As a realtor working in the Boston area, I have spent some serious time in the middle of a “hot market.” However, I frequently encounter investors who are not getting hot prices on their flips. Usually, this is directly linked to a few common misconceptions nearly every seller, investor or otherwise, is prone to when they are listing in a market with very high housing demand.

If you want “highest and best” to be the highest possible number, make sure you’ve checked these three things off your to-do list before putting your property on the market:

#1: Offer Quality Workmanship

It’s easy to think that choosing the wrong countertop will derail your sale, but the truth is that sloppy workmanship will cost you more than the wrong stone every time. Yes, granite is important, as are hardwood floors, but if the plaster in the bedrooms is in the original condition, there are holes in the closet, or the grout on the tile is poorly done (all firsthand examples!) buyers will wonder what else you skimped on.

Lesson Learned: Today’s buyers are prepared to pay a premium for a move-in ready home, so be sure your flip is looking its best when you list.

Staging#2: Make Staging Part of Your Budget

Staging is a cost-effective way to ensure you get the most possible for your property. Not staging, however, especially in a hot market, may cost you 5 percent or more. In my market, that could easily equate to a $20,000 “loss” or even more. The property needs to feel like it could be the buyer’s house already if you want to attract eager buyers to the listing.

Lesson Learned: You won’t be in the middle of a bidding war if your property doesn’t look like there is going to be competition.

#3: Put Your Best Face Forward

Did you know most buyers make the decision to buy in about seven seconds? Sure, they don’t run their numbers and take out a mortgage that fast, but the first seven seconds they spend in sight of your property play a huge role their gut-level reaction to the house. No matter how great your flip is after that first impression, your buyer’s “heart” has already weighed in on the decision.

Lesson Learned: Take the time and invest the necessary resources into making the front walkway and door as inviting as possible.

  • Kristin Weekley

    Kristin Weekley is a real estate agent with Laer Realty Partners. She may be reached at

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