Hello Craig. Preparing a property to list it for sale can often be a time consuming and costly pursuit depending upon what type of work the house needs. Carpet cleaning, painting and cosmetic repairs are all part of what is considered "staging" the home for sale. This can also include de-cluttering the home, rearranging and sometimes adding or removing furniture to help the spaces in the house show to their full potential. It is always advisable for a homeowner to put at least some effort into staging the home to help it show at it's best. First impressions are extremely important and most buyers will know within the first 5 mins of entering a property if they are potentially interested in purchasing the home.
That being said, there are certain repairs and cosmetic fixes that are well worth the time and money to do and there are also things that sometimes sellers feel they need to do that will not necessarily add to the value of the home. It can be hard to determine what should be done and what will make a real difference. This is when it's helpful to get the advice of an experienced real estate professional to assist you in determining what should be done to help your particular property sell for it's best price. You should definitely have someone do a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for your home to compare it to other properties in the area that are currently for sale and that have sold in the recent past. This will help you evaluate the value of your property at a particular point in time and decide what your budget should be for doing such repairs and staging etc.
Another consideration is the time it will take to complete the repairs/staging and the time of year that you are choosing to list the home for sale. Right now, we are reaching the end of the spring real estate market which runs from about early March through mid-June. This is the absolute best time of year to place your home on the market since you will have the most buyers looking for potential properties to purchase. After mid-June, people start going away for summer vacation and things slow down considerably in July and August and pick up again after Labor Day. You want to time your repairs/staging to allow you to place the house on the market at the most optimal time of year if possible.
In short, there are a lot of factors to consider when determining what to do and when to list your property for sale and you should definitely get a realtor involved in your decision making process as soon as possible to evaluate your property and advise your appropriately. A good realtor will even take the time to help you coordinate the work to be done and take some of the burden off of you during the process.
If you have any questions or would like me to visit, evaluate and prepare a CMA for your property, I would be happy to do so. I pride myself on being a full service real estate professional and will do whatever is necessary to help my clients through what can otherwise be a stressful process. Please feel free to call or email me if I can help.
Addison Real Estate Co., Inc.
266 S. 23rd Street, Ste. 16A
Phila., PA 19103