Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What we learned from our realtor

The good news is two-fold: The best time to put a house on the market in our area is between April 1 & 15 so we have almost exactly 12 months to prepare. Much we thought we might have to do we in fact don't need to do. No termite bond, no chimney sweep, no pre-listing home inspection, no landscaping, no removal of storm windows, no redoing of driveway or wood floors!

Items to do in addition to usuals of deep cleaning and depersonalizing, etc.:
- Modest remodel of one bathroom
- Repair or replace 3 windows
- Fix faucet in second bathroom and possibly replace sink
- Pressure wash house and paint all trim
- Replace some light fixtures with more contemporary ones
- Paint over feature walls and dark color in one bathroom
- Paint/repair ceilings as needed
- Service HVAC right before house goes on market
- Assemble receipts/proof of major home repairs/improvements
- Walk through with a professional stager who will also help select items for bath remodel
- Meet with realtor to set price, marketing strategy, etc. in Jan/Feb 2017

We are on it and looking forward to meeting with the service providers she uses.


  1. I'm curious b/c we too are thinking of (eventually) putting our house on the market and downsizing. But when you add it all up I'm seeing ... perhaps $10K worth of improvements to ready your house for sale. Is that what someone should figure on?

    1. I think it depends on how "current" your home is when you start the process. For example, the bathroom we need to fix was probably last done in the 70's. It also depends on the age of your potential buyers. Where we are it is Millenials and they don't want tile counters in the kitchen, etc. Hence the more modern light fixtures. We aren't changing things that are in great shape though such as though tile kitchen counters as our location is stellar. We did see one couple in our area redo a lot and then their house was gutted by the next owner. You really need a great agent who knows your area and potential buyers.

  2. Interesting but I have to pipe in here. Twice in a row I HAVE chosen the house with the bright walls and non neutral colors on purpose. As a result I will not be repainting my turquoise living room or yellow bedroom when I move, but it may depend on the area.

    Also in some areas of the country, including Washington dc, a seller purchased home warranty policy good for two years would perhaps replace some of that. But then the purchaser of my 1940s brownstone duplex promptly knocked out the walls on the first floor to make one great room so who the heck knows.

    1. True Barbara - it does vary tremendously. This realtor does very well in our immediate area. Our most likely buyer right now would be a high income Millenial or couple with no children. Or someone could buy it and drastically remodel/add on. Or it could be a developer who would tear it down and build a mansion. No way to know. We did discuss that we could easily sell it as is right now and rent for a year but that is not something we want to do. Painting over a few walls is easy and if making it more neutral gets it to sell more quickly and at a higher price potentially I'm all for it!


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