Selling Against New Construction

This week's discussion might be worth paying attention to if you are looking to sell your home, and you live in an area where there is a lot of new construction. 

I'm Getting Ready to List My Home and In My Area There's a Lot of Competition from New Construction. What Do I Need to Know?

Areas like Canby, Woodburn, Mt. Angel, and many others have new housing developments going on and boy are those homes pretty. In addition, buyers may find these opportunities attractive to buy because:
  • New construction offers a home warranty
  • A buyer gets to be the first owner to live in this home
  • Model homes are gorgeous and impeccably decorated (they do this on purpose!)
  • It may seem like there's less competition with other buyers to get into a new home
If you have a resale home (meaning: a used house) then there are some things that I would suggest doing before you put your home on the market, especially in an area where there's a lot of new construction to compete against. Here are a few to get you started:
  1. Declutter and depersonalize like your sale depends on it. That's right. make those countertops look spacious by removing everything and tucking it away in a cabinet, closet, or garage. Tchotchkes and knick-knacks also need to be stored away. Home decor that is very personal or not neutral also needs to be put up. The thing these model homes do well is stylishly decorating the place just enough to make a buyer feel like they can see themselves there.
  1. Clean, clean, and clean again. A new home is not only new, but it has also been professionally cleaned prior to closing. A good deep cleaning can really make a big difference in the way your home looks and smells. I'm talking top of the cabinets, under appliances and furniture, and even those light fixtures and windows. If it has a surface, clean it. It's a lot of work, so hire a professional cleaner to help if that will take something off your plate. (If I list your home, I take care of that professional house cleaning for you)
  1. Make those repairs and updates. I'm not saying you need to renovate your kitchen or other rooms in your home. In most cases, that won't make good financial sense. However, replacing old, worn carpets or floors may make sense. Repainting walls to a neutral color also helps. How can you spruce up your existing spaces to be presented in the most updated way possible?
  1. Curb appeal! First impressions are everything. Weed the flowerbeds, edge the grass so it's neat and tidy, sweep the cobwebs off the front porch, pressure wash the driveway, and maybe even touch up the paint on the the trim or add a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of your home. You only get one chance to make a good first impression!
  1. Have a smart pricing strategy. You can't out market a price for your home that potential buyers don't see value in.Ask yourself if you were the buyer and you saw a similar home that was brand new for a similar or slightly higher price, which would you choose? New homes often come with a premium on price, and conveniences that many buyers appreciate. In order to get attention, you may need to consider coming in at a sightly lower price than you may anticipate. Of course, every situation is different, and a good real estate agent can help you look at recent sales of similar homes in your area so you can determine the best price for your property.
If you're curious about selling your home and potentially having to compete against new construction in your area, I'm here to help. Simply reply to this email or connect with me in the way that works best for you (see contact information below).

Sellers, Don't Do This!

This week I wanted to give a word of caution to anyone who is looking to sell their home in the near future, or perhaps has a home sale under contract with a buyer. This is something that came up very recently and I wanted to share a huge lesson.

Please Do Not Stay at Home or Be Present During Your Buyer's Home Inspection. 

Why should you make plans to be out of the home during your buyer's home inspection?
First of all, it's easy to have innocent conversation with the buyers, perhaps the buyers' parents are there, the buyers' agent, the home inspector and it feels normal. Everyone is nice! You have the chance to have a great chat about the house and its history and what has been going on. 
Then, in passing, you hear the inspector tell the agent and the buyers about an issue that came up on the inspection. You knew it was a concern, and intended to have it fixed before listing. Maybe material issues, labor shortages, contractors being booked up for months were things that got in the way. So you offer to write a check to the buyers to take care of it.
It seems innocent enough. However, your agent wasn't there to give you advice on what you should do given the circumstances. There was a chance that these buyers may not have even asked for that repair, and you essentially just wrote a check when it may not have been necessary for the repair negotiations. 

What You Say Can and Will Be Taken and Used to The Advantage of The Other Parties in The Negotiation.

Sometimes, these instances are just fine and things work out ok. However, it can also be a cautionary tale where you end up having to pay more than you bargained for. 
Anything that was a concern to the buyers from the inspection report will be shared with the listing agent, who will discuss it with you. Usually repairs or credit toward repairs are negotiated at that time. 
The bottom line: make it a point to be out of the house when the inspections are happening. If privacy or security concerns are on your mind, request that the buyer's agent attend the inspection for the entire time. It is customary for agents to attend in some areas, but isn't in others. 
Otherwise, grab a cup of coffee. Take your time, and consider it a chance to take a break. Get a massage. If you've taken on the task of selling your home, you have earned it.

Work With Jennifer

Jennifer is an expert marketer with the know-how, ideas, and creativity to help her clients through the entire real estate process. Whether you're new to the area or a fellow native Oregonian, Jennifer would love to be your go-to resource for all things real estate in the greater Clackamas County area.