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It’s a good time to sell in Northeast Los Angeles. You can increase the value of the home with some critical fixes, cleaning, staging – and a knowledgeable Realtor.

If you are thinking about selling your home, understand that you will be a teammate with your Realtor. Yes, it’s up to the Realtor to find buyers, handle the paperwork and provide you the best advice for selling your home at an optimal price on an optimal schedule. But what the house looks like and how it functions is pretty much on you.

For example, homebuyers in Northeast Los Angeles – NELA is how it’s referred to – are there for several reasons. One is that the housing stock is available at prices that are lower than in other areas of Los Angeles. This makes it affordable for middle class buyers who like the character and other features of Victorians, bungalows, midcentury moderns or new-build construction. But even the most in-demand real estate in Highland Park and Eagle Rock - and the nicest homes for sale in Pasadena, Hermon, Garvanza and Mt. Washington - won’t sell at a good price if they are cluttered, dirty, have mechanical features that require work or lack curb appeal.

The possible exceptions to this are the homes that people receive as inheritances. If a parent or relative had done no updates to their Highland Park or Glassell Park home in decades, this then is the classic fixer-upper or flip. Many potential buyers do not want you to invest in bathroom or kitchen updates as they will do best financially by doing it themselves. At best it helps to remove clutter and ensure that essential components (boilers, heaters, the roof, etc.) are in working order.

So what’s the “prep the house to sell it” checklist? Give some good thought to each of the following:

Picture yourself the buyer – Imagine you are home shopping. Do you want to visually pick through someone else’s house, furniture, personal effects, etc. to see yourself living there? Some people can edit out what’s there to see the raw space, but most people lack that eye.

Staging – A 2015 study conducted by the National Association of Realtors found that setting up a home with a spare amount of tasteful furniture, plants and art enables 81% of buyers to visualize the property as a future home. (A quick tip on old bathrooms is to simply finish off what’s there with a clean set of white towels and a matching shower curtain, which can be done for <$100).)

Declutter and depersonalize – The goal is to clean up and make the space appear to be its largest with just a few items inside. That might mean a living room with one sofa, a coffee table and two chairs.  Even artwork and family pictures might be sent to storage. Wall paints should be a neutral and subdued – not necessarily white, as subtle tints can complement wood floors  striving to increase the perception of space with light. Add a healthy potted plant here and there to bring a bit of nature indoors.

Bring in the sunshine – No one finds dark places to be appealing. So wash the windows, blinds and curtains, remove or otherwise minimize window coverings and leave doors open to increase a sense of “flow.”  

Give the pets a vacation – Love them as much as we do, the odors of pets could be an instant turn off. If a prospective buyer or their Realtor is allergic to pet dander you could have a medical situation in the middle of a showing. It’s best to prepare them for your anticipated move to a new home by getting them to a kennel or friend’s home during the showing period.  

Your Realtor will know what works and what doesn’t. Meet with Tracy King to learn what she recommends to appeal to the current market of homebuyers.

tracy 150x175With over 30 years experience in helping clients buy and sell homes in Northeast Los Angeles, Tracy King has a depth of real estate knowledge that makes her the go-to for both the first-time home buyer and the seasoned real estate investor. When she's not holding open houses or negotiating offers, Tracy enjoys wine tasting, cooking, or planning her next trip to Paris. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Northeast Los Angeles, contact the Tracy King Team at 626.827.9795 or