Sellers Get Your Game On!

Did you notice that after Memorial Day our CRAZY local real estate market shifted dramatically and now houses are, once again, sitting? Not multiple offers, not going crazy over asking price – sitting. I don’t think this is happening in The City, or in the Silicon Valley – but it’s happening here in our Tri-Valley area (OK, you’re right – there are some exceptions like Mossy Oak in Danville and Las Quebradas in Alamo). Why? I could speculate that it has something to do with school getting out, or summer starting – who knows, all I know is that the buyers are getting very picky again. So sellers, get your game on – we have to address the following issues – ALWAYS!!

Image credit: Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Image credit: Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Buyer Hate #1 ODORS
DUH!! Comes to mind, but you’d be surprised. Viewing a home is first, and foremost about the Visual, but when a prospective buyer comes to see a home, their other senses don’t just shut down. And there is nothing that can, and will, turn a buyer off faster than a bad odor. Smoke and Pet odor come to mind first, but other things like musty moisture smell, dirty laundry or wet carpet (which smells amazingly like wet dog) are pretty bad too. And just because YOU can’t smell it, DOES NOT mean it doesn’t exist – the human sense of smell very quickly gets used to smells that it lives with everyday. I always have all my listings professionally cleaned (we don’t see our own dirt either!) – if there is still an odor after a good professional cleaning – bigger, more expensive steps like replacing carpet may need to be made.

When a home is glaringly over priced, it becomes a chuckle for buyers and their agents. While all may comment on how overpriced the home is, they are less likely to actually come out and SEE the property. This only causes frustration for the seller, massive price reductions and the perceptions by buyers that there is something wrong with the property. “Why has that home been on the market for six months when everything else is selling so quickly?” Don’t go there Mr. and Mrs. Seller – it’s not worth it!

Possibly the single largest source of buyer complaints are about dirt, messes, piles of personal belongs and dirt!! Obviously homes that are filthy from floor to ceiling are probably Bank Owned or distressed in some other way – but even relatively clean homes that just have a few outstanding messes (like dog poo in the yard!) can be a turn off. Again, that’s why I ALWAYS pay to have my listings professionally cleaned. A home needs to sparkle for those first impressions. A dirty or messy home indicates the seller doesn’t, or can’t take care of their home – so other maintenance issues have probably suffered too.

You may have installed granite and stainless steel appliances and the bathrooms may be gorgeous, and those improvements will speak for themselves. But the buyer won’t be running the furnace or dishwasher while deciding to write the offer. They won’t check the condition of the roof until the inspections and if all these seemingly little things, demonstrate a pattern of lack of regular maintenance – you may have a Cancellation of Contract coming your way. I know how hard it is to spend money on routine maintenance, when the daily emergencies continue to pop up – but it’s really important to show Maintenance records on your “used home” just the way you would for your used car you’re selling in front of the High School on Saturdays!

I know in our very sophisticated Residential Real Estate market this all seems a little obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many dirty, unmaintained, stinky, over priced houses we see every week!

These create house hunting haters, and you DON’T want that for your home when we go to sell it! I will hold your hand, and do all we need to do to make your home sparkle from top to bottom – and get you the best price in the shortest amount of time. It’s what a good agent does for her clients!

Have a great week!!


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