I thought I would devote this blog to some of my most frequently asked questions.
“Steve, we are ready to move, but we never got around to updating the powder room downstairs. It has pink fixtures and pink floral wallpaper, circa 1982. Do you think I need to update the bathroom before I put the home on the market?”
Although this ultimately depends on the buyer, anything that shrinks the buyer pool ultimately can lessen demand for your home. A buyer might walk into that bathroom and say, “Whoa. That is too much work. I am out!” If enough buyers decide it is too much to take on, then you may not get an offer for your property OR an offer may be less than you expect. Or, you may just happen to get the right buyer to come along who is up to the task! As far as powder room updates go, removing wallpaper, replacing a sink, toilet, mirror, lighting, and a little storage shouldn’t cost too much and it is probably worth doing. But let’s talk about it!
“Steve, I am moving out of my house while it is listed. Can I turn off the water and turn down the heater since I won’t be there?”
The challenge with turning off the water is that potential buyers can’t test the sinks and the shower which will be problematic. Furthermore, the water must be on for the inspection. In this market, when most listings get a lot of traffic as soon as they come on the market, you need to have the water on and ready for an inspection. As far as the heat, your home does need to be maintained at a comfortable temperature of about 65-68 degrees. We don’t want potential buyers to be uncomfortable for your home.
“Steve, I have a vintage restored car in my garage. I am nervous about getting a scratch. Do you think I need to be worried?”
Although I wish I could guarantee that nothing will happen to your car, I just can’t. If you have concerns, consider putting your car in storage for the duration of your listing.
“Steve, I have a smart home system which is set to record video and audio. Is there anything that I need to do to adjust my system in preparation for listing?”
Yes, in Washington State, there are laws around recording audio without permission. I appreciate your letting me know and let’s work together to adjust your system to comply with today’s listing requirements.
“Steve, we are ready to list, but I have some big concerns about having my home ready to show at all times. I have three kids who are involved in sports and we are always on the go with our home as the landing space for all the equipment, dirty cleats, etc. Any suggestions?”
Yes, but it will require some discipline. The great news is that you appear to have three active kids who can help! I recommend creating a mudroom of sorts in your garage or carport that can contain the dirty sporting equipment. That way it is out of your car, but it doesn’t go into the house. The second thing I would recommend is to have each of your kids in charge of a different chore of zone of the house that gets cleaned every morning before everyone leaves the house. You might have one person in charge of the kitchen, another in charge of the bathroom, and another in charge of the living room. Then they are all in charge of their rooms – making the beds and keeping it tidy. Yes, it is going to take another 20 minutes in the morning, but let’s do all we can to get the home sold quickly.
If you have questions, please send those to me: firstname.lastname@example.org!