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What to Fix Before Selling a Home: Expectation vs. Reality

Maynard Wagner

Maynard Wagner is a thoughtful, energetic, and well-prepared advisor who delivers investment-grade service to all clients...

Maynard Wagner is a thoughtful, energetic, and well-prepared advisor who delivers investment-grade service to all clients...

Oct 15 3 minutes read

We met our clients through a referral from a past client. Our past clients and current clients randomly met at a tire shop in Bend. They started chatting, and soon, our past clients learned that they were looking for a great real estate agent to help them sell their home in Phinney Ridge, Seattle, so they could move to Bend, Oregon, to retire. 

Their home in Phinney Ridge is in a fantastic location just a couple blocks from Greenwood Ave, and walking distance from great coffee shops, restaurants, grocery, and shopping. But quickly we found out about some challenges; after enjoying life in their home for 31 years, the home needed updates and repairs to bring it to comparable standards of other homes on the market. After talking through the pros and cons of investing resources (i.e. time and/or money) to make these updates, we concluded it didn’t make strategic sense as the ROI wasn’t there.

So we came up with an action plan to help them move to Bend quickly and sell their home smoothly for the most amount of money without investing upfront time and/or significant money. Strategically, we performed a pre-inspection and a sewer scope and had this information available to prospective buyers. Our goal was to be fully transparent so the buyer knew what they were purchasing and it would minimize the risk of an accepted offer falling apart due to subsequent inspections and price or repair negotiations.

Since the home needed lots of work, many buyers were scared and chose not to make an offer. A few others did make an offer, but they did so with an inspection contingency. We knew this wasn’t the best route for our sellers given the significance of the work that needed to be done so we decided not to take those offers. 

Instead, we encouraged the buyer to do their own inspection prior to making an offer with the goal of no further negotiations after an offer being accepted. If both parties agreed upon the price and terms beforehand, the home was going to close and no time would be wasted, which would be a WIN/WIN for all parties.

It took some time to find a buyer that was comfortable with the condition of the home since most buyers are looking for properties in move-in ready condition, but the end result is that our clients got their property sold and were able to buy a new  home in Bend contingent upon the sale of their home here in Seattle. They moved to Bend the same day their home closed and are on to an exciting new chapter in their lives!

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