Now that you have decided that doing a Short Sale is the best available option for you, what can you do to get it over with quickly?
First thing, you need to do is to take an impartial look at your home. Go through the property room by room and look at it as though you were a Buyer looking at it for the first time. What do you see?
A Buyer will be looking for the flaws in the property so that they can drive the price down. You need to prepare your property to get the highest-and-best price, so that your Lender will accept the offer.
If you put your home on the market and it garners a ridiculously low price (because of simple things that you could have taken care of in advance), your Lender may, after many months of waiting, reject the offer.
If your house looks distressed, unkept and in need of repair, buyer are going to offer very low or not at all. Your goal has to be to get the “highest and best” price because the house isn’t sold until your lender accepts the offer. If your lender says no. No sale.
You know what they say about first impressions. Buying a home is an emotional as well as a financial investment. When a Buyer first approaches the property, how do you want them to feel?
Give the outside of your house a “low cost” face lift:
- Buy a new colorful welcome mat for your front door
- Paint the front door and replace the hardware
- Paint your house numbers on the curb
- Paint or replace your mailbox
- Wash the exterior windows and/or power wash the outside of the house
- Mow your lawn, and cut back shrubs and bushes back, especially if they block the views from inside.
- Plant colorful flowers along the entry way to the house and in flower beds.
Now you’re ready to transform the inside of your house by simply rearranging some things. You need to get storage boxes immediately, and start packing up your house as though you are ready to move now.
You need to store excess furniture, personal items, books, and kitchen items, they all need to be boxed up and stored in the garage.
Go through every closets, cabinets and pantries and remove everything that you don’t need right now. Clear all of your counter tops, shelves, and excess decorative items, they need to be packed away.
Now, go back and neatly arrange everything that is left. Closets and cabinets should be especially neat and orderly. This will make a huge difference in making your house seem spacious, uncluttered, and allow the Buyer to envision their own family in this environment.
You may need to do some or all of these:
- Touch up or paint the walls where needed
- Rent a carpet cleaner or have it professionally cleaned
- Paint or refinish your kitchen or bathroom cabinets
- Replace old cabinet knows and handles
- If there are obvious problems with plumbing or electrical you should get it taken care of in advance. If you don’t a Buyer may make demands on repairs that kill the sale.
The most important thing is you want your home to be Clean, Clean, Clean! It doesn’t have to be professionally cleaned, but it needs to be inviting and comfortable.
Yes, there are plenty of other things that you could do, but I think that these are the basics.
If you need help find a Handyman and a Gardner and negotiate with them on price.
By taking the time to do these simple things you can –
- Avoid expensive demands for repairs from potential buyers
- Position your house to compete in the marketplace
- Garner a higher offer that will be accepted by your lender
Bottom line, you need to do whatever you can to position your property for a quick sale, at “highest and best price”, and get it accepted by the lender the first time.