There’s a lot to consider when listing your home. No home is perfect when the owner decides to sell so a common question that arises is “should we get it on the market as soon as possible as-is or should we do some repairs and touching up first?” Obviously timing is very important, there are predictable market peaks and troughs that are worth navigating to optimize how many buyers will see your home and subsequently how much interest will drive the sale price and terms. Discuss these with your agent, any market expert who frequently sells homes in your area should be able to guide you toward the hottest times and away from traditionally quieter times.

Think of a first date or a job interview. It’s a first impression. With market conditions as hot as they’ve been in Eastern MA over the past few years there are many homes that literally never get to make a second impression. People arrive at open houses, make a rapid decision on whether or not to make an offer, as well as on what value and terms to put in that offer, and that’s that.

I can tell you from a dozen years of touring homes with buyers that their eyes are magnetically drawn to anything that looks like a problem. The large, well lit open concept living room they’ve been dreaming of has a 2 inch water stain on the ceiling in one corner from an ice dam in the winter 5 years ago and that’s all they see. Within minutes their mind attaches a danger level to it, and then a value. There must be water damage in the walls. Five thousand. They’ll want a credit for $5000 to address the water damage, or reduce their offer by as much. Meanwhile, a good contractor could have come in, assessed what actual damage was there and probably fixed it for 300 bucks including paint, labor and other materials.

So you tell me…. is it worth making repairs or touch-ups before making your possible only impression to would-be buyers? Your market expert agent almost certainly has referrals for everyone you’d need to put your home in shape to make the best first impression possible, driving up your returns and the quality of your experience selling your home.

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