What to do to prepare for listing
We are planning to list our house for sale in the spring and are trying to decide what to do/not to in preparation for sale. Last two houses we sold we did do quite a bit to prepare them for sale and it did help.
Situation: not a bubble market, not a lot of price appreciation the last year or so but houses are still selling. Inventory is a little under 5 months.
House: about 4300 SF, 5 bedrooms, with 2 detached garages, 1 BR guest house, pool, 2 1/2 acres. Semi-rural suburb to large city. Subdivision of custom homes. Paid $530k for house 3 years ago. That is high end in this area, less than 5% of houses in county sell for over $500k. So have to consider that in considering house. House is beautiful from outside, property has over 100 trees, property is entirely fenced. At time we bought it we planned to stay forever so did things to our taste some of which won't be attractive to others. Some of it is just too expensive to change (our fencing cost over $20k and is unusual because it is meant to keep our dogs in). House is 15 years old:
We know we will repaint a lot of the interior either due to the paint needing it (what we didn't repaint when we moved in) or due to us painting it unusual colors. Some of the repainting will be mean stripping off the wallpaper we painted over and texturizing the walls before painting. We will also recarpet the upstairs.
1. House is 15 years old, oven and cooktop are original to house and look it. Have new dishwasher. Inclined to put in new cooktop and oven.
2. We put in slate tile in the family room, master bedroom and bath. Rest of downstairs is wood (foyer and living room) and tile. The tile in the family room meets up with the tile in the kitchen and hall which is an entirely different color and type of tile -- this is an open area so there is about a 15 foot length where you have dark grey slate next to brown ceramic tile. I tend to think there isn't much we can do about it. Putting new tile in the rest of the downstairs is too expensive. I guess we could put down carpet over the slate tile but seems a waste since the tile is nice looking.
3. House had lots of built in cabinets, all with a dark stain on them. I didn't like the stain and in the master bath and a small office/workroom we painted them, umm, blue. The ones in the bathroom I am inclined to paint white (these are huge massive cabinets). In the workroom we took out the formica countertop and put in blue granite countertop (for entire length of room), painted cabinets and wall blue. Of course we won't take out the granite, but perhaps paint the cabinets white or leave them blue?
4. Our dogs have scratched several doors (this was early when we moved in and we didn't think them of them doing this...now we clip their claws). These are french doors from the living room to the sunroom, double sliding doors from living room to foyer and door into the workroom (yes, it is painted blue to match the cabinets). I'm not sure if we should replace the doors or try to have refinished and restained.
5. Bathroom has brushed chrome fixtures. Doorknobs are brass. Replace?
6. When we moved in we put fingerprint locks on 2 doors inside and a keypad lock on the side door to the house. The fingerprint locks would never work for DH so don't really use them. They are huge. The keypad lock works reasonably well but people may not like the idea of a keypad lock. Replace the doors? (You can't remove the locks with out replacing the doors).
7. I recently came across the pictures we took when we looked at this house. The yard was immaculate looking with hardly a leaf to be seen (we saw it first in November). So I didn't really think about the fact of their being tons of pecan trees. There were pecans in the yard but not much else. The reality is that leaves are everywhere, very hard to deal with and branches fall with every storm (we spend quite a bit on tree care/removal). There is no way DH and I can keep the place raked and neat ourselves. Is this worth paying someone to come in and do it while the house is listed?