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  • Writer's pictureMeredith

COVID Diaries: Prep Your Home For Listing While Sheltering in Place!

Jacques Pepin recently posted a very French tid-bit comparing the French Champagne naming regulations to COVID19: “It’s not a real quarantine,” he wrote, “unless it comes from the Quarantine region of France. Otherwise it is merely sparkling isolation.” Très drôle (Very funny!)

If you are sheltering in sparkling isolation right now, but plan on listing your home for sale when the air literally clears, I had some thoughts this weekend. It was prompted by my husband, early Saturday morning, announcing that we can now turn on the A/C using Alexa, because he swapped out our main circa 1990 thermostat for a simple, but SMART one

And this got me thinking. I was recently at a new home development of median priced homes. The builder had included a SMART feature in all the homes: Front door locks, thermostat, lights, oven. The buyers I were with were really impressed with this feature and since not all the builders in the new home community were including this feature, these homes had a bit of an advantage.

The principle of value that applies here is something called “contribution.” Appraisers define this as the apparent value difference in property features between similarly aged, size and location properties.

While we are all at home, and really seeing our homes, what are some of the small, DIY and inexpensive fixes we can make to make our homes really sparkle when we are able to get to the marketplace?

I talked to some experts and here’s what I found. 10 ideas, in order of difficulty and price, to make your home as ready-to-sell as possible! Cheers!


1. Take your own photos and then compare to online listing photos of similar homes. You are sure to see ways to enhance your own rooms.

2. Declutter and ‘stage’ each room so that each room feels very purposeful. Craft rooms are popular right now:

3. Stage your own closets: Look at photos of Container Store closet designs for inspo.

4. Clean all the light fixtures and replace any burned out bulbs. Newer fixtures make things seem fresh, too!

5. Clean windows inside, outside, and screens.

6. Paint and caulk inside, especially baseboards or any crown moldings. This makes a subtle, but tangible difference in how clean and modern your home will be perceived.

7. Paint your front door and stage simply for the season. Try a bold color – it’s only paint, after all!

8. Replace dated thermostats. This is the one we used:

9. Declutter and clean again.

And 10. Take new “after” photos and celebrate all that work!

Our Denver Metro Market seems to be in suspense for a while, but the very good news is that our March market performance actually improved 2.5% more than expected in equity increase for homeowners. This means that we have created a bit of a price and equity cushion that can see us through a short time of slower growth.

A good realtor can help you price and market your home. If you want to see a quick or a detailed review of your home’s potential market value, click here. Stay safe!


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