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April 21, 2022

What You Can Expect To Spend When You Sell

Nicely furnished living room

Your property presentation will largely dictate how much buyers will pay when you’re selling your home.

Today’s buyers are discerning, and expect a certain level of sparkle when they go to an open house. Want to improve your chances of getting top dollar? Don’t cut corners on the prep work.

Most homeowners aren’t aware of the average costs for fundamental prep work. The bottom line: You can expect to spend $10,000-$20,000 if your property needs a little of everything. I thought I’d round up the must-do prep work with average costs, using a two-bedroom house or condo with 1200-1400 square feet as a baseline. Prices go up or down, depending on the size of your space and how much work is needed.

Painting. A full interior paint job (walls, doors, ceilings, baseboards, door jambs) will likely start at $4,500 on the low end. If you need more than one coat or other extras, you can expect to pay more. Also, recognize that “touch ups,” while seemingly cheaper and easier, can end up looking like, well, touch ups. If your interior hasn’t been painted in a while, it’s really difficult to rely on touch-up paint to blend in easily with old paint. Remember, no one likes to see splotchy walls.

Exterior paint jobs for a one-story single-family home will start at around $6,000 on the low end if you need substantial prep work.

Move-out cleaning. Once your furniture is out and the property is vacant, you will need a move-out cleaning. Plan on a few hundred dollars for this, and tack on another $200-$300 for windows.

Refinishing floors. Nicely finished floors go a long way toward attracting buyers. A minimum starting point is typically $2500.

Repairs. The broken tub stopper, busted electric wall heater, and dormant garbage disposal are all the types of things you should call in the handyman, electrician, or plumber to fix. I would budget $500-$1,000, depending on how complex the repairs may be.

Landscaping. Make sure you present front and back gardens nicely. A gardener can clean out weeds, install wood chips and new plantings, and trim trees. Budget $1,500-$2,000 at a minimum.

Hauling. You may have a lot of stuff in storage that needs to be removed, especially if you have a garage. Expect a minimum of $300-$500 for a load of furniture and whatever to be hauled away. You’ll be charged more if you have a lot of stairs or very bulky items that are difficult to maneuver out.

Staging. Your home needs to look appealing online to get buyers to the property. Staging is key here. Minimum for full staging is $5,000-$7,000. If your furniture is camera ready, you can spend less with a partial staging.

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