Take these 5 steps to get your house market-ready.
You’ve made the decision: You’re going to sell your home. Now you’re probably wondering Where do I go from here? Call real estate agents? Start putting fresh paint on the walls? Panic?
Don’t stress: Trulia is here to help.
Let’s get your “market ready” action plan in place. Follow these five steps and you’ll be well on your way to jump-starting your home sale.
1. Be vigilant with your stuff
Make the adage “less is more” your mantra. The detritus of life tends to stack up in our living spaces, which may be fine for every day but isn’t great for selling. Now is the time to tackle those organization and cleaning projects.
Give items away, recycle them, or pack them away for your next house. And remember, packing items away doesn’t mean shoving them in the hallway closet. Buyers will likely open every cabinet and drawer (pretty much), so those spaces should be tidy too.
Pro tip: While making your home buyer-ready, get a head start on packing for your new home and rent a portable storage container. This way, you’ll have a place to store displaced items — but you won’t have to drive it across town or get rid of it. Score!
2. Locate your agent
As you’re getting your house in order, start the hunt for a real estate agent. You’re not looking for just any agent; you need a real star to get you to the finish line. Put the word out to your network and don’t feel like you have to work with someone because they are family.
Once you have some referrals, take the time for an interview and get to know their selling styles. If said agent declines the interview request, they’re probably not for you — proceed to the next one on your list. If they seem almost right, keep looking until you find a great match. It’s worth the time investment to find the right agent
3. Dig out all relevant paperwork
While you’re cleaning and scrubbing, keep an eye out for paperwork that’s been stashed in random places throughout the years. Warranties, installation invoices, mortgage paperwork — gather it together.
If you can’t find the documents, you can always select “I don’t know” on the seller’s disclosure notice. But this isn’t the best tactic. Buyers want an active, informed seller who is involved with the details of their home. Give the people what they want, and in turn you’ll have an easier time selling your home for top dollar.
4. Schedule a strategy session with your agent
Purging and cleaning were the warm-up act. Now you’re ready for the main event. After you’ve signed on the dotted line with your real estate professional, schedule a walk-through before listing.
Take their feedback seriously. They know what color to paint that old maroon accent wall, how to stage the living room so it looks 20% bigger, and how to deal with outdated kitchen cabinets.
They also know how to allocate your dollars to impress potential buyers.
5. Repair and remodel
Work your way through your agent’s list of recommended repair tasks. If they advise a couple of remodel projects, make these a priority so listing photos can be scheduled. Remember, your agent is plugged in to the local market and has some insider knowledge.
Pro tip: If it’s a buyer’s market, consider scheduling a prelisting inspection. Nothing gives buyers the warm fuzzies more than seeing a completed inspection with items already attended to and checked off.
Take these five simple steps after deciding to sell your home and before you know it, you’ll be ready to step up to the closing table to sign your papers.