Preparing Your Home For Sale: When Should You Start and What Should You Do?

What do you need to do to maximize the ROI on your listing if you are considering putting your home on the market? First, it doesn’t matter if you are preparing your home now or in the near future. The first thing that you need is to contact an agent.

What do you need to do to maximize the ROI on your listing if you are considering putting your home on the market?

First, it doesn’t matter if you are preparing your home now or in the near future. The first thing that should do is contact a real estate agent to give you a professional evaluation. It doesn’t matter what the condition of your residence is at the time — what you need is direction to maximize the sales price and sell it in the shortest amount of time. That’s the objective, right?

I currently list and sell homes in the greater Philadelphia region including Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Philadelphia Counties. Every seller needs to look at their own homes through a buyer’s eyes, that’s what I do. Therefore, I have compiled a checklist for sellers to prepare their homes for sale.

  1. Contact an agent or multiple agents for their professional opinion. Once you have picked an agent, prepare a plan to include:

a. An evaluation of the exterior of your property — does it need painting, caulking, power washing, repairs, and/or landscaping?

b. Evaluate the interior of your residence. How does it compare with the competition? Does it need painting, updating, or just staging? I employ the use of professional stagers to compile a comprehensive evaluation of the interior and exterior of your home at my cost. I have had great success with Julie Pelly, owner of Creative Staging, who I have teamed up with since 2006. She will evaluate your home and give you a detailed analysis on what needs to be done to maximize your sales price in any market area. Her staff also provides pricing if you need furniture, accents, staging, and more.

  1. In tandem with preparation is to understand the value of your property in your market. A Comprehensive Market Analysis should be provided to you to analyze the active, pending, and sold competition in your market area. From this analysis, a listing price is determined and agreed upon between the seller and their agent.
  2. A formalized plan should be in place to properly prepare your home for sale. This includes a timeline, pictures, and an extensive marketing plan. I utilize a premier marketing strategy that covers over 1,300 websites.
  3. A contract will be prepared by the listing agent/broker and you are ready to list! The objective of preparing your property for sale is not just an exercise but to minimize your investment and maximize your ROI. Some seller’s myths include not knowing which colors to paint or which appliances/updates to perform. Professionals will help you pick paint colors and other decor. Your agent should guide you through the entire process, from listing to closing. You should use a palate of colors that match your decor. All areas should be caulked including bathrooms, moldings, etc. You must ensure that your property shows like a model home! This is true for every price point. Today’s buyer typically wants to do nothing but move in. They may be relocating their family or may just not have the time to do or contract the work.

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What is the value to prepare your property for sale? In sum, I sold eight homes within days of listing them in 2015 and two in 2016 in just one day. My recommendation is to prepare as soon as you consider listing. To see local listings or how my homes are prepared, please visit my website at



Associate Broker/Realtor® for Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Frank Dolski is a husband, father of four sons and a new granddaughter. Aside from Real Estate, Frank is an avid Philadelphia and Penn State sports fan! Aside from Real Estate, Frank belongs to many organizations including the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, Our Lady of Guadalupe Pastoral Council and the Knights of Columbus Council #15590 as well as the Big Brothers/Sisters organization. He has worked for Coldwell Banker for 10 years receiving the International Coldwell Banker President’s Elite Award in 2014 and other years, ranking #1 in the state of PA in 2012 for all Coldwell Banker Affiliates. A graduate of Widener University, Frank holds a Bachelor’s degree and MBA in Business Administration. In his spare time, Frank enjoys family time, photography, music, concerts and traveling. A seventeen year resident of Doylestown, PA located in Buckingham township, Frank also enjoys writing articles and Blogs for numerous Philadelphia region newspapers as well as a variety of Blogging sites.

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