How to Prepare Your Home for Sale

Preparing your home for sale

Before you start preparing your home for sale, ask yourself, “Who are the prospective buyers?” In our area, buyers tend to fall into 3 major categories:

  1. Buyers who want to buy a property that is in good to excellent condition, updated and move-in ready. These buyers do not want to be faced with even cosmetic fixups once they move in. Who are these people… well many are Millennials, buying their first home. If it is a couple, chances are they both have high-intensity jobs that leave them little or no time to worry about the myriad of details involved in a remodeling project or major repairs. OR they may be elderly people who are downsizing from a larger home. Chances are they have lived through one or more remodeling projects over the years and they just don’t want to do it again.
  2. Buyers who are looking for a project. These are the buyers who will purchase a fixer either to remake it into their dream home, or maybe to fix it and flip it.
  3. Buyers who are in between the previous two types. These buyer usually can’t afford their dream home but they want to get their foot in the door. The don’t want to have to do any major remodeling projects (like tearing out a kitchen and starting over) but they are willing to handle more manageable projects, such as refinishing floors, replacing countertops and fixtures, paint, maybe some landscaping.

Now look at your own home. Unless you are a flipper yourself, it may not pay to do a major remodel just for the sake of a sale. If you home is fairly new or has been recently remodeled, that is great! You have a built-in market with millennials, downsizers, and other buyers who are looking for a move-in ready home. IF you home has original kitchens and bathrooms, older single pane windows, outdated appliances, maybe an old roof and a lot of deferred maintenance, it is probably not cost effective to do anything more than the most minor of improvements. That could include paint, a thorough cleaning and decluttering, a yard clean-up, but not much else.

The most difficult property to prepare is the in between home, one that is in basically good condition and has been well maintained but it could use some updating. These are the homes that benefit most from cosmetic improvements such as some landscape improvements, fresh paint inside and out, new countertops, fixtures, and appliances. Maybe new floors. If the kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities are older but still in good condition, paint them and replace the hinges and door/drawer pulls with new, contemporary hardware. Likewise, replace older light fixtures with new, contemporary styled light. Replace the house numbers, doorbell, and mailbox so that all components match. The house will look fresh and new and very appealing without the extra expense of replacing cabinets and other, more major improvements.

An experienced real estate agent will be able to walk you through your property and guide you in your decisions. And Compass offers “Concierge” service… basically they will provide funds at no cost to the seller and no additional cost to the vendor to pay for most preparation expenses. You simply reimburse Compass at close of escrow for the funds that you used. It is simple and seamless and designed to help you get the best possible price for your home.