The decision between listing in “as is” condition and renovating before selling a property is not an easy one.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. If an apartment or house is being sold “as is,” a “fixer-upper” or “estate sale” then the buyer should be ready for anything goes.

However, if the price seems right for the size of the property and the neighborhood — and buyers do look at comparables — then the buyer will be correct in expecting the condition and amenities to be as close to perfect as possible.

As an agent, I always caution my sellers that disappointing a potential buyer on any level will be a disaster from which the buyer cannot recover. If the property does not live up to the expectation of the buyer, then the buyer will leave and probably not return.

The old adage, “you only get one chance to make a first impression” has never been truer than right now in real estate. All research and shopping for a new home commences with the internet where buyers see beautifully lit and staged images that they don’t expect to have been digitally enhanced.

2. Paint the entire home the same neutral shade

Sellers should know that painting the entire home the same light neutral color, or slight variations of the same color, will create a feeling of continuity and less visual choppiness from one room or floor to the next.

Warburg Broker Ted Karagannis always recommends a fine paint job. Gill A. Chowdhury, also of Warburg Realty, agrees that neutral colors and renovations are best to reap maximum return on investment.

3. Make the whole home function as new

Every appliance, door hinge, and doorknob, window, and fixture must function.

If an appliance doesn’t work, encourage your seller to replace it. Some appliance suppliers will offer package deals including stove, microwave, dishwasher and fridge, all delivered and installed the same day with the removal of existing appliances.

4. Focus on the details

Educate your sellers that a home buyer is typically not interested in window coverings, unless they are custom and neutral and will enhance their lifestyle, but buyers are definitely interested in the windows behind the coverings and how they function and if they are clean.

No evidence of wear, cracks, cloudiness or leaks can be in evidence. Of course, window screens must be functioning and not torn.

5. Floors are the foundation

Your seller may not agree, but patiently explain that buyers may admire the sellers’ oriental carpet or art deco Chinese rug, but unless it is included with the sale, the floor underneath is of far more interest. Beautifully refinished wood floors — or even a new floor — are great sales tool.

Gerard Splendore is a licensed associate real estate broker with Warburg Realty in New York. Connect with him on LinkedIn

Share This