As soon as you decide that you will be putting your property up for sale—whether soon or at some point in the foreseeable future—it’s also time to get strategic about growing your property's value—starting with a generous dollop of objectivity.
The difficulty stems from a truth about how everybody perceives much of their property’s value. We escape from hurly-burly of daily living by retreating to the comfortable confines of our home—our place. A good part of its value to us and to our family is its sheer familiarity—the “hominess” that makes it our personal haven. But some of the very things that make it so comfortable to us will be off-putting to outsiders—and they are the prospective buyers.
Our great leather easy chair (the dark brown one that’s gotten a few shades lighter where we sit, and a little off-color where the spills happened) may look a bit peaked to the untrained eye, but it’s been that way for years: who cares? The back door needs to be bolted to stay shut…we do that without even thinking about it—hardly an issue! The sofa may sag, but it sags exactly right (for us)! The bathroom window that’s sort of stuck (okay, maybe it’s painted shut)…etc. etc. etc.
Professionals are of one voice about the real value you add to a property when you go to the trouble of systematically depersonalizing it. It helps to approach doing that seriously and deliberately—to tackle it in an organized manner. There are any number of ways to go about that, but here is one way that will pay off:
Make a list. Starting from one end of your property, note with pencil and paper every nit-picky detail that is other than what you would expect to find if it were a brand new home. This is not as easy as most people assume, because there will be such a great number of details, that
- it will be very tempting to start skipping some of the minor ones, and
- you will find it hard to resist the urge to start fixing the easy ones as you go along (don’t do it: you’ll derail the list-making!)
After a decent interval, sit down with the list and re-classify each item into an Easy Self-Fix List and a Professional-Attention-Needed List.
Step 3 Get bids from the appropriate local professional tradespeople, calculate which fit your budget, then schedule the work.
Step 4 Get started on your own endeavors to address the Easy Self-Fix List. You’ll be able to organize your own efforts to finish up about two weeks after the last of the tradespeople are scheduled to finish their projects (a two week grace period is realistic: you are aiming to finish everything about the same time).
Following these four steps will put you well on your way to increasing the value of your Capital Regions property. And at any point in the process—from before Step 1 to the satisfying moment that closes Step 4—give me a call to discuss how to convert all that increased value into a profitable home sale!
Kayel Buffaline, Associate Broker Coldwell Banker Prime Properties