Repairs and Refreshes To Do Before Doing a For Sale By Owner

If you are considering listing your San Diego house for sale by owner, there are a number of repairs and refreshes that you should do before listing your San Diego home. You may be anxious to get your house listed as soon as possible, but it is important to do your due diligence and get everything in order (what you see and what you don’t see) if you want to try to get the most profit for your sale.


Potential buyers are laser focused on items that do not seem up to date or are not working properly.   Having doors and windows work while also looking aesthetically appealing are extremely important.  Afterall, you will have people coming through your home at showings and open houses and potential buyers are always looking to open a window or door.  If they notice issues, it is the first red flag that there could be other issues with your home.  This fix does come with a hefty price tag since you simply can’t pop a few new windows in and call it a day; it’s all or nothing with this task.  When you do replace distressed or non-working windows and doors, it does make a world of difference in the appearance of your home.


According to NAR, National Association of Realtors, on Homelight’s website, “…96% of real estate agents advise improving curb appeal before sellers list their home for sale, while 99% believe curb appeal is essential for attracting buyers.”  If you are looking to do an FSBO, making sure your curb appeal is on point is very important to potential buyers wanting to look further into the listing or home.  When the house looks good on the outside, it draws people into your home and makes for a wonderful first impression.  If your home looks distressed, unkept, and in bad condition, buyers will simply click to the next listing or not even look at your home all together.  If you are looking to get top dollar for your San Diego home, here are just a few things that you can do to set your curb appeal apart from other homes for sale.

  • Front door: an inviting entrance is extremely impressionable on buyers and sometimes a simple fresh coat of paint and some new hardware is all it takes.  Add a new doormat, a basket, or a plant to the front entry to make it feel more homey.  You can even buy a new doorbell or new address numbers to really help modernize the space.
  • Power wash the exterior or paint the exterior: Obviously power washing is MUCH more cost effective, than painting your exterior, but both will do the trick to help your home looks fresh and inviting.
  • Professional clean the windows:  Clean windows help with the overall feel of your home and makes the buyer see your home as fresh and well kept.
  • Lawn Care: clean up your lawn and replace patches that are dead and dry.  This will take some thoughtful care and planning since grass takes time to grow.
  • Landscaping:  If you have the funds, spending money on fresh shrubs and plants can turn a drab space into a fab space.  If not, make sure you clear out dead plants, trim bushes, and trees.
  • Stage Your Exterior:  Stage the exterior of your home with benches, pots, dining set, or chairs around a fire pit.  Even buying new outdoor pillows can add a pop of color to your home.


In today’s housing market, carpet does not sell.  Long gone are the days of the 80’s and 90’s when carpet was everywhere, including the bathrooms (no thanks!)  Carpets, even cleaned carpets, can show wear and tear very easily.  Consider replacing your flooring with hardwood, or laminate (a more cost effective choice) to bring your home back to life.  Even if skip the bedrooms and replace flooring in the main living areas, such as the living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathrooms, will make a big impression.


Freshen up your home with paint, and this doesn’t mean add your unique color palette to each room.  It is quite the opposite!  Your home’s walls need to not only feel fresh and clean, but they need to appeal to the masses.  Say goodbye to dark colors that can close in a space, and consider a nice fresh coat of white, gray, or other neutral paint option.  If your home already boasts a neutral palette, clean your walls!  Little fingerprints and dirty marks accumulate on walls, stair rails, and cabinets.  Getting your home professionally cleaned (including walls) will help your home feel cared for and tidy. 


Lighting is one of the fairly easy design features that can be changed out without breaking the bank.  Walk your home with a realtor, even if you are listing your home on your own, to see how they feel the lighting your have works to service your home.  Are they updated?  Do they fit the space of the room?  Do they provide enough light?  By updating lighting such as kitchen pendants, dining room fixtures, recessed lighting, and bathroom lighting, can help the space feel more modern and appealing to today’s buyer.  


When you are close to listing your sale on the San Diego MLS, you will want to walk through each room of your house and take away items that clutter up the space.  Now, if you really want to go the extra mile, you will store all of your belongings and professionally stage your home, but many times that just isn’t realistic to today sellers.  Instead, store items, especially personal items that will not appeal to a potential buyer and freshen up your living spaces with new throw pillows, baskets, or house plants.  A quick trip to Home Goods can easily help your home feel ready for a listing, and it won’t break the bank.


We listed a handful of items on your laundry list of “to do’s” when it comes to the repairs and refreshes it takes to get your home ready to sell, especially if you are doing an FSBO (for sale by owner.)  Some of the items listed above will not break the bank, while other major repairs are a considerable financial investment.  If you don’t fix the repairs ahead of time, inevitably they will come out in an inspection.  If the amount of time and effort it will take to repair and refresh your home that you are selling on your home just seem like too much, you may want to consider selling your home to a direct cash buyer, like Trusted House Buyers.  At Trusted House Buyers, we will streamline the sale process by giving you a cash offer that is fair to the condition of your home.  You can skip the repairs and any refresh listed above, because we take your home in any condition.  You can even leave unwanted items behind and simply move out.  We want to make the selling process as stress-free as possible and that includes avoiding our clients from spending tens of thousands of dollars simply to ready their home for a traditional sale.  Oftentimes our sellers do not have the energy, time, resources, and funds to get their home ready to sell.  Afterall, your home will be competing against other beautifully renovated, decorated, and staged homes that will be listed on the San Diego MLS at the same time.  At Trusted House Buyers, we will be completely upfront and let you know if we feel your home would be best suited for a traditional listing or if we feel a direct cash buyer is the best route to go.  We are available to answer any of your questions today, so give us a call at 619-786-0973.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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