“It’s a great time to sell a home!” Yep, heard that loud and clear, and it just so happens I was considering doing it even before the home sellers’ market went crazy. With the timing being so good, with multiple offers and homes selling for more than the asking price, my wife and I were determined to make the most out of it. The first thing we did was talk to a friend (Coldwell Banker Realty agent, of course), who had some suggestions to start prepping the house.
Declutter. We actually had been doing that for years, slowly and, many times, painfully. Do you know how tough it is to toss your kids’ artwork, baby toys, baby clothes, unused wedding gifts, to name a few? And we had been painting rooms neutral colors, of course, to spruce things up. My wife and I are among the few who actually enjoy painting (for reasonable rates, too, if you’re interested). Being the top-notch agent that he is, my friend also told me about this exciting program that would allow me to fix up my home with no payment up front – RealVitalize®. (Full disclosure, I worked on the marketing campaign that launched RealVitalize, but I still let my friend go ahead and explain it as if I were hearing for the first time – figured let’s see how good he is.)
With the RealVitalize program, I was allowed about $20,000 based on the expected sales price and value of my home. At first, my wife and I considered doing a kitchen makeover, which is always something that gets you a good return on investment, but we settled on utilizing the program to pay for some “issues” that popped up during the home pre-inspection. Our home is a 40-year-old center hall colonial, so there were some age-related items that needed tending to. We also used some of the funds to rip up the wall-to-wall carpet in our dining room and den/home office and redo the hardwood floors. My wife and I, with our agent in agreement, decided to hold back the remaining funds, just in case the full inspection turned up any surprises. This definitely gave us the peace of mind that we wouldn’t have to fork over any additional dollars at closing.
While many home sellers who use the program go for the more glam upgrades, like luscious landscaping, luxurious master bath and the like, we settled for the more practical side. The new owners can glam it up to their heart’s content. Thanks to RealVitalize, we feel our home is in good shape and without issues, so it’s ready to show.
While we were hoping to have it listed by now, life got a little in the way. We now expect to have it on the market by the end of summer. Homes are still selling like crazy in our area, so we’re confident we did the right things to maximize our return. (If not, I may be looking for a one-bedroom bachelor pad!)