As I was trying to sell the first place, I had another 2 bed/2 bath listing come on the market in Lakeview. This was a duplex in relatively older building with garage parking and some dedicated yard space. It held a special place in my heart because I had sold it to the owner, a good friend, back in 2013.
We met to talk about what needed to be done to the place and the owners went above and beyond to get the place ready for market. We walked through the home determining what needed to be done, and then worked out a timeline for everything.
Our initial meeting was in February, and we planned to list it in late March or early April, which gave us a solid month to get everything done. We decided to sand and refinish the floors with a darker stain, paint the entire place throughout with a more modern grey that would freshen it up, fix the small things that needed to be addressed after living in a home for 6 years, and finally, getting it professionally staged and photographed.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to give yourself enough time to prep your place for market. The more time you have, the better. Making a place look immaculate before coming to market will often get you a fast result. Everyone has different timelines and goals and we work with that and are still able to accomplish the sale, but to net the highest price and fastest timeline, preparation is the overlooked key to the process.
This could even mean having pictures done in the fall before the leaves change color if you plan to list in the spring. We may have to list when there’s still snow, dead plants, or constant cloudy weather in an unpredictable spring market, but we could still have incredible exterior pictures because of planning ahead. It can make a difference having lovely exterior pictures done early with the interior being photographed close to listing. The best marketed places get the buyers.
Once the owners were moved out, we could get to work. We had the flooring people come through to sand and stain, with new carpeting going in right after. With a couple days for the stain to dry, we could then have it painted and dry within another week. Like clockwork, after everything was dry, the stagers came and setup, followed by pictures the next day. While we didn’t have great weather (note above), we were able to have exterior pictures photoshopped to give the building a nice pop. However, we didn’t have pictures of the back yard space because it wasn’t in bloom yet. A small thing, but I was hoping spring would come a little earlier this year for that.
Once we had all the pictures, floorplan, and virtual walkthrough done, we were ready for market. The before and after pictures were INSANE:
I’m fully confident in the fact that due to all the preparation that went into this as well as the owners’ willingness to do anything and everything, we were able to secure a full price offer the first day on the market. We actually received a couple others that had their pros/cons to them, but the owners liked the fact that this first buyer couple got in right away, got in an offer before the open house, and was easy to work with. They remember when they bought it with my help, we had the same scenario happen to us, securing the place in time before that 2nd offer came through.
I realize not everyone has the timeline to transform a place or the budget to do so, but in the end it pays off. And we agents aren’t infallible; we don’t always make the right call. But most of the time we know how the market will respond and we know how to sell a home. Communication and a mutual trust will ensure a successful outcome for everyone involved.
If you ever thought painting, staging, or professional pictures weren’t necessary, here’s some side-by-side-by sides proving otherwise: