The Impression Your Home Makes When Listed

The Impression Your Home Makes When Listed

Walking into a beautifully staged home, where it is obvious that a professional stager with a large inventory of items at their disposal has prepped the home is a lovely sight. However, not all staging is about modern furnishings. Particularly when you are staging a home in the time of year when it gets dark at 4:30pm.

Recently my buyers and I walked into a home when it was already dark outside. The home was brightly lit on the main level and in the owner’s bedroom, owner’s bathroom and hall bathroom. However, there was an absence of light in the second, third and fourth bedrooms. It felt like a police raid with us walking in with our flashlight apps searching for some vision of what the rooms might look like. A ten dollar torch lamp from Walmart, plugged into the switched outlet would have made all the difference.

This room photographed brighter than it was.

Staging/perparation fails mounted. Missing light bulbs on a vanity light strip. Who leaves a listing like this and thinks it is ready to be photographed or seen? But hey, there is a pretty orchid on the back of the toilet.

More lighting failures. If this was left by the home owner, the agent or stager should have corrected. As I look at this foyer light there are three different shape and style bulbs in this fixture.

The absolute worst thing we saw, which actually grossed out the buyers was the floor of the owner’s bathroom shower. I’ve counseled my sellers to clean these surfaces with anything from bleach, to CLR, to Easy Off (yes, the oven cleaner) to make sure they look fantastic. And if it doesn’t come out, buy a new shower pan and have a contractor install it. When you are selling a home for nearly half a million dollars, buyers at least expect clean.

This house got multiple offers. I’m not the listing agent, so I have no idea what they were, but I know the offer my buyers made. It was little things like this that kept them from offering more than they otherwise would have. Staging makes a great impression, but it doesn’t take away from the times the buyers shrugged their shoulders in disappointment at these items, only one of which was a potential issue.

Listing preparation is key to getting the absolute max the market will bear, even in a seller’s market with very little inventory. Buyers need to be excited to dig a little deeper in their offers. Want a listing agent that will walk you through presenting your home in the best light and actually help you do that? Get in touch with me and let’s get started.

How Clean Should You Leave the Home You Are Selling?

How Clean Should You Leave the Home You Are Selling?

Homeowners vary on what they consider clean. Ever walk into a home where the owner is making excuse after excuse about how messy the place is and you wonder if they even know what a mess is? Then there are folks who may have become nose blind to the pet odor in their homes and give no thought to inviting you to sit on a piece of furniture where you become covered in pet fur. Every person has their own expectation of clean.

When you are selling a home, however, there is only one contractual obligation in cleaning your home in the Northern Virginia Residential Sales Contract–broom clean. To quote the contract, “Seller will deliver Property free and clear of trash and debris, broom clean…

If a buyer walks into their new home and finds all your left over paint cans, cleaners, wood from various projects and a pile of trash, you would be in violation of the contractual term broom clean. The big question that comes up from time to time is are you are in violation if there is (pardon my bluntness) urine stains on the toilets, crud in the refrigerator and microwave, and the stove is greasy. Well, you can’t remove any of the offending items with a broom, so technically the answer would be no. In the latter situation, you would not be in violation of broom clean.

Now we come to what buyers expect and what sellers are generally happy to do, deliver a home that has been cleaned from top to bottom, maybe even by a professional. Sellers who go to this level are generally thinking how they would want a home they were about to move into left. They are courteous. Courteous behavior makes a lot of buyers happy, and a lot of sellers proud of how they left their home. However, professional cleaning is not a mandate in the contract before turning your home over to the next owner.

Going beyond broom clean is never a bad thing. Most sellers want the buyers of their home to be happy the minute they walk in. Thought it isn’t mandatory, it is one of those Golden Rule things. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

© Zillow, Inc., 2006-2016. Use is subject to Terms of Use
What's a Zestimate?