Welcome to our first blog posting. The McKee Team is a real estate team working in the Capital District area, surrounding and including the Capital City of Albany, New York. We mostly work in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties.
We help individuals, businesses and organizations to buy, sell and lease residential, commercial, and investment properties. Our work is pretty evenly split between working with buyers and sellers. It gives us a good balance for talking about both buying and selling properties.
I want to share with you a few of the elements of getting a house in the best condition to sell. We are frequently asked by our clients what they need to do to prepare their houses for sale. We normally will go around the house on the outside and then room by room through the house, making a list of what might be done to help sell the home for a higher price and/or faster. There really isn’t just one answer on what needs to be done. A lot depends on the condition of the home and what resources the owner has to devote to fixing it up. When we talk with our clients, we present a spectrum of changes that could be made which range from small, free, efforts to major renovations. We can sell almost any house in almost any condition but those that are the best values for their style, location and condition and are the “prettiest” will sell the quickest. As Lynne McKee is fond of saying “the market today is a beauty contest and a price war.”
Although there are many things to think about changing to get the quickest sale at the highest price, I am going to address three items today: paint, wallpaper and hard wood floors.
Paint – buyers like a modern palette of colors. If you are going to make your house appeal to the widest range of buyers, you need to change any wild colors in the house and freshen it if you are able. If your kids have painted their rooms black or blood red, those are good candidates for change. Sometimes you can get away with pink and blue bedrooms, it depends on the shades. Don’t forget to take a look at your basement floors and walls, too. An unfinished basement which has just been painted white with a gray floor looks very sharp, crisp and clean. Some buyers get creeped out by basements to begin with. Anything you can do to make them more comfortable in your basement will make your house sell faster. Every basement in our part of the world will benefit from a dehumidifier. I want to dispel the myth that if there is a dehumidifier in the basement there must be a problem. In our climate, it is just smart to reduce the humidity in your basement.
Wallpaper is always a personal choice. It is unique to you and most people will not like your choice of wallpaper. You may love it, your buyers won’t. Consider taking it down and painting . We have never had anyone tell us they like the wallpaper in a house. It only detracts from the sale and reduces the price they are willing to pay. Buyers don’t have extra money to spend on fixing up your house after they buy it. They can afford the mortgage but don’t have discretionary money to fix it up.
Hardwood floors sell houses. If you have carpet over hardwood floors, take it up. Every time we have shown a house to a buyer and it had wall to wall carpet, they asked if it has hardwood underneath. If the answer is yes, their second question is always, “why don’t they take it up?” They most often think the floors are in really bad shape, otherwise, the seller would have removed the carpets. The floor underneath doesn’t have to be pristine. There is not much more beautiful than a gleaming, newly refinished floor but an old floor is still more attractive than wall to wall carpet to most buyers.
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