Preparing a Property for Sale

Ron's Blog


I cannot tell you how many times our office has been contacted by someone wanting to sell their property by way of an auction or a traditional listing. When I meet with the seller at the property site, in most cases, the seller quickly begins to tell me how much the property is worth and what he or she expects from a sale. When I ask how they arrived at that figure, I normally get a stare for a few seconds, and then they respond with various answers of which none of them are very plausible.

Not only is the selling price out of line, but in many cases, the home has not been prepared for a sale. I then have to ask the seller to take off his/her seller’s hat off and to put on a buyer’s hat. I then walk through the home or property and point out some things that will turn off a buyer. Let me give you a recent real life example:

As I drove into the gravel driveway, I had to drive very slowly over several pot holes with standing water. The grass was at least ankle high and even higher in other places. The home had vinyl siding with heavy mildew on the front and back. No gutters.

A black dog greeted me with the idea that he was going to either eat me or my car. After tooting my horn, the seller can out, put the dog up, and began to apologize stating the dog wouldn’t bite. (Yea, tell me about it.) There was no “curb appeal” to this home.

Entering the home, two odors immediately struck me: dog and cigarette smoke. The seller was in the process of moving to a new location. With most of the furniture removed, you could tell where the furniture had been located because of indentation in the carpet, in addition to the carpet needing replacing. The seller assured me it would look better after some vacuuming was done.

We walked into the kitchen area and I immediately notice some formica on the counter top was chipped or missing. I was told the refrigerator, which was making a loud, buzzing sound, would convey with the home. (Obviously they didn’t want it to be their problem.)

Near the stove, the linoleum kitchen floor had burn holes in it. There were yellow stains in the ceiling. The seller said, “We used to have a leak but everything is fine now.” (Yea, OK.)

We then walked through the bedrooms. Gaudy wall paper, which had broken lose at the seams, were hanging in the children’s bedroom. The master bedroom was painted in a color that would keep the average person awake at night.

I am not sure how to describe the cleanliness of the bathrooms. But I am sure the homeless would not want to use these facilities. The inside of the home needed painting everywhere. Half of the light bulbs were burned out and the return vents for the A/C were… let’s just say the filters really needed changing. Again, the seller said it would look better after the house was cleaned up but they didn’t want to spend a lot of money getting it “cleaned up.” Then the seller asked, “How long do you think it will take to get the home sold?” End of story.

While the above example might seem a little exaggerated, believe me, it is not. We run across homes like this almost on a weekly basis. The auctioneer or real estate broker cannot perform miracles. It is the sellers’ responsibility to get the home “market ready” or you will truly be surprised in the offer you get, assuming you get one.

If you would like us to review your home and make recommendations, call us 252-257-4822. They could add value to your home.

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