You’ve decided to sell your home, but before you get that “for sale” sign up, or select the perfect buyer, there are some things you should know, to be sure the process is a success.
1. Assess your home’s value
Your realtor will decide on the list price for your home, but before you even meet with your agent, you can get a ballpark figure for what it might be worth. HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator is a great place to start, and from there you can work through a Comparative Market Analysis to compare your home to other similar properties in your area.
2. Get to know your agent
Once you get serious about selling your home, you’ll want to hire a professional who knows your city, town, or even neighborhood, and can advise you on current market conditions. You can start by asking friends if there is someone who they have used recently and would recommend.
3. Understand what needs to be repaired
You know the quirks that you have gotten used to in your home — like a squeaky bathroom door, or creaky hallway? Well, they may not be so appealing to a potential buyer. Go through each room (and outside too), and make a list of simple repairs.
4. What needs to be deep cleaned?
Deep cleaning will give your home that extra glow. You can hire professionals, or tackle the job yourself, leaving no surface untouched, especially windows, bathroom grout, and cobwebs on ceilings.
5. Take stock of what you don’t need
Before you even look for an agent, you can start adding lightness to your home with decluttering. Make an honest assessment of what you need, want to donate, or can put in storage. Marie Kondo is a decluttering expert who can guide you with her KonMari method.
6. How will your home perform on the stage?
Your home may be a comfortable haven for you and your family with toys in the living room and a home office in the kitchen, but that may not appeal to everyone. Professional stagers know the characteristics that can make your home an inviting space, or you can follow DIY home staging tips, like adding neutral accents and live plants and flowers and creating light with open windows or lamps.
7. Assess your curb appeal
The first few seconds when a potential buyer sees your home could mean the difference between them continuing through the front door, or moving on — that means curb appeal, or how the front of your home looks, matters. Trimming hedges or trees, mowing the lawn, and adding a fresh coat of paint to your front door in a pop color, are a few curb appeal ideas to start with.
8. Find an experienced photographer
Once you get your home camera-ready, you’ll need to find a photographer who can show it off. These photos will be useful for online listings (where nearly 90 percent of buyers are said to begin their home search, according to the National Association of Realtors), social media, and print advertisements.