If you were to stay, what would you do next?

Real Estate Agent with Atlanta Communities 303302

I really like asking this question to my potential seller clients. Along with my suggestions of what the seller should do to make their home ready to sell, I like to ask them what they themselves would do to the house if they decided to stay. Things like paint the living room, or recarpet the upstairs, or replace some shrubs around the house that were on their last leaves, or fix some rotten wood around the windows. These are, coincidentally, the same things that potential buyers will be saying about your home.

When the seller thinks about this question, it helps them understand better what the potential buyer will be thinking as they view their home. These unaddressed issues can become costly to the seller during offer negotiations as well. For instance let's say a room needs to be painted. The seller can paint or pay someone to paint. Let's say they opt to have it painted for $500. More often than not, if the seller does not paint, the buyer will ask for money to cover the cost of painting once they move in. And magically, their cost estimate can be many times the actual cost, when negotiated.

So, when thinking about repairs around your home, the money you invest in making your home nice could be much less than what a buyer will ask you for to complete the same task.

Talk to your favorite Real Estate agent to find out more about getting your home ready for sale. Or call den Boer Homes and let us become your new favorite Real Estate professional.

Posted by

Peter den Boer, Associate Broker, Realtor

Atlanta Communities Real estate Brokerage


Ph. 770.713.1545



I write about daily life as a Realtor in the Towne Lake Community in Woodstock Georgia.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 06/28/2019 06:23 AM
Home Selling
get ready to sell
den boer homes
home fix up

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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Good Morning Peter den Boer - I am very glad Barbara Todaro re-blogged your blog post. It is a good one and I hope it doesn't get skipped over for a FEATURE by AR. I think it would be a worth-while feature and hope somebody behind the scenes sees and recognizes it too! 

I like the question because often times homeowners get blind sighted and don't even know something they see every day would be a reason why a buyer would pass up their home. After all, first impressions do matter! The time to ask the question about what would you change needs to be done up front, not after the house sits on the market for a long, long time. 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed you will be recognized for this great contribution to ActiveRain bloggers and the general public. 

Jun 28, 2019 08:17 AM #8
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Good questions. In this area the realtor offer some limited basic repair often gets the listing. 

Jun 28, 2019 08:43 AM #9
Karen Rice Madison AL Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Madison - Madison, AL
256-348-1527 Call/Text

This is a clever way to get Sellers to look at their house and figure out what needs to be done to make the house more attractive to home buyers.  Thanks for the tip.

Jun 28, 2019 09:07 AM #10
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

It can be a dangerous question.  I had a client who gave me that list... and I told them the same... that's just what potential buyers will be looking for.  So they did most of it... decluttered, re-staged their own furniture, painted, refreshed, updated... and when they were finished, they agreed... it looks so much better... so much larger.... they decided not to sell, and to stay.  ;-)


Jun 28, 2019 09:33 AM #11
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Peter den Boer - I am THRILLED to see your post was FEATURED!!!

Keep up with great posts that readers want to read! You write from a place of authenticity and I like that!


Jun 28, 2019 10:28 AM #12
Clay R. Seay
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Saint Augustine, FL

Great insight for listing agents. If the seller makes repairs prior to a purchase offer, they can do the repairs themselves in some cases. Once an item has been noted in the process of an inspection, then only licensed contractors can make those same repairs. Great cost savings for the Seller if they do it before listing.

Jun 28, 2019 12:41 PM #13
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hello Peter - that's great question to ask a seller. I'll be sure to ask it next week on a pre-listing appointment. 

Jun 28, 2019 01:56 PM #14
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

So true that buyers inflate the estimates - if a seller can do something and it makes sense, they probably should.

Jun 28, 2019 02:22 PM #15
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

They see the house with fresh eyes. It's a great question. Alas, what happened to Alan May is a possible consequence. They were probably never that sure of their move in the first place. They didn't have a firm reason for moving.

Jun 28, 2019 03:47 PM #16
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Peter- I am so glad that your post was featured!  This is a great question to ask seller/clients because it does get them to think and to see their home through the eyes of a buyer. 

Jun 28, 2019 07:35 PM #17
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Peter:

I think that's a great question to ask sellers as they ponder what to do to prepare for the market. The preparation they are willing to make versus what they would do if staying could be very telling!


Jun 28, 2019 08:48 PM #18
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

When they make those updates/repairs prior to selling, they can certainly increase their sale price... or perhaps decide to stay!

Jun 29, 2019 03:22 AM #19
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Always wise to have this type of conversation and pause for this subject

Jun 29, 2019 06:14 AM #20
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

So true. Some things you can do yourself, but if you wait for an inspection so need to hire it done, they'll cost much more. And of course, buyers are right to ask for more than they think a repair will cost - just because things so often DO cost more than we expect.

Jun 29, 2019 08:34 AM #21
Jim Holder
HomeSmart Connect - Arlington Heights, IL

Great way to force a seller to view their home thru a "buyers eyes" and self-evaluate thru detachment!

Jun 29, 2019 08:46 AM #22
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Peter den Boer Good suggestion! Ask the seller first and maybe you won't have to be the "bad one" suggesting updates and repair.


Jun 29, 2019 09:43 AM #23
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Oh such a good line to use!  Thanks!! I'm keeping that one :)

Jun 30, 2019 11:06 AM #24
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Congrats on the FEATURE! Really have to say this is such a great question to ask sellers. I will be incorporating this into my listing presentation from now on. Thanks Peter den Boer 

Jun 30, 2019 05:27 PM #25
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I ask this question in open houses.  This past Sunday, when I asked the question they let me know that they had a few more rooms to paint and add new carpet.  I offered to come and take a look and tell them what they should do to make the most from their investment.  Turns out that an allowance for the buyer would be a much better use of their time and money.  

Jul 02, 2019 01:50 PM #26
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

 Peter den Boer, Excellent question!

Though I had to laugh... This reminded me of  3 or 4 of my homes that I got so ready to sell (did everything I kept saying needed to be done) that I started saying "Why are we moving? The home is perfect now!"

Jul 27, 2019 11:37 AM #28
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