10 Things You Must Do To Get Top Dollar For Your Home


There’s an old saying that if a home is priced right, eventually it will sell. And, for the most part, that’s true. But sales price is only the beginning.

Buyers are picky, and when they have lots of options to choose from, you need to make sure your home is the one they remember—for the right reasons. For my clients, that means advising them on changes that will make their home memorable and saleable. Some may just need a few key fixes, others may need to be brought into this century. Either way, these tips can help them get top dollar for their home and sell quickly.

1. Clean, clean, clean.
Buyers do not want to sell your dirty dishes in the sink or your dirty laundry on the floor. You want them to remember your house, not the color of your boxer briefs.

2. Declutter. Then declutter some more.
Your knickknacks are not going to sell your home. Pare down your accessories, and, when you think you’re done, take another pass. Then box them up. That way you’ll also have a head start on your packing.

3. Address your front door.
Replacing your front door is the most important home improvement you can make, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. The return on investment (ROI) is between 91 percent and 121 percent depending on whether it’s a fiberglass or steel door. But you can get a similar effect by painting your door. It’s a must for my listings.

4. Improve your curb appeal.
You know what they say about a first impression. If your home looks shabby on the outside, potential buyers may not even look inside. The drought is making it difficult for many California sellers whose lawn used to be pristine, but you can still make your yard look better by mowing if needed, raking any fallen leaves, incorporating drought-tolerant plants, and adding some colorful flowers in pots near the door.

5. Clean your carpets.
No one wants to play “identify the stain” when looking for a house. If you can’t clean it, rip it out. If you can’t afford to rip it out, cover it up. Throw rugs are cheap and can add some stylish flair where needed.

6. Fix up your kitchen.
The average major kitchen remodel for the Pacific Region (defined as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii by Remodeling Magazine) costs $62,411, and provides an 81 percent, or $50,650 return on investment. Triple those numbers for certain L.A. neighborhoods!

If you’re planning to live in the home for a few more years, that’s not a bad ROI. But not many people are going to drop that much money on a new kitchen just to get their home sold. You can get some bang for your buck by making small but impactful changes to your kitchen like:

  • Painting your cabinets—A fresh coat of white can magically transform a dated and dreary kitchen.
  • Cleaning your grout—If you’re not in a position to replace your tile countertops with quartz or another updated material, at least make sure they’re in great condition and are sparkling clean.
  • Changing out your lighting—This is one of my top tips for sellers, and one I use throughout their homes.
  • Adding hardware—It’s easy, inexpensive, and can add a modern touch to a kitchen that needs one.

7. Add neutral window coverings.
This is another change I always make when getting one of my client’s listings ready for sale. Window coverings that are too bold, too old, or too ugly can turn off a buyer.

8. Pack up your pets.
Not everyone likes dogs, even if yours is the sweetest, cutest pooch in the world. And no one wants to smell or see a cat box when they walk into the guest room. If you don’t have anyone who can watch your pets during showings, pack ‘em up in the car with you. The momentary hassle will be worth it.

9. Paint the walls…and the trim.
It’s the quickest and easiest way to make an impact in a home, and it’s something you can do yourself if you don’t want to pay a professional.

10. Get new faucets.
This simple fix can breathe new life into kitchens and bathrooms, making old sinks and vanities look updated.

Tripp Jones Real Estate for Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys, Call 661-733-4555 or 818-527-6292