When considering a property, of course you want to focus on the positives. Yet you can’t put on blinders and ignore a property’s downsides.
It’s essential to be prepared with the facts, so you can be ready to address any potential issues before showing a property to potential buyers.
It’s of utmost importance that you analyze the property you’re going to show, thoroughly… critically observing each and every flaw on multiple walkthroughs.
You must realistically assess a property’s downsides from the onset, for these reasons:
Some Things Could Be Fixed Before the Showing
A seller might not have the time or money to renovate the kitchen, install new flooring, or finish the basement. But there are smaller issues that could be more easily fixed. You can make recommendations based on what you see:
- A grimy kitchen wall could potentially get a fresh coat of paint.
- A neglected lawn could get a visit from a landscaping service.
- A bedroom covered in posters could be staged by replacing the posters with simple artwork.
- A musty garage could be aired out and organized.
- A structure could be power-washed to rid the siding of discoloration, dirt, and mold.
- An empty office building could be cleaned, dusted, and aired out.
Consider the easy fixes that could add value to a property and make it more appealing to buyers. These easy fixes might take a couple of weeks to enact, but the short delay will more than make up for itself in potential gains. Discuss your recommendations with the seller, taking the seller’s budget into consideration.
You Need Time to Research the Cost of Things that Can’t Be Easily Fixed
Some bigger issues with the property might require a significant outlay of cash to fix; these issues might take a long time to fix, as well. Examples are:
- A crumbling asphalt driveway
- Outdated siding/shutters
- An old roof
- Damage from storms or natural disasters
- Damage to walls
- Old, stained flooring
- And more…
If these issues haven’t been fixed already, it’s unlikely that your seller has the time or money to fix them before the listing. Research the cost of these potential fixes and discuss them with the seller. An honest conversation will pave the way for a good working relationship as you discuss the price point of the property.
Additionally, when you finally do show the property to buyers, you’ll be better positioned to make an assessment of future costs, and also to address any financial concerns.
You Need Time to Arrive at Creative Solutions
It might not seem like a fix falls under the “easy” solution category. But if you give yourself time before you show the property, you might come up with an unexpectedly easy, creative solution.
For example: it might just suddenly dawn on you that the buyer can upgrade the look of the cabinets with a quick coat of paint. Or you might realize that the buyer can upgrade the curb appeal of the property by planting a flower bed.
Solutions might not come to you automatically, especially when you’re starting out in real estate. Multiple walk-throughs before a showing will give you more time to consider creative solutions.
Your Seller Needs Realistic Expectations
Your seller might be disappointed as you discuss price points. Your seller might have strong emotional attachments to the property, and it might be difficult to talk with them about realistic pricing.
But if you’re prepared with a list of flaws and the potential cost for fixes… your seller will be better equipped to understand the reasoning behind a particular price point.
Be sure to get concrete figures or even estimates, so you can discuss things as they really are.
You Need to Negotiate Sticking Points Ahead of Time
For the same reason that your seller needs realistic expectations for the price point of the property, your seller also needs to anticipate potential sticky points that might arise during negotiations.
Buyers might want $15,000 off the asking price to put a new roof on the house. Or they might want a few thousand off to update the HVAC system. If your buyer is prepared for these requests, it won’t be as stressful for you to confront them with such requests when it comes time to do so.
You Need to Maintain a Positive Working Relationship with the Seller
If you don’t take the time to adequately assess a property’s downsides, then your seller will feel blindsided with negotiation sticking points. In order to maintain a productive working relationship with your seller, you should prepare in advance for issues that might otherwise take them by surprise.
There’s a possibility that some sellers might not realize the downsides of a property; everything might seem fine and dandy, to them! But you can prepare your demeanor, as you set yourself up for productive conversations where you’re both working toward the same goals: getting the best price for the property in the best timeline.
You Want to Build a Positive Reputation in the Community
You don’t want to be known as someone who ignores flaws in a property, or even actively denies them. Consider the type of review that a dissatisfied potential property buyer might write:
“The broker told me that the windows were sticking shut because of the heat – meanwhile, it was obvious that NOBODY could ever open these windows.”
Or, how about this:
“The broker said that damage from the pipes bursting was minimal. Meanwhile, everything smelled like mold, and I could barely stop coughing from the smell!”
You don’t want to be the broker receiving these types of negative reviews. Be honest with potential buyers… you can still frame the property with an upbeat attitude, just be prepared to frankly discuss the truth.
Remember that it’s important to show a property from a realistic, though upbeat perspective… but you can’t do that if you don’t know what the downfalls of the property might be.
Taking an honest overview of any issues from the onset will make the process go more smoothly, giving you time to address these problems upfront.
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