Unlocking Value Before You Sell

In the March edition of the DeLeon Insight, we examined “fixer-uppers” as an opportunity for buyers to get a relative value in this red-hot sellers’ market. In this article, we will look at ways in which prospective sellers can make sure they aren’t the ones selling their home at a “relative value.” In other words, we answer the question, “How can sellers make sure they get the maximum sales price for their home?”

Staging is very important (that is why DeLeon Realty pays for it), but staging alone is not enough. In this market, many buyers are busy professionals, or from outside the country, and they will pay a premium for a turn-key property. Therefore, before bringing their homes on the market, wise sellers will look at their properties through the eyes of the modern buyer. Ask yourself, “Is my home move-in ready?” If not, explore what low-cost (or no-cost) steps can be taken to make your home more attractive.

Before the DeLeon team lists a home, we send in a contractor and an interior designer to pre-inspect the listing. Although Ken DeLeon and I have a lot of experience in real estate, there is no way a broker will have the same vision as a great interior designer. Similarly, our in-house contractors and handymen can identify, and even fix, some items that may discourage buyers.

The types of improvements that tend to pay the highest return include fixing broken items; oiling and realigning drawers, doors, and cabinets; painting; refinishing floors; trimming bushes and trees; and replacing knobs and handles.

On the other hand, larger and more personal projects are better left to the buyer. To make sure that buyers aren’t scared off by the scope of these larger projects, we have a construction consultant, Curt Sramek, on staff. Curt can work with buyers of DeLeon listings, or DeLeon clients who buy any home, to determine which projects to undertake and identify the right contractor for the project. Like all DeLeon personnel, we do not charge for a consultation with Curt.

Buyers have to pay a lot of money to buy a home in this hot market, so they are naturally going to gravitate towards homes that look the best. It is important that your home is properly prepped, staged, filmed, and photographed in such a way that visitors can imagine themselves living there.