“It could be the difference between selling and not selling your Seattle-Eastside Home,” she said while sitting in her friend’s Redmond condo. The “she” is not me, but a home owner who contacted me to talk about selling her home. At one point, our discussion moved towards the things she would need to do before putting her home on the market. I rattled off the usual maintenance and upgrade items, which I’ve recently written about on this blog. She nodded her head. She understood. But instead of the usual comments I get regarding maintenance and upgrades, she knew it didn’t mean her home would sell for more than it’s worth. She knew that handling the maintenance items and some upgrades before her home went on the market simply meant she’d have a better chance of selling her home.
Most of the time when I talk with home sellers, the more common response is: If I do these maintenance and small upgrades, how much more will my home be worth? Most people think doing these items, like cleaning windows, replacing roofs or carpets will net more money than a home is worth. More than likely it won’t. It will, as she said, make the difference between selling and not selling an eastside home.
As an example, a home has to have a roof with 5 years of life left in it in order for a home to qualify for financing. Yes, a home must also qualify, along with the buyer, in order for the loan to go through. Having a good roof or a new roof, will not net more money, it simply will mean a home can sell and the buyer is able to get a loan on the property.
New carpet, as opposed to old, dirty or worn carpet also means the odds of selling a home will increase. Buyers don’t buy homes with old, worn materials. In today’s real estate market, buyers don’t have to. There are a lot of choices out there. Many of the homes are good homes that are priced right and show well. These are the homes that make it into the “sold” category. They are the homes that sell. The homes with deferred maintenance or few upgrades will be in the category of homes that don’t sell.
The Seattle’s eastside real estate market is a different than some other parts of the country. Back east, where I’m from, many homes are older and the expectation for updating and upgrades is not the same. Here on Seattle eastside, the typical buyer is looking for homes that are move-in ready. These buyers have are extremely busy. Some are handy with a hammer, some are not, but most want to move in and not have to think about fixing up a home.
So take a look at the link in the first paragraph. To sell in the eastside market, you’ve got to do some of the things on the maintenance/upgrade list. There’s a whole host of things that should be done before a home goes on the market so the home will net the price it deserves.
The last few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time helping soon-to-be home sellers get their homes ready for the market. I’ve spent time creating lists of cosmetic/structural items that need to be done to make a home market ready. I’ve recommended reliable contractors. I’ve helped to pick out paint colors, carpets, tile, vinyl, light fixtures, and then some, so people can do the updates necessary to get their home sold.
My car is on auto-pilot and assumes its heading to the Lowe’s or Home Depot in Bellevue each day!
Sometimes I think I should add interior decorator and project manager to my title. My business card says I’m a Realtor, but more often than not, I’m a decorator/project manager.
Seriously, this is a big part of my job and is one of the most important ways I can help sellers make the most money when selling a home. Recently, I’ve written some posts about how there’s a “hot” market and a “not” market on Seattle’s eastside. The homes that make it into the “hot” market are those that have been updated, staged, and photographed and look their best when out there on the market. These homes are market ready and look fabulous from day one. Nobody gets in to see these homes until the list of work is completed.
For most people, it’s work to get to the point where they are in the “hot” category. Most home sellers need a few weeks or months to get ready to sell. Some people even call me a year ahead, which is smart move. These people can then take their time to get their home ready. There’s no rush. But more often than not, I get the call a few weeks or months before the move. I’m okay with that time frame, but are you? Can you get your home ready for the market in just weeks or months?
Pick up the phone and call if you’re thinking of selling in the next year and want to be one of the “hot” homes.