How to Prepare to Sell Your Home

Aside from finding the right Realtor, you will need to follow these steps outlined in order to best prepare to sell your home.

It’s time to move. That means it’s time to get your home ready for the housing market. You’re going to need to do some work both inside and out to make it the most desirable and sought-after listing among all buyers who are looking for a home.

With the amount of homes that are available across the country, buyers are gaining the upper hand as they can afford to be more selective and picky when looking at homes on the market in any specific neighborhood. The goal is to make them choose yours, and quickly. You don’t want your home sitting on the market for an extended length of time as buyers will begin to think there’s something wrong with it or the price is simply way too high to even consider it a serious option.

When you’re preparing to sell your home, the first thing to do is get the best Realtor available. Interview a bunch of them, get references and recommendations from people you trust, and take your time with the search. The earlier you begin, the more likely you’ll find the perfect ally in selling your home at a great price.

This article isn’t about finding the right Realtor; there are plenty of top real estate agents in your area to choose from. Instead, we’re here to discuss what you need to do to get the home ready to sell.

Step Outside

When you drive up to someone’s home, what is the first thing you see? The curb appeal, or exterior and everything surrounding it, is the first impression your home makes to visitors.

Step outside and take a look around. Does the house need a fresh coat of paint? If so, think about the color you’re going to choose. Bright bold colors may not be everyone’s cup of tea, so you may want to go with something a bit more neutral.

Before you get those rollers out, take a look around the rest of the house. Are there any broken or rotted materials that need repair? If so, you’ll want to get started on those first.

Then there’s the landscaping. Is your grass unkempt with overgrown trees and bushes in need of a good trim? Basically, does the flora around your home make it look like the place was abandoned three months ago? A little pruning and cutting will do wonders for the appearance and sale price of your home.

Be sure to power wash your home, sidewalk, driveway, fences and even your shrubs.  This makes the house look fresh and clean and wood fences will look like new.  Also make sure your front door hardware performs flawlessly.  If your lock is tricky, replace it.  If it’s scratched or faded, replace it.  If the door is hard to open, fix it.  Every buyer that sees your house will be walking through that door.

Clean Up the Place

This goes beyond just a simple spring cleaning. You’re moving out, so take everything that has your taste and preferences out of the home. The goal is to make it feel as neutral as possible so that when potential buyers tour the property they can imagine themselves living there instead of seeing all of your personal items hanging up and lying around.

Anything that has a personal touch should be packed up or eliminated entirely. Get rid of clutter, knick-knacks, and junk you’ve been storing in the garage, basement, and closets. How much of it do you plan on taking to your new home anyway? If you don’t want to throw it out, have a yard sale and get a few bucks for your unwanted stuff or donate it to Goodwill or a local thrift shop.

Study the Competition

Before following through with any home improvements, make sure you find out how the competition stacks up against your house. Attend open houses for homes on the market and look around the house both inside and out. Find out what improvements are needed in your home to bring you up to the level of competing houses and what little extras can put you over the top.

Make Home Improvements

Now that you’ve cleaned the house entirely, you can begin to set your attention on making repairs, improvements, and upgrades that can help sell your home. Fix anything wrong with the house first and foremost – the buyers will find it, so you may as well remove the obstacle now. How much more of this you do is completely at your discretion, but if you’ve lived in this house for any extended period of time, then there are bound to be some areas that could use some updating and overall improvement. Keep in mind, however, that you’re moving and you’re not looking to remodel it from top to bottom.

No matter what the extent of your work is going to be, there are two places you must absolutely focus on above all other areas: the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the two most trafficked areas in every house and the first places that potential buyers look when they’re considering a home purchase. If your house has several bathrooms, focus most of your improvement efforts on the master bathroom and any hall bathroom, followed by any downstairs bathroom, then the upstairs bathrooms.  Putting your best foot forward in these areas can go a long way to making the house desirable to buyers and should be made to look as attractive and appealing as possible.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.