What You Need to Do Before Listing Your House

by c21commonweath_ldowling 26. June 2015 12:11

Putting your house up for sale is not the first step towards getting it sold. Before you get a real estate agent involved, you need to prepare your home and property for listing. You know you’ll have to make the place look photo-ready, but there’s a little more to it than that. You’ll want to get your house looking in top shape so that homebuyers will fall in love with it.

Assess the Damage

Any house that has actually been lived in for a period of several years (or decades) has some damage.

There might be a crack in the wall in the hallway from when you moved the new couch into the den or the tiles in the kitchen could be peeling away from all the people that have gone in and out through many family dinners and holiday parties over generations. You could have a very old HVAC system or shingles and siding that are falling off.

Whatever the damage to the inside or outside of the house, figure out what needs to be fixed or replaced before you list the house for sale. Get estimates from several contractors before you commit to one to ensure that you’re not spending a fortune on replacing a part of the house when it would cost a lot less to simply renovate these areas.

Clean and Declutter Inside and Out

While a good open house looks effortless, it actually requires a lot of planning. You’ll want to set aside the time to thoroughly clean and organize your home, as well as to landscape the exterior to increase your curb appeal.

Clean appliances and declutter the countertops and other surfaces. If there is too much furniture in a room, try moving things around or opening the curtains and shades to add light and space in the house.

Picking up the kids’ toys and making the beds are obvious ways to make a home photo-ready, but you may also want to consider packing some of these things away early. Personal touches make it difficult for people to see themselves in your home and may deter them from making an offer.

Power wash the back porch and make sure the siding and outside of the house is clean and there is no chipped paint. Mow the lawn, clean up the mailbox (or get a new one) and get a landscaper for the gardens and shrubbery if you need to do so.  The first impression of the house will be the outside. Make sure people love your home before they ever even set foot over the threshold.

Get the Papers in Order

You don’t just need the deed to the house to make a sale. Put together any instructions for large appliances, the HVAC system, and all the electrical, water, and other utility bills you have from over the years. These are things that may be able to prove your home is energy-efficient and that it’s been cared for while you’ve owned it. These factors are integral in getting the best price possible for your home. Compiling the appropriate paperwork is all part of the planning process, and if you plan well, the rest of the process of selling your house will go a lot smoother than you might have thought it would.