What should I do to prepare my home for listing?

Our agents complete a walk through and thorough evaluation of a home prior to listing and then offer our suggestions to make it listing ready.

Common recommendations in preparing the home for sale typically include a deep cleaning including the oven, refrigerator, and freezer. Does that really matter? Yes and I’ll tell you why. Although ultimately a dirty oven will not affect an appraised value, it will give an impression. Buyers will peek in the oven, refrigerator, or freezer. If they see a dirty mess that has not been cleaned up, they’ll groan and say what else is there that I can’t see. It gives a bad impression and mentally they think of a lower offer.

Getting top dollar for a property is all about making the best initial impression.

We typically recommend pressure washing the exterior, touching up paint as needed, replacing rotten fascia, and correcting any cosmetic imperfections. Once those basic tasks are completed, each seller will decide how much they want to invest in getting the house ready. Once the budget has been determined, we’ll discuss where that money should go where. There was a house I listed in Park West with worn carpet in the living room. The house was in a great location with an excellent floor plan. It would sell regardless. I recommended my client replace the carpet with a quality wood look laminate. They spent around $2800 on the flooring and we listed the home. It went under contract in less than thirty days at a price that exceeded my clients expectation. The update got them a higher price and a faster sale. I will sometimes recommend updating lighting, mainly in the great room, dining and/ or breakfast area, and master bedroom. Lighting is the jewelry of the home and can give a great impression. Flooring is also very important. Most people today are looking for carpet free homes particularly in the main living areas such as great room and dining areas.

In the luxury market updated kitchens and baths make all the difference in getting top dollar.

Most people today want a move in ready home. Design trends tend to change every 7 years. That is a tough cycle to keep up with but if you have a great floor plan in a great location, it may only take painting the kitchen cabinets or replacing the countertops. Critical areas are the kitchen and master bathroom. We have a database of quality contractors and can help facilitate or manage the update. We typically never recommend a total redo. We recommend a low cost update to maximize your home’s optimal presentation. Not everyone has the budget or the desire to make updates outside of our basic recommendations and that’s ok. We’ll provide an analysis and let you know what to expect in terms of days on the market and projected sales price. The most important thing to remember is to present a clean and bright home.

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Zelda Bryant

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