Some of the best advice for getting your house ready to sell was from My Aunt Andrea. Beautiful Andy we called her. She had been a real estate broker before my time and was integral part of my beginnings in the business. She suggested that when we were getting ready to sell our house that we have someone, somebody we trusted, but who was not familiar with our home, come in and tour and critique it. We did. It was eye opening for sure. It also helped prepare us and get us the best possible return on our investment.
Nowadays they use the term “noseblind” to refer to those odors you are no longer aware of but others will be. You know…that wet dog smell you catch when the house has been closed up to long, or the teenagers room which you tend to avoid out of respect and self-preservation…. The crack in the ceiling that “was there when we bought it” or the landscaping that has “matured” to the point of overtaking the dining room window. How about that sneaky dust around the a/c vents that ever so gradually appears when you change the filters every 97 days rather than every 30…?
The point is this: enlist the help of a wise and respected friend who you know will give it to you straight. Ask them to go through the house with you and point out what they see. Don’t defend (this is key), just listen and take notes. Bake them some cookies and thank them. Review the list and set the priorities. What can you afford to do, what can you do on your own? Can you do it yourself or should you hire a pro? Perhaps sit with your Realtor and ask them where the best ROI can be had. In some cases, your Realtor maybe just the person to help you with this to begin with.
Recently, a client had me come do just this. They are anticipating selling in the spring. They had me come through and went room to room. In this case, she was all ears while he wanted to defend the condition. I understood his position but I persisted in constructively critiquing the house. In the end, when he realized that by prioritizing the projects that it would save him likely thousands of dollars up front in addition to increasing the value and marketability of the house, he simmered down and began to smile.