Dear Jill, we have purchased a new home but we still need to sell our current home. Should we move and show our house without furniture, or leave everything in place until it sells? Amy
Amy, if your home is excessively cluttered, for instance, with plastic toys, baskets of dirty laundry, and overstuffed closets—or if your furniture has seen better days—then it may be better for you to move out now. Remember, your goal is to limit distractions so that potential buyers will view your home as a blank canvas on which they can project their own tastes.
Dear Jill, I am getting ready to sell my house and I’m wondering how much work do I need to do? Should I worry about spackling nail holes and painting walls? Holly
Holly, if you have a normal amount of pictures on the wall, it’s o.k. to simply take the pictures and leave the nails in place when you move. However, going back to the idea of limiting distractions, if your walls are plastered with dozens of family snapshots, then you’re better off removing the pictures and spackling and painting over the holes before you show your home.
Dear Jill, my husband and I have been trying to sell our house for months with no luck. I say the reason is our terribly outdated kitchen and that we should spruce it up, but my husband thinks we should do nothing and let the buyers deal with it. Who’s right? Mary
Dear Mary, I sincerely believe that kitchens and bathrooms can make or break a house; however, how much you spend renovating your kitchen depends on the price point of your house and your financial capabilities. For instance, in some areas, home buyers might expect granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, while in other areas, installing granite and stainless would be severe overkill. The most important thing is to never “over improve” your home. Remember, if you make your house by far the best house in a neighborhood, you’ll likely never recoup the money you’ve spent. That being said, you may want to go to open houses in your area to see what sort of kitchens you’re competing against at your price point. It may be that relatively small renovations such as painting the cabinets or installing a new laminate counter may be enough to give your kitchen a facelift that really pays off.
Dear Jill, I’ve heard people say that spring is the best time to put your house up for sale. Is this really true? Would I just be wasting my time by putting my house up for sale now? J.T.
Dear J.T., putting your house up for sale is never a waste of time. In my years of house flipping, I have sold houses in the dead of winter and the dog days of summer; it really doesn’t matter, people buy houses 12 months a year. This is especially true in the Dayton area where people are constantly transferring here to work for the government, universities, and major companies. There could even be an advantage in putting your house on the market now since the competition may be less intense than it is during the spring.
Dear Jill, I am going to be putting my house up for sale soon, but I have a problem. I have two large dogs and work 5 days a week. Will I have to make special arrangements to have my dogs out of the house when buyers come to look? Mark
Mark, I always recommend removing pets from homes during showings since some buyers may not be used to pets or may even be allergic to them. One simple solution is to ask your agent to show your home only during evenings and weekends. That way you can take your dogs for a walk while the house is being shown.