Are you planning to list your home in the New Year? Or has your home already been sitting on the market for a while without seeing much action? December, typically a slow month for home selling, can be the ideal time to take stock of improvements that need to be made and get your house into prime selling condition before January 2. Here are some tips to get your started.

Recruit a Fresh Set of Eyes

With all the memories attached to a long-held family home, it’s very hard to be objective about its short-comings. We still remember the proud feeling of walking through the doors as newlyweds with our first set of housekeys. Or we see the height marks on the kitchen door frame and fondly recall the pitter-patter of little feet running through the rooms. But, it’s also natural to become immune to small problems that we live with every day. The old ceiling water stains or squeaky floorboards, which have become invisible to us, may jump out as red flags to potential buyers. Unfortunately, sentimentality can stand in the way of profitability. Consider having an impartial person, ideally an experienced real estate agent, walk the property with you to identify areas that need addressing and determine where you could add value before opening your doors to potential buyers.

Think Big (and Small) When It Comes to Fixes

The median aged home in Southern California was built in the mid-1970s – before many of today’s homebuyers were even born. Things like wallpaper, floor coverings, cabinet finishes and paint colors that were once fashionable may now be dating your property and turning off buyers. While these are typically easy fixes, some buyers have trouble seeing past them when trying to envision themselves in a home. Larger issues, like outdated kitchens and baths, are likely to be immediate deal-breakers for potential buyers who don’t want to invest the time and money needed to take on a renovation project themselves. Thinking like a modern homebuyer (and seeing your home through their eyes) is critical if you want to fetch top dollar. Need ideas? Try visiting local model homes or watch some HGTV programs for design inspiration. Ask yourself how your home compares to these showcase homes in terms of popular features and finishes, things that create a “wow factor.” Spoiler alert: Nobody says, “I’m really looking for a home with popcorn ceilings.”

Transform a Stale Listing into Fresh “Must-See”

If your home has already been sitting on the market for a while and you haven’t been receiving any good offers, now is probably the time to reevaluate your selling strategy. In this tight seller’s market, if your home is not moving, you and your agent should have a frank conversation about what is standing in the way of the deal. Is your home priced too high for its current condition? Are sellers having a hard time getting past some of the improvements that need to be made? Are they low-balling their offers based on what they see as a fixer-upper property? Before deciding to drop your asking price, consider another approach: Making the high-return improvements yourself and remarketing the home as “newly remodeled.” These are magic words to potential buyers and give them a reason to visit – or return to – the property to see what’s been done to transform some of their deal-breakers into deal-makers. Buyers are willing to spend more for a beautiful, move-in-ready home, so make it easy for them to immediately envision themselves living in your home from Day One.

Improve Without the Up-Front Cost

The idea of forking over a big chunk of your savings to improve a home you already want (or need) to sell is not appealing – or even possible – for many sellers. That’s totally understandable. With Avenue3 Realty, we remove this financial burden from the equation. Our licensed contractors take all the steps needed to fix, paint, freshen, update, brighten, spruce up and modernize your home and then our experienced listing agents sell it. And you pay nothing for the improvements up-front. When your house sells, we earn a commission and get repaid for any improvements. You keep any extra profit from the increased value of the home. As long as you have equity in your home, you’re golden. It’s a win-win!

To learn more about how Avenue3 Realty can help find the right path for the sale of your home, including getting your home ready now for a strong sale in the New Year, give us a call today at (844) 714-2833. More information is available at