When downsizing and listing the family home there is no shortage of emotion. Your home has served as more than just your residence, it is full of memories and history.

Successfully transitioning to your next chapter requires you to shift gears from remembering the good times in your home to preparing both the home and yourself for what’s next. This transition can help you not only get top dollar when you sell, but also set the stage for another family begin to build memories of their own there.


  • Preparing a longtime residence for sale can be challenging

  • Determining which updates will positively impact your bottom line is paramount

  • Several best practices can help 


Any updates prior to sale must carefully balance aesthetics with expense. While all homes are different, a few tips are virtually universal.

Exterior Considerations

Clean or paint your siding
Depending on the current state of your siding, paying someone to paint or power-wash the exterior of your home can prove a sound investment. Simple repairs to soffit and fascia should also be considered.

Address overgrown trees and shrubs
For most this means simple trimming. Depending on how long it has been since this has occurred however this may involve removing entire sections, and new plantings.

Assess your roof
Experts say you can only expect to recoup 60-70% of the cost of a new roof. With a cost of $5,000+, unless there is a significant issue, this is rarely a wise use of capital.

Paint your front door
Simple and probably a little silly, but a door painted in an accent color with new hardware can really make a home pop and create a lasting first impression.

Consider container plants
One simple way to get a fresh landscaping feel without the work is by planting seasonal plants in a few large containers. Use bold colors that complement your home’s exterior. This can help buyers see the potential in your landscaping.


Interior Updates

New carpet and fresh paint
These are an obvious first step and typically a must for at least a portion of your home. Focus on neutral colors and prioritize your investment on entryways, kitchens, bathrooms and common areas.

Light fixtures, switch plates and cabinet hardware
Trends change quickly so these are a quick and easy do-it-yourself project that can greatly impact buyer perception without a large investment.

Affordable flooring options
The right flooring can help transform any space. Laminate flooring can give a variety of looks and has come a long way in the past several years in durability, aesthetic and cost.

Other interior updates
These should be considered carefully. While granite countertops and new cabinets are in demand, an investment in both for the sole purpose of a sale is generally a last resort. Other options exist to dress them up including replacing tile or laminate countertops, or replacing only cabinet doors.


The Bottom Line

When selling, one factor rises above all others. Less important than how your house looks on its own, is how it compares to similar listings in the area.

Only if your home fares well by comparison with similarly equipped and priced homes can you be sure it will be considered by prospective buyers. The best way to ensure that is to engage a resource who has a deep knowledge of your area as well as the competitive landscape.

In the West Metro, Zachary Adams and Associates are that resource. Zach and his staff walk through dozens of homes daily, facilitate 100s of transaction annually and focus exclusively on the homes in and around Plymouth, Minnetonka, Maple Grove and Eden Prairie.

If you are interested in a professional assessment of your home and the updates and upgrades that may impact your bottom line, a free consultation is a great start. A simple 10 minute conversation can help you get started on your next chapter.

Contact Zach at 612.845.7890 to begin the conversation.