Colleen Bennett - Sotheby's International Realty

THE REAL DIRTT: If You Want Top Dollar for Your Home, You Have to C’s It! … BY COLLEEN BENNETT

September 2, 2017
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A clean, well-manicured, drought-tolerant landscape communicates pride of ownership to potential buyers.

 
 
LA VERNE, California, September 2, 2017 — Trying to get top dollar for your home isn’t rocket science. To attract the most serious buyers with strong offers in hand, you really need to implement the Cs: Clear, clean and cultivate the space you’re selling.

Clear It

Millennials, who now constitute a cohort of some 80 million people and represent by far the largest homebuying group in the United States, have indicated in survey after survey that they like open floor plans and flexible living space. They like they’re stuff, just not your stuff, so pack up your books, old albums, framed photos and other personal items and put them in storage.
 
If that sounds expensive, sell it or donate it, just get it out of view because buyers can imagine more move-in possibilities when they aren’t buried under your possessions, regardless of your attachment to them.
Part of your “clearance sale” means exposing rooms to their natural elements. Thusly, if you have rugs or carpets concealing hardwood floors, pull them up. If you have dingy or outdated drapes, occluding sunlight from naturally brightening your rooms, pull them down.
So clear the clutter and free up your space. 

Clean It

On the inside of the home, vacuum, dust, polish, clean windows until they shine, knock down cobwebs from every corner of the home. Take special aim at kitchens and bathrooms.
If your home doesn’t smell good, you’re only chasing away potential buyers. If any room exhibits even the slightest hint of a pet odor, eliminate it. Before house showings, board your pet or leave Buck with a friend, if not for the sake of cleanliness than for your pocketbook. In 2014, the average cost per dog bite claim was $32,072, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
For me, painting counts as cleaning. You don’t have to freshen every room with new paint, perhaps just those high-traffic areas that draw the most eyeballs.
On the outside of the home, cut, edge, trim, weed, mulch and perform all the other needed landscape cleaning and maintenance that signal pride of ownership to a potential buyer. Power-wash screens and your garage, and replace them if needed. 

Cultivate It

Every home, from the smallest to the largest, from the least expensive to the most expensive, should have that sizzle factor. Ideally, you’ll work to make every room shine, shimmer and sparkle.
Often creating a wow factor may be as simple as scrubbing the glass shower doors clean and hanging fresh, new towels and a new shower curtain in the bathroom. For the kitchen replace outdated light fixtures or drawer pulls with something more contemporary. Again, remember who the majority of buyers are.
Outside, if you need a new mailbox or address numbers, take the effort to replace them. Re-sod those sections of your lawn that are struggling and straighten a fence that is sagging or patch a wall with missing mortar.

Getting Top Dollar

Several of my sellers in the past have ordered pre-inspections, believing that knowledge is power. By being proactive in learning about the condition of their home, such as their electrical, plumbing, HVAC (heating and air), and other systems, they don’t have to be on pins and needles as to whether a buyer will call them out and ask for a price reduction during negotiations. The seller can choose to repair the system before putting the home up for sale or do nothing at all. At least, sellers will know where they stand about the quality of their asset. Of course, any findings disclosed in a pre-inspection will also have to be disclosed by the seller.
Finally, another way sellers can command top dollar is to compile a book with copies of permits, easements and other essentials germane to the construction and history of the home. The book could also contain paperwork concerning the operation of appliances and any maintenance schedules followed. Such a booklet simply adds to the buyers’ comfort level about moving into their new home. It’s another plus for you to show off how well you’ve cared for your home.
Any top Realtor will be ready with all the resources you need to help you clear, clean and cultivate your home so it will sell quickly and at the best price possible.
Follow the three Cs and your efforts will be rewarded!
 

Colleen Bennett is a leading Southern California Realtor who makes her home in La Verne. If you have a real estate question, call her 909.374.4744.

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