The Successful Home Sale: Step 5 – Pre-List Home Preparations

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage BRE#01732313

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, most people want to get the best price that the market will bear. Reality is that every home sells – it’s a matter of when and for how much.

To maximize your home price and minimize time on market, home preparation in advance of your list date will give you a great advantage. The following is a brief list identifying the key parts of proper home preparation.


Pre-sale inspections.

Potential buyers for your home don’t like surprises, and most likely neither will you if they are negative. Any big-ticket items uncovered during a buyers inspection will likely cause one of two things – a cancelled contract or a request that you repair or credit the buyer. If you have the ability to correct major problems, then you’ve now opened your buyer pool up to a larger audience. If funds are lacking, then pricing the house accordingly will be your best option. At the minimum, a roof inspection and pest inspection will go a long way in illustrating the condition of your house to prospective buyer.Home Preparation Tools

Exterior Presentation.

Often called curb appeal, really take a good hard look at your property. Look from across the street, or by walking completely around the lot. It’s amazing how many times we can’t see what our neighbors can from a different point-of-view. If the house looks great from the driveway, but from across the street you can’t see it due to overgrown trees … well, you get the idea. Faded paint, overgrown shrubbery and fences in disrepair will likely get buyers to stop by only if they think they’re getting a deal.

Home Preparation

Pare Back.

There are entire TV shows dedicated to the idea of removing stuff from your home. But, there are practical reasons as well. Most of us have more things than we really need. Plus, moving gets expensive. Be brutal as you go through your stuff. Do you like it enough to pack it, move it or pay to move it? Or worse yet, is it valuable enough to pay to store it? I’ve noticed folks in Livermore having garage sales or even listing things on Craigslist upon moving into a new house. This is much more cost effective if you need to purge your belongings before moving!


Setting the Stage.

Yes, I’ll mention staging, but it’s not always about filling your home with new furniture. It’s often about taking things out. When you’re selling a home, it’s important to make sure that buyers can see the room size, and the possibility it holds for them and their belongings. Overly large furnishings, collections and an overabundance of textures and colors can be distracting, so neutral colors and basic décor are best.

Staging is as much about what’s taken out, than what is brought in. A stager can help room flow by using a similar color scheme throughout. Or items that will highlight a homes best features, while minimizing those that are not as appealing. There is a reason that home builders furnish their model homes. Buyers need a little help understanding furniture placement in a room to mentally determine where their furnishings will fit.

When you plan your move far in advance, a consultation with a real estate professional can assist with what to do and not to do, in regards to home preparation. A professional can help evaluate which things will provide the best outcome that aligns with your goals. I love this part of the job.

Need advice? Call me to set a walk-through evaluation of your home.


In Case You Missed It:

The Successful Home Sale: Step 1 – Weighing Your Options
The Successful Home Sale: Step 2 – Get Real
The Successful Home Sale: Step 3 – Evaluate Your Home Price
The Successful Home Sale: Step 4 – To Prep a Home for Sale (or not?)

Comments (5)

Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Karen excellent points, hope all is well have not seen you in a while, Endre

Jul 24, 2015 04:30 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Karen - Thanks for the very valuable tips on pre-list home preparations.

Jul 25, 2015 03:37 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Hi Endre, yes, it's been a while. Hoping with Ben at the helm and Bob back some of the quirks that folks have been encountering will be a thing of the past. Things have been quite busy on the work front as well as personal and I just haven't devoted time to blogging like I did before. I do enjoy it and want to get it back up again. 

John, thanks for stopping by.


Jul 25, 2015 03:57 AM
Laura Allen, Lake Tahoe - Truckee Real Estate for Sale
Coldwell Banker, Tahoe City, CA (530) 414-1260 - Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe Real Estate Agent Helping Buyers and Sellers

Karen Crowson - Great information for sellers!  The best advice - potential buyers don't like "surprises"!  The best reason ever to get inspections done on a property as a seller - avoiding the bad surprise!  I hope sellers in the Livermore area call you for more help and information!

Jul 25, 2015 08:23 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Hey there Laura. It's been a while since I've seen you, not having been a regular participant lately. Hope you have been well. Nice to see you!

Jul 25, 2015 02:47 PM