Does a Windsor home need to be in perfect condition before it is listed on the real estate market? No, of course not. In fact, there isn’t a home around that is not in some need of repair or updating when for sale. That’s why home inspections are necessary and buyers should never ignore. However, there are homes where major repairs are needed and sellers simply cannot afford to make the necessary improvements. While the majority of buyers want a home that is move-in ready, there are those buyers who are looking for fixer-uppers.
If you are a homeowner that wants to sell, but you are worried that you won’t get the price you want because of costly repairs, here is some of the best advice I can offer so that you can get the most bang for your buck.
1. Don’t attempt to sell yourself! Hire a professional real estate agent who can target your home to specific buyers. Not only that, an agent can tell you what repairs matter and what don’t. An excellent marketing program is needed and absolutely vital to spreading the word about your home. A strategy is for your agent to promote what’s great about your property. Maybe it’s the excellent school district or open floor plan. Chances are, your agent will have buyers in mind for your home based on those or other features. Also, don’t assume your home is unsellable. For example, I recently had a client who was very nervous about her roof as it had certainly seen better days. There was no way she could afford to replace it, but she was worried that buyers would automatically deduct the cost of repairing from their purchase offer. At my suggestion, she hired a roofing company to come and look over her roof and it was determined that all it needed was a good cleaning and a few shingles replaced. Her roof was guaranteed for up to 3 years and this paperwork was provided to all necessary buyers. So an agent can walk around and tell you what buyers will notice, and what won’t particularly matter.
2. Discount the price right away: When listing your house, discount the price slightly at the start. Why? Because you are acknowledging the house needs repairs and you are leaving yourself some negotiating room. When marketing the home, your real estate agent can advertise the fact that your property is priced below comps! It’s a great selling point and gets the attention of interested and serious buyers, particularly those that are looking at investment properties, fixer uppers or even first time homebuyers.
3. Clean and declutter: While you may have a home that is in need of repairs, take the buyer’s attention away from that and showcase an impeccably clean home devoid of any clutter whatsoever. This means any personal belongings including photos, trophies, and knickknacks. Also, leave the kitchen counters bare of any equipment such as coffee makers, can openers and other clutter. And don’t forget about curb appeal! Repairs don’t look quite as unappealing when a home makes that valuable first impression. Plant flowers, pull weeds, keep lawn mowed and hedges trimmed.
4. Get an inspection: That’s right, you heard it here. Hire an inspector to come to your home to give it a thorough review. Costs will range from $300 on up depending on the size of the property, but this way, you can review the report with your agent and determined if you can fix of the problems yourself. Some repairs may be minimal and cost little. But for those major repairs, you can then factor them into the price you settle for your home. But at the very least, you are telling buyers that you are aware of the issues, and the home has been priced accordingly. This way there is no surprise or shock to a buyer.
Don’t think that your home won’t sell if it needs work, because there are buyer’s for every home. Will get the price you want? You can if you are prepared and your home is marketed properly. Never fail to disclose a needed repair. Be honest and upfront right away.