Dear Esther – My husband and I are ready to sell our home. We would rather not spend time and money painting walls and replacing carpet. Selling and moving is hard enough without all that extra work. What would you suggest?
This question is frequently asked by sellers before listing their home. It’s hard enough to empty closets, purge personal items, organize drawers and clean. Painting and replacing just adds to the demands and puts a strain on budgets. How necessary is it, really?
In my experience in selling homes, I find that if sellers want to get market value for their home, it is very necessary. You may think that buyers will see past these surface items and appreciate your desirable features like finished basement space or your extra-large garage. Instead, when they walk through your home, odd colored or dirty walls, and stained or worn carpets communicate that you have not taken care of it. They immediately wonder if the heating system is also on its last leg or the roof is leaking. They have lost interest before getting to your finished basement or garage.
Although the market is tipping in the seller’s favor, buyers continue to expect homes to be move-in ready. Most interpret cosmetic eyesores as neglect on behalf of the seller. They anticipate purchasing a home with fresh walls and clean, new floors at the very least. Buyers are not looking for a project.