Get Up To $20,000 To Repair Your Home Before Selling

March 3, 2020

Last October, I met with Brian and Mallory to discuss pricing their home to sell. I explained to them how, just like any product on the shelves at their local store, their home has features & benefits, pros & cons. There are other "products" theirs would be compared to. To gain an edge, they must be priced right and look better than the competition.

The "right price" is always the big question, and that number correlates directly with looking BETTER than the competition.

They agreed their home was rather "average". There were some outdated featuresprojects they had planned to do and never got around to. They had money saved, so they decided they would put some into the home before selling it. We went through the home, and I gave them a list of things that they could do to make their home sell for more. 

They spent less than $10,000 and ended up quickly selling their home for $20,000 more than what any home in the neighborhood had sold for—even a home slightly larger than theirs. I wasn't very surprised—the home looked great.

Unfortunately, not every family has money readily available to do these types of updates on their homes before selling. Of course we still sell their homes, but ultimately the client's net return on their sale suffers because the competition just looks better! 

I WISHED I could somehow help every seller maximize their earnings by doing the updates that would make their home more valuable.

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In January, that opportunity arrived when Coldwell Banker's RealVitalize program went live. I was very excited when I learned how it worked and how my clients could use it.


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What is RealVitalize?

You can think of it as “flipping” your own house with someone else's money.

All Real Estate clients of Coldwell Banker agents are eligible for the program. Coldwell Banker will pay to have approved projects completed on a home you plan to sell. 

RealVitalize is designed to help sellers get the most out of the sale of their home. Like that of Brian and Mallory, most homes have some work that could be done to make it as presentable as possible to potential buyers. In today's market, selling the home isn't the complicated part. It's more a matter of HOW MUCH you can get for it. That number can be maximized by doing the correct repairs/upgrades. 

The program is powered by HomeAdvisor, a company designed to match homeowners with pre-screened, local service professionals to carry out home improvement, maintenance, and remodeling projects.

Homeadvisor professionals will be hired for all repairs. Homeowners cannot do the repairs themselves as part of this program.


What types of updates can be covered by RealVitalize?

Here is a list of the types of items RealVitalize can help you with:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical fixtures/system
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Windows
  • Roof repairs/replacement
  • Wall/ceiling repairs
  • Replace/service water heaters, furnace, kitchen appliances
  • Paint
  • Flooring 
  • Staging  (bringing in furniture/decor that highlights the space)
  • Exterior (repair stucco/siding/rain-gutters, downspouts, etc.)
  • Landscaping (sod, planting, tree removal, etc.)

**Generally anything that is not a structural project can be approved!** 


What does RealVitalize cost the seller?

I love this question, as it's my favorite part of the program! There is NO UPFRONT COST to the seller. Homeowners are not charged a dime until the home sells. At closing, the cost of the repairs are taken from the sellers proceeds and paid directly to the contractors for their work. Those costs are disclosed to the seller before any work begins. There are no additional fees and no interest.

The real question is what it costs a seller to not use RealVitalize!



Which updates have the greatest effect on value?

Not all repairs are worth doing. If we spend $5,000 and get the same amount out, we haven't used the program effectively. When a client is preparing their home for sale, we meet with them to consult them on what types of updates will be worth doing. Generally, here are some of the best options for your return on investment:

Exterior - some homeowners are surprised at how much time I spend evaluating the exterior of the home when preparing to sell it. The fact is, it's likely the first thing buyers will see as they scroll websites and the first thing they'll see when they drive up. First impressions are key, and putting some money toward touching up paint, landscaping, and fencing could have a huge impact on your sales price.

Lighting - This is another one many home-sellers miss. Lighting in a home will make or break the mood. If natural light is scarce, putting in the right types of light bulbs and the possibly installing new lighting can make a night and day difference.

Kitchen/Bath - When it comes to serious value, updating kitchens and bathrooms very well may give you the best return. Trends change quickly, so a home that is just five years old could benefit from a face-lift. This may simply include a paint-job of the cabinetry or replacing old appliances. A much older home may benefit from a complete kitchen overhaul. 

Flooring - Flooring is very common to replace when selling, especially carpet. And for good reason. This inexpensive update can make a home feel new again. This is the most common use of the RealVitalize program, and it's such a great option to help sellers get more for their home.

Damage - Any glaring issues, such as water damage, holes in doors, broken windows/blinds make a home feel much less valuable to prospective buyers. These are relatively inexpensive but can feel impossible to prioritize when money is tight. You are likely to recoup much more than you spend taking care of these items.

Cleaning/Staging - These two steps are almost essential, whether or not you use RealVitalize. Using the program may just give you a little extra cash to make sure your home shines and the furniture/decor highlights every room.


Some homes will only need $500 of work, while other might benefit from $10,000. Again, having a consultation is key. I've walked home-buyers, inspectors, and appraisers through thousands of homes. This experience helps in understanding what makes the difference in the eyes of those who need to be impressed. Not every possible repair/update is going to maximize your net earnings. Having an expert point you in the right direction will make all the difference, and now, having the fund will never be a problem again.


If you'd like to schedule a FREE, NO OBLIGATION consultation for your home, or if you have any questions about the program, please fill out the form below or use the chat feature on this page to reach us directly!








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