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How Long Does It Take to Prepare a Home For Sale?

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How Long Does It Take to Prepare a Home For Sale?

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One of the biggest questions we receive when we talk to a new seller is “How long does it take to prepare a home for sale?” And the answer could be anywhere from two weeks to six months depending on the situation. But the bottom line is that it is longer than you think it is going to take, and it will cost you more than you are expecting.

Details You Need to Know About How Long And What it Takes to Prepare a Home for Sale

In this blog, we are going to answer the following questions. 

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How Long Does It Take to Prepare a Home For Sale in Seattle?

In general, it takes about two weeks for a condo and up to six months for a larger home to get it ready for the market. Every home is different and we want to make sure you get the full Diva list. Our goal is to make your home shine in a budget that makes sense. Please contact our team sooner than later if you are thinking about selling your home. We have often helped clients who were going to sell in six months to a year. 

What is typically included in preparing a home for the market?

The typical preparation list we give sellers includes fixing what’s broken, making the home pretty, and all of the marketing preparation.

Buyers notice if a home looks bad. They then make their decision to buy that home accordingly. The following list is going to look intense, but I promise you it will make a world of a difference when you look at the final check you receive at the end of the home sale. 

Full List of What You Need to Do to Prepare a Home for Sale:

First off, a team member and the vendor manager do a personalized walk-through on your home. During this, they come up with a detailed list of items that may need attention. The list below is a general list to give you an idea of what we are looking for: 

  • Fix any items that are broken in the home: Especially items that are easy to fix. Some of these items might impact the buyer’s ability to get a loan. Or it may scare off a potential buyer. 
  • Appliances: Replace any super old, ugly, or not fully functional appliances.
  • Paint: New paint inside everywhere, even if it is just one coat.
  • Front Door and Entry Area: Repaint this area unless it is in exceptional condition. You have one chance to make a first impression. 
  • Exterior Paint: You might need to do some exterior paint depending on the weather, and wear and tear. 
  • New Carpeting: Any carpets that are two years or older, worn, have a weird color, or if there are pets in the home that need to be replaced. 
  • Broken Window Seals: Replacing any double pane windows with broken seals. They will be called out by the inspector and potentially an appraiser. 
  • New Lighting: Nothing makes a home look Diva-ready like new lighting. Especially if the lighting in the home is cheap, dated, mismatched, broken, etc… And NO Boob Lights EVER!
  • Safety Issues: Correct any “safety issues” that might come up in an inspection or in a home appraisal. This might include no handrails where necessary, broken walkways that could be a trip hazard, etc.
  • Kitchen Refresh (if necessary): Repainting kitchen cabinets and replacing the countertops go a long way to making a home look updated with minimal effort. 
  • Bathrooms: Regrout and/or recaulk in bathrooms where necessary.
  • Tile: Replace any super damaged or broken tile in the kitchen or baths.
  • Flooring: Replace any super damaged flooring that is not carpeting, especially if it is a small space.
  • Decks and Balconies: Make sure any decks or balconies are repainted if necessary and the decking is in good shape.
  • Basement/Garages: Paint the bare floors with a nice cement paint to make it look clean and photo-ready. 
  • Light Bulbs: Make sure all the bulbs in the home are working and are in the same hue/tone.
  • Landscaping: Fluff the yard and landscaping.
  • Moss/Dirt on Patios: Powerwash any concrete that is mossy or super dirty.
  • New Outlet Covers: You would be surprised how many kid stickers we find on outlet covers. And the inspector will call an outlet that does not have a cover. 
  • Driveway and Patios: Pressure wash the driveway or backyard patio.
  • Moss on the Roof/Gutters: Clean any moss off the roof and clean the gutters.
  • Fresh Driveway Gravel: Add gravel to the sides of the home or driveway if needed. 
  • Decorative Pots: Add planted decorative pots to decks and porches if needed.
  • Staging the Home (duh!): Professionally stage the home!

Advice From Team Lead and OG Diva – Kim

In most cases, when I prep a home, it is best if the sellers can move out. There is so much work that needs to happen. And it is super tough if the sellers are still living in the space. I know the list above seems like a lot, but not every home needs all of this. And some need more. This is what it takes to make a home a DIVA listing! And Diva listings sell faster and for more money than other homes, so it’s worth it every time!

– Kim

For the full process of how to sell a house go to our blog >

On Average, How Much Time Does it Take to Prep and What is Involved in Getting a Condo Ready to Sell?

The prep work for a condo is straightforward. You need to fix what’s broken, replace the carpet, and make sure it is freshly painted. You also need to stage the home and make sure the marketing looks gorgeous. All said and done, most condos take about three weeks to get on the market. 

Prepping a condo for the market typically goes fairly quickly. The prep work includes small handyman work and changing out carpets that may be too used/damaged to clean. You will also need to move out so there can be deep cleaning, staging, and photos and videos taken of the home.

The other key item is ordering the Resale Certificate and HOA documents. This is one of the most time-consuming steps and can take the condo management up to two weeks to deliver to the agent and client. Getting that process started a few weeks before listing is super important. This is because it will alert you to any deferred maintenance and pending lawsuits. Both of which can make a condo non-lendable. 

Advice From Team Member and Condo Expert Hannah

The HOA documents are super important to have before you list the condo. The price of the condo will be determined by any potential issues that we might have in the building. Having the resale and HOA documents in advance will give you insight as to if there is a special assessment or if there is an impending special assessment. 

– Hannah

Condos need a different type of preparation to get on the market. But every situation is different.

How Much Time Does It Take To Prep And What Is Involved In Getting A Single Family Home Ready To Sell?

It can take anywhere from two weeks to several months to prepare a detached single-family home for the market. 

Kim and the team’s general approach to home prepping is focused on making the home shine and sparkle as much as possible. That said, it is more important that it be “move-in ready and liveable” than “updated.” Obviously, you will never find a boob lamp in one of our Diva Dwellings.

Last Fall, we listed a Mid-Century Modern home in Laurelhurst. Our seller’s kitchen was dated but it was in good shape. Our team decided that she did NOT need the seller to upgrade the kitchen. Instead, we had the cabinets painted to make the home look clean and a potential buyer could see the potential in a future remodel. 

Advice From Team Member Lindsy

Let’s chat to see if it is worth updating areas of the home that are “dated.” The goal is for the seller to see their biggest return on investment and sometimes doing a basic kitchen or bathroom update will be a huge lift in a home. 

– Lindsy

It takes at least two weeks for our team to get a home on the market. But in general the more time you give us the more we can do.

What Type Of Work Does An Older Versus A Newer Townhouse Need? 

Older townhouses can look super dated because people rarely make any improvements to the builder-grade finishes. A seller does not need to make updates to a newer townhome but they do need to make it stand out against the new construction competition. 

The big challenge when selling a newer townhouse is making it stand out against all of the new construction. Adding paint, changing out the light fixtures, and making some updates to the general aesthetic can help make a big impact on your home. Oh and don’t forget to make your rooftop deck look Wowwwww!!!

Our general list for an older townhouse is replacing the carpets, updating the paint colors, staging, and making sure that the space is clean and inviting. But one thing to keep in mind is to make sure your older townhome does not look dated. Painting the cabinets and changing out the countertops in the kitchen goes a long way to making a townhome look updated. Another thing you can do is to replace the pedestal sinks in the bathrooms with something more functional.

One more item. Make sure you check out the radiant heating system and have it serviced!!!! 

Check out the blog about what type of updates you need to make to your townhouse to get top dollar for the home >

Advice From Team Member Roy

I like to talk about aesthetic updates to a townhouse like resurfacing a tub, creating a new backsplash, or changing the paint colors. Little things can have a huge impact on making your townhouse stand out. 

– Roy

Our team has a ton of ideas on how to best improve your fabulous home.

It Takes Two Weeks to Six Months to Prepare Your Home For the Market

Living room entertainment area and accent wall

Each home is different and it is super important that you talk to one of our team members in advance if you are thinking about selling your home. The more time we have to help you the more money and resources you will save. For instance, if you need to get your home on the market in two weeks you will be paying a premium to have the vendors at your beck and call. 

We are here to help. Our team understands that this process can take a year or two. And we are more than willing to give you a personalized plan to get the ball rolling. Feel free to contact us directly at thediva@teamedivarealestate.com or call/text 206-271-0264.

Chavi Hohm

Chavi Hohm

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