Welcome to the series of posts helping Introverts with buying a home, selling a home or investing in real estate. I tend to be an introvert more than an extrovert so I thought it would be appropriate to give some advice to others like me on how they can succeed in real estate without having to go outside their comfort zones.
Imagine this! You need a car. You go to the local car dealership and tell the sales person what you are looking to purchase. The sales person takes you to two cars matching your specs. The first car is dirty on the inside with trash laying about, pictures of the family who owned it before still in the glove compartment and it has mud all over the outside. The other car is shiny, clean on the inside and you have no idea who might have owned it before. Which car do you think you would pick to purchase? When you sell your house, buyers are comparing your house to other homes just like you would have done with the cars in the made up scenario. If your house is dirty, cluttered and has family heirlooms all over, do you think the buyer will select your house over the one that is clean with no clutter ? You would be correct that most buyers would pick the one that presented itself better.
When it comes to getting your house ready to sell, there are some necessary actions for you to take as owner of the property. As with any other item that is sold, the better presentation will sell more quickly so these actions are requirements, not options for your consideration. If you want to sell your house for top dollar in the quickest time possible, you need to take the steps outlined below. As an introvert, you will no doubt have to figure out a way to accomplish these tasks within your comfort zone. It is best if you take charge of the tasks versus giving them over to other family members, or even your realtor. You will have more control things in this way to keep unstructured developments to the minimal. Even if you are not an introvert, the basic ideas presented in this post apply to you as well.
Here are the three tricks you can use as an introvert to get your house ready to sell.
1. Make a regular appointment with a maid service – One of the biggest turnoffs for buyers is a dirty house. A buyer could love everything about a house, but won’t be able to see past the dirty dishes in the sink or the stained shower head in the bathroom. Buyers lack imagination when it comes to seeing a home past anything right in front of them. One trick for you as an introvert to get your home ready to sell is set up scheduled deep cleanings with a maid service. You could do it yourself, but do you really want to spend precious time doing this chore every week until the house is sold. By setting up a regular scheduled day for maid service, you take control of the process. You know when the maid service will be at the house, hopefully while you are work so you don’t have to interact with them beyond the initial meeting. You want start the deep cleaning each week a couple of weeks before your house goes on the market. In this way, when showings start, the house will be spotlessly clean. You need to remember, however, that you will still need to do spot cleanings during the week before each showing. Also, be aware that this can get expensive if the house sits on the market for a long time. Hopefully, by taking this step, the house will sell quickly. Be sure your listing agent prices the house correctly and makes sure to do the other two tricks in this post so you house gets sold sooner versus later.
2, Conduct a home inspection – You might think home inspections are only for buyers. However, sellers are advised to do them as well. Why? If you want to know what repairs might be needed on your house before you put it on the market, an inspection is one way to find out what repairs need to be done to get the house ready to sell. You can schedule the inspection via online or the phone for a specific time. Once the inspector is at the house, you can leave and let them do their work. You will get an inspection report sent to you afterwards. Inspection reports show a comprehensive list of all items in the house that are in disrepair and need attention. The inspector won’t quote you prices or offer suggestions on how to fix the issues, but it gives you a good laundry list of possible repairs. By knowing beforehand, you can fix the issues before the house goes on the market and keep the repairs on the buyer’s repair request to a minimal. What repairs do you make? It depends on your budget and the repairs needed. Realtor.com has a great article on what most buyers will require you to fix after a home inspection. Be forewarned that you will still get a repair request from a buyer no matter how many repairs you make while getting your house ready to sell. All inspectors find different things wrong with a house so you will still have things to do after a buyer inspects a house, but hopefully, you will eliminate most of them by doing an inspection yourself.
3. Have a Clutter Clean Up Family/Friends Gathering – Clutter is something that invades all homes after a time. Some of us are better at organizing our clutter in boxes and hiding them away in storage, but it is nevertheless still clutter. When selling your home, it is a great time for you to get rid of this clutter and start fresh with less stuff! For buyers, this is important because they do not want to see your clutter around a house they might want to purchase. Like with dirt, buyers can’t see the house for the clutter. Clutter cleanup can be intimidating to someone who prefers to use their time for more constructive endeavors. One of the best ways to get through this chore is set up a clutter clean up party with family and close friends. You will need to offer them something in return like pizza or a six-pack of beer, but most of the time people are happy to help. You can be in complete control of the event by selecting the date and time. You want to be organized in your approach. For example, you might set it up where certain people will handle clutter in specific rooms. By assigning clutter cleanup buddies, you can even control who works with whom most of the time. Be sure to know what you plan to do with the clutter and classify the clutter into groups so people can get through it more readily. Tell your party goers that “if in doubt, we will through it out,” but be ready to answer questions if they are not sure. You will need to be free to go from room to room answering questions. In this way, it also limits your direct social interaction with any one person.