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6 Vital Things to Do Before Listing Your House

March 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm Julia E. Miller 0 Market Trends, Tips & Tricks

Finally, the BIG moment is here: you’re selling the old house and moving into your dream home. But, before you start packing, take a moment to think about everything that follows, including the sale. Is your house ready for buyers to come visit? Are there important repairs that you must tackle before listing the property and, most importantly, are you ready to let go off all your memories in one, swift move? Let’s take a step back and see what the best strategy is to market your house.

1. Put your papers in order

By that we mean all documents related to your home including mortgage information, a copy of your deed and title report, together with a copy of your sale agreement from when you first purchased the property. Also, your Realtor might be interested to see some recent tax or utility bills – being up to date with your electricity and water bills means you’re a responsible owner. While we’re there, try to find all operating manuals for your appliances and any valid warranties that you might have. Also, have you kept notes on the paint colors used throughout the house? Get them, too. The future owners will find them extremely useful, particularly if they do not plan an immediate renovation. Not to mention that a little touch up is almost unavoidable after a move-in.

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2. Clean, declutter, depersonalize

This trick never gets old: if you’re planning a smooth sale, transform your house into a blank canvas. It will help future buyers envision themselves living there and make an honest statement about the actual condition of the building. If you do not want to pour money into small repairs, then at least be honest about it and let your buyers know what they’re dealing with. Yes, it will lower your chances at a good price, but will not hinder the actual sale.

How to accomplish a beautiful, white canvas? Start with a thorough cleaning of the entire property, inside-out. Wash the windows, remove cobwebs, mop tiles and vacuum carpets. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathroom – both are big focal points in any house. Outside, gather all fallen leaves and clean the alley. Next, declutter the house and start packing, since you’re already planning to move out, but put your boxes out of the way. Don’t forget to take all family pictures off the wall and get rid of personal items. Remember: you are not selling your memories, no matter how precious they might seem.

3. Improve the curb appeal

Cleaning isn’t enough to get your house sold fast. You have to draw people in and what better way to do that than with a killer landscape? Paint your fences, mow the lawn, plant colorful flowers and make your house sparkle even if you use a trick or two to get there. Not everybody has a budget for doing extensive works on the outside, but anybody can put an extra effort to make things look better.

And sometimes ‘better’ goes a long way in the eyes of a buyer.

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4. Get a home inspection

If you’re planning to sell an older house, it’s a good idea to have it inspected before buyers come in. Maybe there are some hidden foundation problems that you are not aware of or the roof needs immediate repairs. Either way, these are the types of improvements that tip the scales when it comes to negotiations and clients never miss an opportunity to take the price down. You wouldn’t want that when you’re already furniture shopping for your new living room, would you? Put yourself in your buyers’ shoes and make a list of question to ask the home inspector. After all is said and done, roll up your sleeves and get a contractor to make the needed repairs.

Remember: you are not selling your memories, no matter how precious they might seem. 

5. Hire a good contractor

Use your personal referrals to gather recommendations and give yourself plenty of options to find the best fit. Know exactly what needs to be done and have a budget ready when it comes to negotiating, but don’t choose solely based on price. You have to be involved from day one if you want to sell your house fast and get the best price on the market. In order to have the work done before moving out, make sure that your contractor offers warranties and is willing to answer any further questions you may have regarding the schedule or budget. This infographic from Asset Based Lending will help you save a lot of money and time when undertaking such a project

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6. How much is your house worth?

Who could know the value of a house better than its owners? An appraiser and a Realtor but, if you want to cut some corners, go with the later one. You’ve done your homework and much needed improvements so it’s high time to determine your house’s market value. A good real estate agent will make a comparative analysis for you, study the area based on a number of factors, weigh in your chances based on the type of market you’re in and come up with the right price. Our advice is to let your Realtor get to work, market your house and find the perfect buyers.

Selling a house and simultaneously planning a move into a new one has to be one of the most stressful events in anybody’s life. Not to mention all the paperwork and legal stuff that go into both moves. Take it one step at a time and decide how you want to market your soon to be ex house before moving out. Are there repairs to be done before listing it? Have an inspection and hire a good contractor, that can stick to a tight schedule and focus on your budget. Then determine your house’s value and let your Realtor do his job. You’ll be moving out and then into your new home in no time!

Julia E. Miller

Julia is passionate about bringing big ideas to life and crafting storylines that connect people on a profound level. She has a strong conceptual and strategic thinking, integrating different disciplines across real estate photography, advertising, technology and experiential marketing. In the last seven years, she worked full-time and freelance for a variety of award-winning weekly and monthly publications.

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