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I was talking with a few Agents yesterday discussing the usual slump this time of year for selling and buying properties during the holidays. I mentioned that I am sure it will pick up once the New Year begins, and pointed out how well the last quarter was progressing and improving. One Agent said “yes, but all the inventory (of properties) that are available have been exhausted.”
“The inventory that is available has been exhausted;” that statement sat in my mind and I thought; if inventory is exhausted, but the properties are still sitting on the market, what’s wrong with this picture? Flipping through the MLS I have seen some properties that have been lingering and I know what is wrong with the picture…
The pictures themselves for one thing; the presentation of the properties are not the best representation. If I was a buyer I would be tired of seeing the same outdated, messy, overcrowded with furniture properties too. So what can a seller do?
1. Be objective– if your home has been on the market beyond 90 days it is time to really reevaluate your original plan to sell
2. Ask your Agent to be honest about what needs to be done to improve your listing. Be open to the suggestions and be willing to act upon them. If the Agent feels they should not be in the position to evaluate your property, have them hire a professional stager to review your property.
3. Consider your ROI- yes your return on investment. I hear it all the time; the seller refuses to invest any money in the house because they are selling. Well sometimes investing $45 in a can of paint might just be worth it. It does not have to cost a lot of money to create a fantastic space.
4. Pricing are you properly positioned in the current market for the condition and location of your property?
5. Photography- yes did the Agent post professional photographs of your home, have they been updated since you listed i.e. maybe have a nice shot taken at dusk with the snow on the ground now. Evaluate your home in buyers’ eyes.
So if you are selling, do not become the property that is in the “exhausted inventory” category, make sure it is in the “considered category”. One that stands out in the buyers mind as a possible next home.
The housing market is recovering, Realtor.com states there are solid price increases, steady inventory and strong demand continuing well into the fall season. With this trend it is even more important to make sure your home speaks to buyers. So what rooms should you concentrate on to help sell your home?
Obviously the kitchen. Did you know that this one room it makes up 30% of a buyers decision to buy or walk away? That is a lot of power for one room in a house! If you do not have a new or updated kitchen don’t fret because there are inexpensive things that you can do to help you sell.
First look at the appliances are they all working? Have they been updated in the last 5 years and are they all the same color? If you answered yes to all those questions you are in pretty good shape. Buyers of course think stainless is the way to go, but if your market does not bear that price point having all black or white appliances is fine as long as they are all the same, the mismatched look does not convey well with buyers.
Next look at your cabinets make sure the doors are aligned, insides cleaned and straightened out, and clean the surface inside and out- if you cannot clean the cabinets of built up grime, try painting them with a fresh coat of high quality latex enamel paint. Next look at your hardware, this is an inexpensive way to update the look of cabinets. It is amazing what paint can do to spruce up a room when selling.
The next place to concentrate on is the bathrooms. This is the next important room in a house. Make sure they are clean and SPOTLESS and I mean spotless. A fresh coat of paint, keeping personal toiletry items away, clearing counter space, hanging new fresh towels can go a long way.
Both in the kitchen and baths, pay attention to your lighting fixtures. If they are original to the house you might want to update them, by spending under $100 to change them out will make a huge impression on the buyer. Small investments such as paint, updated hardware and lighting can have an enormous impact. Kitchen and bathrooms weigh a lot in the decision making process. Why? Think of remodeling costs, the average kitchen remodel in 2013 was $56,199 to $110,792* and allowing the seller to recoup an average of 57% of that. A bathroom remodel can range from $16,603 to $51,737 whereby sellers recouping 53%.
If you are thinking of selling in the near future there are small improvements you can make that can have a big impact, a professional stager can also help and direct you. If you are thinking you will be in your home a few more years, I always say there is no better time than now to renovate because you get to enjoy the fruits of the labor and money invested!
Have questions… let me know!
Everyone loves to dress up their home for the holidays and a focal point in many homes is the mantle above the fireplace.
I am one that likes the traditional look of greenery and poinsettias to adorn the fireplace to make it look festive. But over the years I am finding I am gravitating towards more of a winter theme vs. the holiday theme because if I do not get to taking it down right away it still looks nice in January.
However you dress your mantel it is personal, traditional and will leave everyone with a warm feeling of the holidays. Here are some ideas to inspire you, as they have me, over the years.
I love this trending turquoise blue color in decorations, it is so striking and the color just pops with the natural greenery, and branches.
The blue with the white creates a cool room that feels very wintry, while combining the blue with natural greens on the mantel it feels warmer.
If you like a more traditional look with evergreens and paper whites, these are beautiful additions to a room.
In the South and where magnolia branches are abundant, take advantage of them and mix them with fruits and warm candle light to create a striking mantel.
Of course using red and green to decorate a mantle is always handsome and agreeable with the colors of Christmas.
In my search of favorite mantels I came across this adorable idea for the apartment dweller or home that might not have a real fireplace mantel to decorate. Create a canvas with chalk board paint to set the ambiance.
However you decorate or create your mantel, it will bring warmth and the joy of the holidays to you and your family. Merry, Merry!