Do These 11 Things Before Putting Your Home on the Market
Not sure how to get your house ready to sell? Fortunately, there are steps you can take before putting your home on the market to increase your chances of receiving a solid offer from a buyer. From cleaning and staging to repainting and depersonalizing, here are 11 things to do before you sell your home.
How to Get Your House Ready to Sell
1. Research your local housing market
First and foremost, make sure to do your homework on the value of your home. Start by researching the local housing market through Realtor.com. Take a look at comparable sales in your neighborhood to figure out the appropriate listing price for your home. Pay attention to the various comps’ square footage, features and location. Finally, think about how they compare to your home. For example, your neighbor’s home may have sold for $1 million, but if your home is considerably smaller, you’ll most likely need to list your house for less. Of course, a reputable Realtor should be able to assist with finding comps and determining a listing price for your house.
2. Find a listing agent
Speaking of Realtors, we highly recommend enlisting a professional real estate agent to list your home. You should be able to find a Realtor through word-of-mouth recommendations. When interviewing a listing agent, be sure to ask about their experience in your neighborhood, connections to potential buyers and social media expertise. The Realtor should be able to give you a thoroughly laid out plan for how they are going to sell your home.
3. Buy more light bulbs
Go ahead and stock up on light bulbs. When showing your house to potential buyers, all light fixtures and lamps will need to be turned on. For this reason, it’s important that all lights in your home have working light bulbs.
4. Give your house a deep clean
First impressions mean a lot. So don’t let foul smells, dirty floors or dusty surfaces make a bad one on a potential buyer. Before listing your home (and throughout the selling process), give your home a deep clean. This means cleaning toilets, wiping down surfaces, mopping floors, cleaning rugs and scrubbing bathrooms. Consider calling in the professionals (think: Stanley Steamer and a housekeeper) to ensure that your place is in pristine condition.
5. Declutter the home
Decluttering and organizing your space will go a long way in appealing to potential buyers. When a home is clutter-free, buyers are able to focus on the actual home instead of on the junk, knick knacks and overflowing closets.
6. Call a handyman
When selling a house, you should have your handyman on speed dial. Make sure anything and everything that needs to be fixed (think: locks, hardware, leaky faucets, running toilets, cracks in the walls, broken appliances, squeaky doors, etc) has been taken care of before listing a home. Otherwise, buyers may think your home hasn’t been well taken care of, which can be a turn-off for many.
7. Paint the walls
Now’s the time to re-paint your home. Start by painting over those bright orange and green walls with neutral colors. Stick to whites, light grays, light beiges, and “greige” wall colors. These shades will make your home appear bigger, brighter and more welcoming. Adding a fresh coat of paint to your home will also help cover the wall’s imperfections and convey a blank slate to potential buyers.
8. Stage your home
According to multiple studies, staging a home really can help it sell faster and for more money. Fortunately, staging your home’s interior is easy and affordable. Don’t forget to also spruce up your home’s curb appeal when staging the home. After all, the outside of the home is the first thing potential buyers will see when they pull up for a showing. So make sure that the grass is cut, the yard is landscaped and the knick knacks are gone (think: gnomes and children’s toys). If your home is looking a bit rundown, you should also consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the exterior walls.
9. Hire a professional photographer
Given that many potential buyers search for homes online, it’s crucial to include high quality, professional photos in your online listing. Without excellent high resolution images, potential buyers may (sadly) overlook your home. So before putting it on the market, go ahead and hire a professional photographer to snap photos of your clean and staged abode. Keep in mind that a Realtor should be able to help with finding a photographer, so be sure to ask who they use when interviewing real estate agents for the job.
10. Rent a storage unit
Selling a home successfully will involve some decluttering and purging of your belongings. For this reason, go ahead and rent a temporary storage unit before selling your home. Having a self-storage unit nearby will give you somewhere to temporarily place all of your extra stuff when staging and showing the home.
11. Depersonalize your home
When selling a home, you want to strike the perfect balance between depersonalization and creating a warm, welcoming home. This means putting away the majority of framed photos, bulletin boards and personal items (think: photo albums, magazines, toys, equipment, awards, etc) throughout the home. Leave a few nice, framed photos around the house to make the home appear inviting and lived in.
Source: Do these 11 things before putting your home on the market (Marian White, 07/31/2018) – https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/decorating-selling-your-home-during-the-holidays/.