Three years ago, when the market was hot here in the North Georgia community of Big Canoe, I sold a ton of listings with the key words “Fixer-Upper”. It seemed to be the phrase I like to refer to as the “Nobody’s Perfect” house, meaning though it’s not perfect, I can live with what I can’t change and fix the rest. Made sense for the market at the time. Sellers with Big Canoe homes for sale were getting their prices and didn’t mind if their house wasn’t the “prettiest girl at the prom”. One classic example is a house I listed that was adorable from the outside, a perfect log cabin on an interior view lot. The plumbing was polybutylene and the aroma of cats and cigarettes resonated throughout the home. The owner was too busy to address any issues that needed attention. I worried about how the home would show and how it would reflect on the offers.
Listing day brought a few calls right off the bat. Within 3 weeks we had an offer. The owner wasn’t jazzed and countered heavily. The deal fell apart. No problem, enter “offer number 2″; buyer wanted a due diligence contract and the seller tried to shorten it to an “as-is” sale. It also fell through. Third time is a charm. I had a couple that found the home from the Smoke Signals (Big Canoe’s newspaper). Before I even met them I told them the house smelled like smoke and cats, but I’d be happy to show it to them if they still wanted to see it. They did, and just about bought it on the spot! It was my hottest listing!!
Today I am seeing the complete opposite of the aforementioned scenario. The Buyer’s market of today is looking for Big Canoe real estate that is in “tip-top” condition. Many are not interested in fixing anything or replacing carpet. What they want is a home in good shape with no foreseeable problems. Sellers have the option of either fixing the problem areas or conceding to an additional price reduction. One way to prevent any surprises is for the sellers to look at your homes as if you were the buyers. Critique everything and fix it if you can. Buyers, keep in mind that you may also have a home to sell and try to focus on the major issues. Minor issues are just weekend projects that can be easily resolved.
With all this said and done the negotiating should be a lot smoother and easier on everyone’s pocket!