REAP MORE REWARDS
by Prepping Your Home to Sell
So many times, I talk to clients who want to get their home on the market to sell – “As-Is.” In today’s market, it’s not a wise choice. After getting through a global pandemic, the world has changed. There is more focus on work/life balance, and time has become the most valuable commodity. When putting your home on the market, “free time” is an asset a savvy seller should consider to appeal to today’s buyers. The thought of moving into a new place and spending time taking on a big project or doing fix-up work can be daunting, especially for second-home buyers.
There are a few key areas to think about to help you spruce up your home when you’re getting ready to sell which will bring the most return:
- Neutralize the color palette. Try to make the home as easy as possible for someone to move right in and picture their things in the space. While you think the purple bathroom or your paisley wallpaper in the dining room is brilliant, there’s a good chance they will not appeal to a new owner. Putting up a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint is an inexpensive way to freshen up the home and make it feel bright again.
- Less is more. Get a storage unit and minimize clutter inside and outside the house. In wine country, outside areas are often used for entertaining and dining al fresco. Unless you are only looking to sell your home to families with small children, get rid of the playhouse and swing sets.
- Update key areas like the kitchens and bathrooms. For example, replacing a vanity or lighting in a bathroom can make it look current; upgrading old appliances in the kitchen or doing something as simple as updating cabinet knobs are well worth the investment. Replace wall-to-wall carpet with neutral wood, pressed wood, or tile. Carpet is outdated, and no one likes to move into a home with carpet that’s been lived on by someone else.
- Know potential showstoppers. Something as costly as a roof repair can be a huge leverage point for a new buyer. Pay to have a home inspection done upfront and make appropriate fixes before listing.
Often sellers don’t have an extra $20K-$50K lying around to prep their homes, so I like to suggest a program at Coldwell Banker that offers an interest- free upfront loan of up to $30K which can be paid back with proceeds at the close of escrow. It’s a great way to offset the improvement costs until after the sale of the home.
Doing the refresh of the home upfront makes it more appealing to any buyer resulting in a faster sale. The longer it takes to sell a home, the more subject it is to price reductions and concessions, ultimately costing the seller more in the end.