Should you prep to sell?

N1912 P22002 C

By Jennifer Underwood, Realtor, ABR, CRS, SRES

I’m often asked what the smartest actions are a homeowner can take to ensure a quick and profitable sale of their home. Should they paint, install wall-to-wall carpet, renovate their kitchen and bath?

The answer in today’s very aggressive market is simple: Don’t do a thing.

With a shortage of homes on the market in every price range, you can save yourself thousands by simply calling a Realtor first, before breaking out an extensive honey-do list.

To give you a feeling of perspective, in 2010 the average home stayed on the market 23 to 30 months. Now we have less than one month of inventory.

Homes are selling within 24 to 48 hours of going up for sale. I’ve been doing this for 21 years, and this is the hottest market I’ve ever seen. Buyers are paying more than full price, and even waiving appraisal contingencies just to get into a house.

The bottom line: Sellers are calling all the shots. Wouldn’t you rather be in a position of holding all the cards?

For sellers who might be fearful about taking the leap of putting their home on the market without having purchased another one, we are getting creative and adding specific purchase clauses and rent-back options in the closing so they can stay in their house for an extended period of time.

Jennifer Herron-Underwood works at the Howard Hanna Real Estate Services offices in Westlake. She specializes in helping people downsize their homes and sells homes in Cuyahoga, Lorain and Medina counties. Jennifer is ranked in the top 5% of Realtors nationally. Call her cell at 440-371-2862or visit for more information.