The one thing all homeowners should do NOW

Until I became a Realtor, I had no idea how important it was to do this one tiny thing. It costs you nothing. It takes almost no time. But it can make a big difference when you need to sell.


Here’s an example of what I am talking about from a home that was recently on the market in Austin.


An improvement or “upgrades” list is a trend that started with house flippers but has spread in our market to everyday sellers. In some ways, it’s more in-depth than the seller’s disclosure required by the standard single-family contract in Texas. So what goes on an upgrades list? It can be anything that might enhance the value of your home in the eyes of a buyer.

Got an expensive new HVAC system? Put it on the list.

New dishwasher? It goes on the list.

Painted your entire house plus installed new carpets? Definitely should go on the list.

Even something as minor as smart-home technology, such as a Ring doorbell or a smart sprinkler system is worth noting if you plan on conveying it with the house.

You can simply document the year each upgrade was done, or even put in the cost of each improvement, though I will warn you that just because you spent $15,000 on a new roof doesn’t mean your home’s value increases by that much.

Even in a seller’s market it’s really important to document every update and even some basic home maintenance because it highlights how well-maintained the house is and helps you stand out against the competition.

That’s why I am imploring you to start this list NOW even if you aren’t moving for awhile. Most homeowners have a hard time remembering what specific updates they did and when. When it comes time to sell, it’s a struggle to come up with a comprehensive list. I’m trying to save you from that hassle.

Lilly Rockwell is a real estate agent and former journalist based in Austin, TX.

Author: Lilly Rockwell

2 thoughts on “The one thing all homeowners should do NOW

    1. It’s really ideal if you have a precise year. If you really cannot come up with a year, just write something like “Estimated completion 2016-2017.”

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