Do The Best You Can: “Secrets” To Get Your Vacant Property NOTICED!
I get a lot of calls from owners of vacant properties, and agents representing them. (Presumed) cost is usually the main reason they are vacant. First I assure them that preparing a property for sale doesn’t always mean bringing a truckload of furniture in.
My position is that there is always something that can be done to better a property. Success is when you can do the best with what you have. It starts with the right attitude; and ideas coalesce after a realistic assessment of abilities, budget and expectations.
While it’s absolutely true that if nothing changes, nothing changes; I see so many shoot themselves in the ….ummm… listing by their assumptions.
I’ve said it before, and will say it again: Preparing a property is not a silver bullet. Nothing else will matter if a property is unrealistically priced, not maintained, badly or ineffectively marketed, or isn’t made readily available to be shown.
Our market does not reward obvious DIY projects, or work done on the cheap. BUT-it does appreciate your genuinely doing the best you can do, with a commensurate price. Happily, there are numerous, thoughtful things that will make a difference.
In order of importance, my favorite ways to inexpensively, effectively elevate a vacant space:
- All surfaces clean and in good repair: walls, floor, windows. Vacuum, dust. Wash windows. Run some vinegar and baking soda down drains, through clothes and dish washer cycles for a sweeter smell.
- Water in toilets that are not being flushed can evaporate, leaving nasty hard water deposits. Keep toilet bowl swisher/cleaner at the ready.
- Fresh color on the walls/ceilings. Color will fill a room really well if there is no money for furniture or art. Also it adds presence and perspective to listing photos.
- Take a look at some of the light fixtures. You can get a lot of snazziness for less than $50.00…A 40′s gray bathroom becomes ‘retro’ ; a cool new entry fixture gives buyers something to look at, and a reason to linger.
- Consider hanging ready-made window treatments. I know this is WAY counter-intuitive, but take a look at some other listing photos. Windows are one of the hardest things to figure out what to do with. Simple, stationary panels in a standard size framing a window at around $100.00 per window total (rods, hardware and panels) calls attention to the window, the view, adds big value for most buyers, and puts your listing head and shoulders above the rest.
TOMORROW: Making More, Out Of Less: Best Inexpensive Fixes For An Occupied Property