6 tips to prepare your home for sale


If you’re interested in selling your home, the good news is the Tri-Valley real estate market is experiencing high demand from buyers and low inventory. However, the market has slowed recently, with interest rates surpassing 7 percent.

Fortunately, you can take steps to attract buyers and improve your chances of selling, according to Gina Piper, the founder / owner and broker associate of Elation Real Estate, who’s been selling real estate in the Tri-Valley for 27 years.

Enhance curb appeal

Curb appeal refers to the first impression a buyer has when seeing pictures or pulling up in front of a home.

“First impressions matter, so make sure the exterior of the home looks inviting and well-maintained,” Piper said. “This can include landscaping, painting the front door and ensuring the yard is tidy.”

Trimming front trees and bushes, mowing the lawn, raking leaves and cleaning sidewalks are all relatively simple tasks that could drastically improve the appeal of your home. If you paint your door, choose a neutral color, such as black, dark red, or navy blue.

Stage the home

Because homes are for living in, they tend not to be picture perfect 24/7. While that’s OK for daily life, buyers will be less than impressed with awkward furniture placement and cluttered rooms.

“Consider hiring a professional stager or arranging the furniture and decor in a way that highlights the home’s best features,” Piper said. “This can help potential buyers envision themselves living in the space.”

Taking down personal photographs, posters or fan paraphernalia can also make it easier for potential buyers to see themselves in the space.

Highlight unique points

Every home has something special, so tell your listing agent about the details that make your property one of a kind.

“Identify and emphasize any unique features or upgrades that set the home apart from others on the market,” Piper said. “This could be a renovated kitchen, a spacious backyard, a view, proximity to amenities such as shopping, downtown or dining, or energy-efficient appliances.”

Your real estate agent can advise you on which features of your home are selling points.

Price competitively

Even in a seller’s market, you want to price your home carefully.

“Research the local market and set a competitive price for the home,” Piper said. “Pricing too high can deter buyers, while pricing too low may raise suspicions about the property’s condition.”

Additionally, a potential buyer may not be able to get a loan for the full amount if an appraisal says the home is worth less than your asking price.

Make necessary repairs

While you don’t need to waste money on unnecessary renovations, it’s important to deal with any problems.

“Address any visible issues or necessary repairs before listing the home,” Piper said. “This can help create a positive impression.”

She added that even small defects can make it seem like the home hasn’t been well maintained.

Hire expert help

Selling a home requires time, familiarity with the market and a knowledge of every step of the process.

Fortunately, Realtors can determine a competitive price, recommend necessary repair work, schedule showings, communicate with buyers and their agents and handle paperwork.

They will also market your home professionally — a necessity to attract the right buyer.

“Hire a great Realtor to navigate the process and ensure an abundance and variety of marketing will be done, along with professional photography, videos and well-written descriptions,” Piper said.


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