Last Friday we looked at how important it is to plan ahead if you're buying a home in 2018.
While we would strongly recommend that you don't wait to sell until then for reasons outlined in another recent blog, it could be that, for whatever reason, you're just not going to be ready to put the property on the market right now.
Does that sound like you? Well the really good news is that as you seem to have a positive forward plan, there's plenty of time to prepare your home to be in the best possible condition for sale.
And though you may be thinking that time is on your side, it's important not to make the mistake of putting off preparations until you're about to list.
The key advantage of doing things now is that you're giving yourself the very best chance of maximizing your return when you do list.
In today's exceptionally healthy Albuquerque homes market, the focus should always be on making sure you optimize the return on the sale. Consider that, according to the most recent area statistics, sellers are currently achieving, on average, 97.9% of their list price when they sell. This means that many sellers are actually receiving multiple offers over asking price and you will naturally want to be among that number.
Clearly, for a home to stand above the average property on the market, it needs to offer something more. While this may sometimes involve unique features or other aspects such as a special location, very often it's simply about presenting the home better than most others.
So, with some time left before you plan to list, there's no time like right now to start to make the home look as good as it possibly can. This is a much better situation to be in, rather than the other one we sometimes see where the seller wants to list immediately but hasn't done anything to make the home look at its very best. While much can still be done to improve things, obviously it's a lot better and easier if one has several weeks, or even a few months, to get things just right.
It's very true to say that the home we live in is very often not the same as the one we need to sell. Depersonalizing and decluttering is therefore something you should pay special early attention to. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in the property, so removing excess furniture, family photos, any religious or sporting paraphernalia, heirlooms, trophies etc., etc. can only help to create an essentially neutral viewing environment. It's reckoned that only a very small percentage of buyers can see beyond your stuff and imagine themselves actually living in the home. Don't make things more difficult for them.
This priority extends to decor, of course and the good news is that if you start very soon there's plenty of time to redecorate. Neutral colors are really a further extension of the decluttering and depersonalization we just looked at. Rooms need to be light and spacious so that, irrespective of the physical dimensions, you're allowing your viewers to see just how much space they might be purchasing.
While it goes without saying that any major repairs need to be addressed with all speed, don't think you can get away with not dealing with minor repairs like cracked tiles, broken window panes, leaky faucets, even failed light bulbs. Think of your own experience when you purchased your present home and you'll recognize the microscopic level that buyers will usually go to in examining the property. It's been said that when a potential buyer finds an undisclosed fault, there will be an assumption of many more just waiting to be discovered. Hardly the best environment in which to gain multiple offers over asking price...
And once all these basics are attended to, your focus should then turn to making the home as warm and inviting as it can be. Again, because you have some time ahead before you list, there are better opportunities to address not only the curb appeal of the property's frontispiece, in terms of nicely presented lawns, external decor etc., but also how welcoming your home feels. This is often a product of careful placement of plants and furniture and making sure there's plenty of light in rooms. Back to what we said earlier about the home we sell differing from the one most of us live in, now's the time to create a "show home" atmosphere that you might not necessarily be comfortable with on a day to day basis, but which presents your home so well.
Please don't feel that you're alone in this exercise. Reach out to us today and we'll be happy to recommend changes to how your home is staged in 2018, so that you're in the very best position for the very best return when the time comes to list.