12 Inexpensive Things To Get A Higher Sales Price!

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Happy Holidays Naples Friends! Are you unlike the 100’s of Naples sellers who were ok with leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table this year? Take a peek at my list of things you (or I) can do that will help you get that contract faster and for higher amounts! Most of these won’t cost you any money and the rest will be WAY worth the investment. Many sellers are asking huge numbers for their properties this year. 21% of the current active listings have been on the market for 100 days or more. If you want to avoid this, read on!

If you are asking for “all” your money (and more in some cases) then you want to invoke as much emotion as you can! Give online buyers a real glimpse into what you used to love about your property and show them how they can appreciate it too! If your place looks amazing, buyers will be willing to consider your property provided you’ve listed your property somewhere in the realm of reality!

Just this week I was speaking with a friend (neither a buyer nor a seller.) you would think she wouldn’t have much to say about the Naples real estate market but this actually came out of her mouth:

“I can’t wait until this market calms down and agents start giving a %^&* about how they’re marketing their properties!

Oh heavens, here’s this innocent bystander saying the exact words I’ve been saying for years. If you’re buying real estate in Naples this year and you’ve been passing up properties because they look terrible, I don’t blame you. Call me and I’ll find something wonderful for you or at least point out what probably is a good property if you can see past somebody else’s terrible presentation!

1. Change Your Outdated Lights and Fans

Specifically, lights that were once wonderful and now aren’t can greatly impact how a buyer feels about your property. Buyers can easily pass your property up because they don’t think you’re maintaining your property the way they think you should or even worse, they don’t think your property is “worth” what you’re asking. The loud personality of that outdated light fixture makes buyers “think” you haven’t been doing a good job keeping up with the aesthetic value of your home and that rolls down to skepticism on if you’re properly maintaining your property. It’s like a personality penalty if you will. Take a look at this outdated fixture. Some of you may think it’s wonderful but the biggest buyer prospect base in this neighborhood won’t. It is the most impactful thing in this listing photo and it screams old. This light fixture is being retained by the seller. I wouldn’t even have it in the picture! It’s worth $287 plus tax to add something new to show buyers you have made some good changes so they don’t scrutinize as much over your heavy asking price.  

2. Paint

The number of red-colored rooms I’m seeing in Naples online right now is oddly high. While according to Google, pink and orange are the worst colors, read what they said about red! We had a villa in Pelican Bay about four years ago that sported one wall of red in the kitchen. We had a jillion people through and nobody wanted it. We had it painted and it sold to the very next person who walked through. Don’t just stop at red. If you have any highly impactful colors that are equally outdated, make it go away. That also goes for that really old wallpaper. It’s like magic but more lucrative! If you don’t have an inexpensive but really good painter, we do. Call us!

3. Remove those outdated valances and curtains

Equally disturbing but way easier to remove are those outdated valances and curtains many Naples residents are still sporting. They provide a huge online presence in real estate marketing photos and this trend has been over for a long time. Show buyers, you’re keeping up with your home and all the maintenance issues that arise by making smart changes. Buyers click off listings with photos like this faster than you can sneeze from the dust on those valances.

4. Replace old furniture with virtually staged furniture

Outdated furniture, antiques, and any other high personality furnishings that limit the interest of the lion share of your prospect base can be easily removed and virtually staged. Even if you’re living in the home, we can “replace” what you have with something more appealing to the buyer who would be attracted to your property. When buyers call me, we’ll discuss our options. When they pass on properties I sometimes go back and say, “What did you think about x property?” I’m amazed at how quickly and often buyers are willing to discount the listing because of the furniture and most of the time, the furniture isn’t even conveying with the property. That’s when I’ll say, “So, the furniture is the most offensive thing in the frame so remove the furniture from this photo and look at the view or the finishes. I’ve converted plenty of buyers using this strategy but let’s face it, not every buyer clicking around on listings is calling me for a coaching session. Prices are ultra-high already and you can bet they aren’t going to do that sort of analysis on their own. I can help you make it easier for buyers to say yes, to your property.

5. Clean the grout

Do you know how many tiled floors I’ve seen that appear like they were installed with dark grout but weren’t? First, dark grout is outdated but what’s never been in style is dirty grout and it can make your tolerable tile floor look intolerable just by how it’s being marketed! Secondly, if your floors appear to be that dirty, imagine what buyers think the air conditioning filter looks like? Do you see how buyers today will see something obscure like that and attach it to bigger items they perceive will be an expensive maintenance issue? Buyers are hearing all the time Sellers won’t fix anything and those are perceived expenses they’d rather not take on if they have to pay your asking price. Let’s remove the perception the floors need to be updated and let’s move on to the next point just like many buyers will move on to the next property after seeing dirty grout!

6. Organize

This photo is being used to market a near four million dollar property! Hey, if you don’t have time to clean that up, we can find somebody to do it for you. There isn’t a fancy enough car to make that eyesore go away. If you make it look clean in photos, buyers won’t question what else you haven’t been doing to maintain your property. My partner and I spent 2 hours reorganizing a master bedroom closet last year so that photo would look amazing online! It did and we sold it!

7. Replace Burned Out Light Bulbs 

Again this goes along with perceived maintenance issues but also, it’s going to be tagged on your inspection anyway so why not make your marketing AND your inspection report easier for the eyes of the people who are giving you all that money you’re requesting! There were 212 contracts that backed out last month alone. Dirty inspection reports and inflexible sellers are a big part of that group. Buyers who have reconsidered their options is the next big part of it. Let’s not lose sight of your objective. A. Get all your money. B. Close it the first time around.

8. Love Your Kitchen!

There’s a big shift in the message we’re sending to buyers today. The most popular and well-received message you can send is, “We own it and we still love it” because that means buyers are probably going to love it too and imagine you’re still around taking good care of it. The entire Naples luxury market is “sanitizing” their kitchens meaning, they’re removing everything off the counters to promote a clean kitchen when in fact, we’re promoting, “I left, do you want it?”

I actually grew tired of clicking around in our own MLS for good examples of what to do and just rolled over to Beverly Hills. Yes, this kitchen is still clean with just a few items on the countertops to properly display the quality finishes but flowers are a great way to say, “Somebody is here enjoying this space because they have to water these flowers”.  Showing gorgeous signs of life is showcasing the Naples lifestyle so many people already want. Prove they can get it here! While everybody else is selling steak, sell the sizzle!

9. Remove Distorted Window Tint

If you have window tint that has outlived its useful life, get rid of it! We have people who can help if you don’t want to take a razor blade to it yourself! I sold a condo in St. Lucia at Pelican Bay a couple of months ago where you could barely even see the fabulous Gulf of Mexico views. My buyer was like, “what the #$%!” In hindsight, it worked out great for me because the unit was still available for my buyers when they came to see it. Through my coaching, they agreed to buy the unit and have it removed themselves. Could the Seller have gotten more money for showcasing the explosive views of the Gulf of Mexico instead of distorting it? Probably.

We also took on a listing in St. Tropez at Pelican Bay that had already been on the market for literally years with no success. The first thing we did was remove the foggy film off the windows and then ended up getting it sold within a short period of time. 

10. Replace Outdated Bedding

There are so many inexpensive bedding options today! Hide that 25-year-old bedding that is ruining the integrity of the value of your property. Old lumpy beds with older yucky bedspreads perfectly describe you hate your property and illustrate how uncomfortable your property appears. “Imagine waking up in this ultra-comfortable vacation home” is what you want to be saying if you want to attach an ultra-luxurious list price and you can do that for a few hundred bucks or even less if you’re crafty!

11. Plant Some Flowers

Pots with nothing in them scream, “I don’t care and neither should you.” Plant some flowers and let them know you love your place but you’re just ready to do something else! Don’t have time to fool with planting flowers? No worries! I can photoshop flowers to make your pots vibrant and beautiful!

12. Virtually Stage Your Old And Wacky Wall Art

There are some real art enthusiasts in this town! Then there are those that don’t look or care about it at all. One thing for sure, if your art doesn’t appeal to a big share of your prospect base, that art can be the culprit as to why you can’t get showings. Several years ago I had a listing in Estates at Bay Colony where a gigantic piece of art was hung in the master bedroom. It was so huge, it was the only thing you really saw in the photo. After months of failed selling attempts, a buyer mentioned they thought it was actually painted on the wall. I photoshopped the piece right out of the frame and ended up increasing my showing traffic dramatically. Unfortunately, I didn’t do it soon enough and the listing expired. A new agent listed it and didn’t remove the ginormous eyesore. It took another two years to sell and sold for less than anything else. I learned a good lesson from that listing. If the art scares people away, I’ll just replace it with something more palatable and get you blazing showing traffic from the jump!

In Closing

I hope you captured some useful tips on the 12 inexpensive things you can do to get a higher sales price to make your sale a little easier and more lucrative. If you need help marketing your property in the best way possible, give me a jingle. I love to accomplish real estate objectives and I’ve been doing it successfully for 25 years!

Best Regards,
Shannon Lefevre, PA
Your Naples Smart Girl!

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