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 www.FrankDolski.com.

 

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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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13 Comments

  1. Robert McCormick
    March 8, 2016

    Great advice, Frank. A solid step-by-step process that was very clear and easy to follow.

    Reply
  2. Greg Ludwig
    March 8, 2016

    Hey those photos look familiar lol. Yes I totally agree. Image and presentation are everything. Sometimes you will only get one shot when a potential buyer comes to an open house. If they spot something that could have/should have been addressed before hand you may loose them for good.
    Like Frank said, look at it from the buyers perspective.

    Reply
  3. Julie Pelly, Creative Staging Inc.
    March 8, 2016

    Well, preparing a house for sale has changed considerably in the 10 years we have been working together but one thing has remained constant: it’s all about marketing. The sellers that rely upon and trust the professionals to guide them will absolutely reap the benefits of our experience and advice — you and I have seen this time and time again. HGTV has totally changed what buyers expect and the way sellers must now prepare their houses for sale and the house that appears the most “move-in ready” is the one that is going to be best positioned for a successful sale. Great info and as you stated, it’s never too early to start the prep work when considering selling a home.

    Reply
  4. John Suchy, Realtor
    March 9, 2016

    Great article Frank! Keeping the world informed helps everyone to better understand the Market. Statistics tell part of the story, intelligent Realtors, working the street daily fill in the rest!

    Reply
  5. Ana Zitnick
    March 9, 2016

    Great Information! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  6. Brian Shlemon
    March 10, 2016

    Frank had done a great job preparing our home to sell. He has access to quality resources that can help with staging, painting, repairs etc. If you are planning on listing your home, I would highly recommend following this step-by-step process.

    Reply
  7. Linda Coppola
    March 11, 2016

    Very Informative! I enjoyed this article and found out some useful suggestions.

    Reply
  8. Dean Markman
    March 11, 2016

    Frank, Great stuff as usual!!! Right on the money!!!

    Dean

    Reply
  9. Travis Skowronski
    March 11, 2016

    Thanks Frank – A very comprehensive review of the listing process. I appreciate your point #4 the most and can agree that the result should be a model home like feel so that you are best positioned to attract the buyers that are looking for a move in ready property.

    Reply
    • Frank Dolski
      March 21, 2016

      Travis. You are so right. Buyers want to see a home in it’s best condition, de-cluttered and in move in condition. It is a difficult concept for some sellers to grasp but many times it is the difference between a quick sale at a higher price versus homes being on the market for long periods of time with numerous price reductions. The objective is to position your house to look better than your competition. Thanks for the reply!

      Reply
  10. Matt Benedict
    April 7, 2016

    Great information!

    Reply
    • Frank Dolski
      May 2, 2016

      Matt, you and Cindy prepared your home well as visioned through a buyer’s eyes. Your home was impeccable! Can’t wait to see your new one!

      Reply
  11. Frank Dolski
    May 2, 2016

    The buyers of today have much higher expectations versus last year or years prior. You must prepare your home as you were looking through a buyer’s eyes. This is very difficult to do but for more money and less time on the market, It is well worth it!

    Reply

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