Preparing Your House for Sale? Avoid the Pitfalls


When you’re selling a house there are things you can control… and things you can’t.  The important thing is to recognize what the strengths and weaknesses of your house are and to have a professional indicate to you how they affect the value of your house.  Some items are obvious: road noise decreases value, granite counter tops increase it.  Others are not so easy:  What about a pool?  What about a house on 10+ acres?

Marketing your house to the specific demographic of buyer is obviously extremely important but you don’t want to pigeon-hole yourself.  Just because you’re in a great school district doesn’t mean that you can ignore down-sizing buyers or single professionals.  Instead you want to emphasize the strengths but also broaden a buyers perspective to the advantages of your house as compared to all the competition.

I’ll explain it to you in a quick story of a recent client.  I just closed with a husband and wife on a property in Oceanside that love to swim.  Husband surfs daily.  Wife is an avid swimmer for exercise.  When we first met they told me some of their basic wants and needs and the most important thing was that the house “MUST have a pool”.  You know where this is going…

They just closed on a house at the top of their price range without a private pool or community one.

As I’ve mentioned before, residential real estate is bought and sold on emotion.  As a seller you need to recognize that when you prepare to sell it.  Therefore, recognize that a house that smells beautiful and has beds made and closets organized actually does help sell it.  Open windows and show off the view or natural light.  Arrange or stage rooms to show the size and functionality.  Place a potted plant or flowers in the kitchen, at the entry, or in a bathroom.  Don’t be present during a showing and don’t give people the walking tour (“And then in 1993 I put in new baseboards throughout the kitchen.  Aren’t they beautiful?”).  People want to buy a house not walk through someone else’s and the only way to do that is to help the buyer envision themselves there without you looking over there shoulder or telling them they can’t go in that room or open that closet.  Control the things that you can control and don’t worry about the rest.

And just be glad Calvin is not living next door to you.