Nov 132015
 

When you go to sell your home, this phrase is a good summary to set the stage on today’s market so I’ll define it here in a little more detail.

Price War
This is pretty self-explanatory but holds even more weight today. When we do a Comparative Market Analysis of a home we tell the seller the low range of prices is what you have to be at to win the Price War. Not usually a thing easy for them to accept, but to sell quickly you have to be the best deal around. The good news is that home values are creeping back up. But sellers who insist they want top dollar often will find their neighbors are selling much quicker because their high price makes the neighbors home look like a better deal. In other words you want a neighbor who lists at a higher price so you can easily win the Price War.

Beauty Contest
Now we move into the subject that not everyone understands. Today’s buyers are much more demanding on what they want their home to look like. It used to be “Move in ready” if the home had fresh paint, clean carpet and/or great flooring. Now we have to deal with the HGTV syndrome. Buyers want updates, whatever is the trend at that moment. Nickel finish fixtures, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, it’s a long list that comes from home improvement shows on HGTV and home centers playing along by pushing these items in ads. We like to refer to this look as being the ‘Shiny Penny’ that catches the buyers attention. While some buyers know to look beyond these items and think bigger such as home location, floor plan, local area, etc, the eye candy listed above from the HGTV syndrome is what impresses most. So in todays market it not just neat and clean to win the Beauty Contest, its show me the wow factor when I look at your home.

So if you cannot win the Beauty Contest, you’d better win the Price War. If you’re not in a position to win with the Price War, you’d better be first prize in the Beauty Contest. If you want to sell your home really fast, be ready to win both!

Want to know where you stand? Give us a call or text at 317-563-1110 or shoot us an email and we’ll do a free CMA and tour your home to give you ideas on what’s worth updating to win both contests.

Jun 152015
 
A Shiny Kitchen

A Shiny Kitchen

There are many different reasons buyers are out looking at homes. Normally when working with a buyer an agent tries to determine a buyer’s motivation before they start showing them homes. But some agents will just about show houses to anybody who asks (eventually they realize their wasting time, but that’s another blog post). For the most part the buyers out looking are at least thinking about moving or buying a home when they go out looking. We’ll break down the different motivations in this article.

Tire Kicker
You know the saying about car shoppers and the same can be said for home shoppers with a low motivation. They’re just looking at homes thinking about moving. Maybe their thinking their current home is too small (or too large), and want to see what’s out there for a price they can afford. They are working with agents they know and are willing to show them homes because of previous dealings. We have clients like this and we know eventually they will find a home that motivates them. But it can take months, if not years before they purchase a new home.

First Time Home Buyer
First Time Home Buyers usually have a higher motivation than Tire Kickers, but often not much higher. They’ve been thinking about buying a home for a couple of months (or years) but are usually renting and don’t have an immediate reason to move. Their motivation can pick up a level or two if they have a lease coming up and have to move by a certain deadline. Let’s just say their motivation varies, depending on the weather.

Growing Family
A current homeowner that has a more immediate need can have a much higher level of motivation due to a baby (or two) on the way and they are running out of room in their current house. They are working with an agent who has listed their home and hope to find one to make an offer on as soon as they get an accepted offer on theirs. Their motivation becomes very high when they have that accepted offer.

House Just Sold
This applies to a homeowner like above who for whatever reason is moving and has just sold their home. The motivation factor is very high in this case. This is where you might get above list offers if they really like a home.

Job Transfer / Relocation
Depending on the timeline (as in just started or already changed jobs) these home buyers are motivated or very motivated. Sometimes they will just buy a home that works and plan to move in a few years once they know they are staying in the area. Highly motivated buyers in this category might make above list price offers as well.

Investor
Never in a hurry until they find a good deal. Usually a low cash offer but sometimes will pay good price on a nice home with good income potential whether flipping or renting.

The reason sellers need to know all this is there is a wide range of motivation in the buyers looking at your home. So what you need to do is make your home stand out so you impress all buyers that look at your home. This is what we refer to as being the ‘Shiny Penny’. All buyers will gravitate to the ‘Shiny Penny’ and you’ll get more and better quality offers if you make sure your home stands out.

Want to make your home a ‘Shiny Penny’ when you’re ready to sell? Call or text The Derrick Team at 317-563-1110 and we’ll come talk to you about what you need to do to your home with no obligation to hire us when you’re ready to sell. We like to help home buyers and sellers with all their real estate needs.

Oct 122011
 

EntryDoorArtworkWe’re moving to the cooler months where spending time indoors is the norm in central Indiana. If you are thinking of selling your home next spring, now is the time to start getting ready. We are going to talk about looking at your home through a potential buyers eyes (and nose).

First, while it’s still nice out, take a walk around your neighborhood and get some fresh air. While doing that make note of the homes that seem attractive to you. Neat yard, nicely trimmed hedges, colorful flowers, no peeling paint, etc. Look at those compared to the homes with weeds, broken fences, missing gutter, etc and think which home would you think about buying? Now when you get back around to your home, stand out front and look over what you might want to address before next spring and make a list before you forget!

Now step inside and take a deep breath. Smell anything at all? This morning’s breakfast or something currently cooking aside, make note of the source and make sure that it is addressed before you market the home. Anytime friends are over ask them if they notice any smells. Sometimes you get used to a home smell and don’t even notice it.

Now to the interior of the home. Walk around with a clipboard or notepad and make note of ANY defect you notice. Dirty ceiling lights, broken outlet cover, broken trim board, etc. Don’t think about how you can hide it with furniture, it must be cleaned / fixed / replaced! No detail is too much. Buyers will pick apart the home and when a list gets too lengthy in their mind, they will walk out and move on to the next home. They want a “Move In Ready” home.

Start with the simple things, like cleaning dirty items. As a rule of thumb we say clean it to make it look like new. If it won’t come clean replace or paint it. Not sure on what to replace it with? Look at home centers for ideas, or go visit nearby new model homes in the price point you expect (or want) your home to sell in.

Next look at more major things such as painting a room or replacing carpet or flooring. Try to look for what fits with the room’s original use; like hardwood in a dining room you’re using as a playroom now. Again you can get ideas from model homes and improvement centers / magazines. But don’t go crazy with colors when painting. Neutral tones or single accent walls are a safer bet. Tone down any walls you have that are currently really loud if at all possible. For projects you cannot do yourself, get quotes and mark those costs on your list.

Then there are the major items that can be really pricey to replace so first consider the value they add to your home before a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover. Again get quotes on these items and mark those costs on your list.

This is the point where you want to talk to a REALTOR about local home values. This will help you determine improvement vs. home value to see if it’s worth the costs. The Derrick Team will be glad to come talk to you months before you are ready to sell. And you are under no obligation to use us at any time. We just love to help people sell their homes. Call or text The Derrick Team anytime at 317-563-1110, we work 7 days a week including evenings!

Aug 142010
 

EntryDoorArtworkStart With The Exterior
First impressions count thus the outside ‘Curb Appeal’ is a must for items to be taken care of for preparing to sell a home. If the outside looks rough, they assume the interior is the same.  Step out to the street and note the condition of the following items: trim work, shutters, gutters, shingles, mailboxes, windows & window screens, walkways and the driveway. Then clean, paint, repair, or replace as needed to give the fresh look to prospective buyers driving by. Now look at the landscaping be sure and make it look its best by mowing, edging, seeding, fertilizing and weeding the lawn. Next look  at the trees and shrubs and trim and/or remove overgrown plants and don’t forget to weed and mulch the plant beds. A nice touch is planting colorful seasonal flowers in the existing plant beds. Then continue to clean, mow and trim while the home is on the market on a regular basis, especially for showings & open houses.

Take A Hard Look At Your Front Door!
The front door to your home should invite buyers to enter. Look at the condition of the door and clean, paint, or replace anything that looks really bad. Make sure everything works properly like the latch that clicks shut without fidgeting with it. Look for details like the screen door, the doorbell, the porch lights, and even the house numbers. For the extra touch, place a new welcome mat and a group of seasonal potted plants and flowers by the entry.

Inside: Remove Clutter & Depersonalize
A buyer cannot envision living in your home without seeing it. A home filled with clutter or even too much furniture distracts buyers from seeing how they can utilize the space your home offers. If you have limited storage space, you may want to consider renting a temporary storage unit to place items you wish to keep. Start by holding a garage sale to prepare for your move getting rid of unnecessary items (see our post on Garage Sales). Then box up and store items like books, magazines, toys, tools, supplies and unused items from counter tops, open shelves, storage closets, the garage and basements. Consider storing out-of-season clothing and shoes out of sight to make bedroom closets seem roomier. Go thru the home and organize bookshelves, closets, cabinets and pantries. Serious buyers will tend to look at everything. Depersonalize by putting away most if not all of your personal photographs, unless they really help showcase the home.

Fix Basic Items In The Home
Focus on the minor repairs that will make your home visually appealing such as ceilings and wall cracks, faucets, banisters, handrails, cabinets, drawers, doors, floors and tile. Look at caulking and grouting in tubs, showers, sinks and tile and clean or replace if needed.  Consider painting ceilings, walls, trim, doors and cabinets that are scuffed or have faded or stained areas. Check all the door handles, drawer pulls, light switches and electrical plates and repair or replace as needed. Be sure and lubricate door hinges and locks so there are no creaky scary sounds when they open the doors.

Everyone Looks At The Kitchen
If you are thinking of spending any money on renovations, this is the one area where you will see the greatest return. Even with a modest budget you can focus on a few key areas like replacing cabinet doors and hardware. Or something simple like installing under-cabinet lighting or replacing older style light fixtures. Be sure to clean or replace outdated shelving with pantry and cabinet organizers to maximize space. Consider replacing the sink and/or fixtures if there are water stains that cannot be removed.

Arraigning The Furniture
Furniture placement can enhance the space of your home while giving buyers an idea of how to best utilize the space with their own belongings. Take some time to rethink how different areas in your house could be used. Consider moving couches and chairs away from walls in your sitting and family rooms to create cozy conversational groups. Use a comfy chair with a lamp and table to create a reading corner in the master bedroom. Give empty rooms a purpose with a spare bed & dresser for guests or a desk and bookshelf for an office.

Clean And Keep Clean
The cleanliness of your home also influences a buyer’s perception of its condition. The appearance of the kitchen and bathrooms will play a considerable role in a buyer’s decision process, so pay particular attention to these areas.  Be sure and clean all windows, fixtures, hardware, ceiling fans, vent covers and appliances. Don’t forget to clean inside the refrigerator, the stove (especially if included in the sale) and all cabinets. Unless you’ve just installed new flooring be sure to remove all stains from carpets, rugs, and floors. And most importantly be very sure to eliminate any source of bad odors, especially if you have pets as we’ve seen buyers walk in and turn right around if they smell something bad. A nice touch would be using air fresheners or potpourri but you have to be careful as some buyers might think you are hiding something.

Light Up
Create a sense of openness and cheerfulness in your home through its lighting. Simple items, like opening shades and drapes to let the sunshine warm and brighten rooms are easy (make sure the windows are clean). But consider the next step by installing brighter light bulbs in rooms that tend to be dark or adding additional lamps for ambient lighting. And be sure to turn on all the lights for a showing.

Final Touches
You can easily add color and style to your home by adding fresh touches throughout. Consider placing fresh floral arrangements in the entry and master bedroom and placing bowls of bright-colored fruit in the family room and the kitchen. Fill an empty corner with a (healthy) potted leafy plant or an antique table or rocker.
In the bathrooms always have new hand soap and clean fresh towels near the sinks.

While all this seems like a lot to work on, consider you want to sell your most expensive asset for the highest amount the market will bring. Nice looking correctly staged homes will always sell faster for more money than those that are worn and will need a little work by the buyer to get move in ready. When you are just in the beginning stages of preparing you home be sure and call The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 as we will gladly come take a look at your home and suggest what items are most important to help sell your home. Roll up your sleeves and get to work!

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