Most homeowners think their home is the most expensive and the most beautiful in the neighborhood. It is because they are emotionally attached to it aside from the work they’ve done like repairs, remodeling and renovations. That may be true but in the eyes of the buyers, the assessments and the appraisal will speak for themselves. They have control over the actual value of your home.
Preparing your home for sale most of the time requires a long process and preparation on a case to case basis. For example, your home is just five years old and there is no need for an upgrade but just a fresh coat of paint and maybe a change of carpet. You may have a home that you lived in for years until the kids grew up and it is now an empty nest; that’s a lot of work unless you will sell it “AS IS” but of course you have to expect a lower price than the fair market value in the neighborhood. When I go meet potential home sellers, some of them tell me what sales price they want on their home. Your guess is right; higher than the fair market value. I have to show comparisons of same homes in the neighborhood which were sold for the last 120 days as of active and under contracts. Some of them are internet savvy and have an idea of the fair market value but still think they can price their homes more than that. That is why our job is to educate them on what is reality out there and assist them in preparing their home to sell.
As a homeowner whether you are thinking to sell in the near future or in a couple of years, these are some useful information to start thinking about whether it is a big project or small one. You better enjoy your home improvement before the buyer. Start to hire a home inspector – this is usually done once you have a contract by the buyers but isn’t it much better that you know ahead of time what needs to be done before putting it in the market. You can actually add it on your marketing that the home has been pre-inspected and certified by professionals. This usually costs $350-$1,000 depending on how big your house is. The inspector will detail your home like those done for cars. From top to the bottom; inside out. Do not be discouraged as even new homes have flaws and imperfections. The list maybe short or maybe long. You can start from there. You can identify from here if you need a new furnace.
Your kitchen is still in good condition and you don’t think new cabinets and counters are necessary; try to upgrade with new stainless steel appliances. You will be surprised by the change it will create. Same as in bathrooms. Toilet and tubs are still good, change the cabinet, faucets, mirrors and don’t forget the fresh paint. Add colorful towels, a nice frame and don’t forget a small plant or flower in a cute vase. Carpets are old, replace with a new one or better yet, replace with hard wood floors. Old hardwood floors are more durable than the new ones, consider staining it and voila; it looks like new. Check your windows and roof if there are any stains or windows are really old, have it replaced and your listing will showcase new roof, new windows; how about that. Don’t forget the fence, nothing should be leaning. If it is really old, consider replacing it. You can save your deck with staining or painting with desired deck colors if allowed.
These are just simple ideas but depend on your budget and how far you would want to go. You may or may not recoup what you spent but it actually increases the value of your home; that’s for sure. But don’t forget the basic; home should be clean and well organized. LESS IS MORE as the basic staging rule. Throw all the stuff you hoard all these years. Sell them online or do a yard sale. You don’t need them anyway.
Note: Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients. She is a Certified Expert Negotiator and also earned a designation as an Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, For more info, visit her website at and on Facebook Call her at 571-432-8335 or email for free confidential consultations.


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