One question we often get asked as REALTORSÒ is how should I prepare my house before selling it? Sometimes this question is actually asked 1-2 years before a homeowner is thinking of selling. What this question really means is, for example, should I do any remodeling, should I paint, and what about getting new flooring in my home?


When Denver’s real estate market was crazy during the last couple of years, the answer was almost always to do the minimum, unless you will be in your home for a while to enjoy it.  Since that time, the market has changed, and many homes are now sitting for longer periods of time before going under contract.  In many cases, homes are having to reduce their asking price before receiving an offer. This is even more common with homes that need updates or repairs. More often, we are seeing homes that are clean and/or updated sell, while homes needing work will just sit. So, how has our advice changed when we’re asked, “What do I need to do to my house before I sell?”


We have the same general advice to avoid doing any major renovations unless you have time to enjoy them. We continue to say if something is broken, fix it and improve the condition of your home. As an example, if your flooring is in bad condition, replace it. It is best to take care of repairs and items that will improve the condition of your property before listing your home because you have control of the cost of those repairs. In a buyer’s eyes, these repairs could cost a lot more. Also, things will cost more in the future, so getting those repairs done now will save you money in the future because, in the future, prices will continue to go up.


In our current market, condition matters. There is a much bigger price gap between homes that have been remodeled and homes that haven’t been. As previously mentioned, homes that are clean and updated are still in demand even in today’s slower market.


Outside of our general recommendations that are not market dependent, we are now recommending a few other items a seller should consider upgrading before selling their home. For example, a freshly painted home with neutral colors can go a long way to encourage a buyer to make an offer. Also, if you have dated wallpaper, we would now highly encourage you to remove it. If you’re kitchen cabinets are in good shape but have laminate countertops, upgrading to a trendy quartz or granite countertop will definitely increase buyer interest. If your flooring is worn or torn, it’s best to replace it with a fresh carpet or, even better, with a highly sought-after vinyl plank flooring. In the previous Denver market, buyers didn’t have choices. They were willing to pay top dollar for a home even if it needed some upgrading. Today, choosing not to make these simple upgrades could cost you by getting a lower sales price or having to give the buyer a large amount of seller concessions.

Having to make repairs or upgrades to your home before selling is a new concept for many, and the idea of figuring out what to do can be very stressful. We have good news though; you don’t have to make these decisions alone! At TK Homes, we have lots of experience working with buyers and sellers and know what today’s buyers are willing to pay more for and what they aren’t. This means we will work with you to determine exactly what you can do to your home to increase your net sales proceeds at the closing table. We will only recommend you repair/upgrade the items in which you will actually see a positive return on your investment, leaving the other items to the new owners.


To sum things up, in this current market, as a seller, you want to do what you can within reason to set your home apart from the other homes for sale. Gone are the days that buyers will make an offer simply because there are no other options. With a few repairs and upgrades, you will be able to ensure you are selling your home for the highest amount the market will support. If you are uncertain about what you should do to your home before selling it, at TK Homes, we are happy to help. Contact us today to set up a free listing consultation, and let’s get started on your home selling plan!




~ Written by TK Homes REALTOR®, Mary Smith

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