Someone asked this in our neighborhood Facebook group and it’s a great question. The short answer is no…you don’t need to do any updating to your home to get it sold. The market is good enough to sell your home in any condition. In fact, if your home is in poor condition there has never been a better time to sell it As-Is than today.
On the other hand, if you are trying to sell for the most money that isn’t really the question you should be asking. What you should be asking is what make-ready can you do to get the best ROI and sell your home for the highest price possible.
What do I do when I sell my personal homes? Here’s the 4-part process I think about before doing any make-ready.
The first thing I think about before doing anything to my home is I create the buyer profile of who I expect will buy my home. I keep in mind who they are, where they are moving from and what other neighborhoods and homes they will be considering.
After doing that research I have an understanding of what condition, features and finishes the typical buyer for my home will expect. I will know what lights up their eyes and what turns them off. Rather than doing a lot of work to my home that won’t be rewarded I will sell my home in the condition the typical buyers in my area will love.
Targeting The Emotional Buyer
Most people think they act logically when they make a buying decision. Market research tells us most people buy based on emotion and then rationalize that decision logically. We know the buyer who quickly falls in love with your home will pay the highest price. The buyer who acts slowly because they want to carefully and logically make a decision rarely makes a good offer.
Doing what you can to keep an emotional buyer from having to “stop and think about it” will pay off in a higher sales price. Being able to attract more than 1 emotional buyer gives you a better chance to have a bidding war where your home can sell for way over asking price.
Hierarchy of ROI
Nobody sells their home for fun. I always assume our clients want to make the most money possible. Not all make-ready work will bring you the highest return on investment. Often when someone calls me to sell their home they are planning to spend money in the wrong places.
Over the years we have learned there is an order of important items to tackle first. If you only have time or money to tackle 3 items on the make-ready list you want to be sure they are the first 3 that will bring you the best price and put more money in your pocket. Otherwise you might just be spending money that won’t pay off in a higher price.
Prevent Inspection Items
After selling hundreds of homes I’ve learned what inspectors are looking for when they do their report. To reduce their liability many inspectors when they see the slightest issue will tell the buyer “it could be nothing or it might be a disaster.” When the buyer hears this, they assume it’s a disaster and ask the seller to make expensive repairs.
Because I know it’s not the sales price you get with the original contract but it’s the closing price that matters, I am going to reduce or eliminate these inspection issues before going on the market. Having a handyman affordably repair items I know an inspector will catastrophize will save me money and make the entire process easier and less stressful. I estimate we save our clients at least 1% through effective make-ready and negotiating during the inspection period.