I visited another agent’s open house today and found myself being rather critical (what, me, a Virgo, being critical?) But we learn our lessons where we can. Mind you, I can tell you absolutely hair-raising stories about homes that I have sold that were way negative on the pristine show-quality staging effort:
* There was the one where the cats had been using the kitchen counter for a bathroom for a long time...really! We sold that for $175,000 over asking with 43 offers.
* The one that the tenant had used to express himself whenever he got upset by either spraying graffiti or chopping holes in the walls. That one sold for $180,000 over asking with 80 offers! But that's a true “event price” strategy. Would these houses have sold for more if they had been clean and well-maintained? Most assuredly.
* Another had a note on the refrigerator that said “Dave, please remember, NO DRUGS! We really want to sell the house!” I'm not kidding. And the price was too high just at the time that the market started its downward trek. Sigh, I'm afraid that one never sold and eventually ended up in foreclosure.
But even the regular homeseller may overlook some simple dos and don'ts that will help sell the home. They don't necessarily cost any money, either.
* Clean your house
* De-clutter your house
Here are some don'ts:
* Don't leave the toilet lid up
* Don't leave dirty dishes anywhere
* Don't leave anything in the path from the car to the door.
These are just a few things to start with when preparing your home for sale. For more, see our feature on Vern Yip's Design Tips to Sell Homes.