Condition is one of the 5 key variables to the saleability of a house and is one of the most important factors if obtaining a high price is a top consideration.
So let’s talk “Picture Perfect” condition.
With the number of shows about fixing up, decorating, selling, staging or renting houses on a myriad of TV & streaming channels, networks and services the expectation of buyers has increased in the last few decades from high to immaculate.
Over my years of working with buyers, and coaching buyer specialists the expectations of a perfect home have grown and grown. We’ve seen buyers reject perfect (for them) homes based on a bad couch pattern of paint colour. In recent years, the trend has seen buyers overestimate the cost of repairs, updated and changes by an average of x4.
We recently had a property up for sale, after 20+ showings and numerous feedback notes regarding the carpeting in the living/dining room we consulted with the seller. Numerous buyers had declined to make an offer, quoting that it would cost over $6,000 to install hardwood throughout the main level to bring the home up-to an acceptable style for their enjoyment.
We remover the property from the market for 2 weeks, and for $1,500 the seller had hardwood installed and a chandelier added to the dining room. When returned to the market the property sold within days for the same price we had been asking before the updates.
Several studies have shown that “Staged Houses” sell faster (10.3 days according to StagedHomes.com) and for more money (88% at or above list price, nar.realtor & Kiplinger.com) than non-staged houses.
The psychology behind this, which builders have been using for decades in model houses, is that by seeing pristine decor buyers are more easily able to envision living in the space, how it could be used, and believe that their lifestyle would be improved in the crisp, clean rooms as presented.
We once had this property (pictured) listed for sale with tenants. Although they had given notice and were moving out, the buyers regularly commented on how dirty or cluttered the condo appeared.
Upon the tenants leaving we had a professional cleaner tidy up and the seller staged the empty property. Within weeks of showcasing the condo, they got an acceptable offer and sold for far more than any offer they had received when the unit was occupied.
For strategies to stage a house to sell please visit these free resources;
Tips to Staging your House (Photo Series)
Getting your House Ready to Sell
Now the previous example is not intended to make you think you need to move out of a house to sell it, however living in a property while showing it for sale requires a few compromises for everyone involved.
During the showing phase of selling your house, everyone will need to be invested in maintaining a perfectly clean, crisp, attractive environment to impress buyers viewing the house. Restructuring your daily routine to ensure the house in is in viewing condition each morning before you leave is very important as each showing opportunity represents a potential sale.
We have seen buyers refuse a property over as little as dishes in the sink or laundry on the floor, which should have no bearing on a house, but in some buyers eyes represents neglect or uncaring which could include all maintenance involved in a house.
Always make sure your house is showing it’s best to increase the price and speed in which you can sell it for.