Are you thinking of putting your home up for sale? Perhaps this is the first time you will list your home, or the first time in many years, and you aren’t sure what to expect. This checklist will have you prepared to get your house ready to sell.
1. Start preparing your home to sell by addressing your finances.
Call your current mortgage lender to find out how much remains in your mortgage balance. You need to understand how much equity you’ll have when you are ready to sell which will help you with your budget for home improvement expenses.
2. Make a plan to sell your home:
- Do you have a budget for pre-listing home improvement projects?
- Which home improvements should you complete, and which ones are the most important?
- Is there a minimum sale price you will accept?
- What is the time-frame you want to sell?
3. Meet with a professional listing agent.
A skilled real estate agent will be able to provide you with a customized plan for selling at the best possible price. Make sure your realtor knows the market and is equipped with resources and connections they may have with potential buyers as well as plan for how they will assist you. Your listing agent can also help you determine your ideal listing price by doing the research for you.
4. Research your local housing market.
Do your homework and research the prices of comparable home sales in your neighborhood to get an idea of an acceptable listing price for your own property. Take into consideration the difference in other homes’ square footage, features, and locations. After all, your neighbor’s home may be much larger and have more features to consider in the price range.
5. Complete home improvements.
Don’t skimp on this step. You want your house to be move-in ready for potential buyers who aren’t looking to do home improvement projects themselves after investing in their new home. A house that needs repair will often sit on the market for a long time and will not provide you with the best return on investment (ROI). Your real estate agent can be a valuable resource when it comes to deciding the condition of your property, the most necessary improvements needed, and what buyers want. Some of the top home updates for selling a home are:
- Declutter each room ~ Get rid of old and unused toys, knick-knacks, outdated decor, and overflowing closets. Many people hold a moving-out sale, which will allow for the word to spread that you are about to sell your home.
- Deep clean ~ Deep clean carpets, remove stains or remove rugs altogether and go for wood flooring. Wash curtains, and remove any dust and cobwebs from corners. Wipe down all surfaces and keep the bathrooms in sparkling condition.
- Paint the walls ~ Remove any wallpaper or decals and paint over old colored walls with neutral colors. A fresh coat of paint will hide imperfections and provide a clean slate in the room for potential buyers to envision their belongings.
- Improve the lighting ~ Make sure all lights and lamps have working light bulbs and offer as much light as possible. You want your best lighting so that potential buyers will not have a dark and gloomy impression.
- Stage ~ Consider staging your home to give your house the best impression and stand out from other homes potential buyers will be viewing.
6. Fix any home maintenance repairs you have neglected.
Do a once-over of the plumbing and fix any leaks or running toilets. Repair any cracks in the walls or broken appliances. Think of what a home inspector will check for and leave no stone unturned. If a potential buyer finds items to negotiate a lower price, it may be an obstacle and a delay of sale.
7. Get ready to move out.
Rent a storage unit when you are in the decluttering process but have items you want to store. Now is also an excellent time to pack up family photos and decor, excessive clothing, and things that you do not need to have in the home. You should have a plan for living in a home that is listed for sale.
Make sure you have a place to go! Will you be relocating or buying a new home? Are you moving into a retirement community? Are you selling it all and going on the adventure of a lifetime of traveling the country in an RV? Whatever your plan, make sure you will have a place to go for when your sale closes.
Preparing your home to sell does not have to be stressful if you can focus on the rewards. Think of it as an investment in your dreams and your future! Talk to a Listing Specialist today.