Great Prep Can Mean Quick Sale

By Dave Fratello | February 26th, 2021

312 20th Street Manhattan Beach CAThe views are the big thing at the walkstreet home at 312 20th (5br/5ba, 4100 sqft.).

Thanks to a little bubble up in the hill on the south side of the 20th St. walkstreet, the third floor at 312 is higher than the roofs of homes across the street.

That means permanent views to the north over those properties, all the way out to Malibu.

And thanks to an under-height neighbor or two to the west, there are also incredible views to the west and even the south. (For now.)

Those views surely would get buyers into the home, and excited about it.

312 20th Street Manhattan Beach CABut the late-90s contemporary has a slightly unusual floorplan, featuring curves and angles, and steps down toward the front of the house, tracking the downslope back-to-front of the lot. And the surfaces and materials in the kitchen, master bath and other baths are mostly from that past era as well.

If you figure that the next buyer is going to eventually remodel to modernize the home, it'd be tempting to present it as a fixer. Just clean it and tell buyers to bring their vision.

But that wasn't the approach here.

312 20th Street Manhattan Beach CAInstead, they put significant time and money into making the current house the most it can be.

That meant a complete exterior paint job, including trim. 100% new paint inside. Fixing stuff that needed fixing. Cleaning everything to a shiny sparkle. 

And then staging the place appropriately in the home's style, with a sense of fun.

The end result: A clean and very well-presented property where it was possible for anyone to imagine themselves living in the home as is stands, while maybe pushing off thoughts of a remodel for later.

We've seen similar properties presented in both conditions. Sometimes, as a tired old dog that really needs a bath. Other times (to mix animal metaphors) as a show horse.

When you do this right, you have buyers tour through and think, "I kinda like this as it is. Sure, we can just update it later." (As we experienced with some buyer clients.)

Of course, the point of it all is to sell quickly at top dollar.

Listed at $4.850M, this property is in escrow within 2 weeks.

A little bit of remodeling math might apply here. We like to filter ideas for pre-market remodeling by asking whether the investment can get 2-to-1 return. If yes, do it.

We're not privvy to all the numbers on 312 20th, but we're guessing they're going to do much, much better on this sale than they would have done without the prep, and that they'll far surpass a 2-to-1 return.

Sometimes, you really should do the work.

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