How to Steer Your Clients Away from Selling “As-Is”

As a real estate agent, you already know that renovated homes sell faster, regardless of market conditions. Hands down, most buyers prefer move-in ready homes. Even small updates, like painting and flooring, can scare potential buyers away.

Many sellers, however, feel a jolt of fear at the prospect of renovating their homes before listing. Won’t remodeling take forever? And cost a fortune? And result in endless headaches?

The answer to all of these questions is, of course, “no” –  but swaying a hesitant homeowner can be a challenge.

To convince your clients that pre-sale home renovation is always worth considering, rely on these four easy best practices:

Remind them that most buyers see what is there, not what COULD be there.

When a potential buyer is touring a home, they are trying to picture how their life will look if they were to live there. Other than the rare buyer who is intentionally looking for a fixer-upper, people are sold by what they see.

Buyers won’t be able to look past an outdated kitchen, bathrooms in need of repair, or even small issues like drywall damage. If buyers spend the entire tour tallying up the work they’ll have to do on the home, they are unlikely to make an offer.

Show, don’t just tell.

If your client is on the fence about renovations that you feel are necessary, show them comps of recently sold homes or homes on the market and compare/contrast the condition of those homes to theirs.

If you can, show them properties that have been over-renovated, and explain to them that you’re not recommending over-investing. This will build trust and prove to your homeowner that you’re only interested in renovations that will actually help them sell the home.

Address their Concerns about Scope and Timeline

Even if sellers understand the value of pre-sale renovation, they may be worried about the stress renovation would cause. Remind sellers that all renovations are not created equal. Our program focuses exclusively on renovations that will deliver real value, and we complete our work in 3-8 weeks.

Additionally, you and your homeowner will both be guided through the process by a dedicated Project Manager, so neither of you will be responsible for scheduling subcontractors, coordinating deliveries, or handling any of the other details of the pre-sale renovation.

pre-sale home renovation

Pre-Sale Renovation Case Study

As-is, this DC home would have been listed in the low 500s. Instead, the seller was able to listed in the high 700s and will get a huge return on her investment when it sells.

See the before pictures.

Most buyers want a home that is ready to be lived in immediately, and when sellers understand this, and accommodate for it, they increase their chances of a fast, high-value sale. Convincing a homeowner to commit to home improvements can feel like an uphill battle, but it will pay off in the long run.

If you’re in the process of talking a client through a pre-sale home improvement and would like to talk with our team of expert contractors, email us at