Preparing Your Home For Sale

Before and After - Home in Los Altos

Before and After - Home in Los Altos

Preparation is crucial to maximize the sale price of your home. It also helps to insure a smooth and less stressful sale. Poorly prepared homes sell for substantially less money in all types of markets, weak or strong. By improving the showing condition of your home, you can greatly increase its ultimate sale price. Buying a home is a very emotional experience for most people. The homes that portray the most appealing lifestyle sell for the most money (which is why home developers “stage” model homes). Yes, the process takes some time, effort, and money, but many of our clients have told us after they have sold that it was much easier (and more fun!) than they anticipated.

The first step is for us to tour your home and develop a specific, written list of items that will add significantly more to the sale price than they will cost (i.e., they will be profitable). We’ll consider repairs, “staging,” lighting, landscaping, and other minor upgrades. Many items require little or no cost, but can add thousands to the bottom line. Reducing clutter that hides interior space is a great example – it is never too early to start packing.

Tip: We generally do not recommend full-scale remodeling of kitchen and baths as it is costly, time consuming, inconvenient, and may not add more than the cost to the final sale price.

The next step is to consider using a “staging” designer to help determine which of your furnishings, artwork, and accessories should be used while marketing your home, and which should be removed. If you are moving before selling, the designer will completely stage your home to look its very best.

Tip: Many owners mistakenly think that an empty home sells for a higher price because it looks larger. However, an empty home can be perceived as stark, cold, and abandoned. A properly staged home is much warmer and more appealing.

Finally, obtain free bids from reliable tradespeople and contractors to complete the repairs and improvements. You can then develop a budget by prioritizing the tasks and including the most profitable items. The selected work can then be scheduled and the marketing phase planned.