Design on the dime, Home Improvement, Home Sale Preparation, Home Staging, Maximizing Home Price

Let The BUYER do what THEY want!

Once Upon a Time…..

Back in the day, buying a house was different.

Prospective buyers saved, and often times purchased a ‘starter home.’ Interest rates were high. Internet was limited to colleges and there was no worldwide web. Homes were to live in, and there was only one home improvement show; This Old House. Styles were all over the board. We couldn’t rely on Pinterest to find and save our favorite styles. Hardware stores were just that. There was no Home Depot or Lowe’s, but buying a ‘fixer upper’ and ‘sweat equity’ were common expressions.

The “AS-IS” Sale Dilemma

Today things are different.

The generation buying their first home has been waiting. The grew up in the GREAT RECESSION and watched as older people saw their home values slide down in value. Living with parental units and renting was the norm. Realtor conferences had training sessions called, “What’s up with Millenials?” They weren’t buying homes, then, but today, they are.

Today’s home buyer has a mindset of ‘move-in ready.’ They value their time differently and certainly don’t want to become a slave to a drawn-out home improvement project. They’re professional, and know their worth. They value quality and style. They’re willing to pay more for a home that’s renovated and ready; designed for their tastes and staged to sell. “As Is” buyers that aren’t investors or rehabbers are few, and far between.

Some Sellers Do, Some Don’t

Some home seller’s get it. Some don’t. Baby-boomers and older generations, in many cases prepare homes based on what was important to them. This type of seller struggles to understand why they should invest money in homes they won’t be living in. We hear, “If the buyer wants that, they can do that themselves”. What they don’t get, is that most buyer’s aren’t going to.

Price Differential

Rehabbers want to make a profit. They want to sell a home at or above market value. They have to spend money to do that. The formula looks like this:

SALE PRICE=purchase price + remodel cost + permits/legal/sale costs + PROFIT

On a typical $250,000 home sale, a remodeler typically wants profit to be at least 15-20% of the sale, so they target for 25-30% of the projected sale price. With materials and labor costs rising, this places a downward pressure on home prices, even though prices overall have been rising.

The bottom line is just this, if you want to sell “as is,” you probably have to sell for less.

Our Philosophy….

We don’t have a problem with rehabbers, but we like our client to make as much money as possible. The sellers I met with in late 2019 listed their parents home and it sat on the market for 90 days with no purchase offers. Their Realtor met, snapped some pictures with a smart phone, and it was on the market. They had worked hard to clean it up, and remove belongings. It was clean and empty. Looking from the hallway, I counted 8 different conflicting patterns: floral wall paper, square pastel vinyl flooring, 1970’s wood paneling, faux red-brick backsplash, more different floral wall paper, and new floral border in the kitchen, plus beige carpet and a connected vine type of wallpaper in the bedroom. The ceilngs looked & smelled like a smoker lived there.

We met and they said they’d done enough, and weren’t going to do any more. They were angry at their Realtor and my comfort level was at an all time low. The home was over $100,000 below our average sale price, and we didn’t need an unsalable listing. I shared our philosophy and work ethic and reviewed the sales in the area. Eventually, I asked, “have you ever worn plaid pants and a striped shirt?” then showed them a full color 8″x10″ picture from the hallway. A lightbulb came on, and a little trust was earned.

We worked with them for 3 months and brought in painters, an electrician for estimates. We went room by room and made recommendations. We kept the beige carpet, kept the pastel vinyl but had wallpaper removed and most everything painted some shade of grey. Had it staged and fixed the obvious problems. After a reasonable amount of preparation, the professional photographer did his work, and the home was put on the market.

The home was far from a complete renovation, but the market responded. Instead of 90 days with few showings, we had many showings and 3 offers. Instead of having to negotiate downwards after 90 long days painfully slow days, the home sold for 20% over list price in 3 days.

The seller’s had this to say:I am not sure even where to begin??  For starters, if I could shout their name from a mountain top I would!! My sisters and I had our childhood home for sale with another Realtor for 90 days and thankfully it was ONLY 90 days.  I personally have never sold a home before just, bought (twice). I really didn’t know what to expect being a seller but, soon was met with disappointment. As soon as the contract ended we made the call to Chris and Lisa Grus.  From the very first phone call we were WOWED.  They took the reigns and ran with it.  They know this business like no other.  They walk with you and hold your hand through every phase.   If I can share one piece of advice, it is LISTEN  to them and TRUST their knowledge and experience. They worked sooo unbelievably hard for us!  All days and hours.  Lisa called me, Christmas Eve at 4:00 to share some ideas she had for the house, I said, “girl it is Christmas Eve”!!  They literary did ALL the foot work for us.  They met with contractors, got estimates, and kept the process moving.  They are in constant contact with you.  If you have a question, text or call within the hour, most of the time minutes your in contact with them.  They held our hand until the very end.  All I know is I will never use any other Realtor.  The final result was the day the house went on the market we had a bidding war between 3 contracts.
We will be forever be grateful, not just doing what they do best but, also for caring for us like family.”

We’ve had hundreds of similar experiences, but this one stands out. The point isn’t to shout any names from the mountain top, but a couple points need to be made. If you’re wanting to sell & get TOP DOLLAR:

  • Hire a Realtor with lots of sales and good reviews.
  • Ask the question: “What do you do to sell a home?”
  • Ask the question: “What do you think will prevent my home from selling?”
  • Lastly, our happy home seller said it best:

“LISTEN  to them and TRUST their knowledge and experience.

Linda Y.