Allowances for Cosmetic Ineptitudes

21 02 2011

It’s the age old question.  To fix, or not to fix.  Ok, so maybe that’s not quite right, but you get my point.

You’re selling your home.  The carpet has Kool-Aid stains from the kids.  In another room it’s threadbare from there the cat used it as her scratching post.  You’ve got a husband and two kids – three and six.  All the money have sanity you have goes into making a living, providing for your family & every once and awhile trying to sleep & clean the house.  And now your damn Realtor is telling you to replace your carpet!  Can you believe the nerve of that too-peppy-got-tons-of-sleep-no-kid-little-brat?

Actually, yes I can.  In fact…I’m probably the one who told you to change it.  From the post from yesterday, you can see how important it is for your place to be in tip top shape.  Make sure you go back to yesterday’s post & watch the video.  Look at how much faster & for how much more it generally helps a home sell if you follow those tips.  As much as it may break your child’s heart that you can’t display their photo/art on the fridge anymore, it really does impede the potential buyer from imagining their own belongings there.  With the savings from selling faster & for more money, you could have afforded to change the carpet about ten times over.  Definitely worth it.

But, you say, I don’t have the extra money to fix that right now.  I can’t afford to change the carpet & the kids will just ruin it all over again.  “You have no idea what it’s like”.  You’re right.  I don’t.  I can bet it’s tough & takes all your willpower.  I bet you’re probably doing a fantastic job raising your family, too.  🙂  But what I can tell you is there are always choices.  I can’t FORCE you to change your carpet.   Think of it this way…I’m sure you’ve heard the term “It takes money to make money”.  It’s true.  And this is it in living color.  It’s ok if you can’t afford to change the carpet, but you’ll need to accept that you’ll most likely stay on the market longer, maybe not sell your home at all (remember…that post about what percentage of homes sell that go on the market here? ), or a combo of take longer & for less money.  If that’s ok with you – the fact that you can’t go to the top of the range that your home might be worth, then we’re all good!

Most people aren’t ok with that though.  They want to not change the carpet & price their home at the top of the market.  I promise from the bottom of my heart, as much as it’s tempting, it won’t end well 95% of the time (or more).  Not in this market.

Sure there are allowances that can be given.  You can market the home with a $2,000 bonus for the buyer to do whatever they wish.  Chances are, the buyer will low ball you after you sit on the market for several months AND ask for the cosmetic bonus.  Double ouch.

I know…not a fun picture I painted, but I see it a lot.  It makes me sad.  It makes the sellers sad.

What’s the best way to fix it?  I suggest the minute you get a wild hair to move you put away a little fund of savings.  Maybe you chalk away 3% or $50 or something from every check (or more)….that way when your Realtor (if they are brave enough to tell you), or your potential buyers feedback comes in and says some things need to change, you’ll have a little put away & it’s not an all-at-once -rip-the-band-aid-off kind of pain.

At the end of the day, can you give allowances?  Yes.  Do I recommend it?  No.

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