Things Sellers Should Do Before Placing Their Home on the Market

As the Spring approaches, yes it really is coming, many homeowners who need or want to sell will make the decision to place their home on the market, since Spring is considered the best time of the year for home sales.  However, prior to making that decision to place your home on the market, there are some crucial things that the seller should do before putting up that ‘For Sale’ sign:

Do All Needed Repairs:

You’d be surprised to know the number of sellers who put their homes on the market without doing the repairs needed.

Maybe the buyer won’t notice the dripping faucet in the bathroom or the dry-rotted weather stripping on the front door.

Guest what? The buyer notices everything! And if they see that you haven’t done minor maintenance on the home, they will assume that you haven’t done any maintenance on major items like servicing your HVAC unit over the 15 years you’ve been in the home.  If you are fortunate to receive an offer from a potential buyer, everything will be revealed during the home inspection and it will only affect your bottom line in the end or lead to the buyer terminating the offer. It is in your best interest to do the repairs prior to listing your home.

Remove Wallpaper:

Most buyers absolutely hate wallpaper. If you have wallpaper in your home, it’s best to remove it prior to listing your home.  Not only is wallpaper personal to your taste, it is also dated and makes the house appear older than it is.  When buyers see wallpaper, they immediately walk-out in most cases because it is hard for them to imagine their furniture in the home with someone else’s decor.  It’s best to remove it and paint your walls a neutral color so that buyers can easily envision their furniture working in any of the rooms.

Clean Your Home Thoroughly (Interior and Exterior).

REALTORS understand that people still live in their home while it’s on the market, but when you’re selling your home, you have got to keep it clean!  Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, so they especially need to be thoroughly cleaned.  Ceiling fans should be dusted as well as light fixtures.  Don’t forget the wall plates and light switches that are used frequently.  Have your home thoroughly cleaned and include windows, wiping down doors and door knobs and cabinets.  Also clean the yard for better curb appeal and pressure-wash the exterior if needed.

De-Clutter, De-Personalize, and Organize:

Buyers like open spaces and are willing to pay for it.  If you have too much furniture, it’s best to either get rid of some or rent a storage facility to store it in while your home is on the market.  De-personalize the home by removing any personal photos and by making it gender-neutral. Organize all your closets, cabinets, and garage if you have one.  If you have small closets, take out the clothes that you don’t wear very often to create the appearance of spaciousness.

Look at Your Home More Objectively Through the Eyes of a Buyer

Once you’ve done all the things mentioned above, look at your home objectively like a potential buyer would and ask yourself.  “If I was a buyer, would I purchase this home?”  If the answer is yes, then you have succeeded in getting your home prepared for the market.  If you have difficulty looking at your home objectively, have a friend or someone you trust walk through and give you honest and constructive feedback.

Be Realistic about the Listing Price You Set for Your Home

Homes sell for market value—period.  You don’t determine the price of your home—the market does.  With the onset of technology and so much information available online, buyers are very savvy and perform their research in advance. They are not going to pay more for your home that what it is worth.  It doesn’t matter if you need to get a certain amount out of the sale in order to purchase your new home.  Your home is only going to sell for what similar homes like yours are selling for at the current time.

Choose a Professional Real Estate Expert to Sell Your Home

The final step is to choose a local, experienced, REALTOR who specializes in marketing and selling homes.  A member of the ______________________ Board of REALTORS.

Interview several REALTORS and ask questions pertaining to how they will market your home prior to making a decision to list with them.  Your agent should also do a comprehensive market analysis (CMA) to determine what your home could possibly sell for in the current market. Once you have selected an agent, follow the professional advice of that agent throughout the listing period.