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Real Estate in the Q Blog

Eric Trujillo's Rantings on Buying & Selling Real Estate.

By Eric Trujillo | Broker in Albuquerque, NM

HELP ME SELL!! Week 1 (How far should we go fixing up our house?)

I received a call this morning from a potential client that saw that I sold their neighbors house in a popular neighborhood in Albuquerque around the uptown area. They are currently for sale by owner and wanting me to come by and tell them what they should do to their house so that they can sell it for the most possible and in the least amount of time without leaving money on the table.

We get this question frequently, and often when it is too late.  Sellers most of the time have made some expensive upgrades/updates to their home that ultimately they may not see a return on their investment.

This flow is a good place to start to plan the process: 
  1. ALWAYS get expert advice from a Realtor you can trust. Ask a professional realtor with knowledge in your area/building style to come by your home and give you an honest assessment of your home's value, condition and sell-ability. 
  2. Don't take it personally. In order to get the most for your home, in the least amount of time without leaving money on the table, you MUST be able to look at your property objectively and accept constructive criticism from your agent. They are on your side!
  3. Ask for a punch list that is sorted by priority.
  4. Ask at what point you would be ready to go on the market. In some cases some of the items can be a work in progress. However some things MUST be done PRIOR to listing the home in order to not affect the first impression a buyer has.
  5. Never underestimate the advice you receive from your agent. It may seem like a small thing to you, but from working with many many buyers, your agent KNOWS what can hinder/prevent a sale.
Some INEXPENSIVE/FREE tips that always will help the sale:

  • First impressions are IMPORTANT! Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. Make sure that the front of your home exudes a dimeanor of being clean and well-kept.
  • Keep yard/sidewalks weed free.
  • Trim/prune trees, lawn, bushes and plants more frequently than usual to keep a manicured look at all times.
  • Plant colorful flowers in beds or in decorative pots near the entry. 
  • Make sure front door/entry is freshly painted, stained, and completely clean at all times.
  • Make sure that upon entry your home smell clean and fresh, but don't over power them with a perfumey scent. odor neutralizers/fresh air and a clean non-obtrusive air freshener should do the trick in most cases.
  • Remove all family portraits/pictures from walls and shelves. Let the buyer imagine themselves in the house.
  • De clutter anytime possible. Remember "the rule of three" no more than 3 items on any surface. 
  • touch up paint on baseboards/walls/doors where it is discolored/chipped or dingy.
  • Keep windows clean.
  • Always make beds and keep dirty laundry to a minimum and in enclosed hampers/baskets tucked away from sight.
  • Take the trash out each day before you leave the house.
  • Keep the kitchen and baths SPOTLESS. Always clean and fresh, and without any clutter on countertops or in sinks/shelves.
  • Open Blinds/Curtains to let in as much light as possible.
  • Turn on every light in the house to make it as bright as possible.
  • Leave the home a comfortable temperature for showings.
  • Ask your agent for staging tips to make the house look its best for showings, or employ a professional stager to re-vamp your current furnishings. Remember the oddest spaces should look the best to deter a buyer from wondering what the space is for.
Above and beyond this is something only a knowledgeable agent, like myself can help bring into focus.

Remember its a beauty contest and a race to the finish. Don't get cut in the first round just because you weren't prepared. Your first parade of buyers are the serious ones. Be ready to show them a property that is clean, well-kept and free of deferred maintenance.

Good LUCK! Hope to see you at the finish line!

*remember, if you would like me to address any questions/concerns, please comment and I would love to see if I can make a blog posting to help you.

About Eric Trujillo
Eric has a top producing, award-winning, team with the top real estate company in Albuquerque, NM, whose office was rated as the top 1% of Coldwell Banker offices WORLDWIDE in 2007.
  • #1 Coldwell Banker office WORLDWIDE in 2007!
  • 6th Top Team Companywide in 2009
  • 3rd Top Team companywide in 2008
  • Top 3% of agents statewide
  • Marketing/listing Specialist
  • Excellence as Buyer’s Agent
  • Excellence in Relocation (Incoming/outgoing)
  • Negotiations Specialist Certified (N.I.N.J.A designated)
  • Certified Residential Specialist Candidate 2009-present
  • ePRO Certified (Excellence in Technology and Internet marketing)
  • Albuquerque Economic and Development Member
  • Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau Member
  • Ambassador to Chamber of Commerce
  • Realtors Association of New Mexico Member
  • National Association of Realtors Member
  • Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors Member

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