Today’s REI Classroom Lesson

In the classroom today, Holly McKhann discusses the steps needed to get a home ready to sell to a retail buyer.

REI Classroom Summary

Make sure utilities are on, that your contractor has a walkthrough checklist, among other items so that the home is perfect when showing to potential buyers.

Listen to this REI Classroom Lesson

Real Estate Investing Classroom Show Transcripts:

Mike: Welcome back to the REI Classroom, where experts from across the real estate investing industry teach you quick lessons to take your business to the next level. And now, let’s meet today’s expert host.

Holly: Hi there, I’m Holly McCann with, and I’m your host for the REI Classroom today. I’m going to be talking about selling your properties today. Specifically selling a rehabbed property, so not a home that you’re wholesaling or just doing a quick flip to an investor, but something that’s beautifully fixed up that you’re going to retail is basically what I’m going to share with you today.

Mike: This REI Classroom real estate lesson is sponsored by

Holly: I have bought, fixed and flipped over 200 homes with my husband here in Southern California over the last few years, so I have done lots of this. I’m speaking from experience. I’ve learned a lot of lessons, and I’m going to share with you the good, and the bad, and the ugly today.

So first of all, I would recommend that you give your contractor what I call a walk-through checklist. And it’s got common sense stuff on it. For instance, does every light switch turn on a light? Does every plug work? Did they put the plug plates on it? Just simple stuff. But even the contractor, when he’s been in that house for weeks or months, his mind looks past that. He’s like, “Oh yeah, I’m going to get to that. I’ll do that at the end. That’s a little pick up thing at the end.” And sometimes they just totally forget to do it.

So I give my guys a walk-through checklist and say, “Please use this and go through it.” And it goes much better when I get there with a lot less that they have to fix if they do that first. I’d be happy to email that to you. You can just contact me through my website at

Next, get your house impeccably clean. It costs a lot of money. Here in Southern California, I probably pay $250-$400 depending on how large the house is, and that includes all the windows. Those windows have to shine and sparkle, whether they’re old or new. And get the cleaning ladies or men, whatever you’ve got, to get the stickers off the windows.

Some people think, “Oh that way they look like new windows.” Forget that. They don’t want to see the stickers. Get the stickers off. I keep a razor blade with me when I can, and I was just doing that last week trying to scrape window stickers off, toilet stickers off, appliance stickers. Get the stickers off. They know they’re new. They can tell they’re new. They don’t want to deal with the stickers. It just detracts from the beauty of their home.

Also I would lay down a mat outside the front door and inside the front door so that as people are coming to see the home the dirt is mostly sticking to the mats, and they’re not tracking it through your home. I do a lot of homes with either wood laminate floor. Even more than that I do ceramic or porcelain tile, and you see footprints real easily, especially on the lighter colors. So do what you can to save it. As the home is getting shown, have mats. And I also do the mats at the rear of the home, going out to the patio. They might cost $7-$10 a mat, depending on where you get them, but it’s just going to keep the house looking prettier.

Make sure your utilities are on, so that especially if they’re going at night and they want to flip on a light they can see. They’re not using their cellphone to try and light up with a flashlight going through the house. And have someone else go through the house too. Even when you think you’ve done it.

Have ideally the realtor that’s going to list the house go through with a critical eye, looking for things that need to be tweaked, fixed, improved. They have a lot of ideas that you don’t sometimes, so take advantage of your realtor. Or, if you’re not listing with a realtor, get a friend or a buddy to walk through.

So those are my tips on getting your house ready for the ultimate quick and top-dollar sale price. See you next time.

Please note, the views and opinions expressed by the individuals in this program do not necessarily reflect those of or any of its partners, advertisers, or affiliates. Please consult professionals before making any investment or tax decisions, as real estate investing can be risky.

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Holly McKhann is a full-time real estate investor and works with her husband Scott, having done over 200 fix and flips together in Southern California over the past five years. Holly began her career as a CPA, working for Ernst & Young. She also earned an MBA in finance. Scott is a registered civil engineer with a decade of experience at public home builders. Their blend of expertise and experience has attracted multiple investors, allowing them to expand their business. They used to buy homes exclusively at trustee sales, but now Holly focuses on relationships with realtors to find the flip deals that work. They own 12 rental units, mostly single family homes, all in Southern California. She raised over $3 million through trust deed investments. Holly loves working from home and enjoying her freedom as an entrepreneur. Holly has been married 23 years and has four children ages 13, 15, 18, and 21 and lives in Dana Point, CA.

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