What to Know Before You Sell Your Home
Updated: Jul 7
Before you start packing up the moving boxes and calling the local mover there are some things you will need to do before you sell your home.
Did you know there’s more to moving and selling a home than just hiring a real estate agent and putting up a for-sale sign on the front lawn?
Here are some ideas to help you as you get ready to sell your home now, soon, or in the future.
Hire a Professional Realtor
If you don’t think you can sell your home on your own consider hiring a professional real estate agent to do it for you.
Before you hire someone, however, do some research to find a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the market where you live and schedule an interview with the person to make sure they are what you are looking for.
An agent should be someone you are comfortable working with, as well as someone you can trust to sell your house at the price it deserves. Don’t be scared to interview more than one real estate agent before choosing the one.
Remember Curb Appeal
Always make sure potential buyers’ first impression of your home is a positive one — and inspires them to come to the open house or schedule a tour to see more. Investing a few extra bucks and some time to make curb appeal is vital. Start by planting colorful flowers and repainting the front door as the outside of a house can entice prospective buyers to come inside.
If you are not sure how to improve your home’s curb appeal, ask your real estate agent for advice on how others in your area have improved the exterior before selling their houses.
It’s time to get rid of clutter and toss things out that you haven’t used for a while. Check counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas, as well as what’s lurking behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards.
Take excess stuff and donate it or pack it up to be stored off-site. Not only will clearing clutter help your house look more appealing to buyers, but it will also help once you have accepted an offer and move into a new home. Moving out will be easier if some of your items are already be packed away or tossed. Remember in the case of later, less is more.
Remove Personal Items
As the seller be sure to remove any distractions so buyers can visualize themselves and their families living in the property.
Take personal items and family photos down and store them away, as well as personal artwork and
furniture that may not be appreciated by others. The goal is to create a blank slate so potential buyers can project themselves living there.
Paint Neutral Tones
You might love the red kitchen walls you painted a few months ago, but if it is your potential buyer’s least favorite color, it could break the deal. Instead, opt for neutral colors that can appeal to anyone as again, this is the seller’s job to help buyers picture themselves in the house. If they don’t feel comfortable in the home while visiting they’ll most likely look at other homes for sale.
It’s OK if you have decided to not repaint the entire home, but do clean, and touch up baseboards, walls, and doors to make the house appear cleaner.
Selling a home isn’t always easy, but a home that looks like it is turnkey and not exhibiting a lot of little problems and small repairs can be easier. When buyers enter and go on a home tour, they want to fall in love with the house rather than see tons of small little jobs they might have to embark on.
You can impress buyers and sell your house quickly if you fix up your house before putting it on the market. With a home that is fixed up and move-in ready, you will get more interest and possibly see multiple offers.
Repair Loose Handles
For a buyer, submitting an offer, and later committing to a mortgage, small things like loose doorknobs and other loose hardware can be a turn-off. When you are selling your home, you don’t want to give any buyers doubt that your house will make a great home.
When showing your house, add some green as in plants that can help create a bright and inviting ambiance. While you are at it, go ahead and put a vase of flowers or bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter or dining table.
Get Rid of Smells
Strong odors, even faint ones, can be bad so be aware of even the slightest stenches. Ask a friend or family member to come in to see if they can detect any pet smells or lingering smells from your kitchen. If the smells are strong, do some deep cleaning so potential buyers don’t think you are masking up anything with candles or plug-in room deodorizers.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Once you are done cleaning your house, clean even more, to make sure the property looks spotless. There will most likely be professional photos taken so you will want it to look great in all photos.
When selling your home, it is also important to keep everything clean for buyers, as you never know when someone will be popping by for a last-minute tour.
Remember to take special care with the bathroom, ensuring tiles, counters, shower, and floors shine.
Whether it is high-tech equipment, art, or family heirloom jewelry, keep all your treasures either locked up or stored off-site.
You cannot trust everyone who comes into your house, even when you are trying to sell it. Sometimes things can disappear during an open house, and there is not much a seller can do to get items returned. Take care to hide any valuables or move them to a safe place outside of your home for safekeeping.
If else fails and you are not sure you have done your due diligence to update the home and ready it for potential buyers to see, consider a home stager.
Home stagers can be called in to evaluate the current condition and belongings in the house and decide what more it needs.
They could recommend buying or renting additional items or reorganize what you already have to make it look fresh and new.
Stagers know the real estate market well, and what sells, so take their advice and don’t be offended if they want to make sweeping changes. It is their job to help bring about interest from potential buyers, which will hopefully mean a future sale.
With these tips, you should be able to sell your home promptly and take the next step toward moving to your new dream home.