Can you swallow a senseless $75,000 loss on your home sale? If you have a sound mind, I am guessing the answer is an unequivocal NO! But sadly, I come across many home sellers who don’t listen to the professional advice of their home stagers and/or realtors and sabotage the sale of their home. Read on and perhaps you will learn a thing or two that may help if you decide to sell your home at some point in the future.
Last year, I was asked by a dear client of ours to see his upcoming listing. It was a luxury condo in downtown with amazing views of the Space Needle, downtown, Lake Union, and the Cascade Mountains. Three iconic views of the Greater Seattle Area in one setting. How amazing is that! I am not exaggerating when I say it truly took my breath away.
The homeowners needed to de-clutter and we rearranged some of the furniture pieces. There was also the issue of multiple litter boxes in the bathrooms and one in the second bathroom’s tub. This is a big NO-NO for any home for sale, especially a luxury high-end condo.
This is a good place to share a few tips with you if you are selling your home:
- Bad odors kill home sales
- Not everybody likes pets, especially other people’s pets
- Your pets might be cuddly and cute when you are around, but might react badly under the stress of lots of strangers coming in to see the house
We advised the home seller to reduce the litter boxes for their pets to one, and we advised them that not having any pets in the home is best. Remember, the first two weeks of having the home on the market are the most important.
The homeowners were motivated and they listened to our advice. The result was that they received two offers within 48 hours. One offer was for $25,000 more than the asking price (a fantastic ROI for a home staging consult). However, the homeowners got over-confident and dropped the ball instead of listening to the advice of their agent.
- Remember, the house is not SOLD until it is closed and the money is in the bank. You should follow the advice of the professionals that you have hired to help sell your home, one of your biggest investments.
The agent had advised the home seller to have their pets out while the house was being inspected. This is standard protocol, and also good for your pets, since they might get nervous during the inspection process. It is also better for the inspector, so he or she can focus on their job and not be worried about a hissing cat or a barking dog. Lastly, most of the time, the buyers join the inspector to make sure the house is inspected fully and to ask questions. This was the case for this luxury condo.
As you can probably guess where this story is going, this inspection didn’t go as smoothly as it should have. Why? Because the buyers didn’t take their pets out of the home as they had been advised to do. The homeowner’s small dog got nervous with all of the commotions and peed in front of the home buyers twice. This really put off the buyers and this beautiful condo didn’t look so amazing to them anymore. They took their offer off the table. They felt that they were going to be paying a lot of money for this place and having a dog peeing turned off that emotional connection that we (the sellers, agent and us) tried to achieve.
In the meantime, the second buyer had found another place and the condo went back on the market. The final result was that the house was on the market for five weeks. Those first two initial weeks are golden weeks and once they have passed, homes lose their competitive edge. The listing price had to be reduced by $50,000 before it got another offer.
So again, I am asking you: Can you swallow a senseless $75,000 loss on the sale of yourCan you swallow a senseless $75,000 loss on the sale of your home? If not, then play your cards right and hire the right professionals, home stagers and real estate agents. And then listen to their advice. This is the #1 most valuable tip. After all, isn’t this what you are paying them for anyway?
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