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How Do I Prepare The Home To Sell?

Dear Phyllis,
I am the trustee of my aunt’s estate. She has a home on Balboa Island. I am a faithful reader of your column and believe in preparing the home to sell. I want to do everything needed to sell for the highest possible price. I am currently in the process of going through all her paperwork. But when the time is right, how do I prepare the home to sell?


Dear Susan,
Thank you for being a reader and thank you for this great question!
Depending upon our client’s needs, at Harb & Co. when we list a home for sale we often start with a pre-inspection report. We then hire a handyman to correct the minor fixes, such as regrouting tile, replacing broken switch plates, replacing burnt out light bulbs – the little things. If there are minor electrical and plumbing issues, we have them corrected with a licensed electrician and a licensed plumber. Once the repairs have been made, we have the inspector return to the home and update the inspection report. If the home needs to be painted, consider that a good return on investment. Your Realtor should walk through the home and make additional suggestions.
If the home is vacant, remove all valuables. As far as staging, it could simply be a matter of decluttering and rearranging furniture. Consider removing outdated or old window coverings. Again, ask your Realtor for specific advice.
Once desired repairs have been made and furniture rearranged, your home is ready for a professional cleaning. We often suggest that when the windows are cleaned that the screens are left in the garage or a closet. Views are better though clean windows without the screens. Your Realtor should now be ready for professional photos and submission to the multiple listing service (MLS).
My real estate team’s procedure is once offers are received, we send the buyer’s agent the seller disclosures and inspection report. In this competitive market some buyers even waive their inspection contingency. Best of luck on your sale!