cheap. Some are both.
Where shall I start? Connecting a dryer vent is as easy as plugging in the electric cord. Running a vacuum cleaner also would remedy this housekeeping issue. EITHER of these three-minute tasks would have remedied the dust issue. NEITHER of these tiny chores was something the sellers could manage. When I was hired to sell the house, I asked the sellers to remedy this deficiency, among others, before all of the papers were signed and before I tapped the “For Sale” sign into the ground.
Guess what? Nothing was done. So, I snapped this picture while AT THE OPEN HOUSE to help explain to them that their house did not stand out in a good way. We maintained the working relationship for about a week after this epic fail. Then we parted ways.
Lesson? The difference between acceptable and unacceptable is “ownership.” If you own the mess, it certainly is easier to endure. To the owner, it is normal. To the buyer, it is terminal.