Home Maintenance Tasks Sellers Must Do Before Selling

Morgan Hill home ready for market

I’m currently helping several Morgan Hill, CA and Gilroy, CA homeowners prepare their homes for the real estate market. Although there are a lot of upgrades that these sellers could do, what MUST they do to get top return on their investment? Here are some must-dos:

  1. Go visit new construction model homes to see what the “ideal” home looks like for potential buyers. If you will be living in your home while it’s on the market, it’s obviously difficult to attain the goal of looking like an unlived-in model home. But still, it should give you some inspiration.
  2. Declutter, declutter, declutter. And then declutter some more. As my preferred stager says, “Maximize the minimum.” If you need to rent a storage space, do so. If there aren’t too many boxes and furniture that needs to be stored, it’s possible to store it in your garage.
  3. Deep clean everything: appliances, closets, windows, gutters, etc. I tell my sellers to remove at least 50% of what they have in their closets. They have to pack that stuff up anyway, so go ahead and get some of the packing done.
  4. Spruce up the exterior of your home. This can be as simple as planting seasonal flowers in the front yard to as costly as painting the home and re-roofing. Deferred maintenance is, understandably, a big turn-off to buyers. If you do decide to sell your home as-is and there is a lot of necessary maintenance, you will be leaving money on the table. Buyers usually deeply discount their offer price when there are many tasks on the to-do list.
  5. Pre-sale inspections including an overall home inspection, termite inspection and roof inspection. If there are any glaring problems, consider repairing those prior to putting the home on the market. At a minimum, you will have the reports to give to potential buyers and then not have to worry about negotiating repairs after getting into contract. This is an in-depth conversation I always have with my sellers so, for more information, give me a call or email me to discuss.
  6. Prior to having the above-mentioned inspections, have your hvac system serviced and any malfunctioning appliances repaired. As a matter of fact, think of any maintenance items you’ve been procrastinating on fixing and go ahead and get those repairs done.
  7. Does the interior of your home need painting? Need to remove stickers that your kids added to their ceilings 15 years ago? Need to replace carpeting that your pets house-trained on or your friends spilled red wine on? These kinds of questions are the ones that I love to help my clients answer. I see so many houses and work with many buyers, so I know what are MUSTS to be taken care of.

There are many other items that could be done if necessary such as staging furniture, minor remodeling, etc. Try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and ask yourself if YOU would want to buy your house for the amount of money that you expect to get. Helping sellers get their homes ready for the real estate market is one of my favorite things to do. If you’d like to use my expertise to help you get the highest possible price for your home, contact me soon. I’d love to work with you to help you sell your south Santa Clara County home!