While home improvement shows have made people enthusiastic about selling their homes, they’re not very good at showcasing the most important things to do before selling your house. These shows make it look like all you need to do is to take a few pictures before you put up your home, but those who want serious offers know that they need to put in much more work before the sign goes up.
Most important things to do before selling your house
The most important things to do before selling your house will vary by home, of course, but there are a few that always matter. You’ll want to do some research, start working on staging, and take care of a handful of other tasks. When you’re ready to get serious about selling your home, you’ll want to make sure that the items below are on your checklist.
Check out the local housing market
Selling your home is largely about strategy. One of the most important things to do before selling your house is to pick the right time to put it on the market, so your journey should begin with a quick look at the housing market. Knowing exactly what’s selling in your neighborhood – and for what price – is a great way to decide when to put up the sign and for how much you should tell your agent to list the home.
While you don’t necessarily need to know how the housing industry as a whole is fairing, it’s a good idea to take a look at what’s going on nearby. Are houses selling quickly? Are there any homes comparable to your own that are on the market? Once you have this basic information, you can decide on a game plan that will help you to sell your home more quickly.
Depersonalize your space
One of the hardest things to do before putting a house on the market is getting rid of all the personal touches that really made your house a home. This doesn’t mean hiding what makes your house unique or throwing out all of your hard work, but rather it means making a blank canvas on which other buyers can put their own thoughts for the house.
“When you’re getting ready to sell your house, you should accentuate its best features—if there’s good light, then make sure the windows are free from too many fussy treatments. If it’s the floors that shine, don’t have too many rugs down. The home should feel as fresh, airy, and appealing as possible, and there is such a thing as overstaging and over-upgrading. Maximize light, minimize furnishings, and keep the closets contained and organized. You can even take half of the stuff out of the closets to give the illusion of more space.”
-Adam Hunter, Interior Designer, vogue.com
The more time you have, the more work you can do to depersonalize. If you’re on a tight timeframe, this means removing extra decorations, pictures, and unnecessary furniture. If you have more time, you can replace wild paint colors with more neutral shades, move in furniture that shows off the size of the room, and put a bit more thought into staging. The goal in either case, though, is to allow potential buyers to see themselves in your home.
Touch up the paint
It’s amazing how much a little touch-up of the paint can freshen up the look of a house. The longer you’ve lived in a home, the more little nicks and scrapes have accumulated. While this might tell a wonderful story to you and your family, it tells potential buyers that there’s damage. Even if you’re dealing with nothing more than the ravages of time, doing a little touch-up is a great job.
Your goal should be to touch up every spot that’s obvious and then to do detail work as you’re able to do so. Always touch up the areas that are most likely be seen first, as you’re doing this largely to make a good first impression. Doors, windows, and transition areas are always important. You should also make sure that you touch up the paint near anything that’s meant to draw the eye.
Do a deep clean
One of the most important things to do before selling your house is to make sure that it’s at least as clean as on the first day you stepped foot inside. This means going after a deep clean, not just a surface clean. You’re looking to clean out all of the areas you’ve neglected over the years and to put in some effort to erase your presence from high traffic areas. Take some time to make sure that your carpet is in good shape, that all of your fixtures look like they’re new, and that every crevice and cranny is sparkling before you let the first potential buyer into your home.
Find a great agent
The last of things to do before putting a house on the market is to find an outstanding agent. Doing all of this prep work is going to require a great deal of time and you’ll still need someone to market and show your home. A great agent can be your ally in your attempt to get a great price for your house, helping to expose your home to a network of potential buyers and making sure that there are always eyes on your property. Selling your home really is a full-time job, so make sure that you let a professional take on this kind of major responsibility.
Use a CENTURY21 Northwest Realtor when you’re ready to sell your home
The most important things to do before selling your house all focus on making sure that your home is really ready for the market. While there are some things that you can and should do on your own, you really do need a great agent to make sure that you get the price you deserve for your property. The agents at Century21 Northwest can help you to figure out exactly what you need to do to get your house ready while still doing the hard work of selling your home. When you’re ready, make sure to take a look at Century21’s Home Affordability Calculator to figure out how you might be able to get for your current home. With the help of an excellent agent, you’ll be able to get your house on the market and get ready for the next phase of your life.