Donna L Testa, CBR, CDPE, SRES

Donna L Testa

What renovations should you do before moving?

 The #1 question that potential seller ask me is should I do some renovations or should I let the new buyer do the work after they buy the home. The answer is a BIG: It depends!

  1. Kitchen: If you can make make a big difference to you kitchen by replacing your countertop with granite then I recommend it. Many cabinets will look great if they are cleaned well. I also have a company that can refinish them for $1000-$4000 for an average kitchen. At a minimum a thorough professional cleaning should include cabinet organization, the wall should be painted.
  2. Bathrooms:  If you cannot redo the bathrooms, paint them, buy new towels and bathmats, clean them, make the grout sparkle and make sure everything works! Fix leaky faucets, and check to make sure all your drains run well. 
  3. Floors: Do you have hard wood under the carpets? Replace or clean the carpets/ remove them and refinish the wood if there is wood. Everyone wants hardwood right now. 
  4. Walls: Paint everything. Even if you think it looks fine- clean, fresh paint makes the best first impression. Remove some of the pictures and painting so walls look larger. Unclutter the walls by removing tall furniture. 
  5. Furniture: remember less is more. I will bring in a stager to help you with this part of the process. Less and smaller furniture grouped the right way will make a room look bigger. 
  6. Toys: People understand that you have a life and children's toys are difficult to control all the time but try to put them away every day. Make a plan to put them in under the bed boxes. Under the bed boxes are better than toy boxes because they keep the floor space free and do not make the closets look cluttered. Remember we are trying to make the rooms look big. 

Have you thought about doing a pre-listing Home Inspection? You may be wondering why you would want to do this? This home inspection will determine if there are any issues that you should deal with now to prevent surprises later. You have 2 options after this inspection. 1) Repair the issues that show up 2) Disclose them to potential buyers. If the issues are minor, disclosing them shows good faith and prevents buyers from having anything to negotiate with you at inspection. You have priced your home with these issues already taken into account and have openly stated this and shown to the buyers that you are not hiding anything. If you fix items you also show that are not hiding anything and have the added benefit of being proactive in repairing issues that they might have been concerned about. It is a win/win situation for most people because it eliminates surprises.

Some people want to sell their home without doing work to it. Some people know they need to brighten their home up a little. I recommend that you begin to think about selling your home early enough to have some time to do some painting. Call me in early to help make these important decisions! If you do nothing else: You should paint the common areas of your home. It is difficult when you have been living in your home for a long time to see your home through the eyes of a buyer, but you need to try.  The photographs and videos are more important than ever because over 90% of buyers will begin their search on-line!

Part of my job is to help you make these decisions. When you call me to your home I will talk to you about the process and help you make the best choices for your circumstances.  It takes most homeowners time to prepare their home for sale. I recommend that you invite me into your home at least 3-4  weeks before you want to list your home but it would be ideal if people began planning a year ahead. This would give homeowners time to clean, paint and declutter without stress. The better job you do in preparation, the better your home will show to potential buyers. 

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