If you’ve decided to sell your home, you might feel lost about where to start. Before you even list the property, you probably have a lot of work to do. All homes need some attention to get into great shape, but breaking down the process into smaller tasks can prevent you from getting overwhelmed. Here are five steps to preparing your home for sale:
1. Find A Real Estate Agent
Finding a trustworthy real estate agent should be the very first step after you decide to sell your home. Your agent is a wealth of knowledge and can help you make any and all decisions about your home sale. Sellers that work with agents usually receive higher offers and sell their homes faster than those who forgo hiring an agent.
Check out a few real estate agents in your area to start your search. Look through their websites, read customer reviews, and learn about the types of homes they’ve sold in the past. You want an agent who has a lot of experience with homes of a similar style and size to yours. You also should choose an agent who is closely familiar with your area.
When you contact a real estate agent, ask about their experience in the industry. Some agents specialize in working with buyers, and others have more experience with sellers. You should feel confident that your agent has the right skills and knowledge to sell your home. Ask them how often they communicate with clients during the home selling process and what their typical method of communication is. It’s important to ask about their availability, too. If you work during the day or otherwise have limited availability, you need to choose an agent who can accommodate your schedule.
2. Decide On Upgrades
When preparing to sell your home, one of the most important decisions to make is whether or not to upgrade anything before listing the property. Home improvements are expensive, and not all of them increase the property value enough to justify the cost. In some cases, though, upgrades are necessary to attract more buyers and receive favorable offers.
Consider whether you’re operating in a buyer’s or seller’s market. If homes in your area are selling within days and for above the listing price, you probably don’t need to make any major changes in order to sell your house. A buyer’s market can be much trickier, though. You might need to repair, replace, or renovate certain features in your home to beat your competition.
You can also consider how your home compares to others in the neighborhood. Houses typically sell faster when they’re similar to the other properties nearby. If most other homes have a feature your house is lacking, upgrading before you list your home could be extremely effective. For example, you might decide to pave your driveway if all the others on your street are paved.
Getting a pre-sale inspection can be helpful as well. This will give you more time to repair any problems with the home that would be revealed during the official inspection. By fixing these issues, you speed up the selling process and reduce the risk of the buyer backing out.
3. Clean And Declutter
Decluttering is an essential step when preparing your home for sale. Not only does it make your home look better, but it will make moving far easier. Every single item in your house should belong somewhere, and nothing should be left out on tables or countertops. Go through your belongings to determine which items you truly need and which ones can be sold, donated, or thrown away.
If you’re having trouble organizing your home, you might need more storage space. Consider purchasing more bins and shelves for your closet, pantry, or laundry room. Keep in mind that you don’t want the closets to look overcrowded during showings. Open space makes the storage areas look larger. If necessary, you could move some of your items to a storage unit while your home is on the market.
After decluttering and organizing, it’s time to deep clean your house. A spotless home gives a great first impression to buyers. The kitchen and bathroom are especially important, but you should also clean all the windows and floors throughout your home.
4. Stage The Home
Staging is one of the best ways to generate better offers on your home, especially if you’re competing with other sellers. To stage your home, you have to remove any personal touches and make the house look as visually pleasing as possible. This allows the buyer to project their own idea of their dream home onto the space.
Your real estate agent will help you stage your home. Some agents will even rent furniture on behalf of their clients for the purpose of staging the property. To start, remove any personal photos, items, and decorations. Keep clothing, toiletries, your children’s toys, and any other belongings stored away. You may also have to consider painting the walls if they’re currently a bright or bold color.
Once your home has been depersonalized, you and your agent can create a new decorating scheme. Simple, generic decor works well for staged homes. You can add touches of color with pillows, throw blankets, potted plants, or flowers. Lighting is key when presenting your home, so you and your agent might also add extra lighting sources.
When staging your home, every room should have a clear purpose. For instance, even if you don’t utilize a home office, you might turn a spare room into one before you list your home. Staging helps you showcase how functional and practical every space in your house can be.
5. List And Market The Property
Once your home is perfectly clean and staged, it’s time to put together the listing. Your real estate agent should take the lead on this step. High-quality pictures are essential for marketing your home, so your agent may hire a professional photographer. Some sellers even create a video walkthrough of their property. The written description of your home should highlight all of the selling points, such as upgraded appliances, ample storage space, or a great school district.
When prospective buyers start expressing interest, you and your agent can schedule showings. You shouldn’t be present for these appointments, though. Allow your agent to showcase the property and answer questions from visitors. This stage in the process can be stressful, but trust that all the work you’ve put into your home will pay off.
Preparing your home for sale can be a lengthy undertaking depending on its current state. To attract as many buyers as possible, your home should be in great condition by the time it hits the market. Give yourself plenty of time to clean, upgrade, and stage the house. If you’re not sure what your home needs, consult with your agent. By going the extra mile to prepare your home, you’ll attract more potential buyers, and you might even score higher offers.