Today, in preparing a Kensington home for the market, we sent the following list of recommendations to the heirs. We thought all would-be sellers might find it useful:
- Landscaping: We observed the home to have well-manicured, mature landscaping. In our opinion, this existing structure would benefit by the addition of some economical, fresh, new plantings to fill in some empty spots and marry the mature plantings with a bit of updating. Now that rains have started in our area, we believe the lawn could be greatly improved by a sprinkling of grass seeds. We can get a landscaper to work within a budget here.
- Interior painting: In our estimation, there is no better return on investment than a coat of fresh paint. We can choose a color pallet that allows the paint to not only clean and brighten, but also instantly update the home’s interior. We believe the home is in need of complete interior painting all the way through the closets and down into the laundry/furnace room. As part of our service, painting quotes can be obtained.
- Floors: The home is believed to have serviceable hardwood floors beneath the carpeting. We believe the carpet should be removed and the floors cleaned and polished (not refinished.) We have a floor man that can restore the floors to a very good look at a fraction of the cost of refinishing. This assessment is based on a look at exposed wood floors and the condition of the older carpet. We do believe there is a good chance they will only need a thorough cleaning. If the carpet is removed and we discover a surprising amount of hidden damage, we may have to reassess. This is not our expectation.
- Repairs: There is a broken window pane in the kitchen that should be repaired. There is also an area of peeling paint on house and large cracks along the back. The repair and paint matching of these exterior sections should be bid out before determining if they make sense to the market prep budget.
- Cleaning: After floors and painting, the home would benefit from thorough cleaning and window washing.
- Clearing: The home needs to be cleared of current contents. If you need help with this we can offer names of estate sale organizers and haulers.
- Staging: Staging is very important. We often tell sellers that staging is like buying a shiny stainless steel appliance, but sprinkling that high-end appeal all over the house. In addition, 85% of buyers are now using the web in there home search. Empty rooms lose visual square footage and buyers do not stay on a site with less than stellar photos. To have good photos, there must be something in the rooms on which to focus.
- Reports: There are some reports that buyers expect to see as part of the sale preparations. These include; zone disclosure report ($123.95), Termite report ($250), sewer lateral compliance (the bid is free, but likely to reflect needed repairs). There is also an ordinance in Kensington requiring an automatic gas shut off value before the sale. This device costs approximately $500. Some additional reports are optional, but may have value in this case. These include general home inspection and structural engineers report. We should meet in person to discuss your options and the pros/cons of supplying additional reports.
We believe that these improvements will not only maximize the home’s potential value on the open market, but also that these improvements optimize the dollar for dollar value of the costs associated with the market preparations. We understand that market preparations are costly, but our experience is that these are the items that draw buyers to the property and keep them interested. Never-the-less, this list represents our advice only. You are the decision makers. Please don’t hesitate to call your agent to discuss your concerns and share your thoughts on marketing the home. As part of our service, written bids will be delivered to you and approved before any work is ordered.