Getting ready to sell your house? Then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! Here’s a checklist before selling your house.
1. Find a great real estate agent
Your real estate agent should be someone you feel comfortable working with, whom you trust to sell your house for top dollar. Don’t be afraid to talk to a few real estate agents before picking one.
2. Consider your curb appeal
By investing some effort in relatively easy fixes, like planting colorful flowers and repainting your front door, the outside of your house can beckon prospective buyers to come on in. If you’re not sure how to improve your home’s curb appeal, ask your real estate agent for advice on how others in your area have improved the exterior before selling their houses.
3. Declutter living areas
Less is more when it comes to getting your house ready to show. Do a clean sweep of counters, windowsills, tables, and all other visible areas, and then tackle behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards—since virtually nothing is off-limits for curious buyers. If the house is overflowing with stuff, buyers might worry that the house won’t have ample space for their belongings. They won’t sign up to pay a mortgage if they think they’ll also have to rent a storage space.
4. Depersonalize your space
Sellers should remove personal items and family photos, as well as bold artwork and furniture. It might make the home less appealing to the general public. The goal is to create a blank canvas on which buyers can project their visions of living there and loving it.
5. Repaint walls to neutral tones
You might love that orange accent wall, but if it’s your potential buyer’s least favorite color, that could be a turnoff. It’s the seller’s job to help buyers picture themselves in the house. If they don’t feel at home, they’ll probably look at other real estate options.
7. Fix any loose handles
It’s a small thing, sure, but you’d be surprised by the negative effect a loose handle or missing lightbulb can have on a buyer.
8. Add some plants
When staging your house, remember that green is good: Plants create a bright and more welcoming environment. You might also want to consider a bouquet or bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or dining table. Some plants and natural elements will impress buyers by bringing some extra color and life to your decor.
9. Conduct a smell test
Foul odors, even slight ones, can be a deal-breaker, and the problem is that you might not even notice them. Invite an unbiased third party to try to detect any pet smells or lingering odors from your kitchen. If the smells are pervasive, prepare to do some deep cleaning.
10. Clean, clean, clean
When selling your home, it’s important to keep everything tidy for buyers, and you never know when a buyer is going to want to schedule a last-minute tour. Remember to take special care with the bathroom, making sure the tile, counters, shower, and floors shine.
11. Hide valuables
You can’t trust everyone who comes into your house, even when you’re trying to sell it. Sometimes things disappear during an open house, and there’s little the seller can do to get those things back. Take care to hide your valuables or move them to a safe space away from your home.
12. Consider staging
Home stagers will evaluate the current condition and belongings in your house. They might recommend you buy or rent some items, or they might just reorganize your house.
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