Preparing a house for sale: Do the C’s to get the most C (Cash)

Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196

Preparing a house for sale: Do the C’s to get the most C (Cash)

People will always ask, what can they do to improve the marketabllity of their property in order to get the best price. We will walk with them throughout the house, point to several things that need attention. Sellers take notes. Is there an easy way to remember what to do?

Here’s an easy chart to show what sellers need to know, where to get the information, and what they can do.

Do the C’s, and the seller can count on getting another C -- more CASH!

The C’s Description

Major clean up. Does anyone not understand what “clean" means?  

See How to Clean Practically Anything.

A house should look clean, it should also smell clean. Get rid of unpleasant odors such as tobacco smell, pet “accidents”, lingering food smells like fried fish or days old garbage that needs to be thrown out.




There should be practically none. I tell my sellers to get rid of at least 50% of what they have in the house. Store, sell, give away -- whatever. Just get them out of the house. They should pack to move anyway, so they might as well start now.

For practitioners of feng shui, you may want to take a look at Mary Lambert’s “The Declutter Workbook . This gives excellent tips and an actual checklist on what to purge to regain needed space both inside and outside the house.

Less is more” translates to less clutter is more appealing to the potential buyer




We always say that colors should be neutral.  That’s the safest way to tackle this. A touch of accent colors can’t hurt, but the wrong colors can.

Here’s a link to an article that has some really good ideas on Interior Paint Colors That Help Sell Your Home

The article says “According to HomeGain's Prepare to Sell 2009 national survey, the average price to paint interior walls is $500 to $750, but that increases a home price by an average of $1,500 to $2,000 -- which can be a 250 percent return on investment.”


There are all kinds of resources but they all boil down to doing some essential repairs. We already know to replace burnt-out light bulbs, replace broken or rusty fixtures, replace/repair broken windows and doors, etc. What else? Which home repairs should you undertake? Here are some suggestions on repairs before home selling that return rewards.

Curb Appeal

Realtors know that our buyers will decide within SECONDS of seeing the exterior of a house whether to even go in or drive away.

Curb appeal is a combination of many things that again incorporates the other C’s: color, condition, clutter and clean.

Messy front yard? Terrible exterior? Garish color? These are all turn-offs.

HGTV has several ideas about Creating More Curb Appeal

Cost of improvement

Choose your battles.  Decide on a budget as to how much you’re willing to spend, and see what you can expect to recoup.

An excellent resource is Remodeling Online’s annual Cost vs Value --- it even provides regional costs


Preparing a house for sale: Do the C’s to get the most C (Cash)


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Charles Stallions 03/22/2013 03:05 AM
ActiveRain Community
California Alameda County Alameda
The Art Of Marketing You
Best Business Practices
Diary of a Realtor
preparing home for sale
things to do to market property
what to do before selling property
maximize value to sell home

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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Pacita,  When sellers fully understand the "C equation" they are foolish not to complete all of them ... except the cost of improvements that may not return on the investment.  The more C's a Seller completes the more ca$h they receive!

Apr 02, 2012 11:58 AM #1
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA


Thanks for the validation of what sellers need to do.

By the way, I have 2 tickets to San Jose Improv Comedy Theater. I'd like to send them to you -- where?

Apr 02, 2012 12:03 PM #2
Diane Glander
Diane Turton Realtors - Spring Lake, NJ
Diane Glander

Wow!  Awesome post!  Very impressive start to finish.  Love the way you set it up and the links you provided.  Very nicely done.

Apr 02, 2012 01:12 PM #3
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247


You alway write a good and interesting blog.  Keep up the good work.

Apr 02, 2012 02:24 PM #4
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I think I "C" what you mean.  :)

I enjoyed the links Pacita.

Apr 02, 2012 05:11 PM #5
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

I LOVE the paint figure....and am going to use it today....those terra cotta walls are giving me a headache.

Apr 02, 2012 08:23 PM #6
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

What a great list of the "C's" in preparing a home for sale. Clean and Clutter-free certainly are at the top of the list!

Apr 03, 2012 01:03 AM #7
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Diane -- glad you liked the links. They do validate what we tell our clients.

Tim -- thanks for your kind words

Tom -- thanks for C-eeing things clearly

Sally and David -- some feng shui experts don't recommend certain colors for certain rooms. While red/orange hues are good for kitvhen (stimulates the appetite), it's not good for an office.

Larry and Sheila -- thanks for the compliment.

Apr 03, 2012 03:14 AM #8
Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Pacita, a few of the C do not cost much  yet may improve the 1st impression when the buyer arrive.

Apr 04, 2012 11:53 AM #9
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Pacita Dimacali

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
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