First impressions count and they literally can mean the difference between a sale and no sale. They can certainly affect the sales price.
The average Buyer coming into Breckenridge and Summit County is a professional person who is very busy. 70% of property Buyers in Breckenridge and Summit County are buying either for second home or investment property purposes. Nearly all of them do not want to buy a project or a headache. Nearly all of them do not want to deal with buying furnishings either. They just want to pay for a property with the minimal of work or hassle and be given the keys so that they can use it immediately.
Some of them obviously will want to change some things to make the home their own, but overall it is most important for a Seller to make it as easy as possible for a Buyer to choose the property over all the other ones for sale.
It may well be worth your while hiring a home inspector to do a pre-sale inspection. This will give you an idea of what may be wrong with your home upon a real inspection. This gives you the chance to correct any issues before putting your property on the market.
In Breckenridge and Summit County over 60% of all homes have higher levels of radon than the US Environmental Protection Agency's recommended level of 4.0 pCi/L (picocuries per Litre of air). The older recommended safety level was 12 pCi/L or lower and radon levels have become a more prevalent part of a home inspection. If you do not know if your home was tested for radon, call a home inspector to complete a radon test prior to selling. It does not cost that much and if you do have a level higher than the recommended limit, mitigate it prior to marketing the home.
If you have had roof leaks due to ice damns for example, have them fixed. If you have fixed a roof leak but left the water stain on the drywall, have the stain repaired and repainted. Buyers and home inspectors will be very concerned if there is evidence of roof leaks. However, do not cover up a roof leak if you have not repaired the leak! Be honest and disclose any problems that you know of, but better yet fix the problem.
A new home will quite often settle. Wood dries out on newly constructed homes. These are common causes of settlement cracks in drywall, gaps on drywall joins and wood joins or wood to drywall joins. Normally after one year of age it is necessary to fill these cracks and paint. A lot of owners do not bother and leave them and when it is time to sell and Buyer or an inspector may worry that there could be structural problems with the home. If you suspect you have more than this type of situation you should hire a structural engineer to inspect the home and provide a solution and correct it before putting the home on the market.
Window seals. All homes will eventually have the double glazing window seals rupture. This causes condensation and staining between the glass panels. All home inspectors will note these windows and 9 times out of 10 the Buyer will ask you to replace them. Get them replaced before selling. The property will look so much better and help the sale and price if you do!
Smell. When Buyers are viewing properties they are using all their senses, especially the women. Upon getting out of the car to approach the home they are looking, listening and smelling! Upon entering the threshold of the home, if they smell the kitty litter or other such negative odors, it is not the best impression you want them to initially have.
Clutter and cleanliness. Think of staging a home as you would detailing a car. Which will sell at a higher price and faster, a dirty car with trash in the glove compartments and cupholders, stained seats, scratches, etc., or one that has been professionally detailed, cleaned and polished? It is just the same for a property, detail it for sale. Repaint, re-carpet (those items "smell of new" and give a positive impression!) remove clutter. The most ideal situation is the home would look like a developer's model home, however, most of the time you cannot move out and take all your personal belongings, clothes, etc. until it is sold. But the more you accomplish being at that level of presentation the better your chances of a faster sale and higher price.
Remember it is easier to create a positive first impression and keep the Buyer in that state of mind than starting with a negative impression and trying to change the Buyers mind.