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Preparing Your House to Sell 1: Final Rehab Details

Posted by Joshua Berg on June 10, 2018
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After the rehab, it is important to prepare your house for the final sale.

Final details before you sell are important, give your house curb appeal, everything clean & new.




Getting your house ready to sell and the final rehab.


So, you’ve successfully negotiated the purchase of a property, plowed through the rehab process, and now you are ready to put it on the market. The foundation has been laid for your success, and the time has come to manifest that intention of success into a reality. The workmen are through and are gone. The house is sitting there ready for prospective buyers, and ready to make you the profit that you so richly deserve. All you have to do is sell it.

There are many ways to do the same thing in life, some of them more efficient than others, some more timely, some that are easier than others. Selecting the way that we will do something involves not only a lot of specific preference, but also the experience that generated those preferences. We do things the way we do them because we like it that way, or because we have found through our experience that doing a thing one specific way or another will give us a pleasing result.

It is the same with learning to drive a car as it is with selling houses and house remodeling. We figure out how we think we’d like to do it, and if we have any experience in doing it, then that experience will guide us through the current undertaking. Like driving a car, we all started out wanting to do it for a variety of reasons. We then learned from people who were more experienced, either by instruction or by being demonstrated to or monitored in our experience until we had sufficiently master the task at hand. After a number of times at the wheel ourselves, we had developed our skills to the point where we no longer needed a mentor, teacher, or monitored tasks.



Lastly and importantly your house needs curb appeal.


In all my years of experience with investors of all proficiency levels, and in my own investment experiences, it has become clear that some approaches work better in selling houses than others. Some approaches work better than others, sometimes you modify your approach a little to comply with a little different need for the particular property. What remains the same are some basic things that you need to do to make yourself prone to success, and you are about to read them right here. We are going to look at 5 areas where you can make a difference in how fast you sell the house when it is ready to sell. We are going to look at the rehab itself, the make-ready process, what constitutes curb appeal, getting the word out to the prospects, and making the property available to the prospective buyers. This month we will look at some of the things that make a good rehab.
Some may seem like common sense items, some may be new to even the older hands. It’s all about getting how you go about getting the result that you want. Like Carnegie said; “I love the taste of strawberries and fresh cream, but when I go fishing, I do not put a strawberry and a dab of fresh cream on the hook, I put a worm on the hook, because that is what is of interest to the fish”. He was putting himself into the mind of the fish, so to speak, to understand how he might better solve the fishes problem of wanting something. This in turn solved Carnegie’s problem too, Carnegie wanted fish for supper. Let’s go fishing.



Back to, during the rehab.


Here are some things to consider when you do the rehab. First of all, fix everything that is broken. You are competing with new houses and owner occupied houses and you can bet that they will have theirs looking sharp when they put it on the market. Remember also, that other investors may have a house on the market in your neighborhood, and they are reading this article.



Paint all painted surfaces.


Paint all previously painted surfaces. Nothing like putting a new kimono on the old girl to make her feel fancy again. Paint is pretty cheap for what it does, and what it does is freshen everything up and help it stand up like something new. If the paint is more than one year old, or if it is less than a year old and the people who lived there had children, pets or they smokes, you need fresh paint. Even if the paint is 3 weeks old, if the colors are colors, like a blue bathroom or a yellow kitchen or a red bedroom, call the painter, fast. Colors are expressions of personal taste. And when you get into personal taste in a product you are selling, you limit the number of prospects who will be interested in what you have to sell. Stay neutral in our colors and you will keep the broadest possible market for your property.



Update all the lights, plumbing fixtures & hardware.


Update the lights and the plumbing fixtures. Bring the house back form the days of yore and make it marketable. If the carpet is not fresh and neutral, replace it. Same way with the vinyl flooring, place and press tiles or nasty looking wood floors. Get rid of wallpaper, it smacks of personal taste. What you are going for is neutral colors in wall and ceiling paint, shiny white trim paint and flooring that compliments the paint job.



Fix all the fences, do the pressure washing.


Fences and gates should be fixed as needed, and may need pressure washing. They may also need to be replaced entirely. Replacing a fence runs an average of $12 – 14 per running foot can be an expensive proposition. Like swimming pools, it’s hard to get your money back out. For the sake of appearances, you may want to consider taking things away from the house, too. Like that nasty looking patio cover that the old owners enjoyed for so many, many years. It looks terrible now because it is all run down, and it has leaked back where it ties into the house and there is rotten wood there to be replaced. Six foot tall brick fireplaces are in this category too. Out!



Nice entry doors.


White or red entry doors make the house look bigger. Paint the doorjambs and trim black, make the whole palate high gloss and you’ve got something they can remember. After all, yours is probably not the only house the prospects will look at today, so make it easy for them to remember yours over the others. Long time investors Dick and Donna Karney make a habit of putting red plastic coat hangers in the closets spaced at even intervals across the clothes hanging bar. Why? Your prospects will remember being in the house that stands out for them.



Mini blinds for all the windows.


Mini blinds. Some investors won’t do a house without them, some say you don’t need them to sell the house. I say put them in and leave them open so that the “looky-loos” can come by and take a gander at what a fine home you have made for them to live in. Average cost per house is about $125 for the blinds, plus what you pay a carpenter, handyman or yourself for installation

If you are not sure about whether to replace something or not, call someone who knows that can help you. If you have a question about the roof, call an inspector, a roofer, an experienced investor or a reputable contractor. If you’re not sure about the air conditioning, call an A/C contractor, an inspector or someone familiar with the equipment and how it works. You should know about what you will have to do and to spend before you begin the project. It’s your money we’re talking about here.



By Kevin Smith, with contributions and edits by Joshua Berg


Article excerpts, contributions and edits have been made by HousesFast editors. While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur.

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