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Real Estate Series: Preparing to Sell

Knowing exactly when to sell a home can be a daunting task. “There is a lot of time that goes into preparing a home for sale both emotionally and physically,” says Santa Monica, California–based realtor Tara Rodgers. “The transition from one chapter of your life to the next is very exciting but can be overwhelming if not handled strategically. As an agent, we are helping clients say goodbye to one stage of life as they enter into the next chapter. It is really important we help them achieve this with both grace and ease.” Rodgers explains the process from start to finish, provides her three key elements, and gives us a look inside a recent listing. 

Set the scene for future buyers and make sure checklist is complete.

Rodgers’ Top 3 Rules

Keep It Personal

“It’s important to consider family events and work responsibilities that will impact the ability to comfortably focus on a sale,” says Rodgers.  

Make It Seamless

“We want to ensure we have a bulletproof plan on where the client will move to, and short-term options in the event that we need more time to secure their next home,” says Rodgers. 

Living room
Look at the calendar, assess personal commitments, and make sure it’s the right time to move.
Think Time of Year

“Once we have sorted through the details of our clients’ personal and professional needs, we then analyze the market to evaluate whether we are in an optimal selling season for the specific house,” explains Rodgers. “We also take a close look at what recent sales we can capitalize on, and what is currently on the market that could impact us positively or negatively. We may decide to wait a number of weeks if it is better to capitalize on the activity of an upcoming sale, or one that is scheduled to close.”

Rodgers’ Prep To Sell Checklist

Set Up a Timeline

“We always recommend our clients build in anywhere from one to four weeks to assist in preparing the home for sale,” says Rodgers. 

Assemble an Expert Crew

Turn to your agent for a vetted list of craftsmen and experts including a contractor, painter, interior designer, and landscaper. 

Anticipate and React

Hire a home inspector to assess the condition of the home and any repairs to be done before listing the home. This is a valuable tool for both buyer and seller to ensure the home has had a thorough inspection. Things like a faulty dishwasher, broken AC unit, or even a leaky faucet will need to be addressed.

Hire a home inspector to help identify any repairs that need to be done.
Stare At The Walls

Analyze the condition of walls and baseboards. If worn, damaged, or scuffed, invest in a painter to refresh, patch, or touch-up. 

Walk through the home through the lens of a buyer. If there are chipped or scuffed walls, enlist the help of a painter.
Address Any Repairs

Enlist a contractor. “We ask the client for a list of known repairs that would be beneficial to tackle prior to listing, and also help identify and light repairs or improvement that could create additional value for them,” says Rodgers.  

Get the help of a contractor for any bathroom updates or repairs.
Don’t Ignore The Exterior 

Curb appeal is crucial.  Turn to a professional landscaper for help with a front yard, patio, or backyard. “Maybe it’s time for a complete refresh or a simple update,” says Rodgers. 

Sift, Sort, Keep, or Donate

Allot extra time for organization. Go through closets, cupboards, and old boxes. Decide what to keep, toss, donate, and preserve. Tip: going room-by-room will help maintain focus and make the overall task less overwhelming. 

Do A Deep Clean

“Have the home professionally cleaned,” says Rodgers. “The house should feel immaculate, but lived-in.” 

Taking time to pare down items will ensure a smoother transition.

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