The housing market keeps sailing along. The only headwind that could take it off course is the lack of inventory for sale. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that there&
The Who What When And Why Of A Make Ready
Dated: February 18 2019
When you hear someone mention the words “make ready” in real estate, do you know what they’re talking about? Make Ready refers to the process of preparing a home for sale on the market. The process can be as simple as cleaning and touching up paint, or as complex as a thorough renovation. Basically, a Make Ready process will tackle any issues head-on that may impact the successful sale of a property, increase the potential profits, or both. Sometimes fresh paint and a few inexpensive updates can make a big impact on the sale of your home. For example, a home with fresh, modern yet neutral paint colors and solid surface kitchen counter tops will appeal to more buyers in today’s market and typically will sell for a price higher than the cost of these updates. Sometimes spending $2,500 can result in an increased sales price of $10,000. Not always, however, so be sure to consult with our team of experienced listing agents prior to spending money on repairs. It is possible to over-improve a home for the area, or to spend money on updates that won’t necessarily increase the value or appeal to buyers. The key is to spend wisely, where it will make the most impact.
Why do you need a Make Ready when you sell your home? Can’t you just sell it “as-is”? Of course, you can sell a home “as-is,” meaning no Make Ready, no fixing-up, and no repair negotiations. However, this generally comes with a hefty discount in the final sale price. Depending on the condition of the home, a buyer may not be able to obtain financing through many of the commonly used loan programs out there, like FHA, VA, or USDA financing. These government-insured loan programs are popular with home buyers, especially in the first timer price ranges, but they require certain property condition standards to ensure that the home is safe to live in. This means your home may only be truly available to buyers with conventional financing or cash. Furthermore, those buyers may still prefer to purchase a home that’s “move-in ready” so that they don’t have to do extensive repairs, painting, and cleaning before moving in their belongings. This preference is common among people with limited time, limited handywork experience, and limited budgets. By selling “as-is,” your potential buyers are far fewer. Basic supply and demand tells us that when demand is low, prices tend to fall. Spending a little bit of time, effort, and money on a Make Ready will likely increase demand on your home, and as a result, you’ll enjoy a higher profit.
Who does the work? We understand that your time, skills, and funds may be limited, and this is the primary reason for homeowners to seek out an “as-is” sale over doing a full Make Ready on their home. While you can do some work on your own to save money, and can spend time comparing estimates, supervising contractors, etc. GroupWatson has stepped in to coordinate this work for clients who don’t have time or skill to tackle a Make Ready. Note that few real estate brokerages or agents offer this type of service. By gathering estimates, scheduling contractors, and negotiating for payment at closing in many cases, we are here to help homeowners out! While our experienced listing agents serve as a liaison for this work, we don’t charge an extra fee for this service. Our main goal is to help you profit as much as possible from your home sale so that you have the funds to accomplish your goals after the sale, whether that is the purchase of another home, renting, or paying off debts. Move-in ready homes also tend to sell faster, saving you even more money in carrying costs- the term for mortgage, tax, utility, and other expenses that are required to maintain a home while you have it on the market. Not to mention your stress level and time spent cleaning and leaving for showings! However, there are some scenarios for which an “as-is” sale truly is the best solution, like if you’re facing foreclosure and need to sell fast. GroupWatson listing agents will consider the details of your entire situation and advise you accordingly. We do have relationships with cash investors for those circumstances when an “as-is” sale truly is the best route.
If you have a home to sell that’s needing some work, you now know that a Make Ready is likely to help you earn more and sell faster, so when should you begin? It’s never too early to consult a GroupWatson listing agent, especially if you’re opting to do any work on your own. Ideally, the initial consultation should be 60 to 90 days prior to your ideal listing “launch” date so that there is plenty of time to gather and compare estimates, plus get the work done. The more work that is needed, the earlier you should begin. During your initial consultation, your GroupWatson listing agent will walk through the inside of your home, as well as around the perimeter outside and take notes. They will sit down with you afterward to discuss pricing estimates, potential profits after the sale, and suggest work that will improve the outcome of your sale. Then after you’ve both discussed your goals and the process, your GroupWatson agent will work with you to determine the best timeline for completing the necessary work, launching your listing on the market, and expected market time for your overall sale process. You’ll be updated every step of the way with feedback, performance statistics, etc.
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Scott and Tammy Watson are the Owners and Team Leads for GroupWatson, Keller Williams. With 53 years of combined real estate experience, a "Client First Philosophy" is exemplified by providing excepti....