Give Your Home a Tune Up Before Putting it on the Market

Home sellers with equity have one goal—to sell their home as quickly as possible for the highest market price. Most of the homebuyers in today’s’ market are looking for properties that don’t require a lot of work or “turn key”. Homeowners that are proactive and make needed repairs before putting their homes on the market help fill this demand. A home in move-in condition is almost always the most desirable and will command top dollar and multiple offers.

To accomplish this inspect both inside and outside the home. Take inventory of practical and aesthetic repairs. You may want to apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and trim. Clean the carpet and buff and polish wooden floors. Power wash the sidewalks and driveways, and clean any stains on them. Clean or re-grout kitchen and bathrooms. Repair dripping faucets and drains or plumbing fixtures that aren’t operating. Take a look at the light fixtures, the bathroom and kitchen faucets. This is a great opportunity to update with minimal cost and excellent return. Replace burned-out bulbs and broken electrical sockets. Replace cracked windows and torn screens. Repair broken fencing and put a fresh coat of stain on the fences and the deck.

I recommend hiring a professional home inspector to thoroughly and impartially evaluate the property. A standard report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, and visible structure.

By obtaining the pre-inspection it avoids any surprises and allows you to review and prioritize the list of repairs. Many major remodeling projects will only return pennies on the dollar. Let your budget and your real estate professional guide you.

In addition to repairs or deferred maintenance, staging is an excellent way of showcasing the positive attributes of your home to maximize return. In order to accomplish this you need to de-personalize the home. This does NOT mean taking down and hiding every personal picture but it does mean to minimize. Start packing that rare clown collection or the special teddy bear room. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. The basics of staging are neutral but not plain, declutter less is definitely more, let the light in, and remember to review all the rooms.

A home in good condition demonstrates pride of ownership. Taking the time to give your home a tune up will go a long way in making sure that your home is presented to potential buyers in its best possible light and will make the sale. Feel free to contact me for a free consultation and action plan.

Patrick McCarran can be reached at or (925) 899-5536. Prudential California Realty is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. is a Prudential company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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