7 Must Do’s to Get Your House Ready to Sell

couple sitting on the floor going over curbio's checklist for getting a home ready to sell

If you’ve ever sold a home before, you know that calling it “one of life’s most stressful experiences” is almost an understatement. It can feel overwhelming, especially when you factor in the fact that you’re usually also simultaneously looking for another house. Add in decluttering, packing, plus the emotional difficulty involved in letting go of a house you’ve created memories in… and it can turn you off from moving altogether.

However, the upside of selling a home is that once you decide to put it on the market, it becomes no different than any other investment: it is a way for you to maximize your return and improve your financial future.

What really needs to be on your checklist to get your house ready to sell? Here are the only 7 items experts say should be on your pre-listing checklist:

1. Research the market

You don’t need to have a background in real estate to navigate the ever-changing market, just start off with some light Googling. 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? (And was it higher or lower than the sale 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!

Ready to get started on profitable, pre-listing home improvements? Get started with a free, same-day estimate.

2. Factor in the financial implications

Hand-in-hand with market research goes this much more personal, much more important order of business: is it a good time for YOU to sell your home? Most of us, once we start talking about finances, kick into an instinctual fight, flight, or freeze reaction – but that’s not necessary. This is just an exercise in what you’re hoping to accomplish for your financial future, and how your home sale plays a role. It’s most helpful to do the following, in order:

  • 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 expected your home sale and your hopeful next purchase? If either number fluctuates 5%, are you still in a good financial position?
  • Plan for worst, hope for 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 a lot less overwhelming.

3. Address any immediate issues

If you read that line and immediately conjured an image of a particular home improvement project (or fix) you’ve been putting off for months, maybe years, while you wait for a sign you really have to fix it… this is your sign. We all have a shortlist of things that don’t work ‘quite right’ in our homes, and while you’re living in your home, that list is only a nagging inconvenience. However, when you decide to sell, that list becomes priority number one.

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. It’s helpful to pretend prospective buyers are just looking for reasons to not buy your home, because that’s usually true. So don’t give them any reason to be turned off or skeptical of your home!

If these repairs sound expensive, don’t be alarmed. Curbio can help! Get your estimate today!

a neutral colored, clean and uncluttered room that is organized to sell. owners prepped this home for the market

4. Start to prep your home for market

This is where things switch from hypothetical to “okay this is getting real” and many homeowners start to feel overwhelmed at this stage. The key is to stay organized! First, focus on cleaning and de-cluttering your home, with an emphasis on living spaces. You can make this part of your packing process (two birds, one stone) and break it up into a room-by-room project. This isn’t just a cathartic exercise, you are also getting your house ready to be viewed by buyers with all kinds of preferences, tastes, and styles. So how do you please them all? By living by this motto: less is more.

Minimalism exudes sophistication, but it also gives prospects a chance to project themselves into the space they’re looking at. If they have the opportunity to envision themselves really living in your home, they’ll feel much more motivated to make a competitive bid, or even enter a bidding war! That’s because you turned your home into a blank canvas and allowed buyers to let their imaginations run wild.

5. Start to beautify your home for market

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. Identify your home’s strengths, address the weaknesses, and start polishing.

How? Focus on:

  • Curb appeal
  • Landscaping
  • Updated hardware
  • Modern fixtures
  • Fresh paint
  • Trends in your market

Imagine looking at your home through the eyes of a buyer: they make a snap judgement in the first 5 seconds and often, they don’t deviate too much from their initial opinion. You want the first impression they make to be a good if not great one, and the way you do that is by tapping into your home’s fullest potential.

Make sure you remove debris, weeds, and dead plants from your yard. You don’t have to fully overhaul your landscaping, just give it a little love with some pretty flowers, fresh mulch, and clean edges. Next, replace dated finishes or fixtures with nice, modern ones, as those are relatively low cost to replace and can make or break a buyer’s first impression. Lastly, never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint! It is one of the best investments you can make in your home before sale because chipping, wearing, or fading are huge red flags for potential buyers.

6. Strategize with your realtor

Extracting the highest possible return on your home investment doesn’t happen accidentally. Sit down with your realtor to hatch a plan about the next several weeks. Items on the agenda should include:

  • Coordinating a professional photoshoot
  • Deciding whether or not to use a staging service
  • Finalizing dates for open houses
  • Agreeing on a competitive asking price

No matter how much Googling you did about your neighbor’s kitchen renovation, your agent is a pro about the market, your home value, and communicating with potential buyers. They will campaign for you and not rest until they deliver you the best possible outcome. Real estate agents have a number of tools and resources at their disposal that they can deploy to ensure you are getting top dollar, and one of them is Curbio.

modern, gray kitchen that was remodeled by Curbio to sell as a turnkey home

7. Consider Curbio

Curbio is the only completely turnkey, hands-off, no-stress solution for homeowners who want to maximize their home value before selling. That means that your agent contacts Curbio to get an estimate on your home’s potential value after updates, and then Curbio takes it from there. No hassle. No stress. No catch.

How does it work? Curbio researches market trends and gets into the mindset of prospective buyers to truly understand how to deliver additional value on your home. They take on projects of any size: from fixing a sink to renovating a kitchen, they’re a one-stop shop for everything you need to make your home attractive to buyers.

How much does it cost? It doesn’t cost you a cent. Really. You, as a homeowner, pay nothing up front. You don’t pay as Curbio refreshes your bathroom, repairs your HVAC, repaints your walls, updates your kitchen or replaces your floors. You pay only when you sell – for much, much more than your original listing price.

Why use Curbio? Because homeowners, on average, pocket $50,000 more on the sale of their home. Because the concierge service takes care of everything, so you can kick back and relax. And because Curbio is powered by tech, you get real-time insight into your home improvement project. So let Curbio and your agent team up to get you more money and more offers in less time.

The real question is… why wouldn’t you use Curbio? Get your free estimate today!

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