Mark Cipolletti Knows How to Market His Business
9 Tips for Getting Your House Ready to Sell
Updated: July 19, 2023
If you’ve ever sold a home before, you know that calling it “one of life’s most stressful experiences” is almost an understatement. You have to pack, you may be looking for another house, and likely you need to do some work to your home before putting it on the market. Especially if this is your first time selling, you may not know how to get your home ready to sell or where to even begin.
What to Do Before Selling Your House
What really needs to be on your home selling checklist? Here are the nine items experts say you should do if you are getting your house ready to sell.
1. Research The Market
It can be hard to know what to do to get your house ready to sell if you know nothing about the current state of the market. While it can be confusing, you should have a general understanding of what is happening in your local market before deciding to sell. Find out whether you’re currently in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market to get a sense of scarcity, pricing, and competition.
Next, get a sense of your local landscape by doing what neighbors do best— spying on each other. What is the home down the street listed at? What did the home that sold last month sell for? Was it higher or lower than the original sales price? What is the rough price per square foot in your area? All this information is public and visible so use it to give yourself a baseline understanding of your current position as a potential seller.
2. Think About Your Finances
Along with market research, another important order of business in getting your home ready to sell is to take a hard look at your finances. You want to:
- Establish your objective– How will selling my home help me achieve ____? What do I hope to be able to do after a successful sale?
- Look at the numbers– What is the difference between your expected home sale and your hopeful next purchase? If either number fluctuates by 5%, are you still in a good financial position?
- Plan for the worst, hope for the best– Give in to your anxieties and list the ways selling your home could go sideways, and then tap into your inner optimist and jot down every way it could turn out better than you imagined. Preparing yourself for both scenarios will help the whole process feel more manageable.
While sometimes uncomfortable or stressful, this exercise can help you develop goals and plan for your financial future.
3. Pick the Right Listing Agent & Get Strategizing
You likely don’t know all the ins and outs of how to get your house ready to sell, so enlist an expert. A good real estate agent can help you prepare to sell your home as well as get you the highest possible return. On the other hand, a bad real estate agent may have you walking away leaving money on the closing table. Make sure you choose your real estate agent carefully and talk about a strategic plan of attack.
Items to discuss should include:
- Their professional experience and knowledge of your local market
- Coordinating a professional photoshoot
- Dates for open houses
- Setting a competitive asking price
- Their digital marketing strategy
- Home improvement projects & repairs
4. Address Any Immediate Issues
If you read that line and immediately conjured an image of a particular repair you’ve been putting off for months (or even years), this is your sign to fix it. We all have a list of things that don’t work ‘quite right’ in our homes. While it may just be a nagging inconvenience for you, it may be a red flag for buyers.
Now that you are getting the house ready to sell, it is time to make that list your number one priority. That means all leaky faucets, cracked windows, missing roof shingles, or broken hinges need to be fixed as soon as possible. For your home to sell at the maximum price, you have to be able to guarantee full functionality during open houses, walk-throughs, etc. Some prospective buyers are just looking for reasons to not buy your home, so don’t give them any.
5. Clean and Declutter
This step can start to feel overwhelming, but it is imperative to getting your house ready to sell. First focus on cleaning and decluttering. Main living spaces are the most important, but the other areas of the home should not be ignored. To make this process easier, combine it with packing and break it up by room.
Part of getting your house ready to sell is also making it welcoming to buyers with all kinds of preferences, tastes, and styles. Family photos, memorabilia, personal collections, and tchotchkes can all be distracting or even offensive to some buyers. Packing these items up can help buyers see your home as a clean slate they can build off of.
6. Make Updates
According to our recent survey, 67% of potential buyers said they would only consider homes with updated features and layouts. If your home is more of a fixer-upper, you may want to consider adding some more home improvement projects to your “selling your home” checklist.
Before you go nuts, you want to be strategic and focus on the best ROI home improvements. What features do homes that sell for a good price in your neighborhood have that you don’t? What small updates can you make that will have a big impact? Is your kitchen up to par? Adding these projects to your home selling to-do list could result in a significant amount of money coming back to you at the closing. If you are worried about the upfront costs, we want to help. With our contractors, you can defer payment until closing.
7. Make Basic Preparations
While your house may not need larger updates, almost every home needs some basic listing preparation to help it get ready to sell. Some common preparations include:
- Updating hardware
- Painting walls neutral colors
- Refinishing hardwood floors
- Cleaning the carpets
Along with getting your house ready to sell, these preparations tend to have a high return and could help significantly boost the sales price of your home. When these tasks are not complete, it can be a red flag for buyers.
8. Make The Home Look Its Best
Now that all the grunt work is out of the way, it’s time to look at your home not as it is but as it could be. You need to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer. They make a snap judgment in the first five seconds and often don’t deviate too much from their initial opinion. You want their first impression to be a great one. Staging and increasing your curb appeal are the best ways to boost your home’s appearance inside and out.
Some good curb appeal can draw buyers in and make them feel excited about your house right off the bat. On the other hand, staging can help buyers see a home’s full potential and allow them to imagine all the possibilities of what they can do with the space. If buyers are excited about the home and can envision living there, they are much more likely to make a good offer.
9. Develop a Plan for Showings
Once your house is set to go on the market, make sure you have a plan for last-minute showings. Buyers do not want to have to work around someone else’s schedule. Be flexible and allow for last-minute tours when possible. The inconvenience of struggling to find a time that works for their schedule could have buyers walking away. Before listing, develop some ideas on where you can go to kill an hour or two. Also, make sure you keep the house clean so you can get up and go at a moment’s notice.
Let Us Help
Feeling overwhelmed? We understand. If you need help getting your house ready to sell, we want to be there for you. Curbio is a turnkey, no-stress solution for homeowners who want to maximize their value before selling. That means that your agent contacts Curbio to get an estimate, and then Curbio takes it from there. No hassle. No stress. No upfront costs. Payment isn’t due until closing, so money doesn’t have to be a barrier.