Putting your home on the market is a big step, and it’s a stressor for many people. To take some (or most) of that stress away, here are some helpful tips you can use to get your home ready for the market.
11 things to do before listing your home
Follow the advice below to prepare your home to list and help it perform well and get the best offers possible.
1. Research the local housing market
Before selling your home, research what comparable homes in your area are going for. Remember to take into account the square footage, age of the home, and notable features of your home. A realtor is a great help during this stage, but it’s always wise to do some preemptive research.
2. Find an agent
Finding a professional real estate agent is something you won’t regret doing. Take the time to interview a few candidates and ask them about their experience in real estate in general, and with your neighborhood in particular, along with their connections to buyers. During this interview, a realtor should be able to give you a synopsis of how they plan to sell your home.
3. Stock up on lightbulbs
When buyers tour your home, all the lights should be turned on to create the most welcoming atmosphere possible. Make sure you have enough lightbulbs on hand to keep all of your fixtures shining.
4. Get cleaning
A dirty home doesn’t make a good first impression. Make sure your home is sparkling clean when people walk through it by taking the time to deep clean – and don’t forget the nooks and crannies. People are going to be looking in all the spaces they can think of. To make sure your place is in its best shape, you might even consider calling a professional cleaning company.
As you go through the deep cleaning process, take the time to declutter so buyers can focus on your home instead of your stuff. This is also a great task to complete anyway, as it makes the moving process easier.
6. Hire a handyman
Now is the time to fix all those little things in the house that you’ve been putting off. Call a handyman to check items off your list, like problems with locks, hardware, faucets, toilets, cracks in the walls, appliances, doors, etc. If a potential buyer comes in and sees a great number of problems, whether they’re big or small, they might get the impression that the house hasn’t been well-maintained.
Repainting is crucial before selling your home, as you want neutral, unassuming colors like white, light gray, and light beige on your walls. These shades don’t just make your home seem bigger, they also create a welcoming environment that the buyer can picture themselves in. New paint also helps to cover any imperfections that might be present.
8. Stage it
Staging your home can help it sell faster and at a higher price – it’s also quite easy to do, and free too! Remember that staging the outdoors is just as important as staging the indoors, since the outside of your home is what potential buyers see first. Cut the grass, perfect the landscaping, and clean up the yard. If your home still looks a little dingy from the outside, consider adding a fresh exterior coat of paint.
9. Hire a photographer
Humans are very visual creatures. Your buyers need pictures – and quality ones, at that – to be attracted to your home. Hiring a professional photographer whose vision can make your home look its absolute best is key to making a good sale. Your realtor can usually help with finding a photographer, so ask them for useful resources.
10. Rent a storage unit
Maybe you’ve decluttered the house, but you’re not looking to get rid of the things you’ve tucked away. To prevent overflowing your closets and basement while you’re in the midst of showing your home, rent a storage unit to temporarily and safely hold your items until you’re ready to move.
You want your home to be warm and welcoming, but you don’t exactly want it to look like your family still lives there. Yet, you do want it to appear that a family could live there – to be specific, the potential buyer’s family. Help them picture themselves in the space by removing family photos, toys, photo albums, and awards. You can leave out a few nice, framed photos to make the space feel more inviting, but taking most down will serve you well.