Preparing the Estate Property For Sale

The Big Sort is finished, items are well on their way to being distributed to the beneficiaries, sold, given to charity, or trashed. Now you need to get the house ready for sale.

Every estate property will have different requirements for getting it ready for sale. For this reason, it is best to call in an experienced Estate Sale Agent who can guide you through this process. A detached home will have different requirements than a condo apartment for instance and you need an Agent who has handled these types of properties in the context of an estate sale and can offer the best guidance. Often times, small changes can translate into big returns for the estate. You will get asked by many Realtors to list the property, but to get the best return on the sale check out these tips to make sure you hire the right Professional for the job.

1. First and Foremost - Bring in the Light & Clean

I can’t say enough about these points. Remove heavy window coverings and let the light in. Then clean, clean, clean. You may need to hire a professional service to help out but it will be well worth it. Make sure the fridge is cleaned out. Food in the fridge in an estate sale is a real turn off for Buyers. Clean the appliances. Even if they are older and a Buyer may not keep them, it says a lot to the Buyer about how well the home was maintained. And, oh yes, don’t forget to clean those windows.

2. Repairs & Fix-Ups

There may be some repairs that must be done. In consultation with your Realtor, you can decide what must be repaired, painted etc and what additional value that can bring to the sale. You may want to consider pulling up old carpets if there is hardwood underneath (you don’t necessarily have to refinish the hardwood but buyers like to see what’s there) Other fix-ups include painting kitchen cabinets, replacing counter tops, faucets, light fixtures etc.

3. Air Out The House

If the home has been closed up for some time, you may need to air it out. Refrain from using plug in fresheners if possible as they almost always beg the question from Buyers “what are they trying to hide?” If there were pets in the home, you may also want to have the carpets cleaned and deodorized.

4. Clear High Traffic Areas

If you are selling the home with furniture in place, make sure the front entrance, hallways and high traffic areas are cleared of excess furniture. You don’t want Buyers to have a difficult time navigating through the home and having to turn sideways or step over furniture to get into some rooms. Less is always more when showcasing a home.

5. Remove the Photos and Nicknacks

Some buyers, especially in estate sales, will spend more time looking at the items left in the home than the home itself. We need to showcase the home and keep buyers attention focused on what is for sale.

6. To Stage or Not To Stage

While staging definitely has its benefits and almost always increases the value of a home, it may or may not be appropriate in this case. Your Realtor can guide you and decide if the home is best “staged” with a few remaining pieces or left to a Professional Stager.

7. Receipts, Manuals and Warranties

If you find receipts and warranties for major repairs on the house, keep these together in a file. They will be helpful in answering Buyers questions about the age of roof, windows, furnace etc and can be handed over to the new owners along with any manuals on closing. Some warranties will transfer to the new owner but they will need documentation. 

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June Smith, B.A.Sc.
Re/Max Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage
Sales Representative


Over 20 Years Award Winning Service

June Smith offers practical advice you can use to help sell a family member's home.

Let me know how I can help you today.


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