11 Steps to Selling Your Home Successfully in San Francisco- Step 4: Getting Your Home Ready For the Sale!

painting-small.jpgIf you’ve picked your agent already, they’ll be able to guide you through Step 4 of Successfully Selling your San Francisco Home. And right about now, you should be taking the first steps to get your home ready to put on the market. 
You are probably thinking about what to fix, what to paint, what to do with your furniture…. but before you do a single thing to get your home ready for the sale, STOP!!!
I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into a seller’s home and they have already started remodeling their home for the upcoming sale. The problem is, they’ve picked the wrong appliances, chosen the wrong colors, have spent money where it doesn’t count and have skimped where it does.
Let your REALTOR® take a look at your place and give you advice on where to spend your dollars sprucing your place up. Some things will be obvious, (peeling paint for one), but please, please, please, let your REALTOR® guide your decisions.  For instance -paint colors – we know what sells and what appeals to people.
The key to getting your home ready for sale is to use neutral colors that will appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers!
I recently had a client decide to paint her home prior to a sale without my consultation. She ended up picking a yellow that looked like bumble bee threw up on it. She said he liked the color because it reminded her of “sunshine”. Unfortunately, it made me, and most potential buyers, cringe (or at least be forced to wear sunglasses to look at it.) Luckily, only one coat of the stuff had gone up on the house by the time I caught it… and I begged her to change to a very neutral tan that would cover the yellow. She wasn’t thrilled with my suggestion, but the curb appeal of the home increased immediately, and I can guarantee when we do put the home on the market, not one buyer will look at it and say “gee, I would have bought this home if only it had been a blinding yellow!”
So… while I strongly urge you to WAIT before making any of the following repairs until you get advice from your REALTOR®, here are Fourteen Repairs to Make Before Selling that your REALTOR® will likely suggest.
Inside the House

  1. Fix or replace damaged flooring, such as torn linoleum or cracked tiles. If you can’t afford to replace damaged or worn floors, consider offering the buyer an allowance for renovation.
  2. Fix any drains, faucets, or plumbing fixtures that aren’t operating. Fixes can range from replacing a faucet washer to buying a new toilet.
  3. Paint the interior. Fill and paint any cracks or holes in the walls. (You may need to repaint entire walls to mask such repairs.)
  4. Replace burned-out bulbs and broken electrical sockets. Most agents will want you to turn on all the lights before a showing.
  5. Replace or fix broken stairs. Fix any creaks as well.
  6. Replace old locks and doorknobs. Make it easy for a buyer to walk in.
  7. Fix any doors that don’t open easily, including the garage door. If your garage door opener doesn’t work, repair or replace it.

Outside the House

  1. Replace cracked windows and torn screens. Don’t let your house be shown with the equivalent of a black eye.
  2. Fix cracks in the driveway and entry walkway, and clean up stains. If the driveway requires major repair, it may be preferable to offer the buyer an allowance for the work.
  3. Paint the exterior. Touch up peeling paint, window frames, porches, and shutters. Repaint the entire exterior if it is drab or peeling.
  4. Replace broken gutters or missing downspouts. Good drainage is key to passing a home inspection.
  5. Replace or fix broken stairs. It’s a matter of both safety and aesthetics.
  6. Reseal the deck and repair broken boards. A new coat of sealer can spruce up a fading deck.
  7. Repair the roof. Replace shingles and tack down loose flashing. If the roof is old, you may want to replace it and adjust your sales price accordingly.

These suggestions are a great place to start, and some of them don’t even require your REALTOR®’s advice, although it still never hurts to ask.
And next, I’ll be talking to you about Step 5 to Selling your Home Successfully in San Francisco – It’s All About Marketing!

Luba