Move-in Ready Home – What Does That Really Mean for Home Sellers?


“Move-in ready” home might not be the term you initially think of when you’re getting ready to sell your house – you’re probably thinking of getting it “move out” ready. Packing up the things you don’t need, clearing out the clutter, and cleaning the windows. Well, I’m going to tell you how making your house “move-in ready” can help it sell faster, for more money, and the steps you need to take to get it there.


Move-in ready goes beyond having the floors swept and the house clear of all of your personal belongings.  It’s the difference between leaving the new owners with a laundry list of “to-do” items just to get their home in good shape to move in, or crossing those things off before putting your home on the market so buyers can literally “just move in” – aka move-in ready!


As you live in your home, wear and tear naturally occurs.  You know, the projects like the leaky faucets or burned out light bulbs in the chandelier you have been meaning to get to for ages but haven’t.   Before you put your house up for sale, you’ll want to get it back to looking like new again. That way when buyers are touring your home they are picturing what it’s like to live there, not mentally adding up their list of to do’s.


Here’s what to do:


Grab a notepad or open up the notes section on your phone, then head outside. Starting with your front door, walk through it, and pretend you are a buyer touring your own house. As you walk through the house, room to room, make a list of things you notice that need repairing, replacing, or touching up. With the eyes of a buyer, you might notice things that you have come to ignore over time.


Once you’ve walked through your entire house making notes of things that need freshening up or projects that need finishing, break your list into categories. If you are thinking of selling, you will want to start with the larger items first in case you need to hire out contractors or invest some time into getting them done.


Make a second list of things you need to buy or people you need to call to get these projects wrapped up! If you don’t know who to call, reach out to your favorite Realtor (me)  and I’ll share my list of trusted preferred vendors to help with your projects.


So before I sign off, let me tell you how taking care of these small projects can make you more money… most buyers today are looking for “move-in ready”. When they see too many little unfinished projects and fading paint jobs, buyers will assign a dollar value to them. Their dollar value is going to be a lot higher than what it probably costs, but that amount is what is going to stick in their head when they’re deciding how much to write their offer for.


When you take care of these minor things prior to putting your house up for sale, they won’t be mentally calculating how much to take off of the value because of said projects.  In fact, many will pay a premium!  You want buyers to focus on seeing themselves living in your home and how they’re going to arrange their furniture. That’s the emotional connection you want them to have when walking through your home, not a to-do list!


So get your house move-in ready and set yourself up for success (and a good offer price)!
About the Author
Thanks for reading my blog! I'm an attorney and full-time Realtor in San Jose, CA. I am obsessed with all things real estate and home-related. I serve home buyers and home sellers throughout Silicon Valley. When I'm not working you'll find me en route to one of my son's basketball games, satisfying my coffee addiction, scouting deals at TJMaxx or walking our 110 lb Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Romeo!

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