1. We made a lot of updates to this house and expect to make our money back through the sale of our house.  How will you ensure this happens?

We love talking to homeowners who have invested in their homes and taken time to update it.  Who doesn’t love fresh updates?  However, not all updates are created equally and neither is cost and value.  On one hand, it’s very important to understand that the buyer determines the value of the house.  The house is no more worth what the buyer is willing to pay and the number for which the seller is willing to sell (And let’s not forget the appraiser here too!)

On the other hand, back to your upgrades and updates, let me first say that most improvements do not generate a 100% return.  In fact, it’s generally a percentage less than what you actually paid.  This is what is known as cost vs. value.  The cost at which you paid for the upgrade is not always the value at which the buyer finds worthy of paying.  There is a bright side: if your improvements are in the kitchen or bathrooms, those generally get close to or right at 100% of of what you paid!  As for the rest of the house, it’s a sliding scale downward.  Devon has access to national reports that outline areas around the nation, Raleigh being one of them, that reveal what the average cost vs. value is on simple updates to major renovations.  If you are curious to know what they are, please contact Devon!

There are things that we call “value-add” items that will certainly enhance the sale and make your house stand out above the rest.  But these are generally not items that will be noted to verifiably increase the value of your home.  Items such as trim work and extra thick moldings, recessed lighting, beveled edges on cabinets and countertops vs. straight edges (things you pay more for), and thicker carpet padding.

The main thing to focus on is what your net dollar will be, based on your projected fair market value.  Don’t get so caught up on whether your new water heater and roof are going to generate a return on what you paid, as much as pricing your home correctly and what your net dollar will be at closing.

2. Is staging necessary?

Most often times, YES!  There is a difference in how we live in our homes vs. having it market-ready.  For most, we do not live in market-ready homes, meaning everywhere in the house is picture perfect and staged for potential buyers.  Staging addresses the curb appeal from the street, to the closets inside the house.  When working with Devon, your home will be staged professionally to make it shine above its competition and stand out to potential buyers.  Most of us need help arranging each room in such a way that is appealing for buyers.  It doesn’t mean your furniture, pictures, and belongings are horrible.  Not at all!  It just means that there is a lot of psychology behind buyer behavior when they view your house.  They need to walk through in such a manner where they can envision living there and need to feel the space.  If pictures of grandma and Fido are stashed on the mantle, the dog toys or litter box at your feet, dirty clothes on the floor, kids toys everywhere, and your large collection of baskets are visible, suddenly the buyer stops thinking of the house as “theirs” and starts putting together a story about you.  And that’s the last thing you want, a nosy buyer being more interested in you than if this is the right house for him/her.  Staging works and helps sell homes faster, for more money!

3. Can we go ahead and start advertising the house for sale in the MLS while we are preparing the house for sale?

Unless there are special circumstances, generally this is not advisable.  You want your house looking its best from day 1 on the market.  “Pictures are worth a thousand words” could never be truer in selling a home.  And for your home to go active in the MLS, it must have pictures.  Therefore, it will show everything in its “then” state.  More often than not, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.  You want to “WOW” your buyers from the start!


1. “Can we stick around for showings?  I work out of my house…I don’t trust strangers in my house…”

No doubt, showings are an inconvenience to your life and your schedule.  But there is nothing like a lurking seller to hinder the sale of a house.  If you work out of your house, take a walk around the block as soon as you see the buyers driving up.  You need to be scarce and not seen.  If you are uneasy about buyers coming through your house, know they will be escorted by a licensed agent and you’ll know when their scheduled appointments are.

If potential buyers know you’re in the house, they will not feel free to express their thoughts, opinions, or even be able to envision themselves there.  They will feel rushed and you want buyers to spend as much time as they want in the house.

2. Can we restrict showings to certain hours? have pets that cannot be there…My baby naps at certain hours.”

However, buyers won’t buy what they can’t see!  If it’s too difficult to to make an appointment, in many cases, the buyer will just move along to the next house.

Ask a Question

Have a question? Complete the form below and we'll be in touch!