It's All In The Details

It's All In The Details

  • Andrea Gordon
  • 04/17/24

I know many of you have been worried about the real estate market with the headlines blaring, and the interest rates continuing to stay very high, all the doom and gloom about inflation etc.

The reality is just like everything in life. You put one foot in front of the other and do what you have to do to achieve your goals. To start, everything you are hearing changes nothing about what you need to do to achieve the highest price possible for your home. In fact, all that is necessary is that your home needs to be as beautiful as possible for people to notice it online and actually walk out the door to come see your property.

People always ask me what to do to get their homes ready for the market. Look around. If there is something that has bothered you since you began living there, it is likely to be something it will feel good to repair and something a potential buyer will appreciate; for example, bad water pressure. In a marketing period, potential buyers will inevitably test the water pressure. If it has bugged you for years, they will do the mental calculus to figure out what it will cost to fix it. 

Cracks in the driveway; they will have someone out to tell them the cost of repair.

An old, decrepit fence—same thing. Bad looking steps to the front door—same thing! You are catching my drift. So besides the normal interior and exterior paint, and refinishing damaged floors, take stock of things like the exposed side of the refrigerator with the dent; how do you address that? The missing trim under the dishwasher… The outlet plate cover that never got replaced… All these little details add up to a house that feels complete, aesthetically ready, and cared for. Every piece of neglect will be almost emotionally felt by the buyers, and it will take money off your sales price. 

Get reports before the property goes on the market, and make sure you address whatever is possible. If there is a big ticket item you cannot handle, just be aware it will affect the ultimate sales price. Also, if you live in a condo, order the HOA docs well in advance. Make sure there are at least 12 months of minutes in them as well as proof of insurance, the reserve study, the CC&Rs, and any other relevant documents. They cost money even for owners, and the processing times can be very long. You do not want your sale held up because a management company takes six weeks to get you the HOA docs. Additionally, make sure there is no pending litigation, or any special assessments coming up. These will need to be taken into account when selling and can affect sales price. 

If you have mature plantings in your yard, maintain them and do the most simple thing possible to make the grounds of the property look good. Now is not the time to embark on a large landscaping or garden project. The time it takes for young plants to look good will mean that the yard looks barren if you denude areas of perfectly fine plants. Just clean up what is there and keep it very simple. All this advice will serve your sale well!

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