HouseKat's tips for sellers, prior to selling

By
Real Estate Agent with 406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) 10301213186

I was recently asked what improvements are worth making prior to putting a home on the market. The question didn't have to do with staging per se, or decluttering, but with actual changes to the home that might be required. Every home is different, but the best way to answer that question is to provide insight into what buyers in my area are asking for, and how they react when out home searching:

 

Flooring:

Buyers in the Monroe, NY area most often ask for hardwood floors. Some are fine with laminate as well. What they don't want is vinyl or carpeting. The reasons are many for the request for wood including a richer look, more options in terms of area or throw rugs, less allergens, and easier to clean.

 

This does not mean that a seller needs to rip out all their floors and replace with hardwood, but it does suggest a review of flooring is needed. If you have carpets that are in decent shape, make sure a deep cleaning is completed. There should be no stains or odors. If the carpet is in terrible shape, replace it. If the home has hardwood floors that are showing their wear, get them refinished. Many buyers are okay with carpet in the bedrooms and tile in the kitchen, but want hardwood in the living room, dining room, entryway and office.

 

Walls

Your house should have walls. OK, that's a no-brainer, but this section has to do with the condition of your walls. Buyers in the Monroe NY area want painted walls, usually with a relatively neutral color. They are not fans of wood paneling on walls, unless it's a well-done section below a chair rail. If you have big sheets of paneling covering a room, that won't usually get rave reviews. And while other parts of the country seem to be seeing a surge in the desirability of wallpaper, in my town, wallpaper is not a plus. Finally, in addition to removing or repainting paneling, and removing wallpaper, a seller should also move to minimize art work and family photos, and make sure any holes are eliminated and paint is fresh. Stains, smudges, picture frame holes, dings, etc., are not wanted

 

General Maintenance:

Buyers want a house that looks cared for. Walking up the front step to see a crooked shutter, or a ripped screen or another unrepaired problem will make the buyer wonder what else wasn't taken care of. So before putting your home on the market, it would be best to walk around the outside and inside of your home and turn a critical eye on everything. Make a list of anything you see that needs to be repaired, and if you can't objectively do this, ask a relative, friend or neighbor to help. The list should include crooked fixtures, cracks in door frames, missing dowels in a stair rail, broken tile in the kitchen, moldy or missing tiles in the bathroom, missing glass on an oven, and on and on. Anything you've been living with that bugs you will turn off a potential buyer, so now is the time to take care of all those small issues.

 

Major Repairs:

This one should go without saying, but ignoring major repairs can seriously decrease the amount of money you will get when you sell your home. If the roof is leaking or missing tiles, or the driveway is so rutted it's impossible to drive on it, or you have a moldy and rotten shed, or the vinyl siding is falling off, or your furnace is groaning and doesn't work all the time, fix it. When buyers see items that need major repairs, they simply know the house is going to be a money pit and many will pass and look for something else, and the remaining hardy buyers will make a low offer.

 

Pools:

While pools can be a wonderful feature for buyers who want one, most buyers I have worked with do not want a pool. In fact, many tell me not to show them houses with pools because they don't want the liability or the maintenance responsibilities that come with one and they don't want to be responsible for removing it. This doesn't mean if you have a pool that you'll have more trouble selling your home, but it does mean that if you don't have one, don't add it. And if you do have one, make sure the pool and the surrounding deck or patio is in tip-top shape.

 

Updating kitchen and baths:

Many buyers want beautiful, top of the line kitchens, but they'll settle for a well maintained and spotless kitchen that they can update at some time in the future. The same goes with updated bathrooms. I am one who believes you should spend the money to update your baths and kitchen if you want to enjoy those rooms while you live there. I also believe if you update those rooms, you will get more money for your home, but there is no guarantee that you will recoup what you spend.

 

So here, the plan really depends on the specific home. If you have a blue or pink tiled bathroom from the 70s, I'd suggest updating it. You don't have to pick the most expensive tile and bathtub/shower, but it should look updated. The same with the old mustard colored kitchens. You might be able to get away with new appliances and perhaps repainted cabinets, but you want it to look clean and functional.

 

Clean and brighten

As a seller prepares their home for sale, "clean" and "bright" should be foremost in their mind. When buyers come to see the home, they need to be able to "see" it. So make sure all ceiling lights have bright enough bulbs that all work, and make sure all light switches actually switch on a light. And clean, clean, clean. Under the sink, in the refrigerator, under the toaster, under the beds and on and on. I've never seen a house that was too clean!

 

And those are some of the HouseKat's tips for sellers who are considering selling their homes. While every house is different, focusing on those major items should provide useful home preparation information. Of course, if you are thinking of selling a home in the Monroe, NY area and would like real eyeballs checking out your home, feel free to call me on 914-419-0270 or email me at kat@thehousekat.com. I'd be happy to assist!

 

 

Posted by

 

Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat

Licensed Associate Broker, CBR®

Grand Lux Realty, Inc.

428 Main Street

Armonk, NY 10504 *

* still supporting Monroe NY, Orange & Rockland counties.

 

914-419-0270 (cell)

email: kat@thehousekat.com

www.thehousekat.com

facebook    Kat's Homes

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Home Selling
Tags:
preparing house when selling
things to fix in house before selling

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,397,186
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Kat, nice list for your area. In Florida many buyers do want a pool because they get so much more use out of it!

Dec 07, 2015 10:51 PM #1
Rainmaker
3,200,207
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Good Morning Kat,  Great suggestions,  I just had a townhome were the seller did not want to do anything, after 30 showings in a hot market, he finally agree to recarpet and paint,  two days later 3 contracts.

Dec 07, 2015 10:52 PM #2
Rainmaker
679,919
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

It's so funny hearing about what buyers want in your area versus mine. Buyers here want mostly tile floors because they help keep the house cool in the summer, they love pools, and homes are so much newer that you won't even find wood paneling. 

Dec 08, 2015 12:12 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,445,421
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Jeffrey - I'm not surprised to hear that. Here, we can only use our pools 5 or 6 months max. I would love to have one, but many people wouldn't.

Will - Amazing what a little work can do.

Nicole - I love reading about the differences in different areas. Tile floors here would be FREEZING all winter and most homes here are older... which is giving me an idea for another post!

 

Dec 08, 2015 12:32 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,037,119
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

a good point to make for sellers: Your house should have walls. very enlightening!

Dec 08, 2015 02:55 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,445,421
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Mark - Haha, the rest of it was serious!

Dec 08, 2015 03:14 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,246,262
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Great tips Kat.  I'm with you on the pools.  Most people, myself included, hate pools.  We use them a couple times a year and that's it.  I went with the no pool option on my house, but bought into a neighborhood country club that had a pool.  Been a couple years since I've used the pool, but nice to have access to it.  Plus, I'm on the board so it's not costing me anything.  :)

Dec 08, 2015 04:33 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,445,421
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Ryan - I used to live in a co-op complex with a pool, and I used it fairly often, but never had to clean it/cover it/fix it/etc. It worked out great!

Dec 08, 2015 07:28 PM #8
Rainmaker
4,797,386
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Hi Kat.  Sellers would be wise to read and take your advice from this post.

Dec 08, 2015 08:15 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,938,946
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Kat - yes, these are all very common sense things that make a home desirable to the most buyers.

Dec 08, 2015 11:48 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,445,421
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Gabe - Thank you!

Grant - And most aren't too pricy.

Dec 08, 2015 11:53 PM #11
Rainmaker
798,409
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Kat - Great detailed information about what home buyers are looking for in your area of New York. It is important for home sellers to understand what is going to help get their homes sold.

Dec 09, 2015 01:33 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,445,421
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Troy - Thank you for your comment. Knowing what buyers are looking for, and highlighting those things, can certainly help the home sell quicker!

Dec 09, 2015 01:56 AM #13
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?

Rainmaker
1,445,421

Kat Palmiotti

The House Kat
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention