When preparing a property for sale, remember that buyers are smart. They will see any obstacles which promptly give them negotiating power. Obvious obstacles that can break a sale are uncleanliness, clutter, odors, disrepair and lack of maintenance. Even if your house is spotless, fresh and uncluttered, you should address additional obstacles to glean top dollar.
How a home presents reflects how well it has been maintained. A well maintained property is an asset. A house that reflects disrepair and deferred maintenance makes potential buyers wonder what else has not been cared for properly. They will assume that the sellers only tended to problems instead of preventing them.
Other obstacles that influence the sale are any perceived work inside and out, taste specific décor, an outdated property, problem spaces and the inability to understand how to use a room.
This includes lack of maintenance to the home as well as the property. A yard screaming for attention, a fence or deck in need of staining, cracked and chipped stucco and peeling paint are potential projects that stand out to buyers. Even if the exterior is well maintained, buyers will identify with the exterior updates they prefer, such as improving the landscape and changing the paint color. If buyers don’t like what they see outside they certainly will not schedule a visit inside.
If you do not tackle obstacles ahead of time, buyers will either walk away or overinflate actual costs to compensate for each item that doesn’t meet their needs. Therefore, if something needs work, fix it. It is not worth the risk of limiting your buyer pool or losing multiple times the cost of the actual repair.
Some properties have areas that made sense in the past, but no longer resonate with today’s buyers. Think of small choppy rooms and a kitchen disconnected from the rest of the house. Some houses have spaces that are difficult to understand how they can be used. Others have an elephant in the room like a hot tub in the living room or wild colors.
It is tempting to think that bringing in new furnishings will distract a buyer from seeing the obstacles, but remember, buyers are smart. You are selling the property, not the furniture. A professional can use your furnishings to market the features of the house and show buyers how to use those funky spaces. Where the pro places items is more important than the pieces themselves. Add value by improving the property rather than renting furniture.
In summary, if something is broken, fix it. If it yells for attention, address it. Get professional advice on what updates and solutions are worth the effort and how to accomplish them without overspending. The ultimate goal, after all, is to maximize your return on investment and attract buyers.