A Few Ideas for Handling Seller’s Stress
- Paint everything: every wall, baseboard, door frame and window frame. Inside and out. Year after year, national studies reveal that a fresh coat of paint provides something like a 400% return on investment.
- Invest $20 or $30 in a brand new, thick and cushy welcome mat for the front door. First impressions count.
- Weed out your closets and bookcases. Pack up 1/3 of what’s in there. Donate it or store it for your upcoming move.
- Take everything off the kitchen fridge. Buyers aren’t considering buying your 5-year old’s macaroni craft project so they don’t need to see it. They also don’t need to know what time Johnny has soccer practice or which Doctor Susie sees.
- Enlist the entire family in keeping the house clean for showings.
- To present the appearance of a clean house in under 5 minutes: wipe down counters, kitchen appliances and mirrors with diluted Windex or plain diluted ammonia. (Windex costs more but smells better)
- Hide your personal papers, bills, and so forth from the office/desk area (it’s nobody else’s business).
- Take down family photos from every wall and dresser top.
- Remove the prescriptions from the medicine cabinet (yes, people WILL look. Potential buyers do not need to know that you’re mixing a custom cocktail of Prozac and Viagra.
- If possible, find temporary foster homes for your pets. Try family, friends and/or neighbors. This is challenging but important. I love my cat. But if my house smells like cat, it WILL NOT sell.
- Take up yoga, tai-chi or meditation.
- Ignore your neighbors’ asking prices; concentrate on nearby sold prices.
- While you’re at it, (mostly) ignore your friends’ and family’s advice. They are not Realtors. You hired a Realtor for a reason. Ask questions, request documentation of market trends, but trust him/her.
- If your Realtor isn’t giving you a weekly or every-other-week update, ask for one.
- Write a counteroffer for every offer you receive, even the ones that make you want to scream profanities at the buyer (and see below about Handling Low Ball Offers)