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Getting ready to put your house up for sale? Here are 5 Big Questions you should ask yourself before you open your wallet or take out that credit card.

1. Who’s your Buyer?

What’s important to them? Different things matter to different Buyers and it’s important that you and your agent have a good sense of your target Buyer before you start prepping your house for sale. First-time Buyers, downsizers, investors, contractors, flippers all have very different needs – and there’s no sense spending $15,000 on a new kitchen if your buyer is just going to tear it all out and gut the house.

2. What kind of ROI can I expect to get?

It’s easy to spend money on the wrong things and despite what you see on HGTV, many renovations won’t pay back. That $20,000 bathroom upgrade may only add $10,000 to the price…and combining the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms to make a big master suite might actually be taking value away from your home. Always talk to your agent before undergoing any big renovation (unless it’s purely for your enjoyment and you don’t care how it affects the value of your home).

3. How does timing factor into my decision?

If it’ll take you 4 weeks to complete your prep and that time frame will take you out of high season and into low season, you’ll probably be better off getting on the market sooner, without the fixes.

4. How will a thorough clean and staging change my space?

Staging can work miracles and we’ve seen it entirely transform homes. A strategically located plant or accessory can distract people from the peeling paint and that weird corner, and proper lighting can make a drab room come to life. You may be able to add tens of thousands of dollars to your price by investing in professional staging. [Shameless self-promotion: when you sell with BREL, staging is included! You can read more about the BREL Makeover here.]

5. Will you want that stuff in your new house?

If you’re not bringing in a professional Stager and are buying furniture and accessories to spruce up your current space, do you want those things in your new house? It’s easy to get carried away at HomeSense (trust me, I speak from personal experience), buying pillows and area rugs and art work to spruce up your current furnishings. But if you aren’t buying pieces you love or things that will work in your next home, you’re probably just throwing your money away.

Preparing your home for sale is a lot of work and can reap huge benefits…but don’t get carried away and go overboard spending money. Call a REALTOR before you start…they’ll be able to guide you along the way! [Hint: we can help!]

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