10 Things to Do Before Listing Your House for Sale
Are you getting ready to sell your home? If so, there are a few things you should do before you list it. By preparing your home for sale and making sure it's in good condition, you can help ensure that it sells quickly and for the best price. Here are ten things to do before listing your home.
One: Repair Any Damage that Needs to Be Fixed
Before you list your house, it's in your best interest to make sure that everything is in good condition and properly functioning. That means you should fix any damage that needs to be fixed, whether it's a broken window or a hole in the wall. There are a few reasons for this.
First, you'll be required to sign a full disclosure agreement about anything broken or in need of repair, so it's best to be proactive and make repairs first.
Second, the house will be inspected before the sale can be finalized. If there's any damage that you haven't fixed, it'll have to be done before the sale is finalized.
Third, if a buyer can't see past a damaged feature or a broken feature, they may not want to buy your house even though everything else is in good condition. By fixing obvious problems like leaky faucets or non-working appliances, you make sure that prospective buyers don't get stuck on small issues and overlook the bigger picture.
Decluttering serves dual purposes - it gets you prepared for your upcoming move and also gets the house ready for showings.
Get rid of anything you don't need. This is a great time to think about having a yard sale or donating to charity.
Focus on one room at a time. In each room, identify the things you don't use or need and make a pile. You can organize these piles into three categories:
Keep - place in a box to take with you when you move
Donate - sort through your donate pile for anything that could be passed along to others in need
Trash or Recycle - anything that's broken or damaged is trash. Anything that's clothing or items that someone else might find useful goes into a recycle bin.
Decluttering also applies to furniture, such as unused desks, china cabinets, hutches, over-stuffed chairs, extra dining room chairs, and other bulky items that might make a room feel smaller and darker than it actually is.
It also applies to the yard. Pick up any toys, bikes, put away lawn furniture, roll up hoses, and make sure there's no clutter around the outside of your house.
Now that you've done some decluttering, it's time to get rid of any personal touches. Remove all family photos, books, collectibles, wall art, religious statements, and other things that make the house uniquely yours. Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so this is important for them as well as helping the house sell quickly.
Four: Deep Clean
You can do this yourself or consider outsourcing the job, but the house has to be scrubbed and polished from top to bottom. This includes sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, air vents, baseboards, cabinets and drawers, countertops, appliances, and more.
If there are carpets, shampoo them. If they're stained or torn, replace them.
Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the interior walls for an extra burst of clean and new.
A good real estate agent can make a huge difference in how quickly your house sells and for how much.
Get referrals from friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors for the best agents in your area. Make sure they're on top of current market values and trends, especially if you want to sell quickly. A good agent will also tell you what you need to do before putting your house up for sale (like staging your house for sale).
Six: Stage Your House
Your agent will do a walkthrough of your property with you and will take note of any tasks or projects that may increase the value of your home, such as updating the landscaping or replacing window screens.
Your agent can also advise you on simple ways to stage your house for sale, which means giving the appearance that everything in the home is new.
You can use crisp, white linens and candles in the bathroom for a spa-like feel. Consider adding a bowl of fresh fruit to the kitchen table to represent nourishment, plants in the rooms to show vitality, and a welcome mat at the door next to potted plants.
Stage the exterior as well as the interior to ensure that potential buyers get the wow factor from your home's curb appeal.
Seven: Use Professional Photos and Video
Get professional photos taken of your home, preferably by a photographer with experience in real estate photography.
When shooting the exterior of your house, make sure the sun is shining on it if you want to increase curb appeal for sale.
Take multiple shots from different angles of the interior and exterior. If there are things that can be moved around, do so. For example, remove all personal items from countertops or dressers before having them photographed.
If you're considering video marketing of your house, get that done as well. Marketing videos give an even bigger boost to home sales because they offer potential buyers a chance to get inside the house without ever setting foot in it.
Eight: Price Your House Right
This is one of the most important factors when selling your house quickly.
Your agent can help you decide on the best list price for your home, by taking into account what similar homes in your area are selling for, how long they were on the market, how many times the price was cut, and the difference between the list price and sales price.
If your house is overpriced, it may stay on the market longer. Be sure not to cut the price too quickly, however. This can make buyers think twice about even looking at your home. If the price is reduced too many times, buyers may think it's a sign that something is wrong with the house.
Nine: Create a Compelling Property Description
Your agent will help you write a compelling description of your home to list online for potential buyers to see.
The description should include key features of your home, such as the bathroom fixtures, landscaping, flooring material (wood versus carpet versus tile), and appliances.
Ten: Prepare for Showings
When your home is shown to a potential buyer, it's best if you're not home. If you have pets, you'll also need to make arrangements for them. Some people may have pet allergies or be afraid of pets, or the animals could be disruptive, such as barking loudly.
Your agent will put a lockbox on your front door. This allows the buyer's agent to show the house when you're not home. The lockbox will have a few-digit code that buyers' agents can use to view the house.
In addition, people may go through bedroom closets and drawers, so be sure there's nothing that could offend or make them feel uncomfortable.
Keep the house cleaned and tidy at all times so that you'll be ready for showings at any time.
For a complete list of home selling topics, visit my blog for Main Line PA home selling tips and topics.
Selling your house is a monumental undertaking, with several layers of things to do to ensure that you sell quickly and for the best price. You've got to make repairs, declutter, depersonalize, and clean every nook and cranny. You'll need to find the best real estate agent who can then advise you on how to stage your house, as well as how to price it and prepare it for showings.
Talk with your real estate agent today about more steps you can take to sell your house fast and for top dollar.
Are you interested in hiring a real estate team that is experienced in home selling? At Main Line Homes, we specialize in Main Line PA real estate and can help you prepare your home to sell at a premium price. Contact Janis today for your free estimate of the value of your home, comparative market analysis (CMA) of your home, and help you create a winning strategy to sell your home! We use all the latest technologies to market and to achieve the best outcome for your home sale! Let's get started!
Janis Peterson, REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP
Main Line PA Homes & Real Estate
Keller Williams Main Line
6 Coulter Ave
Ardmore, PA 19003
Direct: (610) 642-3744
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