Home Selling Process – Step 2 – Repairs and Decluttering

Step 2 is one of the most important steps. Skipping this step will lose you money in the long run. Repair the little things that often get negotiated and cost more after someone else discovers them and a “Professional” has to be hired.

We do not sell a home the way we live in a home.

Imagine that you are looking for a car to purchase. You find two cars you like. They are identical cars, with the same features and color; the only difference in a scratch in the paint. Would you pay the same price for both of the cars?

Most people will see the scratch and either buy the other car or offer a lesser price for the damaged one. In this case, this scratch can easily be buffed out and the car will be like new. If it’s that simple, why not be proactive and buff it out before you put the car on the market? It’s easier to complete this before the buyer see the issue.

The same thing happens with a home. The BIG difference is that a home costs a whole lot more and you have more to lose when you aren’t proactive.

Once you decide to sell your home, it’s time to Repair, Replace or Remove items that aren’t working properly.

Repair items that can and are cheaper to repair (example: missing or damaged roof shingles).

Replace items that cannot be repaired and have to be replaced. These are home components that make the home livable. (example: Inoperable range)

Remove items that cannot be repaired and are not necessary in the home. These are home components that are not needed to make the home livable. (example: broken shutters or gutters)

There are items that come up in most home inspections. These items will cost you money once the home has been inspected. The buyer can use these repairs to negotiate repairs (by a professional) or sales price adjustments.

Preparing Your House For Sale

Once you have completed all the repairs, the next steps include the following:

  • Declutter and pack – Once your home is repaired, its time to declutter and pack anything you will not need while your home is on the market. This includes large pieces of furniture that overwhelm the room and knick knacks. Less is more.
  • Make-ready cleaning – Your home needs to be thoroughly cleaned. We all clean our home but the type of cleaning I’m referring to is deep DEEP cleaning. What we call in the industry a make-ready cleaning. There are professionals that you can be hired to complete this type of cleaning. Ask me for a referral.

Why is this all important?

Most buyers will schedule an appointment only after reviewing your online pictures. Pictures tell us a lot about a property. How do the pictures below make you feel? Would you schedule a tour? By the way, these are actual listing photographs.

Clear all the counters. This photograph gives you the impression that the kitchen is small and lacks counter space.
Can you focus on anything other than the messy bed and nightstand? The window has beautiful molding but you’d never know.
Although the living room looks clean, there is way too much furniture in the room. It makes the room appear small. I can’t even imagine walking to the sofa without hitting my shin on the glass table!
Don’t forget to clean and declutter the exterior as well. This home could look so much better if the brick and siding were power washed and the front door cleaned and re-painted. Removing the ladder before taking listing photographs would also be a great idea.
All our bathrooms are full of products but this isn’t the way we sell a home. This makes the bathroom look dirty, old and unkept. Store all products in the cabinets.
Even after you clean a bathroom it may appear moldy and dirty. In these cases you might want to consider re-grouting and removing the old caulk. Caulk is cheap! These two items can transform this bathroom for less than $300.
Dirty carpet? How do you feel about this? Would you schedule a tour?
Yes, you can see dust on the fans even in pictures. How does this room make you feel?
Does it welcome you in?
Unfinished repairs. If anything this brings more attention to the cracks!
Bad paint touch ups are just as bad as stains on the walls.
You might have to paint the entire wall if the paint doesn’t match.
Is your home too personalized? Personalizations will limit your buyer pool significantly.

More Information:

Home Selling Process Step 1Step 3