Posted by: Roby Robertson | July 7, 2008

Lake Norman Sellers, Should You Make Improvements Before Selling Your Home

Even in the Lake Norman and Charlotte Areas, the Answer is Yes

Two or three years ago, the Lake Norman market was so hot and homes were selling so quickly that the need to make improvements to a home prior to selling it was low. There was little pressure to make minor improvements simply to get the home sold.

However, The current market conditions have changed things significantly.

Today’s market is highly competitive. Months of Inventory and every price range has an ample selection of homes. As I tak buyers out to look at homes, the amount of inventory is causing them to be a bit more selective. No longer is there as much pressure to write a contract on a home today for fear that it is gone tomorrow. Buyers are much more willing to wait. This means that sellers must work harder to set their home apart from the rest of the market and entice the buyer to act.

Some people balk at spending a lot of money fixing-up their home just to sell it. I understand. However logic says that if you could spend $500 today in order to sell your home one month faster, would you do it?  One less mortgage payment may answer that for you.

So what can you do to make your home more competitive? Most of the things are simply, and cost little more than some elbow grease:

–Do you have any doors that stick? Grab a screw driver and some WD-40 and fix them!

A sliding-glass door that doesn’t open properly can be annoying to a potential buyer. And while it may be easy to fix, they will look at it as a problem, regardless of how easy it is to remedy. The days of a buyer saying ‘no big deal’ are over for now.

–Any switch plates or outlet covers that are cracked? Head down to the local hardware store, spend the 75 cents a piece to buy new ones, grab the aforementioned screw driver, and get to work. Again, cracked or old switch plates and outlet covers are simple to fix.  Switch hats to the buyers hat.  Would you question other maintenance items if these are left this way?

Scuff marks on your walls? Re-paint. I know that no-one likes to paint. The fact of the matter is, however, that interior paint can really show the age of a house. Sometimes, in fact, it can even give buyers a mistaken impression about the age of a house.  A simple coat of paint can transform a house. Oh, and when you do repaint– go neutral. I’m not saying your walls need to be stark white, but stay away from those eccentric colors you have always wanted to try. Chances are that you and the buyer will have different tastes, no need to turn them off right away.  Again, I can remember the days when buyers might say, ‘it’s only paint, it can be changed’.  No in this market!  And please… if you do it yourself, don’t be messy on ceilings and crown molding!

–Been thinking about replacing those dying shrubs in the front yard? Now is the time. The exterior of your house is the first thing that buyers will see. You want it to make the best possible impression. Sometimes that will mean getting some new mulch, keeping the lawn trimmed more often than usual, and finally replacing those dying shrubs. No matter what changes you make to the inside of your home, they will all be for naught if no one wants to go inside.

Those are 4 very simple things that anyone can do to make their home more competitive on the market. There are plenty of others. As I said, every home is different, and when you choose a REALTOR to help with the sale, he or she will be happy to offer other suggestions that will give your home the best possible chance to sell.

Don’t forget that you aren’t the only one who can help put your home’s best face forward. Your REALTOR should be doing things as well. The first of which is taking good pictures. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you made all the necessary improvements to your house, only to have buyers ignore it because the pictures didn’t show it off? Pictures will be the first introduction buyers have to your home, and they should be every bit as stellar as the home itself.  Also make sure your REALTOR is blogging about your home.  He/she can take your words and say the things you would say if you could when the home sells.  Also make sure he/she is talking on the blog about neighborhood and community information.  This is essential with today’s savvy buyers.

Remember, today’s market is highly competitive. I always try to put myself and my sellers in the shoes of the buyers. Buyers are being far more selective than they have been in the past. Your home will be competing with dozens of other similar homes. In order to give your home the best possible chance to sell, you must be willing to do whatever you can to make your home stand out from the crowd.

For assistance with these an other Lake Norman Real Estate matters please contact your Lake Norman agent at 704 451 7051.

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Roby Robertson


Saving My Clients Thousands



Real Living In Style
Davidson NC


Ph: 704 451 7051
Fax: 704 892 9766

Committed to Saving My Clients Thousands When Buying and Selling Real Estate


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