Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Real Estate Realities with Karen Winters

Would You Marry You?
One evening, while I was channel surfing I landed on a local talk show. The topic was about relationships, with the guest promoting his book, Would You Marry You? As I continued to watch, I thought about the title some more.

Realtors counsel sellers to make their homes as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Sometimes sellers are receptive to making changes to sell their home and sometimes they’re not. It's your home, of course, and you like it just fine. But fine enough to keep it?

Would You Marry This Home?
It's great Mr. and Ms. Seller that you love your home. But, for whatever reason, you need to sell. Now, let's take a variation on our initial question. Would you marry this home?

You have learned to live with the clutter. You have become blinded to the chipping, dingy paint, and the crumbling front steps. After all, you and your family know to just step over them. Oh, and you know to be sure to push hard when slamming the front door because the lock may not "catch." And, um, . . . what is that smell?

If you were a buyer would you buy a home knowing that the purchase price is not the real purchase price? Or would you pass since you know that to make it "livable," considerable work needs to be done before you call it home?

The Well-Groomed Home
Look at your home through the eyes of potential buyers. When you are selling your home it is not only a sales process; you are seeking a match. Each showing is a date. On those dates are you well groomed (de-cluttered)? Well dressed (staged attractively)? And well mannered (repairs made or credit toward repairs offered as part of the sale)? If not, consider how your home may stack up to the competition.

Second “dates” can happen but only when a home is still in competition after the first round. In reality the old adage holds true: you only have one chance to make a good first impression. A clean, well staged home with minimal or no repairs needed, and that is priced correctly will find a match.

Karen Winters is a Realtor with Prudential Rubloff Properties and can be reached at 312-725-4498. Visit Karen's Web site at You can also find Karen on Facebook at Prudential Rubloff Properties is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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