The Ultimate To-Do List for Home Sellers

Selling your home involves a lot of details--some you probably haven't even thought about. There are a few main areas most of these fall under and having a list can help you plan and prepare effectively.


The Planning Stages

You've made the decision to sell your home, now it's time to work out all the details.

  • Determine your timeline. How fast do you need to sell? Do you need to find another home first? How much time will you need to prepare your home?

  • Make a list of all repair or upgrade projects.Big and small inside and outside. Estimate completion time and cost.

  • Have an idea about pricing. You probably don't want to decide on the final figure without talking to your agent first, but do some research and think about a range that takes into account any major repairs or upgrades.

Work on Curb Appeal

The first thing buyers notice about your house is the outside, so start here. Walk toward the street and look at your house to see what kind of first impression buyers are getting. What can be improved? 

  • Remove clutter. Branches and debris, trash cans, bikes, tools, and toys should all be removed or put away.

  • Mow and edge the lawn.

  • Trim trees and shrubs. Make sure they aren't blocking windows or the view of the house.

  • Add flowers or plants and mulch.

  • Repair or add a walkway.

  • Paint. You may not need to paint the entire house. A fresh coat or color change on the trim, shutters, front door or garage door may be enough.

  • Update a curbside mailbox.

  • Replace, relocate or repaint house numbers.

  • Repair, replace or add exterior lighting.

  • Add or refresh porch furniture.

Getting the Inside Ready

You'll want the inside of your home to look just as amazing as the outside. Consider hiring a professional home stager. Having someone who doesn't have an emotional attachment to anything in the home can be helpful.

Here are some other things you can do.

  • Declutter. Dispose of, donate or store unnecessary items. Remember buyers will look everywhere. The less you have to hide or reorganize the better. 

  • Remove your personal touches. Flashy décor and artwork, family photos, and collections should be removed. It's hard for buyers to envision themselves in the home when your belongings are visible.

  • Detail clean. Wash walls and baseboards and molding to remove scuff marks and fingerprints. Clean inside cabinets, corners, and window tracks. Every house has those areas that get passed over. Now is the time to make sure they're clean.

  • Paint. Freshening up the color or repainting in a neutral color can give your home wider appeal.

  • Make small repairs. Potential buyers see burned-out light bulbs, loose handles and doorknobs, and dripping faucets and wonder what else may have been neglected.

  • Take a sniff. Weird smells are a major turn off. Clean, sanitize or get rid of the source.

  • Lock up or relocate valuables.

  • Wash windows.

  • Redo caulk in the bathroom and clean grout.  

Meet with Your Real Estate Agent

It's a good idea to use a real estate agent when selling your home. An agent will list your home, publicize it, and schedule tours. They can also advise you on pricing. 

There are a lot of details involved in selling your home. Being well organized and planning ahead can save time and help you get the price you're looking for.


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