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Sellers, prep is key to selling

Interest rates are still floating in the high to mid-6% range, and there remains a relatively low inventory of homes to choose from in our local market.  With only 44% of the total site-built home inventory in escrow pending a closing sale and only 29 homes selling in May, this spring season is the slowest since the Great Recession years of 2013.

In this environment, sellers may believe that because of low inventory, and market conditions, it should be quite a simple process to sell a home. Set a price, and because of the lack of homes on the market, supply, and demand is in favor of sellers.

The reasoning further goes that because of the lack of homes, there is not really a need to do much preparation with a home to get it sold. Lack of homes means less work for sellers, and their efforts to go out of their way to make a house shine is really not needed.

Nothing could be further from the truth, dear sellers! More than ever, buyers have become much more pickier in their choices. If a home isn’t clean, well-prepped,  or just the right fit, buyers in this market are willing to wait it out until the tide turns again in their favor.

Keep in mind there is a pocket of buyers that are still purchasing. The housing market hasn’t come to a screeching halt. Buyers who are buying now want a place to call their own. They don’t want an investment, they want a comfortable place to live, one that apartment living does not offer.

So sellers, spend a bit of extra time and funds to prepare your home for the market properly. Suppose you can’t afford to do any upgrades, that’s ok. At least make sure your home is professionally cleaned. That includes cleaning and prepping the exterior as well.

Take the next smart step and get a pre-marketing home inspection. Know the home you are selling and repair any major health and safety items. The more “turn-key” the home, the better. Savvy buyers are seeking homes that require less work.

A home that’s literally poorly prepared and thrown on the market may end up selling for less than expected. For today’s buyers, perception and preparation are everything.

Clint Freeman is a broker/owner of RidgecrestCaHomes and keeps readers informed of the latest housing Market.