Be Upfront

Be Upfront

  • Gene Keyser
  • 01/6/21
The due diligence process can uncover problems with your home, so your best bet is to take inventory of your property and discuss any issues with buyers before they discover them on their own. It’s an opportunity to show your good faith and head off the uncertainty and delay that could make real closers walk away. If you proactively suggest improvements they might want to make, you’ll build a relationship of trust that will carry you through closing and create value in the eyes of your best buyers.

Ask well-reviewed contractors and architects to come to your home and discuss repairs and improvements. You don’t have to make these improvements—just find out what needs to be done and how much it will cost. Rather than having buyers stumble upon a terrible surprise later in the process, you can manage a problem, demonstrate your good faith, and show that the issue has been considered in the price of your property.

Some things you might want to look into include: repainting some rooms and the stairwell, replacing the roof, replacing the boiler, replacing the hot water heaters, fixing the façade, redoing the steps on the stoop, pointing any brick, replacing the sewer/water/gas mains, performing an electrical upgrade, installing mini-split systems or central air, and fixing or re-carpeting the stairs.
You can also use the time you spend with contractors and architects to imagine new ways a buyer might want to use your home. It’s surprising how a trained eye can help you better understand the possibilities of your space. With professional guidance on landscaping, redesigning, or even remodeling, you can prepare buyers to think about the new deck, bigger living room, new bathroom, or beautiful new floors that will fit their vision of what their new home could be.

Get a scope-of-work and estimates on company letterhead. If you tell the improvement professional that you will feature their clever ideas and provide their estimates to every buyer who sees the property (giving them a first crack at actually doing the work), they’ll be glad to prepare these estimates for you. By helping buyers envision improvements, including exactly how long they will take and how much they will cost, you will remove guesswork, pave the way for realistic negotiation, and eliminate the deal-killing fear of a money pit. Reducing the obstacles in the minds of your buyers will get them thinking about how they can make your property their home.

To learn more about how to make your home attractive to buyers who are ready to close, download our free comprehensive guide.

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