Not long ago, I showed a house to a set of clients. They loved it in an irrational way. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great house. I really liked to it too. But it was seriously over-priced in comparison to others of similar size in similar locations. But there was something intangible about this house. It was clean and well-kept. It had nice updates but not necessarily UPGRADES. The rooms were well-proportioned and being up on a hill it had exceptional natural light. But there was something about this house that made it stand out from the pack.
Eventually we came to believe it was the quality of the air. It didn’t smell. It wasn’t scented, it was just fresh. Upon further investigation we could tell that the owners were actually very concerned about the air quality and had gone so far as to install a purification system. When we read their seller’s disclosure, we noticed that they had installed a UV air cleaner.
I’ve been doing a little research for myself this week about improving the air quality in a home. With the crazy weather we have had this year I feel like I haven’t had my windows open enough. (The wet, wet Spring turned into a super hot Summer and it seems like I went from heat to air condition and right back to heat). I am still in the very early stages of researching air purification systems. Is a whole house system better than a portable one? Then there’s the choice between the different technologies: HEPA filters, Ion and Ozone Generators, Charged Media filters or Activated Carbon filters. Yikes, way too overwhelming.
While I can say that there was something very special about the house I mentioned earlier, I am still not convinced that installing an air purification system would have that same effect for every house. (If anyone wants to chime in here regarding their experience or research on the topic that would be much appreciated.)
I’ll just move on to make the point, that a clean, fresh smelling house makes a real impression on a buyer. All of the intangibles add up to a real psychological experience for a buyer. When getting your house ready for sale considering how it smells needs to be as important as the deep clean and the staging.
Here are a few basics:
1. Most importantly DO NOT SMOKE inside
2. Change the air filters in your furnace every 4-6 months
3. Vacuum the floor registers and air returns
4. Vacuum carpets and mop floors regularly
5. Use a dehumidifier in the basement and make sure to sweep out the basement and vacuum rafters
6. Deep clean kitchen and baths weekly
7. Use natural cleaning products with a citrus base
8. Keep your home well ventilated
9. If painting is part of your strategy for getting your house on the market, make sure to use low or no-VOC brand
10. Pay attention to the smells coming from the garbage disposal the dishwasher. Lemons in the garbage disposal and cinnamon in the dishwasher works wonders.
Today (October 3, 2011) there are over 45 Active listings in the 63116 zip code for 2 bedroom homes priced between 75-100K. For a first time home buyer, this can be extremely overwhelming. In an effort to help my clients save time, we start by sorting online with a personalized MLS portal. The portal allows my clients to view ALL the inventory in their price range and stated area that matches their criteria. From the original list they can save or reject specific properties and keep on eye on certain homes to see when they go under contract or if their price is reduced.
Looking at 45 homes is a possibility but really isn’t reasonable. Ten is a much more manageable number to view. Viewing 10 homes will take about 3.5 hours so could be accomplished in the morning or afternoon. But to get from 45-10 will take a some strategic “eliminating”
My goal is to eliminate 35 of these options and bring the ten best options to the forefront. Part of my job as a buyer’s agent to keep my clients focused and help them save time. Who wants to spend an entire Saturday looking at houses that just won’t be a fit.
This particular client wants a brick home, so we can eliminate all house with siding. She would prefer a pitched roof to a flat roof and hardwood floors are a must. By using this simple criteria we can reduce the 45 original options to 21
21 is still too many. A garage was not a “must have” but it was a preference. By eliminating homes that did not have at least one covered garage space, I was able to reduce the number of possibilities to 15.
That is still too many to look at in one afternoon. One suggestion would be to consider square footage. But I really don’t trust the tax records. It is often just wrong but even if it is technically correct it might not accurately the true sense of the space. This is why you will often see “0″ as the recorded square footage in the MLS. The incorrect number has been deleted. House with “0″ or smaller square footage need to be viewed. Space is tricky and places that measure “small” can feel plenty big. Space is something that needs to experienced.
CDOM stands for Continuous Days On Market. In my opinion this is an indication of price or condition. Average days on market for this batch of homes is 173. The highest is 599. The least is 31. If time is of the essence, we really want to see the newer properties first. If a house has been on the market for almost two years, what are the chances it is going to fly off the shelves before my client and I get a chance to schedule a second tour. For our first tour, I really want to choose the best possible house or at least those that I think will actually be fit. A property that is priced well and in good condition is likely to sell quickly. So we want to make sure to get into those first. Choosing all the properties that have been on for less 150 days brings that total down to 9.
I’m an experienced Saint Louis Realtor specializing in St. Louis City as well as neighborhoods like Webster Groves, Maplewood, Clayton, University City and Ladue. With an undergraduate degree in Education and Master's in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development — I have the heart of teacher.
I have been immersed in Residential Real Estate, helping home buyers and sellers understand the market, manage the ambiguities and negotiate the best terms for themselves. I am consistently voted a 5-Star Agent by clients and featured as one of St. Louis' Best Agents in Saint Louis Magazine.