Saying Goodbye

Let’s face it, moving can be stressful on so many levels. Finding a new place, new schools. Does your deal with the cable provider transfer? You’ll need to pack your stuff, find a reliable mover, but also you’ll need to say goodbye to a place you’ve called home for several years, maybe even decades. Think of all the memories that unfolded while you were in your house. Holidays, parties, new arrivals to the family, that movie marathon that lasted all Saturday, and on and on. It’s not easy to say goodbye, but if your goal is to get top dollar and close the deal as quickly as possible you need to come to terms with leaving sooner than later.

How cold and unfeeling must I be to suggest that? I’m not cold or unfeeling, I’m not a robot, I have had to say goodbye to homes as well, I know that turning-knot in the stomach brought on by walking away from a place you loved, a place that made you feel warm, happy, cozy and safe. But sellers that won’t let go, that insist on showcasing their own specific personal taste usually wind up sitting on the property much longer or being offered much less.

That shade of pink you painted the dining room back in 2003 was no afterthought. You worked hard to find the exact match to the color from the Parisian hotel you spent your honeymoon in. That shade of pink is very specific and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The coordinating drapes weren’t cheap, and that complete suite of dining room furniture was hand carved. I don’t want to be a buzz kill here, but no one that is looking to buy your home was on your honeymoon with you, so that shade of pink is too much for most buyers, the drapes are pretty dramatic, and the furniture is making the room feel cramped. Your specific taste could cut your potential buyer pool down real fast.

The most successful sellers, the ones that get top dollar and close the fastest, have something in common. They say goodbye before they list their home. Emotionally that is. This place you’ve called home needs to become a product that appeals to as many people as possible. That means clean, neutral, clutter-free, up-to-date oh, and did I mention clean and clutter-free?

As a RealtorĀ®, I live and breathe real estate, I look at multiple homes online and in-person every week I see the homes that sell and the homes that sit around doing price cuts, so I know how important it is to make a strong first impression. Unless you’re an acclaimed interior designer, I suggest hiring a stager. Stats prove that a home that has been staged sells quicker and for a higher sales price than a home with the owner’s furniture and personal style. The goal is no longer to make the home feel like your personal oasis. It’s to showcase the spaces inside and make a broad spectrum of buyers fall in love.

More buyers falling in love means more offers, more offers create higher demand. That demand means the buyer will fight harder to close faster and pay more and demand less. If you’ve had to write an offer in the bay area in the last few years you’ve seen the homes that have been spruced to perfection and polished to be the top contenders getting multiple offerers. Strong over asking offers in most cases.

With some homes getting multiple offers there are some sellers that have started feeling, well, a bit lazy. They think that the house will sell itself. Sorry, I haven’t seen this happen. if there are 4 comparable properties on the market the best one is getting all the offers, the other 3 sit there until the prize property is sold. Then maybe the runner-up gets a few offers, but often by then, a new property comes on, maybe two new properties. This seems to start the cycle again. The best in the show get the offers and the sellers that insisted the home would sell itself are left scratching their heads as their days on market keeps ticking away.

So if I can help plant the seed early, walk the property say goodbye and thank the home for its service to you, then get ready to make it look as new fresh, and easy to move into as you can afford to do. You’re planning on moving anyway so why procrastinate. Pack as much of your stuff as you can live without. If you’re selling in the spring or summer, go ahead and get those coats and sweaters packed up and off to storage so they’re not taking up space and making your home look cluttered. Thin out your stuff as much as you can. Hey, do you remember when I suggested getting a stager [I’ve got a great one] they can help point out what pieces can stay and what needs to go? Most stagers will work with a lot of what you have, and then bring in the odds and ends needed to finish off the look.


760 Camino Ramon Suite 200
Danville, CA 94526

Ted Treat | CA DRE# 02050949