Real Estate Market Readiness

Is your home ready for the sale market?

There are five areas to address before you have your property listed on the market:

  • Curb Appeal
  • Interior Updates
  • Inspection Items
  • Show Readiness
  • Finding the Right Realtor

Curb Appeal.  First impressions are hard to change!  Make sure that your home shows off what is on the inside from a simple drive-by.  When a home is well maintained from the outside and includes special finishing touches, then it will tell the buyer that the home is well cared for throughout.

  • Take care of peeling paint.
  • Tidy up the yard and only let what is necessary and inviting be seen; rake leaves, trim trees, shovel snow.
  • Add some spark such as mulch around the trees, flower pots on the porch, or add some inexpensive shrubs to the mix.
  • Power wash the front and back porch as well as siding if necessary to remove the thin layer of dirt and incessant spider domains.
  • Wash windows and storm doors inside and out.
  • Putting out a new doormat is simple, yet inviting.

Interior Updates.  The little things really do matter.  A mini-makeover can make a big difference. 

  • Fresh coat of neutral color paint throughout the home.
  • Changing out/Updating/Polishing:
    • Door Knobs
    • Faucets
    • Cabinet Hardware
    • Switch Plates
    • Window Coverings
    • Light Fixtures
  • Minor repairs:
    • Torn Screens
    • Leaky Faucets/Toilets
    • Broken Tiles
    • Squeaking/Sticking Doors

    Kitchen:  Want to take it a step further?  Granite counters and stainless appliances!  Make sure you keep the updates relevant to the rest of the home.  Experts say that you can receive 85% back on kitchen updates when selling your home.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and can either make or break deal and even shatter the selling price in either direction.

    Bathroom:   Changing the grout and caulking if missing or amuck can make an eye-opening difference. Adding a new/clean shower curtain can make it seem a little less lived in as well where it counts.  Outdated cabinetry and light fixtures? Updating the vanity and lights can be an inexpensive way of changing the look of the entire bathroom.

    Closets:  Adding do-it-yourself closet organizing systems is a great way to add the finishing touches to win over your potential buyers.

    Pre-Sale Inspections.   Surprises can be great, unless they are found during a home inspection on a property that is under contract.  The main focus for all parties involved in a home sale is to make it the closing, not just the contract. Decreasing/eliminating unwanted surprises can be achieved by completing a partial or full pre-sale home inspection.  You can have the whole home inspected or just the main systems such as the roof, HVAC system, water heater etc.  The power of pre-sale inspections is that it can give you the piece of mind you need to put your home on the market knowing the health of your home and any challenges that need to be noted or addressed. If challenges do arise during an inspection, you can take care of these challenges at your own pace prior to listing your home rather than under the gun of the buyers.  The other options would be to adjust the price of the the home accordingly and/or offer the buyers a Buyer Home Warranty.  The Buyer Home Warranty can be a great selling point if you have multiple aging appliances or home systems.

    Show Readiness. When getting ready to show your home, clean, decluttered and inviting is key!  The way you show your home is just as important as the way you maintain your home.  A great tip is to walk the home yourself, take some photos and see from a buyers’ prospective what is appealing and what is not.  Renting a temporary storage unit maybe extremely helpful if your home is already a little crowded.

    Declutter:   Do not show off your pet or your personal belongings.  Potential buyers are looking for a home that they can call their own so keeping it as clean and generic as possible will allow them to use their imagination to find places for their own belongings.  Put away pet items such as food bowls, pet beds and cat litter boxes for the day of showings.  Also remove excess items from the fridge such as child drawings and Christmas cards.  Put away excess toys, small nic nacs and personal photos.

    In the bathroom, it is good to remove plungers, toilet brushes, reading material as
    well as make sure you close the toilet lid for showings and clean/change out the shower curtain.  To add to your bath area, make it look
    like a mini-spa by adding a few matching luxurious towels, fancy soaps and a candle.

    Now, let’s talk storage.  Storage is a well sought after commodity so make your storage look inviting.  By making your storage areas
    (closets, pantries and garage) half full instead of stuffed to the brim, it will make your potential buyer realize that these are useful spaces
    and that there is plenty of room for all their belongings.

    Small spaces?  Make the rooms look larger by running with the rule of less is more.  Removing oversized furniture pieces, adding a mirror
    or two and even hiring a stager can be extremely beneficial.

    Cleanliness:   The home should be cleaned inside and out, from top to bottom.  It is hard for potential buyers to feel at home when no one wants to move in to a dirty home.  A well-maintained and clean home will shine during the showing as well as the inspection.  This will give the buyer more confidence when making the decision to put an offer on a home.

    Inviting:    Light it up!  A dark home is hard to get excited about especially in the winter months where sunshine and light is more desired.  Add higher wattage, yet soft tone light bulbs throughout the home (even more so in darker rooms).  Another way to make the home inviting is by aromas.  Make sure that you do not cook anything offensive that lingers the night before a showing such as fish or exotic spices.  Even cooking bacon the morning of a showing can make your home smell like a diner.  Try cooking bread or cookies before a showing or even adding some vanilla candles or aromatherapy around the house.  Homey and subtle is best.

    Make every room have a purpose.  If you have an empty spare room give it a purpose as an office, craft room, work out room or spare bedroom.  For the unexciting rooms, show your prospective buyers the full potential of each room.  Add built in shelves to the garage or a work bench area if there is room, put a folding area in the laundry room or simple coat hangers in the mud room.

    Lastly, make it look gently lived in with simple touches such as a tea tray on the coffee table, fancy soaps in the powder room, bright pillows
    and a book to the window seat, fresh flowers in the kitchen or a full, flowing plant on the mantle.

    Finding the Right Realtor.   In this competitive market, you will want to have a Realtor that you can truly trust with your investment.  Typically, people find their Realtors by word of mouth, but make sure you do your own research as well.  Your Realtor, should be knowledgeable of the market trends in your neighborhood/area.  You will want to make sure that your home is marketed well and is updated according to the comps in your area.  Your Realtor should also be reachable and responsive to make sure that business is taken care of in a timely manner and deadlines are met. 

    The peak season for home sales is coming up fast.  If you would like to discuss putting your home on the market, we are here to help!  Please feel free to give TJC Real Estate & Management Services a call at 303.324.6988 or send us an email at

    Brought to by Sondra Lockett, Marketing Coordinator for TJC Real Estate & Management Services

    TJC Real Estate & Management Services  • 303.324.6988 •

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