Preparing Your Home for Sale

Putting your home on the market can be stressful. It's your baby, and you hope other people will see what makes it special. Fortunately, preparing to sell your home doesn't need to be overly complex. You just need to follow these main steps.

Find a Good Listing Agent

An experienced agent will do more than take care of the necessary paperwork. They will also give you tips about how to prepare your house for sale. Some might be able to recommend an inspector and possibly even a great handyman.

Declutter Your Possessions

Decluttering serves two important functions. First, it makes it easier and less expensive to move your things if you have sorted out everything you don't want. It also gets you ready for staging your home.

You can use several techniques to declutter. The popular KonMari Method requires people to divide their possessions into main categories, like paperwork and clothing. Other people like to go through and declutter one room at a time.

Whatever method you choose, realize that this can be an emotionally draining task. Make sure to give yourself a clear time line and reward yourself for the timely completion of each step.

Consider a Pre-Inspection

Hiring an inspector to come through is a great way to organize your to-do list of repairs, ensuring that there are few surprises during closing. In some markets, it can give you a competitive edge with prospective buyers as well.

Make Necessary Repairs

The goal in making your house market ready is to create the illusion that your home will be easy to maintain. You want to make sure that flaws to highly visible areas are addressed.

Some common areas that homeowners need to address:

  • Sagging gutters and misaligned drain spouts.
  • Mold or mildewed surfaces.
  • Cracks in drywall, plaster, or ceilings.
  • Broken window glass.
  • Peeling paint on exterior cladding and trim.
  • Dead or overgrown landscaping.
  • Roofing.

If there is a large ticket item on your repair list — for instance, you need to refinish the wood floors throughout your home — you should consult with your Realtor to see if it is worth investing the money.

Prep House for Sale

The primary goal in preparing the house for sale is transforming the space from something uniquely personal to a more neutral canvas. You want the people who view your home to imagine themselves living there.

The first step in this transformation is to paint the walls of your home in light, neutral colors. Light colors make the space look bigger and more inviting. They are also less personal.

Once the rooms are freshly painted, you need to stage the house. Your Realtor may offer suggestions for rearranging your furniture. In fact, many Realtor have pieces of furniture and accent pieces that they will bring into a client's home during the home sale process.

Create Good Curb Appeal

A final step is to make sure that the approach toward your house is clean and inviting. Rows of identical plantings give a professional appearance, and fresh wood chips or mulch are a quick fix for tired areas of the lawn.