I’m Reconsidering the Advice I’ve Given About What to Fix or Improve Before Listing Your Home  

Recent experience with my listings has caused me to rethink recommendations I’ve made in the past about fixing up a home before putting it on the market.

Despite a moderating seller’s market, two recent listings went under contract for way above their listing prices, and I think it was because of the effort and money that was expended on dressing them up for sale.

In previous columns I have said you don’t need to do much to sell a home. Only fix “eyesores,” I wrote.  If the carpet is old but not damaged or rippled, just have it professionally cleaned, don’t replace it.

My most recent seller, however, spent significant time and money dressing up their home before putting it on the market, and I think it paid off. The home was listed at what the comparable sales suggested it should sell for, but it attracted 12 offers and ended up going under contract in five days for 20 percent over the listing price. 

The new carpeting was well chosen and beautifully installed. The seller followed our stager’s advice to the letter. The deck was re-stained. The concrete flatwork which had settled was mud-jacked. Windows were washed and screens labeled and put away. I asked the seller to describe all they had done over several months, and it’s super-instructive. Here’s a link to what they wrote.

Another effort — by me — really paid off, too.  The narrated video tour with drone video which we put on YouTube and linked to the MLS and our website was so effective in showing off the home that a buyer from the East Coast submitted the winning offer without seeing it in person. That’s because our videos simulate an actual showing, starting out front (just like a real showing) and going through the home and into the backyard, narrating all the time.

As I wrote in a previous column, we are amazed that more agents don’t shoot live action narrated videos. They’re easy to do once you get the knack of it, and they cost nothing to create and edit if the listing agent does it himself.  And who better than the listing agent to “show” a listing?

Come on, dear colleagues, get with the program. It can pay off for you as it pays of for Golden Real Estate agents week after week!