Ten Critical Steps to Take Before Selling Your Home
Updated: Aug 11
Selling a home entails a lot of work behind the scenes, ask anyone who has done it. Buying a home is a far easier job comparatively. But knowing the important steps before you sell your home could be the game-changer. If you know this, you can save lots of time, money, and effort.
If you have never sold a house before, you would be shocked to see the amount of work needed to ensure the selling process is smooth and profitable. From determining the right selling price to the final agreements, it’s a daunting task. Before selling your home, it’s good to hire a realtor who is well aware of all these processes. He/she can make the entire process easy and smooth. Although they were a bit expensive, it’s worth your money. But, to give you a better perspective, we have listed down the critical steps you need to take before you sell your home.
Get the home inspection done:
This is the first and foremost thing you have to do when you decide to buy or sell a home. You might not be interested in a home inspection because it discloses the hidden damages of the property and puts forward the true condition of the home. But the buyers will anyway know the condition of the home through their home inspection. So, it’s better to be honest and disclose the condition of the home as it would ensure the entire process with the buyer happens smoothly without any misunderstandings.
The other advantage of a home inspection is that you can tackle all the repairs prior, which would increase the demand for your home. Home inspections are very affordable too, it hardly costs around $400. Inspections are perceived to be the number one deal-breaker in the industry. If you sort the issue initially, there would be no further implications, and you won’t get shocked by buyers who put forward a list of problems to tackle after their home inspection. When the buyers are fully aware that there are no issues, they would be willing to pay good money as well. All in all, a home inspection is a win-win situation for all the parties concerned.
Fix minor repairs:
Once the inspection is done, make sure you fix all the repairs that you find in the report. Fix all the minor repairs initially, and then if you can afford to fix the major ones or else negotiate the deal with the buyer. Some of the critical repairs would include basement leaks, plumbing system issues, the roof, and anything that can cause serious issues in the future.
While investing in repairs, you should deal very carefully. Although you fix all the major issues, ensure you renovate the components of the home to improve the curb appeal. If you are not sure how to improve the curb appeal, hire a real estate agent who is well experienced and knows how to make your house superior with a limited budget and maximum returns. A good real estate agent knows what are the aspects to focus on which would attract the buyers and make the home more appealing.
Put aside personal belongings:
There will be different kinds of people who will be visiting your home when you put your home for sale. Create an atmosphere where you impress the buyer by doing all the things you can. For instance, remove any of your belongings that reflect your beliefs and general philosophy towards life. If the buyer notices religious or political memorabilia, it doesn’t send the right message. If the buyer’s choices also match yours, then there is no problem, or else you might lose a good deal. Most real estate would recommend removing all personal belongings even when you live in the home.
Also, when you get rid of furniture, chairs, and big-sized objects, you create an atmosphere where the buyer can envision their belongings in the free space. If your house is filled with all your belongings, it would be tough for them to imagine how they would place their belongings. Also, if you remove your belongings, you will be slowly detached from that place which would help you prepare yourself and move on.
Consider a repaint:
Painting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make your home appealing. You can even consider touching up existing paint handprints and nail holes. To make your house appealing for sale, research about different color combinations online or hire a professional painter who can help you with good color combinations. Ideally, light or neutral colors are preferred. But, don’t use a large variety of colors as it might make your home look messy. Stick to fewer colors and make your house look attractive. Remember that different types of people visit your home, it’s impossible to please everyone. But, you can please the majority of the people by choosing neutral colors as it appeals to most of the people.
Along with the interiors, spare some time for the exteriors also. This includes mailbox posts, fences, house siding, and trim work. The exteriors should also be well-maintained as it is the first thing that the buyer notices. Also, the small amount of paint makes your home seem like a brand new one. Try to use a little bit of oil-based paint, which has a strong odor.
Deep clean everything:
When you list your home, make sure it is very clean. You can consider deep cleaning, power washing, and other ways of cleaning, which makes your home appear neat with no stains. When the house is unclean and messed up, it doesn’t attract potential buyers. You can hire a cleaning crew to spend a day or two cleanings every nook and corner of your home. It is very affordable and worth your money.
Even though the buyers may not be clean people themselves, they expect the house they want to buy to be neat and clean. So, don’t miss out on this tiny aspect and clean everything thoroughly.
Don’t leave any traces of pets:
To sell your home quickly, you need to appeal to the majority of the buyers who visit your house. For that, you should get rid of any traces of pets and animals. Many people are pet lovers and don’t have any objection to it, but there are a few people also who don’t like pets. If your house smells like pets or toys stuffed in every corner, you might not attract a few potential buyers. Some buyers don’t even look at the entire house if they notice a litter box in a corner. Also, don’t forget that you don’t experience the same smell as a buyer would, because you live in that house, you get acclimatized to it. So, it’s always better to get an opinion of someone who doesn’t live in your house.
Many people are allergic to pet smells, and that is one of the reasons why many houses stay in the market without getting sold. Thus, you need to ensure you get your home cleaned so that there are no traces or a strong odor of pets and animals.
Replace the carpets:
Carpets easily wear out and are one of those things that you should replace frequently. If you have carpet in your home, then you might be in trouble because you have to invest some money into it. You either have to hire a carpet cleaning company to restore it or buy a brand new one if it cannot be restored. Most of the real estate agents would also suggest either hiring a carpet cleaning company or replacing it with a new one. However, if the property is priced under the market value price, then it might not be a big problem. But if you want to get good money out of your home, you need to fix your carpet.
Carpets usually hold a lot of dirt. To attract potential buyers, they must look good. If you think the carpets cannot be restored, estimate the square foot size and get a new one. Only after this will you accept potential buyers to visit your home again. A brand new carpet can add to the aesthetics of your home and attract buyers.
Rent out a storage unit:
If you live in the house, then most probably it will be filled with your belongings. But when compared to your competitor’s houses which would mostly be empty, you need to store your belongings in a storage unit. If your house is empty, it gives you a competitive edge compared to your competitors. An empty house helps the potential buyers to envision their belongings there. If your house is filled with your belongings, it would be hard for them to figure out whether the size of the house is suitable for them or not.
If you rent a storage unit, you can fully declutter and stay competitive. Start dumping all your heavy objects like furniture and other belongings that you will not need while your house is on the market or you are less likely to need. Buyers like the homes that are ready to occupy, so ensure you store as many items as possible.
Take the advice of an experienced real estate agent:
If you are a seller who has not had any prior experience in selling houses, then it’s better to hire a professional real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent who helped many sellers sell their houses for good prices is all you need. Before hiring a real estate agent, check their previous background work and know what all they offer.
Real estate agents’ experience can help you understand which renovations and repairs can fetch you more returns and how you can make your house more appealing with your resources. They can suggest budget-friendly methods to improve the curb appeal of your home. Apart from home modifications, they understand the market well and help you sell your home for the best price possible. Each area’s real estate market and marketing tactics are different. You may think that you can figure all this out by yourself, but you need to do lots of research and put in time and effort. Instead, find a good realtor, and they can help you sell your home faster and for a better price.
Spruce up landscaping:
Sprucing up landscaping is one of the best things you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home. A fresh landscape cam makes a good first impression for any buyer. The fastest way to spruce up your landscape is to add new mulch and spread it throughout the landscaping area. This step needs very little effort, is affordable, and provides a greater return on investment.
If you want to put some extra effort, you can even consider adding new and colorful flowers which help your new mulch to stand out. Also, cut down the overgrown bushes and revamp your entire outdoor space to make it look fresh and new. By doing all these, you can expect to impress the potential buyer the most.
What should I do to my house before I sell it?
There are a bunch of things you need to do to ensure the entire selling process is smooth and you get the best price. But to make it happen, you need to do a few things.
Evaluate the value:
The first and foremost thing to do is a property valuation. You can either self-assess or hire a real estate agent for this. The price should neither be too high nor too low, find the appropriate price so that you can sell the house quickly with good profits.
Find a real estate agent:
This is optional, but it can provide great value if you hire the right agent. A good real estate agent would help you do necessary renovation, which would help you fetch good returns and help you find potential buyers easily. To make it simple, they can help you to sell your house more quickly for good money. Although they are a little expensive, it’s worth your money because they provide good value for money. You can do this all by yourself with lots of time, investment, and effort needed as you need to research a lot.
Make necessary renovations:
These renovations can be anything that can help you improve the curb appeal of your home. It could be fixing plumbing issues, painting your walls, sprucing up your landscape and deep cleaning, etc. Find out the most budget-friendly ways to renovate that can provide maximum returns.
To sell your home for a better price quickly, you can do a hell of a lot of things that can impress the buyer to immediately buy your home. Do y9our research and invest wisely.
What should you not do before selling your house?
Selling a home might seem an easier task if you haven’t done it before. But if you ask someone, you did before. There are several things you need to do if you want to sell your house for the best price and within a short period. It involves renovation work, listing your home and marketing it, and lots of paperwork too. But before doing all these, you need to vary a few common mistakes people make before they sell their homes. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Underestimating the costs involved:
The costs involved in selling your home would be around 10% of the sale price. If you hire a real estate agent, then 5 to 6% would go for that. Along with this, if you want to sell your house, you need to vacate it and move to a new house. You need to pay rent for this. The other maintenance costs include taxes, HOA dues, etc.
Ignoring major renovations and repairs:
If your house has major repairs, then it’s the biggest turnoff for any potential buyer. No one wants to spend additional money on top of paying you the selling price of the house. So, focus on major issues that can be easily noticed when any potential buyer visits your home. If you don’t spot any repairs, it’s better to get your home inspected, which would reveal all the major repairs. A good home inspector can also suggest to you the costs involved to get the repairs done.
Setting impractical prices:
The other mistake that sellers make is setting an impractical selling price. They estimate the price wrongly, which would not help them sell the house quickly. To put up a competitive price, you either need to hire a real estate agent who knows the market or do it by yourself by researching similar houses in your locality.
How do I protect myself when selling my home?period
There are several things you need to keep in mind to protect yourself while selling your home.
Keep a note on strangers:
Hosting an open house can sell your house quickly, but there are a few downsides to it. If you don’t keep track of the visitors, things can go missing. So as an alternative, host a party for your friends and family so that they can promote your house. By doing this, you get more visits from known people. You can also consider giving the visitors a private appointment.
Do your homework:
If any real estate agency approaches you saying that they would like to work with you, check their previous work and license numbers. This way, you can be sure that they are authentic.
In this way, you can protect yourself when you sell your home.