Over the years we have heard all kinds of different perspectives from our sellers all in the hope of being able to avoid deferred maintenance or general updating. In today’s world of fix and flip or love it or list it shows and numerous other programs that are about getting a home ready for market and how to bring the best value, I am surprised to hear this question at all.
So what is the question? Here it is. We are just going to let the new buyers handle the things that need to be done.
What happens if we make the wrong choice? Then there is usually a dissertation about how there is no way they are going to put any more money into this house. I understand it, I do, mentally at this point most of us have begun to move on and this place that has been our home for so long starts to lose its emotional appeal and it is hard to pour into something we are planning on leaving.
It is also hard to define exactly how much more a seller is going to make if he/she does these items, even though as an experienced Realtors we can come up with some pretty solid evidence on why the work should be done and what the ultimate end result will be. The truth is there is never a guarantee and markets change weekly if not daily, so what is true about our market today most likely will not be true next week. We have been fortunate to be in a positive run for sellers for the past few years, that will change. When we were in the middle of the downturn this truth was amplified, there would seemingly be little surges in the market that would last a week or so and then we would go right back to little or no activity. We counseled several of our clients to get their homes on the market when we saw these surges begin and got them more money than they were expecting.
I can’t tell you how many clients have said to me after I have explained this, that while this makes sense they would still rather just leave it up to the buyer and this is what I have come to say.
Every time you hear yourself say, I would rather have the buyer choose, or I am not putting any more money into this place or ….. I want you to visualize yourself reaching into your wallet, taking out money and throwing it out the window. Did I hear you say yeah, but can’t they just look past it, this is a good home. Reach back into your wallet again, take out some more money and throw it away or better yet, why don’t you just give it to your potential buyer. Consider the fact that they will discount your home even more than the updates needed every time, so you are giving them additional equity.
Now, I have had clients fully understand the concept I have laid out here and still choose to not do the recommended updates. They were at a point where just getting the home on the market and getting it sold was more important than any potentially lost equity. I can tell you that once this concept was honestly understood most of our clients choose to get the home prepared.
I do also think that sometimes it is just not knowing who to call to get the items done, the thought of trying to find all the necessary contractors to get the work done seems like a trip to the dentist for a root canal. That is where we can come in and help a great deal, we have a long list of people we recommend and can help coordinate quite easily.
The other thing we can run into is that seller just doesn’t have the available funds to get the work done. We have negotiated with some of the sub-contractors to agree to get paid at the closing table out of the equity in the home.
I highly encourage our clients to do is call us when you first start thinking about selling, taking the time in advance to go through your home and make suggestions on what to do will result in not only more money in your pocket, it will also make the sale much smoother if you give yourself more time.
Please, don’t take everything that you see on TV as the absolute truth, we also run into sellers that call us in when they are ready to put their house on the market, they have watched “the Shows” and have done some things we would have never recommended and ultimately have cost themselves several thousand dollars and more. Remember that every geographical market is different, and each price range is different with their own specific expectations.
The bottom line is to consult a good experienced real estate agent BEFORE you do any work. It will make you and save you money. I guarantee it.