When Selling, Don’t Overlook the Details

There are so many things to do when you are selling you home: making sure the house is clean all the time; making sure you answer all the calls from agents wanting to show it to prospective buyers; finding somewhere to go when showings take place; and so on and so on.

A very important part of the marketing process (a detail), is the listing itself. Don’t forget to ask your agent (hopefully me) to show you the listing submitted to the Multiple Listing Service. I’ve noticed that some agents take tons of pictures and many of them do not show the best features of your home. A townhouse listing I was looking at had ten pictures of the outside stairways, the front door, and even a picture of a neighbor’s dumpster! It’s not the number of pictures, it’s the pictures themselves. Also, we are able to label the pictures, and they should all be labeled. If your property has a view of the ocean, coastline or city lights, there should be good photos of the view, not extensive verbiage about how spectacular the view is. If the listing reads, “spectacular, panoramic views of the ocean and coastline”, and a prospect sees the home and notices that there is only that view if you are out on a deck with a telescope, he may be so disappointed that he will pass on your home. However, if the description is accurate, or maybe even under-played a little, the prospect may just fall in love with the view, and the offer to purchase will be put on the table. Unless your bathrooms are simply spectacular, there should not be pictures of them. If you have a large yard, as long as it is well kept, include pictures that show how large it is.

If the showing appointment times are limited and your home is difficult to show, it will be difficult to sell. Perhaps asking for offers “subject to inspection” may be an option.

I’m sure I haven’t covered all the little details, but remember that “the devil’s in them”.

4204 Via Nivel, Palos Verdes Estates 90274

View all Photos – $1,348,000

4 beds, 2 baths • 2,114 sqft • 7,197 sqft lot • $703.88/sqft • Built in 1960

 

~ Price Reduced! ~ Come see the views of city lights and snowy mountain tops… overlooking a small grassy park across the street with a private breezy patio & backyard including spa- this 4 bed, 2 bath home in the heart of Valmonte is waiting for you to make it your own!… Welcome to the highly desired Valmonte neighborhood located on one of the most beautiful streets in the neighborhood. This home features some of the best views on the block because it is across from the park & trail giving you open views of the mountain-tops & city lights from the all glass face of the family room & front of the home… Charming kitchen with cesar stone countertops and cabinet-faced appliances. The home has a breezy open feel from the front entry leading to the double door opening into the private backyard with mature landscaping and blue skies, trex decking and stamped concrete leading to eco-friendly grass and spa surrounded by a privacy gazebo. All four bedrooms are on the same floor and the master suite has a good sized bathroom as well as a walk-in closet. There are double sinks in the hallway bathroom. Laundry is in the garage. Hardwood flooring throughout & under the carpeting in the hallway & bedrooms. Driveway is large and flat allowing for play or plenty of parking. Home is equipped with forced air heat and also has AC! Get cozy in the spacious family room with the gas or wood-burning fireplace… ~ come see for yourself today
Last updated on 05/12/2017 10:43:15 AM
Facts & Features
• Listed On 04/04/2017
• Original List Price of $1,549,000
• Levels: Two
• 2 Garage spaces
• 6 Total parking spaces
• Laundry: In Garage
• Cooling: Central
• Heating: Central Furnace
• Fireplace: Family Room, Gas, Wood
• Patio: Deck, Patio, Stone
• Spa: Above Ground
• View: City Lights, Mountain, Trees/Woods

 

Interior
• Rooms: Entry, Family Room, Living Room, Main Floor Bedroom, Main Floor Master Bedroom, Master Bedroom, Master Suite, Walk-In Closet
• Eating Area: Breakfast Counter / Bar, Family Kitchen, Dining Room
• Appliances: Dishwasher, Gas Oven, Microwave
• Other Interior Features: Open Floor Plan, Recessed Lighting, Stone Counters
Exterior
• Lot Features: Landscaped, Yard
• Sewer: Public Sewer
Additional Information
• Standard sale
• Palos Verdes Schools
• 164 – Valmonte area
• Los Angeles County
• Parcel # 7537021007
Katie Muck CalBRE License #: 00624729 
Cell Phone: 310-995-3754
RE/MAX Estate Properties Fax: 424-772-1264
450 Silver Spur Rd.
Rancho Palos Verdes, 90275

Some Little Tips for Selling Your Home

 

1. Pricing it right: Find out what your house is worth and work with your agent (hopefully me!) to establish a price that will bring buyers with offers.

2. Half-empty closets: Storage is something a buyer is looking for and never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets, then neatly organize what is left. Be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

3. Light it up: Maximize the light in your home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, and increase the wattage of your light bulbs.

4. Conceal your pets: Not everyone is a dog or cat lover. The bowl of dog food, the smell of the litter box, tufts of pet hair may give buyers the impression that your house is not clean.

5. Do not over upgrade: Quick fixes before selling should pay off, but major makeovers may not. Do updates that that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls (I have a great painter, if you need one), replace door handles and cabinet knobs, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout (a toothbrush with cleanser works),

6. Depersonalize: The more personal items in your house, the less potential buyers can visualize themselves living there. Also, I have had buyers who looked at personal items so much that they really did not see the features of the home.

De-clutter Your Home

Consider this list of creative ways to de-clutter your home:

1. Give yourself 5 solid minutes: Put at least twenty-five items away in five minutes.  If the item does not have a home, or is no longer needed, place it in a donation box.  2. Give away one item each day. This is manageable de-cluttering, simply done one item at a time.  3.  Fill one trash bag: This is an easy way to process excess papers and packaging that is no longer necessary.  When the bag is full, you are done with that task.   4.  Try the Closet Hanger Experiment: To identify wardrobe pieces to clear out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction.  After you wear an item, return it to the closet with the hanger facing the correct direction.  After six months, you will have a clear picture of which clothes you can easily discard.   5.  Take the 12-12-12 Challenge: A simple task of locating twelve items to throw away, twelve items to donate, and twelve items to be returned to their proper home can be a really fun and exciting way to quickly organize thirty-six things in your house. You can select a smaller number for children to process.  6. The Four-Box Method: As you set out to de-clutter an area, set up four boxes:  trash, give away, keep, and relocate.  Each item in every room is placed into one of the four categories.  No item is passed over; each is considered individually.  Some projects may take an hour and others may take days or weeks but the technique and principles remain the same.  No matter what you choose to help you get started – whether it be one of these six or one of countless others – the goal is to take your first step with excitement behind it.  There is a beautiful world of freedom hiding behind that clutter.

Taking Care of an Empty House

Often we have listings of homes for sale or lease that are vacant for a few months.  Sitting vacant is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a house.  I make sure I or the owner visit empty listings at least once a week.  Here are some things to be sure to check.

Run the water: Every time I show the home or am checking the home, I run the water in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, etc. and flush all the toilets.  If this is not done sewer gases will accumulate in the drains and when someone occupies the house and starts using the shower or toilet, a very foul odor will permeate throughout the house.

Run the garbage disposal: Some garbage disposals tend to freeze up when not used; run the disposal when you turn on the kitchen faucet.

Toilet lids: Another thing to be aware of is that if the lids on the toilets are closed, mildew accumulates in the toilet bowls and is unsightly for a prospective buyer or lessee.  Put the seats down but leave the lids up is my advice.

Air out the house: Open windows and doors periodically to get rid of that vacant house smell.

Check the smoke detectors: If you hear a chirping noise it is probably one of the smoke detectors needing new batteries; this is an aggravation for people viewing the house as well as being a possible breach of safety.

Be sure to lock all doors: One of my worst fears is that someone will move into a vacant home; it can take years to get them out.  Plus, think of how scary it would be to enter a house and find someone there.

Check the yard: Sometimes, the sprinklers get out of whack and some parts of the yard are not getting any water.  This leaves dead grass areas that are unsightly.

Check the gutters: Take a look at the rain gutters to make sure they are not full of leaves and other debris.  If the gutters are full and there is a rain storm, water will flow over to the edge of the roof and can cause a lot of damage.

Check around the front door: Remove any free newspapers, magazines or door hangers that have been delivered since your last visit.

Check the lights: Most showings are during the day, but some are after dark, and it can be pretty creepy for the agents and their clients if there are some lights that do not operate.  Usually, a light bulb just needs replacing.

 

 

Taking care of your empty house will likely bring a higher price in a shorter time.

 

Is Your Home Ready to Sell?

You waited all winter to sell your home just in time to move during the summer.  You put in the extra work to make your house stand out from all the rest on the market, right?  No matter where you are in the process, review the list below to help you determine what buyers really want and do not want in their future home.

The top three must-haves:

1.  Curb Appeal:  You only get one chance to make a first impression.  Your home should sell to the buyer from the curb.   Buyers should be so impressed that they want to leap out of the car and run inside.

How do you create curb appeal? Show attention to detail.  Your home has to be prettier, cleaner and in better condition than its neighbors.  Start with sweeping the drive, walkways and porch or entry of dirt and debris.  Get rid of leggy bushes, wilted flowers and broken tree limbs and plant fresh flowers in the front garden.  Power-wash the exterior and hand wash the windows and touch up paint around the windows, if needed.  I have trusted tradesmen who can do these things for you, if you prefer.  Replace the door hardware and porch sconces.

2.  Space: The number one reason why people buy homes is to have more room.  Whether they are moving from an apartment or moving up from the home they have, they want to have plenty of space.

If you have a large home, you are golden, but that does not mean you have it made.  You can ruin a buyer’s first impression with too much clutter, so make sure to keep your home picked up so your buyer can see your home’s features clearly and easily.

What if you do not have a lot of space?  Plan to do some storing and staging.  Rent a storage unit and put away all out-of-season clothes, toys, home decorations and accessories.  Clean off all tables and counter tops so you have only the minimum of things you need to operate your home.  Empty closets of anything that is stored and move it to the storage unit.  The small expense you will pay in storage fees you will more than make back from a good offer to purchase your home.

3.  Updates: First-time buyers and single people tend to buy older homes because they are more affordable than buying new.  So unless the buyer is a building contractor, chances are he will want a home that is as updated as possible.

Concentrate on the kitchen and bathrooms.  Replace the most dated features such as counter tops, cabinet pulls and appliances.  Bathrooms are so personal that they can easily turn buyers off.  Invest in new towels and bathmats  (use your old ones and replace them with the new ones when you have an appointment to view your home or for an open house).  Throw out slimy soaps and limp ragged bath sponges.  Replace with liquid shower and bath products.  You can take all the newly purchased items to your next home.

Painting is expected by buyers, but do not repaint the same colors that you chose ten years ago.  Pick an updated neutral like a warm gray instead of beige.  Be sure to choose a color that will complement the architecture and flooring in your home.

The typical home purchased in 2013 had 1860 square feet of living space and was built in 1996, so home buyers are not expecting your home to be a mansion, nor do they expect it to be new, but they do expect to see pride of ownership.  The more updates and repairs that you perform, the more confident the buyers will be that they are choosing the right home.

The top five have-nots:

Make sure your home is free and clear of the following items (instant turn-offs).

1.  Overpricing your home: If you have listed your home at a higher price than recommended you will get negative feedback from buyers.  The worst feedback is silence that could include no showings and no offers.  The problem with overpricing your home is that the buyers who are qualified to buy your home will not see it because they are shopping in a lower price range.  The buyers who do see your home will quickly realize that there are other homes in the same price range that offer more value.

2.  Smells: Smells can come from a number of sources-pets, lack of cleanliness, stale air, water damage and much more.  You may not even notice it, but your agent may tell you something has to be done.  There is not a buyer in the world who will buy a home that smells unless they are investors looking for a bargain.

3. Clutter:  If your tables are full to the edges with photos, figurines, mail and drinking glasses, buyers’ attention is going to be more focused on breezing through your living room without breaking any glass figurines than in considering your home for purchase.  Too much furniture confuses the eye and makes it really difficult for buyers to see the proportions of the rooms.  If they can not see what they need to know, they move on to the next home.

4.  Deferred maintenance:  Deferred maintenance is a polite euphemism for letting your home fall apart.  Just like people age due to the effects of the sun, wind and gravity, so do structures like your home.  Things wear out, break and weather and it is your job as a homeowner to keep your home repaired.  Buyers really want a home that has been well-maintained.  They do not want to wonder what needs to be fixed next or how much it will cost.

5.  Dated Decor:  People want your neighborhood, but that does not mean they want a dated-looking home.  Just like they want a home in good repair, they want a home that looks updated, even if it is from a different era.

Though I am in the business of selling houses, I know it is no easy task to move.  You will receive daily calls from agents to show your home, you will be asked to leave your home during open houses; you will really have to “put your life on hold” until it is sold.  The objective should be to limit the marketing time by making sure your home is the best it can be.