When it comes to selling your home, there are several things you must do before you even think about listing it. Forgetting one of the following 10 points could result in a sale falling through at the last minute, costing you time and money. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to prepare yourself for.
Prospect the Market
Before you start contemplating selling your home, it’s best to know if there is a place for it on your current market. Check local listings for similar properties in the area, and take note of how much they’re selling for, how long they have been up, and most importantly, how frequently do properties sell where you live. Looking at other listings is also a great way to see how you compare to the ‘competition’, as well as give you staging ideas that will make your home stand out.
Set a Budget
Selling your home packs its own costs, so it’s best to prepare a budget accordingly. Make a list of any repairs and upgrades that your house needs, and decide whether they’re the kind of projects you can handle yourself with a bit of DIY, or whether you need a contractorWhat is a contractor? Contractors are individuals or companies that work on a construction project,... More. Cleaning and decorating will also go on the bill, as will any potential landscaping, and even home staging. Finding a storage facility for your belongings is also something worth considering.
Repair and Renovate
Take a tour of the house with a critical eye, and check for any repairs that are needed, whether it’s mending a broken fixture, cracks in the wall, chipped tiles, or even larger projects, such as roof or plumbing repairs. Even if your home is livable as it is, buyers will notice anything that’s broken when visiting, and will be put off by having to handle it themselves.
Clean and Decorate
Applying a new coating of paint on your walls is not just an easy way to spruce up your home, but it’s also recommended. Vivid or unusual colors and patterns might put buyers off, so aim for a neutral palette. Carpets and upholstery will also benefit from dry cleaning, especially because they retain a lot of smells that could make your buyers turn up their noses. While you’re at it, make sure that the outside of your house has the curb appeal it needs, by trimming the lawn and bushes, power washing the driveway, or cleaning the gutters.
Declutter and Depersonalize
Cleaning your house also involves decluttering, and getting rid of any items that are either old, broken, not being used, or just a bit of an eyesore. Making an inventory of all your belongings will help not just with decluttering your home, but it will also organize your move once you’ve sold the property. While decluttering, also spend some time on depersonalizing your home, so that buyers can find it easier to envision their life there.
Although a pre-sale home inspectionWhat is a home inspection? A home inspection evaluates and details a real estate property’s... More is optional, it’s best to add it to your to-do list. There’s a high chance that buyers will ask for an inspection before signing the papers, so it’s best to know in advance whether your home will pass the test. An inspection will also help highlight any issues that you might not have been aware of, and give you time to fix them.
Stage Your Home
Rearrange the furniture so that your house is easy to walk through, make sure that each room is set so that it has a clear purpose, replace the lightbulbs, maybe even add houseplants for a touch of life and color. Now is also a good time to take photos for the listing.
Organize the Paperwork
Whether it’s deeds, permits, inspections or mortgage paperwork, it’s best to sort and organize through them in advance not just for yourself, but also the buyers. If you’ve done any major repairs and home improvements, make sure that you add the relevant paperwork to the stash as well, so that buyers know how recent they are. Don’t forget about the manuals and receipts for your appliances, especially if they are still in warranty.
Price It Right
The price you’re selling your home for will be one of the deciding factors for whether the sale goes through or not. Buyers might be enticed by your staging skills and the amenitiesWhat are amenities? Amenities are characteristics that increase the real or perceived value of a... More on offer, but if the price is too high, they might reconsider. Also, if the price is set too low, you will be missing out on a fair chunk of potential profits.
Find an Agent
Even if you’re considering listing your home as FSBO, don’t rule out working with a real estate agentWhat is a real estate agent? A real estate agent is a professional who is... More altogether. The right agent can significantly improve your home selling experience, by giving advice, handling the paperwork, talking to the buyers and putting your home in a favorable light during showings.