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Selling with minimal effort

Winning the bidding wars

Ask Phyllis is a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.  Have a question about real estate?  Email us here

Dear Phyllis,

I have been reading your real estate column for years, and love it. I am getting to the age that I need to be near my family. My daughter wants me to move closer to her and my beautiful grandchildren. I have lived in my home for 40 years and I know it needs updating. Last year, I was ready to sell and move to Nevada. I met with a real estate agent, who suggested that I paint the front door, exterior trim, kitchen cabinets and replace their hardware. She also thought I should replace the old carpet and refinish the hardwood underneath. The thought of doing all that puts me in a panic.

Even though this Realtor told me she could coordinate the work, it’s just too much to think about. How do I go about selling with minimal effort?

-Feeling Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed,

I understand it’s very difficult to move from a home you have lived in for four decades, but being near family as one ages is very important. I am sure you know that you are fortunate to have a daughter that wants you nearby. You aren’t the only seller I come in contact who wants to sell with minimal effort.

You don’t need to do anything in order to sell your home. There are certain government mandated requirements such as: carbon monoxide detectors on each level, smoke detectors (number and location vary by city) and proper double strapping of the hot water heater. However, your Realtor can negotiate that the buyer assumes this expense and responsibility.

Selling with minimal effort

I understand that you are completely overwhelmed by the amount of work suggested. Therefore, why not take a calming breath and simply consider maximizing your home’s curb appeal? This can easily be achieved by asking a gardener to trim bushes and shrubs so that they are tidy, plant some fresh flowers and mulch the flower beds. This will create an appealing first impression of your home. As this work is being done outside it shouldn’t be as intrusive or overwhelming. If you want to take a second step have your windows professionally cleaned. You can’t imagine what a difference this makes. This can be done in an hour or so, you can ask your Realtor® to supervise while you leave your home to have lunch with a friend or see a movie. Thank you for your loyal readership, and I send you my best wishes in your transition.


Phyllis Harb

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