You hear questions like “We are putting our home up for sale, but there is a lot of work to be done. What are the most important things to get done prior to having a real estate agent come and look at our property?” We are here to guide you through the process! Let’s discuss how to prepare a house to sell.

Speak to a Realtor

I wouldn’t do anything until you speak to a Realtor. Why take the chance of guessing at what buyers want? If you have a lot of work to do I would get opinions from a couple different agents to see how they compare. Realtors are objective because they’ve seen it all and can easily spot the potential your home has. A good agent will be able to guide you in the right direction and give you an idea of your return on investment, which may wind up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Home Updates

Updating a home really depends on what the market will bear in your area and what buyers are looking for. The advice they offer will be invaluable and insightful. Who knows? They may even have a buyer for your home just the way it is!

My suggestion would be to first find a good agent you can trust. Ask for referrals from friends and family but evaluate 2-3 before picking one. Then have the agent recommend the ‘definitely update’ and ‘would be nice if fixed’ projects. Have him/her evaluate what is selling locally, what your current competition is, your motivation to move and therefore the time frame, etc. Your agent is your best resource – don’t be shy – we have seen it all!


In this market I would caution you against investing too much money – go for the reasonable upgrades. But put in the effort and time because it will pay off in the long run. Never become the most upgraded house on the block – but keep up with the neighbors.

Before doing a lot of work, I would really recommend meeting with your Realtor. We can help you prioritize the preparations you need to make to get your home on the market. You could spend a lot of time, money and effort doing work that is not going to give you the best return. Depending on what is going on in your market, you may be better off saving the time and money and selling as-is. Your local agent will be able to help you make a decision on what is best for marketing your home, based upon your local market and your goals.

Written by Darren Wilson, The Wilson Team

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