The Creampuff Principle

Creampuff Curb Appeal

The Creampuff Principle

Multiple offers are back in many areas. As a buyer or a seller, adjusting your strategy to account for this increased competition will behoove you. One phenomenon that we see in a market environment like this is one that pertains to timing and market condition. It goes something like this:

  • Wednesday-Friday morning – many new listings come on the market
  • Thursday-Monday – lots of showings, pre-inspections, etc
  • Monday-Wednesday – Offers are reviewed

And the whole process starts over again the following week. However, not everything from the previous week sold. Why? The Creampuff Principle! 

Let’s say five 3-bedroom homes came on the market in a given Wednesday-Friday period. They are all around 1500 square feet in similar neighborhoods, close to one-another. One of those homes has amazing curb appeal, the roof is not new, but it has about half its life left, the windows are about 5 years old, it is staged well with new paint and flooring. It is super-clean with a backyard with a deck that has been staged also. It has been pre-inspected with all the main issues already fixed and all this documentation is available. The listing agent has done a great job in providing all of the detailed information in the listing to the buyers and buyers agents and has even provided a features sheet with information about all the systems and appliances in terms of install date and last service. In other words – this home is the Creampuff. It is the home that is most move-in ready. It is priced appropriately for the market and the buyers have confidence making a strong offer. It will likely have multiple buyers in the buyer pool vying for that home on the date the offers are due.

But what happens to the other four homes? Depending on their appeal, they may get an offer…or they may have to wait until the buyers who weren’t successful in vying for the Creampuff to see if the dregs that are left after the weekend are worth pursuing.

Getting Your Home to Creampuff Status

Pre-Inspection – As a seller, having a pre-inspection before your home is listed can help uncover issues that would have possibly come up with a buyer inspection. The seller can then get those issues fixed before the home is listed. Documenting the fixes and providing the inspection report, invoices, and receipts can reassure the buyer that the home is in good repair. Of course, having a pre-inspection may reveal issues that are a surprise which would also need to be disclosed to the buyer.  

Updates – Although having fully updated kitchens, bathrooms, and appliances isn’t absolutely essential, you want the buyer to feel like they can function within the home and things will be in working order until they decide on the updates they want. Therefore, if you have a kitchen with cabinetry from the 90s but it is solid cabinetry that isn’t chipping, isn’t discolored, has drawers and doors that easily open or close,  then having it look its best with a good cleaning may be fine.  However, flooring, paint, non-functioning windows, dented doors, mismatched doorknobs, switchplate and outlet covers that are mismatched ARE items that we can help you assess and make a plan for.

Great Curb Appeal – Landscaping, beds, and lawn should be trimmed and attractive with edging. Driveways and walkways cleaned with clean edges, containers with plants, a clean and possibly-newly-painted front door are all ways to provide a wow-worthy first impression. 

Essentials Only & Staging – If possible, we recommend a pre-move before actually moving. This has the sellers removing everything that is non-essential from the home, putting it into storage, and not unpacking it again until it is in the new home. Think about all those kitchen utensils, appliances, and dishes we only use a few times per year. Off-seasonal clothing, yearbooks, baby books, and more. Most homeowners can clear out about 75% of their stuff, leaving only the items that enhance the home’s functionality like furniture, a few plates, coffee maker, etc. These can be used for staging to help the buyer understand how they may live in your home. 

Price – The Creampuff house is priced right at the market or even just on the low side of market range. The strategy here is to attract the most buyers who will likely drive the price up via multiple offers. Overpricing can kill a Creampuff.

Offer Review Date  - There are pros and cons to setting an offer review date which we can go over. Setting one sets a due date for offers to come in which then allows the seller to evaluate what is hopefully a nice stack of offers. However, some buyers don’t want the pressure of making an offer in that environment.

These items in addition to my marketing strategy which includes professional photography, loads of details about your property, marketing to the widest pool of buyers through print and online means, open houses, and more all will be utilized to better your chances for Creampuff status.

What if your strategy isn’t to be the Creampuff?

That is a valid strategy for those homes that buyers will need to put a little elbow grease into! In this case, setting an offer review date later in the week, like Wednesday or Thursday, might be a good idea. That way urgency is still created by setting an offer review date, and it gives buyers who didn’t find success with the Creampuff a back-up plan.

However, even with non-Creampuff homes, we still recommend doing as much of the Creampuff list as possible, and we will definitely still be marketing the home as if it is. That is just how we do business!

Ready to see if your home is ready to be a Creampuff? Let’s talk!

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