Let me preface this by saying my neighborhood is not the one that people are dying to get into. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. It’s an established, mature and diverse neighborhood. It’s centrally located and my neighbors are awesome. DH and I bought our house 16 years ago thinking it would be a starter home. It was built in the 1960’s and still had shag carpet, heavy drapes and paneling when we bought it. Lovely, I know. My husband was horrified, but I saw its potential. What can I say, it has good bones and that’s all you need to know. Years later, I still look around and think “I love my house” and I will live in it ‘til I croak (or win the lotto).
All this to say, there is a house near by that has been somewhat neglected. A single woman lived in it for several years and I think it just became too overwhelming for her. It seems one day she packed up and moved to California. But the house, well, it stayed here. Tenants came and went and while they didn’t let it go completely downhill, they didn’t give it the same love as a homeowner would. Eventually the owner let it go into foreclosure and it became the bank’s house. And there it sat, for a very long time. There had been half ass attempts to sell it but nothing really happened. A shame, really, because it is pretty much the same house as ours without the addition. Good bones, I tell you.
And then one day, it happened. I was driving down my street and I see trucks in the neighbor’s driveway and debris being piled into the bed of one of the trucks. Sure enough, word on the street (well, actually my DH talked to the guy at the house who confirmed) was that a “flipper” bought the house and was planning to rent it. UGH! Rent? We were so bummed out. Initially elated at the thought that someone cared to dress it up and then bummed that it would go to someone who would perhaps not care for it so well. But since we didn’t buy it, guess we don’t get a say, right?
Well, let me tell you…that dude was on it! He did not mess around. He and his crew came in and in a matter of two weeks, they had that house dressed up and ready to sell. Yup, that’s right, it was for sale. #ThankGodhesawthelight
And guess what? It sold the very day it went on the market, with not one, but two offers. Amazing, and this all in a neighborhood where people aren’t really beating the door down to live. But I do believe that is about to change with new business development nearby. But I digress.
So how’d he do it? How did this house flipper sell this house so quickly? Well, I haven’t been inside the home yet, but I have every intention of getting an invitation. But I’ll tell you what he did right on the outside of this house…the home staging he did to get it looking spot on amazing. It looked great in MLS photos and it looked great from the curb. Remember, people won’t even look at the inside of the house if it doesn’t show well in photos and if it doesn’t look well maintained and inviting from the outside.
- He painted the exterior of the home. Initially it was a mustard gold color with black trim and accents. It was too harsh and the color was taste specific. The flipper went with a neutral taupe gray color and suddenly the black trim looks sharp and sophisticated. It’s very eye catching.
- He pulled out dead shrubs and cleaned up the yard. Now mind you, the yard wasn’t bad but it appeared neglected and overrun. As a prospective buyer, you’re not wanting to move in and have a ton of yard work to do. At least not at first. So by clearing out brush, adding some new shrubs and mulch, suddenly the yard looks manageable and tidy.
- He did some cosmetic touch ups so the house looks maintained. So as a seller, you want your house to look fresh and well maintained. If there are minor imperfections, like chipped paint, or wood rot, the buyer will believe the home has not been cared for and will begin to search for other maintenance issues. But if all looks good at first glance, the buyer is excited and can overlook a minor thing here or there. Remember, emotion sells houses!
- And speaking of emotion…he added fluffy touches that make people feel good. He built flower boxes for the front windows and hung potted plants at the front entrance. I love touches like this for a front porch. Remember, the prospective buyer will stand on your porch and wait for the realtor to wrestle the lock box and open the door. While the buyer stands there give him something to look at besides cobwebs and dust bunnies (do get rid of those before you place your home on the market). Also, be sure to not go overboard with too MUCH stuff. My mantra: Less is more.
- He added another touch and that is the door mat. It is inexpensive and simple. It says WELCOME.
And that’s how the flipper sold the house in one day.