Real Estate Information Archive


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Make Repairs and Improvements Before Selling, or Leave Them for the Buyer

by The Ellerbrake Group

People in the O'Fallon IL area considering selling their homes often ask whether they Should make repairs and improvements to their home before it hits the market or leave them for buyers to do in a way that they like.

Most people who put their home on the market don’t prepare their home properly. And as a result, many of those homes don’t sell. Proper preparation of the home BEFORE it hits the market is critical to a seller’s success in marketing their O'Fallon IL area home. Most buyers decide to purchase a home with very little work to do. And often there are plenty of comparable properties to choose from.

It is very important to take the necessary steps to create a desirable product for the potential buyer, especially those who may view your home right out of the gate early in the marketing period. Many of those buyers have already seen 10 or 20 homes and have not yet made an offer. Most O'Fallon IL area buyers WONT make an offer on a home if there will be a lot of work for them to do once they own the home.

It is also tougher to get a loan with money built in for the buyer to make improvements after the Closing. So the credit to the buyer to replace the carpet or to paint that pink bedroom may be a thing of the past. Also, many lenders require that basic repairs and improvements be complete before they sign off on the deal.

In any event, If you are considering selling your O'Fallon IL area home, we recommend you look at all of the homes in the area that are for sale and consider how they compare before deciding on how to approach repairs and improvements, as well as setting a selling price. 

Does your home look appealing compared to similar O'Fallon IL homes? Buyers will generally select one home over another similar home if the home is deep-cleaned for example, or if the deck has a fresh coat of stain. Your carpet may not be THAT worn or stained, but what if that other home for sale has new flooring? Your kitchen countertops may be fine if they are Formica, but what if that other home for sale has new granite? What about your appliances? What about your sunken sidewalk?

You should be selective with which repairs and improvements you decide to do. You wouldn’t want to step over a dollar to pick up a dime, as they say. So, a well-conceived plan to prepare your home for the market is especially important. It really helps to have the advice of a local real estate professional who understands your market in deciding how to prepare your home for the market and which repairs or improvements to make. Ask your Realtor to refer you to professional contractors if you need help getting work done. Professional staging is also valuable in deciding what mix of repairs or improvements you may decide to make before your home hits the market.

If you would like to more information about preparing your home for the market, don't hesitate to contact us here at the Kelly Ellerbrake team. And have a great day!

Preparing Your Home For The Market

by The Ellerbrake Group


Many people ask us, “What should I do to prepare my home for the market?” There are many things you can do to prepare your O'Fallon IL home for the market and it is a very important conversation to have because in today’s market your home has to appeal to more buyers than ever before.  Now that you are putting your home on the market, keep in mind that you are likely competing against numerous other homes for the attention of a smaller pool of buyers than in years past. So, what can you do to make your O'Fallon IL home look like a model home? There are three things that always come to the top of the list; cleanliness, paint colors and the condition of the flooring. Keep in mind your buyer doesn’t want a to-do list.


Perhaps the most important thing is cleanliness. And we are not talking about an average home cleaning, we are talking about a thorough deep-cleaning; we call it “q-tip clean”. We always recommend a professional window-cleaning as well. You will also want to declutter- think simple and neat- and depersonalize the home inside and out.  We say act like you’re packing.  If you need to rent a storage unit, do it, and you may want to get double the size you might think you will need. You might be thinking that the home won’t feel “homey” anymore, but your main goal is to have the buyer imagine themselves and their things in the space.  This is hard for them to do if they keep seeing pictures of the current home owner, or are distracted by clutter or even fine pieces of art or too much furniture.


When it comes to paint colors, you want to consider neutralizing paint colors throughout the home and removing wallpaper. Most buyers don’t want to paint or take down wallpaper, they want a home that is move-in ready. They may even have had to repaint the home they are just moving from, so the last thing they want to do is more painting.  Neutral paint colors also make rooms look larger. Take a good look at the exterior of your home as well. Does the front door need a fresh coat of paint. How does your deck look? Is there peeling paint anywhere on your home? It’s a good idea to address these things before your O'Fallon IL home hits the market.


The last of the top three is the flooring. How does your carpet look?  Can it be cleaned? Or does it need to be replaced?  Remember, many of the homes you will compete against will probably have fresh carpet and hard floor surfaces will be clean and in good shape.


If you do all of these things, you will make your home move in ready like the model home. This will also help you to get a higher price for your home, and sell more quickly. If you would like more information about how to prepare your O'Fallon IL home for the market, don’t hesitate to call us. Have a great day!

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Contact Information

Photo of The Ellerbrake Group Real Estate
The Ellerbrake Group
RE/MAX Preferred
1668 Windham Way
O'Fallon IL 62269
Office: (618) 632-0001
Direct: (618) 791-8773
Fax: (984) 222-6820