Short Sales - 6 Tips So You Don't "Short" your Buyers!
One of the things that most struck me about my 23 years of life in rural Wisconsin was pride of ownership. Do you know that people mow their ditches there? Do you know that there are almost NO junk piles or abandoned vehicles in side yards? No kidding - I know it sounds like a generalization but Wisconsinites, back me up here - pride of ownership is alive and well in the Dairy State.
Last Saturday I took my out-of-state clients around to 6 different short sales, 5 of which were occupied and WERE HOME, even though I made an appointment.
Not ONE of them had lights on or curtains open. Half of them did not know that clutter should be hidden. Half of them did not know what to do with a dishrag, mop, broom, or excess garbage.
If you are in a short sale situation, sellers -- don't you want a way out? Don't you want closure so you can get on with the next phase of your life? Don't you want to make an effort to put your best selling foot forward and present your home in a positive light?
I began to wonder if agents are truly educating their clients on what sells a home.
1. Don't Short-Change Buyer's Time: Accessibility is key. Buyers feel very uncomfortable when owners are home. Yes, I know there are extenuating circumstances, but the bottom line is, buyers feel very uncomfortable when owners are home. Take a walk. Sit outside. And for gosh sakes, turn your television volume down.
2. Short on Staging: Lights on, window curtains open. Even better, if you know someone is coming, bake some cookies. Spray some Febreeze. Buyers do not want to enter a smelly cave.
3. Don't be Short-sighted: Put your pets in a crate, take them for a walk or a drive, or at the very least put them outside. We saw a home this weekend that had a police dog, and my clients spent more time watching the "attack" mode of the dog through the second story windows than looking at the home. And see number 2 regarding smell. Maybe you can't smell them, but the buyers can.
4. Short on Cleanliness: Basic cleaning PLEASE! Sweep the floor, vacuum, wash the dishes. When a buyer makes an appointment to see a home at a specific time, what excuse is there to not have it "show" ready??
5. Short on Curbside Appeal: Hide your garbage cans and junk piles out of site. If you are selling, that means you're going to have to move. Get rid of the abandoned cars in your back yard.... you're going to have to remove them for COE anyway, so do it BEFORE you put your home on the market.
6. Location, Location, Location: Unfortunately, you can't help your neighbors. If your location is a drawback, realize there is no way around adjusting your price. Most people do not want to live next to hoarders, junk yards, and unkempt yards filled with animal droppings. If you are on good terms with your neighbors, buy them a drink and ask for some favors. Otherwise, I repeat, drop your price.
Despite the drawbacks, my client liked two homes on Saturday, and decided to write an offer. One, unfortunately, had neighbors next door with two dogs. That was okay. What was not okay was the field of feeces littering their yard of dirt - punctuated by toddler-sized toys scattered within the lot. There was even a raked pile of feeces - and a tricycle parked along side. My clients decided that was not who they wanted for neighbors.
The other home got the offer. The windows were open, the dishes were washed - no it wasn't perfect - but the asking price reflected that consideration.
They commented that the homeowner seemed "sad". Hopefully receiving this offer can help her move on to the next stage in her life - and leave this "short" sale behind her.
If I can assist you in your home buying or selling in Marana, Tucson, Oro Valley, or Vail, please don't hesitate to call me! Email at email@example.com
Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Long Realty, (520)909-2988
Regarding the material posted in my blog postings, these are my personal opinions and not those of Long Realty Company
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