As you know, I love old homes...the quirkier the better!
However, in real estate circles, quirky homes are NOT known to be easy to sell . As a matter of fact, a funky old home can be seen as a liability. Vintage abodes with unusual spaces and yesteryear charm can sit on the market for months waiting for a person with an imagination to come along. And during those long, frustrating months, the seller may be dropping their price hoping someone will bite.
SO, I was thrilled earlier this summer when my good friend Michael Eagle, a go-getter of a realtor, contacted me to help his clients as they prepared to put their historic twin on the market.
I was told from the start, both by Mike and his clients, that this house was quirky--and all involved knew that I do quirky! (I LIVE in quirky! I hail from quirky!) So, employing all of my quirks (yes, there are many), it was my job to help the homeowners highlight all of the beautiful features of this house so that it would no longer present simply as "quirky," but rather as a unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity to live in a piece of history.
The house had a lot going for it, such as newly renovated bathrooms and kitchen, so it was really about editing down the rooms for a clean, simple presentation, highlighting existing square footage, and brightening the spaces so that all it had to offer would be impossible to overlook.
All that hard work paid off. The house sold in less than two weeks for the price they had been hoping for.
So, are you considering putting your house on the market in the near future? If you are thinking of listing your home, what are the mistakes to avoid (whether your house is quirky or not) that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars when you go to sell?
Hmmmmm….let's expose these stinkers, and make you some money:
Mistake #1. Relying on your buyer to have an imagination. Buyers typically reach for their checkbook when they see what they have been looking for clearly in front of them. The spaces have to be clearly and nicely laid out so that is super simple to see exactly how the rooms can be used. For example, your house has an in-law suite, but currently that space houses your workout equipment. Even if your listing states it has an in-law suite (something your buyer wants), if it isn't set up so they can SEE that it does, they will walk right on through disappointed…and NOT make an offer. I'm not even kidding. You can see an example of this here.
Mistake #2. Living as you always have in the house. Once you have decided to sell your house, the best mindset to have is that it is no longer yours. Personal touches and taste-specific decor are not your friends at this time, because as we have already established, your buyer is not exceptionally imaginative. They won't be able to picture themselves and their belongings in the house if all of your leopard print fabric and velvet Elvis paintings are screaming at them, drawing their attention away from how they would live in the house, and from what you want--for them to BUY.
Mistake #3. Living as you always have in the house. YES I KNOW I SAID THAT BEFORE, but, this is pertaining to the STUFF of daily life…like dings and clutter and dust. Very few of us live in houses that are "q-tip clean" with paint in perfect condition, and rooms perfectly picked up day-in and day-out. Did I mention that your buyer doesn't have an imagination? I think I did. And seeing past chipped paint, dirt in corners, and crap on counters is therefore not their strong suit.
So, make it clean, clutter-free, and obvious to all who enter that your house is the best house on the block…and watch it fly off the "shelves" at an awesome, profitable price.