If you want your home to sell fast and at the best price, I have a few pieces of valuable advice: get it painted, clean it “whiter than white,” ensure all systems are up and running, and hire a stager to show it in its best light. Today’s buyers want a move-in ready home.

Patti, I can’t believe we can say this, but summer’s almost over here. Heading into the fall market, and for the sellers out there that are preparing to sell, how should they prepare with what the buyers are looking for in today’s market?

Well, Chris, the buyers today want a house they can move into. It doesn’t mean they have to like everything that’s in the house, but they have to feel that they can live in the house until they either have the time or the resources to do what they want to the house. And I think that is the most important thing. So I think getting everything painted and “cleaner than clean, whiter than white” as I say. Neutral is always best. And all systems up and functioning really are the most important things that a seller can do.

And after they do those things, they can’t then think that they can tack on the money they’ve spent to get the house ready to the price of the house. That’s just part of the expected value that the buyers want today. The buyers today are going to buy the house on Friday, drop their kids off at school on Monday and go back to work. Most of the buyers today need those two incomes to afford the houses that they’re going to buy. Money is very cheap. What I am finding is that the buyers are trying to buy as much house as they can, leaving very little money left over to do improvements to the house.

In a market like we’re seeing today, I think for the seller it’s so important especially in a town like Lincoln where people stay in their homes for a long time, you have a lot of probably empty nesters selling, and they’ve been in the home for 20-30 years. Staging plays a major role in something like that because you are basically changing the face of the home that you have been in for a long time.

No question about that. I try to explain to my sellers that we are not selling your home. We are selling a commodity, and we are selling architecture, space, and light. And what we need to do is to expose those things in the best possible way that we can and the staging does that.

And it’s not as simple as just putting a sign in front of the home. You really have to work with a professional like yourself to put all the pieces together to get top dollar for your sale.

I’m very fond of saying what I do is not rocket science, but it is a lot experience selling a lot of houses over the past 20 years. And I can tell you what sells and what doesn’t and why it does.

Achieving A Move-In Ready Home

If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, please take a look at my posts on adding curb appeal, seller disclosure tips, the importance of correctly pricing a home for sale, and my guide to home staging. Please contact me with any questions or to request a complimentary home valuation.

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