Good Morning San Antonio, (and anyone else trying to sell their home). I thought I would have a conversation about homes in the San Antonio area that are staying on the market for a longer than usual time.
Now, a lot of that has to do with today's economy and it being more difficult than ever to find a qualified buyer to buy your home. Additionally, there are a lot of sellers out there who feel they need to price their home higher because they don't have enough equity. Some do not want to drop their price as they fear that they will pay too much out of pocket. I can understand that to a point; however, in today's world, that just isn't going to work.
I am not discussing those situations today, (perhaps another day :o)!). I am talking about the homes that are basically priced right, and in a great location. I am talking about those homes that the agent and the seller felt pretty confident about selling quickly. Well...now it's day 160 on a 180 day exclusive listing and after three price drops, and many, many showings....Nothing...NADA. What is up? Plenty of individuals at this point are ready to throw their agent under the bus.
However...take a pause and a deep breath....If you have ever heard any of the below from your agent then you need to take that index finger you have pointed out front and turn in 180 degrees.
1. Is your house as clean as it could be and I mean All The Time? Is it ready at a moments notice for a a buyer to walk in and want to buy it? I know it can get exhausting keeping a home ready to sell, but it's an absolute must. I can't tell you how many homes I have brought a buyer to and they are filthy. There is stuff all over the yard, clothes lying on the floor in the bedroom and way too many dishes in the sink. You get my meaning. Just a dirty house. If a potential buyer walks into a home like that, they are going to think that the current owner hasn't taken care of the home. Listen, even if you are a slob normally, (and I understand, I didn't get the clean gene either), you need to keep on top of it. To make it easier, see if your agent knows a good cleaning service and have them come in and do a once over just to get you started. Have it come out of the proceeds at the closing table if that is possible. Either way, your home has got to be CLEAN!!
2. Do you have animals? You may have gotten used to Sparky's and Fluffy's unique smell, but I can assure you, potential buyers have not. Do you smoke? Don't, (of course I want you to quit for your health, but as that is not likely during a stressful time), smoke in the house!!! Go OUTSIDE, (no, not the garage either), and do it there. And CLEAN up your butts!! Throw them away in the garbage outside. Don't bring the butts back inside. You are going to need to get your carpets thoroughly cleaned and make sure to clean the litter box daily. It also might be a wise idea to get curtains professionally cleaned. You would be amazed at the odors that cling to those things. Additionally, there are plenty of odor control carpet fresheners for pets and smoke. Use the product that is best for you. If necessary, bring someone in with a clean nose and ask for their opinion. If it passes by them, you are good to go!
3. Does your fence, deck or both look dilapidated and ready to fall apart? It's time to fix that hole in the fence and straighten that post. Go ahead and pound a few nails in the deck and make potential buyers secure in the knowledge that when they step on the thing, they won't fall through. Then, get a water proof stain and stain the deck and fence. This is a good thing to do anyway, and it will make those things look new which is what you want the perception for potential buyers to have.
4. Do you have broken or outdated fixtures in your home? When a buyer walks up to your home, is the outdoor light fixture dangling from your wall? Is the doorbell cracked from the sun? Are there light bulbs in your home that are burnt out? Time to fix those things up, preferably before you show your home. However, if you haven't listened to your agent until now, then get up and go fix it NOW, (well, wait until you are done reading my blog). This holds true for leaky faucets and replacing air conditioning filters. Get everything ready for your buyer. Your agent may have advice for you on getting a sellers home warranty that can fix some of these things. They are relatively cheap and you can purchase a sellers/buyers home warranty together for a discount usually. Any good buyers agent is going to ask for that anyway, and truly, (in my opinion), sellers should offer them.
5. Sellers, I know this is your home and some of you would like to be available for questioning for a potential buyer. However, do your agent a favor and don't, (be available I mean). Make yourself scarce. Leave. Just pick up your family, throw em in the car and drive around the block 30 times, or how ever long you need to. No... going upstairs while they are downstairs won't work either. I am going to say this as nicely as possible, GO AWAY :o)! Buyers will not feel comfortable exploring the possibility of this being their new home if you are there, period, end of story. They will leave quickly, never seeing all the hard work you put into getting your home ready. This is NOT what you want to happen. You want them to feel at home in their potentially new home. I promise this is true. I know you have heard it before. I cannot force you and your agent cannot force you, but PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE.....
Ok, enough begging. These are just a few tips to assist you in selling your home quicker. You can get more detailed information by clicking this wonderful link right HERE. The bottom line, look at your home like a buyer would and try to be objective. Be as critical as you can and fix those things that you know you would want as a buyer. Then, work together with your agent and you should be able to to sell your home quicker.
Good luck and thanks for reading!
Do you need AID in Buying or Selling a Home in the San Antonio area?!
Then call me, The San Antonio House Medic, Helping You to Find Home!
Brenda Mullen – San Antonio Texas Real Estate Professional
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