When you're thinking, "I'm ready to sell my house," there are a few steps you can take before your home hits the market to increase its value and the speed at which it sells.
Start making a checklist, because this is what you need to do to get your home sold.
1. Get to Know the Housing Market
Start by taking a cursory look at your local market to see how similar homes sell. Look at the listing and selling prices of homes in your neighborhood and similar house sizes in your area. This will give you a ballpark for what your listing price will be.
Along with checking average listing prices, keep an eye for the average time homes spend on the market. You can see how long similar houses take to sell and how competitive the market is. Much of this research can be done online, however, it is probably easier to begin looking for an agent to help.
2. Declutter and Organize Your Home
If you’re ready to move, then everything you own is going to get packed up in boxes anyway. You might as well make the process easier on yourself by decluttering now. Go room-to-room, closet-to-closet donating and throwing out everything you don’t want to take with you.
If you haven’t watched Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix, now is the time to see it. Trust us, if you can remove a dozen or so boxes from your home now, you will be grateful that you don’t have to pack them up later.
Decluttering also plays an important role in selling your home. Your buyers want to picture themselves in your house, and that is easier to do without your hobby items and mementos cluttering the space. Plus, a decluttered home is a cleaner home, which appeals more to buyers.
3. Repaint With Light, Neutral Colors
If you are decluttering and moving your furniture around, now is also a good time to do some home improvement work.
You might like dramatic and bright colors but it's nearly impossible to predict your home buyers taste. They see your current decor as extra work. When they move in, they see repainting it as another task on top of the moving process. Plus, in some cases, the paint colors may be so jarring that they are turned off of your house entirely.
Repainting with light, neutral colors can make your home seem bigger, and therefore more valuable. Plus, you can prime your walls to make it easier for your future buyer to add their own personality and color to your place.
While you’re repainting, deep clean your baseboards and look for cracks, breaks, and wear to repair. These small fixes can make your home look significantly better.
4. Consider Staging Your Home
If you've found a top real estate agent, you will likely discuss staging. Home staging is the process of changing your home to make it more appealing to buyers. In fact, home staging can sell your home an average of 73% faster. Painting your space with neutral colors is just one step in this process. You may also consider taking extra steps like hiring a professional staging company to make your space cozier and more "on-trend".
You can handle the staging on your own or wait until you are working with a Realtor® to see what they recommend. Every Realtor® has their own secret sauce to get homes sold.
5. Improve Your Curb Appeal
Once you have the inside of your home ready to sell, turn to the outside. First impressions are just as important in home sales. The last thing you want is a prospective buyer to drive up, see your home, and drive away. To improve curb appeal:
- Remove dead branches, plants, and shrubs.
- Clean out your gutters and wash your windows.
- Trim back hedges and shrubs that are overgrown and blocking your home.
- Consider pulling out some plants that make it hard to see your home.
- Regularly mow and edge your lawn and maintain your garden so you are ready for any showing.
- Plant durable flowers and bushes that make your home seem more appealing.
If you aren’t sure where to start, consider hiring a landscaper to improve your curb appeal. We've had great experiences with Green Pal, although they aren't in every market yet...they offer a simple and cost-effective way to find a landscaping pro.
6. Find the Best Agent to Sell Your Home
Please don’t go to the first Realtor® you meet and ask them to sell your house! You don’t know anything about their background, the markets they work, or experience level. Many people even try to work with their friends to sell their houses, putting both your friendship and profits on the line.
Do your research to find real estate professionals who understand your needs. We've been analyzing agent performance since 2009, it's not easy because there is so much misinformation and puffery online.
At EffectiveAgents, we use a data-driven methodology to pair properties with appropriate agents to work with. We utilize a variety of performance ratios, days on market figures and agent sales data to find the best possible agent for your needs. Plus, every agent has been personally analyzed and scrutinized before they are allowed to become a member of the platform.
7. Create a Plan for When it Sells
While you may have a plan to sell your home and move, you may not be ready if the house actually sells before you’re ready. Some homes sell a few days or weeks after they hit the market, giving the homeowners a short period before closing.
Determine how much time you will need between selling and closing to move out, and decide what you are going to do. You may need to start looking at homes to buy now or find a short-term housing in advance of your big move. Either way, you don’t want to get caught scrambling between houses.
Sell My House: Take the First Step Today
When you finally say “sell my house,” the hard work begins. By following these steps, you can make your home more inviting and potentially increase its value along the way.
Take the first step toward selling your house by finding a top Realtor® in your area today.
Use Effective Agents to get matched with a local Realtor® who knows your area and what you need to get top dollar during the sale.