All things real estate: Preparing your home for sale in Covid-19 world

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preparing your home for sale

Sellers,  have you begun to receive more appointments for showings since Wed, June 10, the day that Phase 2 was christened allowing the real estate industry in New York state to come out of hibernation the past 2 ½ months? Have you prepared your home for those motivated purchasers and at the same time have masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer available for them in the event that the agents don’t? Have you prepared your home to be able to shoot the best photos and videos?

Also, as needed, either you or the agent should be showing the property and should be the ones to open up all doors and cabinets and then if you have any concerns, wipe down any touched areas with sanitizing wipes It is critically important that we all be prepared just as a precaution to keep everyone safe and healthy. As if we didn’t have enough paperwork to process, there are two new crucial disclosure forms, housing and anti-discrimination and Covid-19 in addition to the agency and lead (only for property constructed before 1978) disclosure that all sellers and buyers must be presented with at first point of contact.

Between the issues in November 2019 on Long Island with those agents who got caught steering (purposely suggesting that one town or location would be better than another for that client) and the current Covid-19 pandemic, more necessary paperwork has been added to our agenda so as to keep us and our clients legally and physically safe and healthy. However, I wonder how many know that this paperwork is required and will readily have this paperwork available? The best of us most likely will do what is required as is usually the case, but I am not sure about so many others in the business.

So if you are a seller and/or a buyer, make sure those documents are presented to you right from the beginning whether listing your home, condo, or co-op or when a Realtor first takes you out to show the property. Paperwork must be kept for three years by the agent.

Now the other preparedness one must consider when deciding to place your home on the market are those items that have been put on the back burner due to procrastination, thinking you will eventually get to it or maybe the money is tight right at the moment. Remember to view your home as is you were the buyer and through their eyes. However, I am not talking about a full-scale renovation or upgrade unless you are planning to live there another five to seven years; otherwise, you might not get back all the money that you are contemplating spending right now. It also depends on how long you have been living in your current home and the equity that you have built up over the years.

However, preparing your walls and ceilings for painting with a light white, off white or beige color and kitchens and bathrooms in a light yellow or another color that matches the decor or whatever color that is not too personal in nature would be an excellent starting point. Light and bright should be your focus! Next, you might think about maybe sanding those floors that you haven’t refurbished in 20 years and then finish the process by putting two coats of polyurethane down. Some basics to also consider is the exterior landscape and the curb appeal of your home through the eyes of prospective purchasers who just might do a drive-by to check out the area. Buyers who come for a showing may scan the outdoor area as they are walking up to the front door and will react  to the setting.

Trimming all your shrubbery below your windows is a great first step and if you haven’t maintained them in many years, now you have a giant straggly monster of a bush or tree covering them. So consider removing them and replacing them with something more appropriate, such as azaleas or Rhododendrons, by going online and viewing other choices. Obviously you may or may not have an adequate budget to do everything, but consider the actions of how much a buyer will reduce their offer when they calculate what they will need to do to make their new home livable and appealing. It can be much more economical for the seller to do many things in preparation to sell because many times a buyer will consider the expense to be much higher in fixing, repairing, and upgrading than the actual cost if a professional were contracted to do the job.The other option is to sell in “as is” condition.

But you can always start with getting at least three estimates from contractors and asking for referrals of homeowners that they have worked with over the past three to five years to to see if they met their expectations and were satisfied. You can also go online for reviews, just Google, and search for reviews or testimonials of the company or the name of the individual.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S). Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas and suggestions on future columns with your name, email, and cell number and he will call or email you back. For a consultation, he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions or concerns.

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