When it comes to updating your Beach Cities home you’ve no doubt received lots of advice from friends and family. Though most folks have the best of intentions, the information they share may not always be accurate. And in some cases, the “facts” they tell you may be downright harmful to getting your house sold. Unfortunately, neighbors, co-workers, and HGTV shows are not always the best resource for the things you absolutely should do to get your home ready to sell and the things you really should rethink. What a buyer wants in a Beach Cities home could be much different than one in the mid-west!
The 6 Most Common Home Selling Myths:
1. You’ll get all your money back with improvements
While it’s true that some renovations can increase the value of your home, not all are created equal. In fact, there are few that will pay for themselves entirely. Most improvement projects ( unless you are a flipper) usually return less than 70% of the cost. A new front door will return the money spent and sometimes more. Roofs usually return the amount spent while a room addition may return about half of what you spent. On the other hand updating a kitchen or bath by refinishing or painting cabinets (assuming the wood is in good condition) and adding a new counter and sink could be a Wow factor in selling. Replacing all fixtures in kitchen and bath as well as doorknobs and other hardware items is relatively inexpensive but can really make a difference. Don’t forget the outside of the house. Powerwashing and painting the trim can often improve a home almost as much as painting the entire house and cost a lot less. Finally, don’t forget landscaping. Buyers often make 50% of their decision about a home based on the exterior. Talk to your agent about what upgrades should be tackled before you list your home, and which ones to leave for the next owners.
2. Minor repairs can wait
We understand how annoying it can be to tighten every screw, replace every burnt-out light bulb and repair every leaky faucet. But making minor repairs can mean the difference between getting the price you want and having to accept a lower offer. Most buyers are looking for a home that is move-in ready. When buyers see a number of small items on an inspection report that have not been taken care of by the seller they might wonder what big items were also not done. Now is the time to finally tackle that to-do list of minor repairs.
3. The seller determines the price
This is likely the biggest misconception when pricing a home. The truth is the market and the buyer determine the price. Buyers will not pay more than the market dictates the property is worth. While the home seller does ultimately make the decision about the listing price, there are many factors that determine the number. The biggest factor that dictates what you can reasonably expect to get for your home is the market itself. Thoroughly research all the comparable properties for sale in your area, and rely on the expert market knowledge of your agent to arrive at the best price.
4. Price high at the beginning
This is another of those friendly tips that can cause a seller many sleepless nights. There are some who believe that overpricing a home gives a potential buyer room to negotiate. But what it really does is scare most potential buyers off as they don’t want to deal with a seller who has overpriced his home. With so much information available online, today’s buyers know when a home is being listed for an unreasonably high price. Buyers will often not schedule an appointment to view an overpriced home. If they don’t see the house they are not going to negotiate. Pricing high will often result in your home spending more time than necessary on the market. The longer your home is on the market, the more buyers wonder what is wrong with it. If homes usually sell in 20 days and your home has been on the market for 120 most buyers are going to think it has major problems. Do yourself a favor, and price it correctly at the start.
5. Repaint everything a neutral color
If your home is covered in zebra-stripe wallpaper, then you may want to consider toning it down a little. But not all vibrant colors need to go. Sometimes, those bold colors play up a nice feature of your home or brighten up an otherwise drab room. If you feel like the color may be a little much, you can play it down with more neutral furnishings. However, there should be something that ties the colors together.. every room shouldn’t be a different color. A home with varying shades of green or blue can be lovely. However, a bright blue kitchen next to a hot orange dining room that opens to an emerald green living area might be a bit much if there isn’t anything that ties the rooms together.
6. Remove all holiday decorations before a showing
The holiday season is quickly approaching. If you’re getting ready to sell, you may think you’ll have to keep those boxes of holiday decorations stored until next year. If the thought of not decking your halls makes you sad, know that it’s OK to do a little holiday decorating. Just be sure to keep it simple and tasteful. In fact, those decorations may be just the thing to convince a potential buyer of how cozy and festive your house can be. That said you want a new set of photos after the holiday if your home is still on the market. Nothing says dated like a Christmas tree showing up in the featured photo of your March listing.
Have questions? Please feel free to call or e-mail me.