What to fix before listing your home for sale

Mortgage and Lending with Jamie Russen - Greentree Mortgage NMLS ID #95705

With housing prices down across the country, there are a lot of homeowners barely breaking even on their respective home sales. Some are even losing money.

You may find yourself in that position, too; wanting to sell, but worried about bringing cash to your own closing.

It creates an interesting dilemma. You want your home to "show nicely" relative to comparable properties, but you don't want to invest big dollars that may never be recouped into upgrades or renovations. So what do you do?

The answer is simple. Do the bare minimum.

From an advice piece in the Wall Street Journal, we learn of 10 basic home improvement projects that will help your home have better showings. The advice requires almost no technical skills, and the projects be tackled in a weekend.

The theme? Handled your home's delayed maintenance.

1.Repair or remove screen doors with holes and tears
2.Pressure wash windows, sidewalks, and siding
3.Paint your front door and polish the doorknob
4.Pull weeds, seed bare spots, and lay down mulch
5.Touch up holes, dings and cracks in paint
6.Clean grout and re-caulk sinks, bathtubs and showers
7.Buy new cabinet hardware
8.Fix leaky faucets and toilets
9.Spray lubricant on squeaky doors
10.Get clutter into storage and out of the way

Now, you'll notice that none of these projects can be considered "major". By contrast, each is minor; they're the items you'd add to your to-do list for work on "another day". However, they're extremely important for a home that's about to be listed.

Here's why. A prospective buyer doesn't notice that the above repairs were made. He only notices if they weren't made. When a buyer sees ripped screens or chipped paint in your home, it makes him wonder what else hasn't been cared for. This is the why you should also hire an exterminator prior to selling your home. If a buyer spots a trail of ants in your home, it's unlikely you'll get an offer.

You don't need to spend big bucks to get your home ready for sale, but you may to use apply elbow grease. The good news is that time spent up-front can be worth it in the end. Homes that show better tend to sell faster, and at higher prices.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Diane Daley 05/10/2011 03:40 AM
ActiveRain Community
New Jersey Camden County Cherry Hill Barclay Farm
The Lounge at Active Rain
Addicted to Active Rain
31 Days of May Challenge 2011
housing market
selling home
listing home for sale

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate - Northumberland, NH

Great advice thanks for posting this blog. I will re-blog it for more exposure...  Sometimes the things that cost nothing but time make the biggest difference in this economy... 

May 10, 2011 03:38 AM #1
Laurie Martinez
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Dana Point, CA
South Orange County Real Estate

Very good and practical advice.  I am bookmarking this so I can share the list with potential listings.

May 10, 2011 03:46 AM #2
William "Bill" and Karen Farragher
EXIT Blue Water Realty, Matawan, NJ 07747 - Matawan, NJ

Thanks for sharing this, your ideas are easy to do and don't cost much either,  just some homeonwer elbow grease.  The little things can and do make a big difference.  As you mentioned buyers don't see the things that have been done but things that haven't scream out.  ~Karen

May 10, 2011 04:43 AM #3
JodiAnn Garone
CENTURY 21 Cataneo & Associates - Holmdel, NJ
Bringing you Home!

Great read and advice..thanks for sharing

Jun 15, 2011 04:04 AM #4
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jamie Russen

100% Financing Specialist
Contact me
Spam prevention

Additional Information