You don’t have to be the best real estate agent around to know that we are in a serious seller’s market right now. However, that doesn’t mean your home is guaranteed to sell easily.1 If you want to maximize your selling experience, it’s important to prepare your home before putting it on the market.
The best listing agents love a good checklist! Use the one below to help determine which tasks you should complete in the months leading up to listing your home. While everyone’s situation is unique, these guidelines will help you make sure you’re ready to sell when the time is right. Of course, you can always call us if you’re not sure where to start or what to tackle first. We can help customize a plan that works for you.
AS SOON AS YOU THINK OF SELLING—
1. Contact Your Real Estate Agent
We go the extra mile when it comes to servicing our clients, and that includes a series of complimentary, pre-listing consultations to help you prepare your home for the market.
We know what buyers want in today’s market and can help devise a plan to maximize your property’s appeal. We can also connect you with our trusted network of contractors, vendors, and service professionals. This network of support can alleviate stress and help ensure you get everything done in the weeks or months leading up to listing.
2. Address Major Issues and Upgrades
In most cases, you won’t need to make any major renovations before you list. If you’re selling an older home (or if you have any doubt about its condition), it’s best to get us involved A.S.A.P. so we can help you assess any necessary repairs.
This is the time to address major structural, systems, or cosmetic issues that could hurt the sale of your home down the line. For example, problems with the frame, foundation, or roof are likely to be flagged on
an inspection report. Issues with the HVAC system, electrical wiring, or plumbing may cause the home to be unsafe. Sometimes outdated or unpopular design features can limit a home’s sales potential.
Remember, when you’re dealing with major repairs or renovations, it’s best to give yourself as much time as possible. Given rampant labor and material shortages, starting right away can help you avoid costly delays.2
ONE MONTH (OR MORE) BEFORE YOU LIST—
Once any large-scale renovations have been addressed, you can turn your attention to the more minor updates that still play a major role in how buyers perceive your home.
1. Make Minor Repairs
Look for any unaddressed maintenance or repair issues, such as water spots, pest activity, and rotten siding. Take care of those small annoyances like squeaky hinges, sticking doors, and leaky faucets, too.
Many of these issues can be handled by going the DIY route and using a few simple tools. Tackle the ones you can and be sure to call a professional for the ones you’re not comfortable doing yourself. We can refer you to local service providers who can help.
It’s easy to overlook these small issues because you live with them. When you work with us, you get a fresh set of eyes on your home—so you don’t miss any important repairs that could make a big difference to buyers.
2. Refresh Your Design
This is a great time to think about some simple design updates that can make a significant impression on buyers. A fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable way to spruce up your home. One survey found that interior paint offered a 107% return on investment.3 For broad appeal, opt for warm, neutral colors.
Never underestimate the importance of good curb appeal. Homes with good curb appeal sell for 7% more, on average, than similar homes with an “uninviting exterior.”4 If weather permits, lay fresh sod where needed, plant colorful flowers, and add some new mulch to your beds.
3. Declutter and Depersonalize
Doing a little bit of decluttering every day is a lot easier than trying to take care of it all at once right before your home hits the market. A simple strategy is to do this one room at a time, working your way through each space whenever you have a bit of free time.
Start by donating or discarding items that you no longer want or need. Then pack up any seasonal items, family photos, and personal collections you can live without for the next few weeks. Bonus: This will give you a head start on packing for your move!
ONE WEEK BEFORE YOU GO ON THE MARKET—
With just one week before your home is available for sale, all major items should be crossed off your to-do list. Now it’s time to focus on the small details that will really make your home shine. Here are a few key areas to focus on during this last week.
1. Tidy Your Exterior
You’ve already done the major landscaping—now it’s time to tackle the last few details. Make sure your lawn is freshly mowed, hedges are trimmed, and flower beds are weeded.
In addition, now is the time to clean your home’s exterior if you haven’t already. Power wash your siding, empty the gutters, and wash all your windows and screens.
2. Deep Clean Your Interior
Your house should be deep cleaned before listing. Consider hiring a professional cleaning company to ensure the space smells and looks as fresh as possible.
While you're cleaning, take some time to tidy up. Buyers will look inside your closets, pantries, and cabinets, so make sure they are neat and organized. Small appliances and toiletries should be cleared off the countertops.
DON’T WAIT TO PREP YOUR HOME FOR SELLING—
If you want to get top dollar for your home, don’t put it on the market before it’s ready. The right preparation can make all the difference when it comes to maximizing profits. The upgrades and changes you need to make will depend upon your home’s condition, so don’t wait to speak with an agent.
Call our team if you’re thinking about selling your home, even if you’re not sure when. It’s never too early to seek the guidance of your real estate agent and start preparing your home to sell.