Preparing your home for sale might feel like a huge undertaking. By starting early and tackling sections at a time, you can ensure that buyers are impressed and interested when your home hits the market.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 62% of agents say homes that are staged and spotless spend less time on the market. So what are the things you should do to get your home ready?
Find a REALTOR®
You’re unlikely to save any money (or time) by tackling the task yourself, so hiring a real estate professional is essential to the process. When you’re in search of an agent, you’ll want to ask them about a few things:
- Experience: How long have they been in real estate? How long have they lived/worked in the area?
- Exposure: What do they typically do to get the word out about new listings? Do they already have a buyer in mind for your home? How will they market it?
- Other Services: Do they offer professional photography, staging, and/or open houses?
Once you find an agent, they can help you nail down an accurate price tag on your home. You’ll be able to ask your agent for data on comparable properties & what those properties have sold for. They will also be able to keep you objective about the fair price of a home.
Collect Your Documents
As a seller, you’ll need quite a few items. If you’re working with a REALTOR®, they will gather much of these items for you. Necessary items can include:
- Final closing instructions and statement of closing costs
- Title report
- Mortgage and loan information
- Bill of sale (for anything you leave behind)
- Property tax information
- Homeowner’s insurance paperwork
- Trust documents
- Manuals for electronics and appliances (if you have them)
- Homeowner’s association materials (if applicable)
Before listing your home, you’ll also want to get these items:
- A listing agreement: This covers all of the terms of agreement between you and your agent. The price, commission, how and when the property will be shown, and aspects of the marketing plan may be included in this.
- Mandatory disclosures: In many states, all sellers are legally obligated to disclose any information that might be of interest to the buyer. A good example of this is if your home was built before 1978, you will need a copy of the lead-based paint disclosure. Save a copy of all of your disclosures signed by you and your agent. As the sale progresses, you’ll also want to have a record of the buyer’s acknowledgement that they received the disclosures.
- Inspection reports: These cover any and all inspections you’ve done on the home and property (including regular home inspections, pest control, pool, etc.)
Spruce It Up
Preparing your home for listing and open houses is important – and the appearance of your home can make or break a sale. With that in mind, here is a basic checklist of things to do before listing your home:
- Remove most personal photos and knick-knacks from around the house.
- Remove storage containers. Replace them with baskets if needed, as these are more visually appealing than storage containers.
- Replace broken blinds or tattered curtains.
- Clean & straighten all rooms by packing away anything you won’t need within the next few weeks.
- Wash all windows & glass surfaces.
- Deep clean everything. Vacuum the dust from vents, dust ceiling fan blades, and clean cobwebs from any corners.
- Remove everything from the countertops except for centerpieces or decor.
- Remove magnets, pictures, notes, and anything else you may have on your fridge.
- Remove area rugs to show the flooring off.
- Replace colored or patterned towels with neutral colors.
- Remove throw rugs.
- Remove toiletries from the tub or shower.
- Trim bushes and clean up landscaping.
- Add fresh rock or mulch to flower beds.
- Remove any debris, hoses, yard ornaments, or any other items from the yard.
- Ensure that front door hardware & trim is in good shape.
- Powerwash the porch, driveway, and exterior of the house if necessary.
Ready to Sell Your Home?
Once you’ve checked everything off the list, you’re ready to move forward with listing your home. Selling a home can be a journey, but it is much easier with the help of a REALTOR® you can trust.
Team Melton is ready to help you through the process. Our team of professionals has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!