Selling Guide

Repair and Renovate

Before the first buyer appears at your door, make sure it is in the best shape possible. Any imperfections are turn-offs for prospective buyers, who want nothing less than perfection in their new home.

Patch up the roof, touch up all the paint, repair the screens, spruce up the porch framing, and make your entry area really shine. Don't forget to water the lawn and landscape beds, and take the time to trim, mow, edge and get rid of sick or dying plants. Inside, fix the grout in the bathrooms and on tile floors, adjust any doors that need it, fix any scratches on the walls, cover any stains, and be sure to fix any plumbing problems.

Also, it's a good idea to get all this done before getting us to make the first listing -- Sylvia Collins will advise you what needs to be done. Also, if you have friends willing to be brutally honest about what your home needs to sell, ask them to assess the fix-up needs.

There is, however, an alternative to the sweat equity you get from a total fix-up -- but it carries a price. An "as-is" sale keeps you from doing all this work, but a buyer will assess about twice the price you would have paid for the repairs. Then, the buyer will deduct that amount from your asking price before making an offer.