You’re either thinking about placing your house on the market, or for any number of reasons, you have no choice but to sell in the wake of the post-tax credit hangover.
You feel powerless and angry that sells have dropped 27-30% and you’re either in a Short Sale situation trying to avoid Foreclosure or you’re just trying to break even so you can start over when you begin a new job in another City or State. It is no doubt hard times for Sellers in San Diego, but hope is not lost. There are Buyers ready and willing to buy even in this market.
Below are a few tips on staging your San Diego home to make it more appealing, and most importantly tips on what will ensure your home is viewed by 90% of Buyers.
Old Dogs New Tricks
The National Association of REALTORS estimates that 90% of all Buyers use the internet to look for homes. This includes major websites, such as the San Diego Multiple Listing Service, Zillow, REDFIN, and more. Buyers like to view virtual tours either in video format or in picture format as well as take satellite tours of the neighborhood before deciding whether they want to look at a property. Therefore, it is very important that your REALTOR know how to utilize these tools to attract offers as well as have the ability to post your Listing on popular Real Estate Sites. REALTOR Magazine points out that a REALTOR who has survived many markets and years in the business most likely has a system of home marketing utilizing these new tricks of the trade, which tends to attract 30% more traffic upon the initial Listing than more traditional methods, such as newspaper ads.
Think of Buyers as young people out shopping for the perfect mate. Even if on the inside your home deserves to be lived in by Angels, if the outside lacks hygiene and style, you’re going to be waiting until the bar closes for a blurry-eyed someone to show a little interest. Even if you can only afford to have the neighbor kid clip your grass and pull weeds, a manicured yard is more appealing than a jungle that needs a machete in order to reach the front door. It will not break the bank to cover a little chipping paint or do a little light landscaping. Even if you want to kill the bank at this point because you are in a short sale situation, making your home more appealing will make the whole process go faster, which means you’ll be free of the hassle that much quicker.
Less is More
I know you love your French Doll collection, but to most of us, it is just creepy. A Buyer is just not likely to share your enthusiasm. You’re planning to move soon anyway, right? So get a jump on packing by sticking all unnecessary items in storage. Storage is a fraction of the cost of having your house sit on the market month after month. If you’re having trouble deciding what to send to storage, the list below will help you out:
- No more than one to two items on any counter top—the rest goes.
- If your any room is full of furniture that blocks windows, doors, or doesn’t allow for at least a 2 to 3 foot clearance around the bed, coffee table or dining table, the furniture has to go.
- Bookshelves and books should go unless your house is a mansion with an authentic Library.
- Hobby equipment, sewing machines, and collections should go.
- Take down posters in kids rooms and limit art on the walls to one piece or selection per wall.
What you want to achieve is something akin to walking into an IKEA showroom; a simplified living space that allows potential Buyers to fill in the blanks. Think of the interior of your home as a canvas where the imaginations of Buyers will be allowed to run free and take shape.
What the Hell is that Smell?
You’ve taken my advice, hired an experienced REALTOR, cleaned up the yard and placed unnecessary items in storage, and appointments to view your home are pouring in, but there is just one more major obstacle to getting an offer on your home—a Buyer’s sense of smell.
I cannot tell you the numerous properties Buyers pass up on this factor alone. Your home could be built by an up-and-coming Architect and furnished by a famous Swedish Minimalist Designer, but if it smells like the combination of mold, fish, stale cigarettes, cat duty and booze, you’re going to taint the imagination of a potential Buyer and most likely force their exit before they’ve seen every room.
Please lay off the smoking inside and get a bleach-based cleaner to wipe down that black stuff growing on the walls, windows or ceiling—that’s mold—and like smoking inside, it is very unhealthy stuff to be inhaling in the first place. Use a carpet cleaner to clean pet odors and stains from carpets. Other than that, avoid making your favorite Curry dishes and eating Herring every night—the Omega 3’s are great, but you’re not going to sell your home if it smells like a fishing vessel.
So there you have it. Most of these apply in any market situation, but if you want to walk the walk and not just TALK about selling your home, these are the bare minimums to getting your home in front of serious Buyers ready and willing to buy in today’s market.
For a referral to a San Diego Real Estate Professional near you, please contact me, Jessica Henry, at 858.869.9454, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discover more San Diego lifestyle tips and trends in our local real estate blog.