How to Get Your House Ready to Sell
No matter how long you’ve lived in a home or how many memories it holds, letting go of a property is a big decision—not to mention an emotional roller coaster ride and a lot of work.
Selling a home entails a whole lot more than just planting a “for sale” sign on your front lawn and uploading a few photos of your place. Before you put your house on the market, peruse this list of things you can do to prepare. Some of these steps are surprisingly easy, while others might require a bit more elbow grease, but they’re bound to pay off once buyers starting oohing and ahhing over your place—and ponying up a great offer.
Here are six steps to take to get your house ready to sell:
1. Find a REALTOR®
Think you can sell your home yourself and pocket the cash you would otherwise pay a REALTOR®? It’s tempting, but a “for sale by owner” transaction can be a recipe for disaster and a waste of both money and time.
Enlisting a REALTOR® you trust and respect and are comfortable with is crucial for a successful home selling experience. It’s important to carefully select a REALTOR® with experience selling properties in your area and in a similar price range. Don’t be afraid to talk to a few before picking one.
A REALTOR® will help you prepare to sell your house in a multitude of ways, including identifying improvements that will increase your home’s value, getting professional photos taken of your home, deciding on a listing price, putting your home on multiple listing services, taking care of all of the paperwork, and so much more.
2. Consider Curb Appeal
In real estate, an attractive exterior can make or break a home sale. A potential sale can quickly be lost if a buyer won’t even get out of their car because the exterior of your home turns them off. During the listing period, take extra care to make sure your lawn is mowed and your garden is in tiptop shape. In the fall and winter, make sure leaves are raked, branches are picked up, and sidewalks are shoveled and salted.
3. Repairs and Painting
Call up your handyman and make sure anything and everything that needs to be fixed (leaky faucets, cracks in the walls, broken appliances, etc.) has been taken care of before listing your home. And be sure to paint over those bright orange and green walls with neutral colors. Stick to whites, light grays, and light beiges to make your home appear bigger, brighter, more welcoming, and convey a blank slate to potential buyers.
Go through each room in your home to remove clutter and personal items. Leave a few nice, framed photos around the house to make the home appear inviting and lived in as well as some furniture so potential buyers can imagine where their furniture would go. Having a self-storage unit nearby will come in handy and give you somewhere to temporarily place all of your extra stuff when staging and showing the home.
5. Deep Clean
As potential buyers decide if your house will meet their needs, they’ll open closets, explore out-of-sight corners and may even shift furniture. So before listing your home, give it that top-to-bottom, take-no-dust-bunny-prisoners type of deep cleaning that truly maintains the value of your home. This may require hiring a professional cleaning crew to ensure that your place is in pristine condition. Plus, a good deep cleaning at the beginning will make it easier to keep your place spick and span for showings the entire time your home is on the market.
The goal here is to make your home appeal to as many different people as possible to make it easy for a potential buyer to see the house as their future home. You don’t have to spend a ton of money doing this. Sometimes just rearranging items or shifting around furniture can make a huge visual difference that can help your home sell faster and for more money.