Dave recently returned from a market evaluation feeling discouraged about the lake home being too dated to appeal to buyers. He said it was a solid, well built structure and was clean and well cared for, but he just couldn’t see buyers getting excited about the way the place looked inside. I could see his wheels turning and knew he was trying to calculate the cost of renovation for the place. I asked to see pictures of the place so I could help him determine the negative impact it might have on the price.
He was right – the place was screaming 1985 from head to toe. Since it had been a cabin for the last several owners, the furniture and decor choices weren’t exactly prime selections either. Don’t get me wrong, most people don’t hire an interior designer to help them with their cabins. Cabins are usually the place where leftover furnishings from home go to die. But giving a critical eye to how things are presented to the buying public is an important piece of the puzzle when you decide to sell.
Luckily, I just had a very positive experience with a couple who was in the same boat and had some hope to offer him. This couple had a cabin that didn’t exactly present itself with love and warmth. They knew it too. When we met at the cabin, we talked about a laundry list of things they could do to reduce their time on the market and increase the price that a buyer would be willing to pay. They raised their eyebrows, looked at each other and gave me a slow nod in the “yes” movement. Normally, when we offer these suggestions to owners, owners do one or two things and then hope that it was enough to net them an extra 25k. Not. That’s a little like turning in a research paper that you wrote the night before it was due and hoping that the teacher thinks your thoughts are so profound that it doesn’t matter that you didn’t do any research.
This couple called me two months later to tell me they’d done a lot of things at the cabin and were ready to list. I was excited to see them because I liked them from the minute I met them, but I didn’t think much about the “to do” list that we’d discussed. I walked into the cabin and they were apologetic about “the mess” because they were just finishing some projects and proceeded to show me around. I was speechless and wanted to throw my arms around them and tell them what an amazing job they did. I’m sure they were glad I refrained from my tackle-with-joy move, but I hope they noticed I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. These people did everything I suggested and more. They worked their tails off and used their skills to make their cabin warm, loved and something to be proud of. They knew it too. The best part was they didn’t spend more than $3000 on the whole works. Wow!
After telling Dave about this success story, we started looking more critically at his pictures and had a pretty nice list of ideas for his seller. I’m keeping my fingers crossed they’ve been drinking the same water.