So you’re ready to put your house on the market. You want to get it sold and move on to the next phase of your life. All you need to do is stick a sign in the yard and wait for someone to call, right? It really can’t be that hard. You love the place. It has so much character anyone who just walks in the door will appreciate it as much as you have. But after a few unproductive visits by people who don’t seem to share your passion for your castle you may begin to wonder what is really going on inside those buyers’ heads. It’s not that complicated. They are considering the same four things you will be considering when you begin your new home search. Two of those criteria you have complete control over. Two of them you don’t.
You’ve heard it before: location, location, location. It’s become somewhat overused but don’t disregard the fact that everyone who looks at your house is going to be working out how they will get from your address to everywhere they need to go in their lives. Work, school, church, shopping, proximity to other family members, all of these will play a large role in determining whether your address works for them. To make matters more complicated, everyone who walks in your door will have a different set of places they’ll need to go, starting at your address. Everything else about your house may work for them but if it’s too far from one of their important destinations they won’t buy your house. You can’t control this priority for the home buyer. Your house is where it is. You can’t move it.
You enjoyed the spacious upstairs game room. It’s large enough for a pool table and a 55” 4K UHD TV. Being able to send the three kids upstairs to their rooms at the end of the day, leaving the entire downstairs to you and your spouse, has also been a real plus. But when a buyer comes to look at your house and realizes that there is no spare bedroom downstairs for his 85 year old mother when she comes to visit, your house will be marked off the list. Floorplans reflect the lifestyle of the owner. They complement and enhance the way we live. If they don’t work, short of agreeing to build that second bedroom on the back of the house, you’re not going to sell your house to that person. Floorplans are permanent. For the most part, you can’t make significant changes in them.
Even though these two characteristics of your home are very important to buyers, you can’t really do anything about them if your property comes up short on their list in either area. In these two cases you are simply waiting for the right buyer to come along who values the location and layout as much as you have. If they’re on the fence about whether or not they could make the combination work, the next two items on the list are where you can make changes that might just tip them over the edge.
Here is where you as a seller can influence the buyer that your property is an excellent choice. If you’ve been keeping up with your maintenance, the overall mechanical condition of the house is good. Everything is in dependable working order: HVAC, water heater, kitchen appliances, anything with moving parts will all be in good repair. Interior and exterior paint, carpet, landscaping, and lighting will be clean, well kept, and up to date. Determining if this is true may take a bit of focus on your part. After all, you’ve lived in the house for a long time. Maybe you’ve gotten used to the way the back door sticks when you try to open it. The dishwasher makes a weird sound in the rinse but it still cleans the dishes. That frayed corner of the carpet has been there since fluffy was a puppy. You’ve obscured it with a table but a buyer won’t be impressed with your ingenuity. Take care of these things in advance. Don’t let them quietly be the reason someone says “no” to your home. If you have to spend a few hundred dollars on a new dishwasher or to get the fuzzy wallpaper taken off the walls in the guest bathroom, do it and look at it this way. You should have done it a long time ago. What were you doing with fuzzy wallpaper in the bathroom in the first place?
This one is the Holy Grail. It’s the one point that you control as a home seller where it can be difficult to find balance. You want to get as much as you can for your property but you don’t want to wait around forever to make a sale. As your Real Estate agent I can show you how your house compares with others that have sold in the area. I can suggest a price that will make you competitive within the market place. In the end, though, it’s very important to remember that while you set the listing price, the market sets the sales price. Your willingness to work with any offer will directly affect how quickly your property will sell. It’s important to consider also that your mortgage payment, insurance, taxes, and utilities all continue as you are waiting for a sale. Be sure to factor that in when you are looking at each offer.
Even though you have no control of the desirability of your property’s location or the floorplan of the house, with the two parameters you do control you might be able to swing a reluctant buyer your way. If the house is immaculate and priced competitively a buyer just might be willing to drive an extra five miles to work every day in order to enjoy your home.
Remember, your house isn’t the only one the buyer has to choose from. If you make sure your approach to marketing is better than the next guy’s, you’ll be the one who ends up at the closing table first.
If you are currently in the market to buy or sell a home in Tulsa or the surrounding areas, give me a call at 918-809-5199. I have twelve years experience in this market and I can make the process as easy as possible for you. I look forward to meeting you soon!