Every once in awhile, I like to go visit open houses just to see what's out there and what people are doing, or not doing, in some cases. With my husband and daughter in tow, we headed out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to an exclusive neighborhood here in Northern California (my plan is to move there in the near future). Here are five things that I noticed during our open house tours that I thought I'd share with you …
Important home selling tips to keep in mind in today's real estate market:
1) As I have mentioned before, when your property is in the higher price range (in the multi-millions), there is a level of anticipation that ALL buyers have of that property. Your biggest challenge is going to be avoiding underwhelm. For $ 1.5 or $ 2.5 or $ 3.5M, what do they get? They want to know what “value” they will receive in exchange for the millions that they are paying out.
Some things to consider:
* Does your kitchen come with high-end appliances (it's almost expected to have commercial grade appliances in properties over $ 1M)
* Is there intensive renovations required, particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms? (just know that this is a deterrent for many buyers; most want turn-key)
* What is the overall condition of the property? Has it been well maintained and are the upgrades in line with the price range of the home?
2) Avoid giving a presentation of the property to your visitors. This was only an issue with one property where the Realtor was also the owner. I do not know how long that property has been on the market, but I'm guessing he has not received any interest and was appearing a little on the “desperate” side. Buyers generally do not need or want a tour guide.
3) When selling and showing a VACANT property, make sure it is completely vacant, ie remove ALL personal belongings, including old, ugly drapes that you removed for a reason.
4) When selling a vacant, fixer-upper property, still take the extra step to get the property cleaned so it's not dusty, musty and wreaks of an ON SALE sign rather than a FOR SALE sign.
5) Remember that even if your property has a beautiful view, buyers can not live in a view (and particularly in this market, most can not justify a $ 1.7M outdated floorplan with extensive and expensive fix-ups, all for a view It's just not realistic!
So, if you're anything like me and millions of other homeowners around the globe, you've been drawn to open houses in your neighborhood from time to time. Why? Because you're curious about what your neighbor's house looks like and what price they're selling their house for. If you have not done that slowly, get out there this weekend and take a peek and see what you find. Even if you're not planning on selling your house any time soon, it's nice to keep a pulse of what's happening anyway. Plus, it's a lot of fun … enjoy!