Preparing Your Home

Pre-inspecting, repairing, painting, staging


Preparing Your Home 

There have been numerous studies done that show doing a little work to your home can bring you more money in the end. Santa Clara County has had such a housing boom many homes sell AS-IS with serious defects. Your agent can tell you what the local trends are.


Pre-inspecting your home to get it ready for market has become normal. It is a good practice for several reasons.
     • In the contract process the Buyer has the right to inspect your home and ask for repairs.
     • When you have pre-inspected you know in advance if your home has any serious problems.
     • Easily corrected problems, like tenting a home for termites, can be disclosed and negotiated at the time of the contract.
     • As a leverage point, when a buyer discovers something you did not disclose, it opens the door for more negotiation.
     • When they know up front there is a blown seal on a window they are less likely to ask for its’ repair during the inspection period.

The common inspections are as follows:
     Home inspection – price depends on the size and age of the home but usually not less than $450 and not more than $1,000
     Termite Inspection – price depends on the size and age of the home but usually not less than $250 and not more than $700
     Roof Inspection – usually between $150 and $300
     Chimney Inspection – Usually $125 per chimney
     Pool Inspection – Usually $350-$500

Other inspections that you find in South County are as follows:

Well Inspection – depends on how long of a test you require and includes condition of equipment. They are usually not less than $400 but not more than $800 

Septic Inspection –The inspection itself is between $175 and $250. The pumping of the waste must be done in order to inspect. That runs between $500-$900.

Foundation Inspection - These can run between $400 and $1,000 depending on the company you hire. 

Repairing: What should you repair? That is definitely a question to be discussed with your agent. What is happening in your market? Will the cost of repairs be returned in the sales price? There are certain safety issues you will want to take care of and your agent can help you with that.

Painting: Painting is one of the least expensive ways to freshen up your home. Always research trends in colors. Remember you are painting it to sell, not to live in yourself. A good source for paint colors is the internet. When I look up the hottest colors on decorator sites I am always surprised.  We suggest you google “hottest paint colors for (year)”.  That gives you a broad look at what Kelly Moore, HGTV, Good Housekeeping, Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore have to say.

Staging:  Staging is a strategic marketing tool designed to show a property in its best possible light. There is a mountain of evidence showing staged homes sell faster than un-staged homes., Trulia, Zillow and many other real estate sites will tell you a staged home sells faster. We did a small study ourselves and agree that staging is worth the money and the effort in most cases. During our presentation we will show you our staging program.

Checklist for Getting Your Home Ready

Valuable items should be put under lock and key. This goes for small items of art, jewelry, iPads, cell phones, money, firearms and prescription drugs. Don’t just place them in a drawer or cabinet. When your home is up for sale you will have strangers inside your home. As much as real estate agents try, they cannot guarantee the quality of the people coming through your home.

We have all heard and used the term “declutter” but what does that mean? In real estate staging it is the process of making the living space simple. Most of us are used to having our toaster, coffee maker, and paper towel holder on the counters. Stagers will want clean and clear counters for the most part. The best way to do that is to go through your cupboards and look for items you will not need before you move. Things like china or extra sets of dishes, bread makers, deep fryers, waffle makers, extra wine glasses etc. The goal is to free up space in your cabinets so you can tuck away things like your toaster and paper towel holder when your home is being shown. That goes for the bathrooms as well. We all need to use shampoo, shaving supplies, toothbrush etc. Clean out space in the cabinets to quickly tuck those items away when showing the home. We suggest small bins that can be easily put away and easily brought back out.

     • Go through each room and ask yourself if you will need that item before you move. If the answer is no – pack it up. (Don’t forget to label the boxes in case you need the item later)
     • Clean like crazy; clean carpets, clean baseboards, clean light fixtures, clean picture frames, wash walls and doors.
     • There are several things you can do to clean your bathrooms. We think this site has great tips.
     • Wash all windows, tracks and window screens
     • Replace or repair any damaged window screens
     • Replace or repair any damaged window blinds or shades
     • Replace blown light bulbs
     • Organize your closets one by one. Ask yourself if you will need that item before you move. If the answer is no – pack it up. (Don’t forget to label the boxes in case you need the item later)
     • Make a list of anything not working in your home and get to work on it

     • Make sure your house numbers are visible and look fresh and new
     • Replace any burned out light bulbs
     • Touch up paint
     • Use a hose with a strong nozzle and spray down the outside of your home. Power wash it if you have the knowledge and skill to do so. Power washing can damage  things so make sure you know what you’re doing!
     • Mow your lawn
     • Trim your shrubs and trees
     • Fertilize your grass, flowers and shrubs
     • Define borders between flower beds and grass by trimming and adding mulch
     • Edge lawns
     • Replace anything dead or browned out
     • Plant colorful flowers
     • Sweep your porch and walkways
     • Buy new porch mats

The Disclosure Process

This is a very important part of the sales process as lack of disclosure makes up most real estate lawsuits. We will supply you with the approved forms for disclosure and ask that you fill them out prior to your home going on the MLS. This allows us a chance to review and discuss items that may be of concern and helps us in presenting your home to prospective buyers and their agents.