The Better the Condition, the Better the Sale by Lisa Getson
When you listen to the radio or watch television, the news media is all abuzz about the real estate market. It is quite evident that it is a softer market than in prior years. Inventory is up and pended sales and settled sales are down. However, it isn't 100% doom and gloom. Houses are still selling, even in multiple offers and some for at, or close to their asking price. The key to selling your home is the condition.
The world in which we live in today is a hectic one. Many people are either out working hard at their jobs or home raising a family. Either way, people are busy and most don't have the time or the desire to renovate a house. Being able to move in, unpack, and go about their daily tasks is what many buyers today are looking for.
Furthermore, renovating a house is expensive. With the cost of living so high not everybody has a lot of money saved. The interest rates are low and will hopefully remain that way, so obtaining a mortgage to purchase a house and making the monthly mortgage payments are no problem. Even spending a little bit more money for a house is feasible if over the course of a 15 or 30 year mortgage the difference in a higher purchase price ends up to be only a small increase in the monthly mortgage payments. The issue lies in having the extra cash in hand for renovations after you purchase a home. It is for this reason that buyers today are leaning towards purchasing homes in more move-in condition.
As a realtor, my recommendation to someone who is thinking of putting their home on the market is that, if you are able, do everything you need to do to fix it up ahead of time. Take down that old wallpaper. Re-paint over peeling walls. Use neutral colors. It will freshen up the entire house. Remove old carpeting and replace it with new neutral carpet. If there are hardwood floors, keep them exposed. If they are not in good condition have them refinished. Hardwood floors are one of the top selling features of a home. Kitchens and bathrooms are also very important. One of my clients put in a new kitchen just prior to listing their house for sale. Their house sold. Lastly, make sure that all of the systems in the house are in good working order. If they are not, a home inspector is only going to discover it anyway, so fix it ahead of time.
In today's market, if your home is in really good condition, it not only increases the chance of obtaining an agreement of sale, but one with a potentially higher sale price.