Prepping Your House to Sell: Do I Have to Remodel??

I get asked that question way more than you would imagine.

When sellers have me over to their home for a walk through when they are contemplating selling, many are concerned that they need to do major remodeling to sell their home.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Only once in 20 years have I ever recommended running with a bathroom or kitchen remodel before selling, and in this case the seller already had the money budgeted — and it was a glaringly under-improved part of the home when compared to the rest.

Most homes only need these five steps to be ready to sell:

  1. Make any obvious repairs. Any clear damage or non-functional items will turn off buyers and penalize the sellers on the price. This might include replacing some carpeting is it is badly stained or torn up in places by pets.
  2. Declutter. This is usually where most of the work happens. Typically, I encourage sellers to go ahead and start moving. Put about one third of their “stuff” in storage or donate it.
  3. Paint. Dollar for dollar, a can of paint gives the best return on investment! And hire a good painter! Too often I’ve seen DIY paint jobs actually hurt if the sellers are a little sloppy.
  4. Fine-tune landscaping. Curb appeal is huge. When buyers pull up to your house, they should see a well-manicured lawn and lots of black mulch!
  5. Eliminate bad smells and add good ones! Pet odor, musty basements, or overly spicy cooking can be major turn-offs to potential buyers. I strongly recommend sellers minimize negative odors and use cost-effective plug in diffusers to give the home a nice, subtle smell. It works wonders!!!

Not a too-intimidating list, I hope!

My goals is to help sellers make the most direct, cost-effective, and timely updates to their home to get the best price.

Have a great week!

David Baker, Broker/Owner