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March 26, 2024

The Dos And Don’ts of Making Pre-Market Updates

By Chris Glave

Knowing how to prepare your home for the market and where to make pre-market improvements are essential to selling your home for top dollar. In today's market, sellers are the most successful when selling a finely finished or recently updated house for a premium versus selling a property that hasn't been maintained well or improved over time. To help you gain insight on how to approach selling your home in Marin County, here are a few things to consider when heading into a home sale, plus the dos and don'ts of preparing your home for the market. 

Exterior view of a home with a dining room and outdoor living experience
21 Convent Court, San Rafael: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Our homes are often among the most significant financial investments we make. Consequently, when considering making a move, it pays to look at the sale of your property from an economic and strategic perspective. While the return on investment will be different depending on the price and location of the house, the rewards are tremendous if you invest in making smart pre-market updates. Before you start, talk to your trusted real estate agent about which areas make sense for pre-sale improvements and how much to invest. 

Front exterior view of 123 Mountain View, home sold via Chris Glave
123 Mountain View Ave, San Rafael: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Do anticipate investing in your property before listing it for sale. Every home experiences the wear and tear of everyday life. Unless your house is newly built or recently remodeled, it likely needs a little freshening or light remodeling before it hits the market to ensure it sells for top value. Remember, buyers are seeking homes that feel inviting and are move-in ready. It pays to put your best foot forward, as many successful home sales rely heavily on buyer interest and demand.

Before and after collage showing the updated facade to a home sold by Chris Glave
25 Privateer Drive, Corte Madera: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Do consider repainting the exterior and refreshing the landscaping to increase curb appeal. Often, a new coat of exterior paint and fresh landscaping are some of the least expensive things you can do to get buyers in the door. By ensuring the facade is welcoming, buyers are more likely to drive by the home and decide to tour the house rather than pursue a more inviting property. Be sure to choose pleasing color tones that work with the architectural style and are appropriate for the neighborhood. 

Interior view of a freshly painted living area at 149 Forbes
149 Forbes Ave, San Rafael: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Do evaluate the need to repaint the interior and make repairs to create a clean look and feel. Interior paint can provide a lot of bang for the buck. Investing in paint, making necessary property repairs, and even doing small things like replacing light bulbs lets the buyer's eye scan the house without catching anything that looks unkept or unimproved. The more you can get the buyer to see the home's assets and the less you can cause them to say, 'I'd need to do XYZ before we move in,' the better.

Interior view of an updated kitchen
473 Montecito Drive, Corte Madera: Read The Pre-Sale Story

When making interior updates, do focus your investments on the areas most likely to appeal to buyers while adding value to your home. The primary living spaces, such as the living room, dining room, and kitchen, are typically the higher-end home improvement areas. If updated smartly, these public spaces can wow buyers and add tangible value to your home. Buyers appreciate lovely counters, a great layout, quality fixtures and appliances, and new flooring.  

Updated primary bathroom, home sold by Chris Glave
25 Privateer Drive, Corte Madera: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Do look at updating the primary suite and bathroom to appeal to homebuyers with a sense of luxury. Updating the primary bedroom and ensuite can be a wise investment as it's viewed as a retreat often used by new owners. Buyers want to envision relaxing at the end of a long day in their new home. New flooring, paint, and lighting can make a substantial difference in refreshing the primary. Rainshower and handheld water fixtures, fresh cabinetry, new tile, and light sconces are also trending ways to create the ambiance and atmosphere today's buyers want and desire. Emulating a resort-like living experience within the primary suite is a great place for sellers to invest and attract buyers.

A large open living room with staging furniture
123 Mountain View Ave, San Rafael: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Do have your home professionally staged and have pre-sale inspections done. While moving out before the sale is not always possible for sellers, ensuring your home is ready and fully prepared to sell will land you the best price for your property.

Remodeled bathroom, home sold by Chris Glave
21 Convent Court, San Rafael: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Don't leave your personal possessions out around the house when trying to sell. Take time to declutter and pack away your personal items, such as family pictures and knickknacks. Refrain from leaving dishes in the sink, and always clean up well before open houses and tour times. Buyers can better envision adding their personalization and belongings to the home in a fresh, clutter-free environment. 

Image collage showing updated public rooms in a home sold by Chris Glave
25 Privateer Drive, Corte Madera: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Don't assume everyone wants to live in the house the way you did. Selling your home and being objective about the updates it needs can be challenging for many. Consider your buying habits and experiences. When shopping for the best product, do you seek the premiere inventory or items that look dated? Selling your home and talking about improvements can feel very personal. Yet, by listening to the professionals, you can navigate your home updates successfully while putting as much money in your pocket as possible.

Home updated pre-sale and sold by Chris Glave
149 Forbes Ave, San Rafael: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Don't hesitate to invest in pre-market repairs and paint. While it can be tempting to sell as-is, depending on the state of your home, you could be losing out on a lot of cash. There are a variety of scenarios where homes in Marin County were sold without pre-market updates, then someone bought the house, fixed it up, enhanced its value, and re-sold it quickly for a profit.

View of the updated primary suite at 473 Montecito Drive, sold via Chris Glave
473 Montecito Drive, Corte Madera: Read The Pre-Sale Story

Don't try to do it on your own. When selling a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, getting advice and professional real estate help is essential to your success. Contact me to learn more about my pre-market advisory and management services. With vast local experience, I have an extensive network of connections ready to collaborate and transform your home. 

Chris Glave is by far the best agent in the Bay Area! He expertly maintained communications and full transparency throughout the preparation and sale of our home. From the extensive pre-sale updates and suggestions to better position the house to attract buyers and superior project management, interior design, staging, and marketing, he's an exceptional real estate agent and businessman. –Sellers of 473 Montecito Drive



Let's talk.

Whether you are looking to purchase Marin County real estate, are considering selling property, or would like advice on pre-sale updates and project management help, let's have a conversation and create a plan to help you achieve your real estate goals!